Shaping YOUR Success is a new PerformPKB series where current players and former PKBGT alumni express their thoughts on the increasing importance of physical fitness, training and nutrition as they progress through the levels of competition in tournament golf and into their collegiate golf programs. Read as players who were once in your shoes share their firsthand experiences on how training with PerformPKB prepared them to succeed in higher levels of competitive golf and give tips and advice on how you can improve your fitness habits to take your golf game to the next level!
Our first installment of Shaping YOUR Success features Riley, a PKBGT alumni who has trained at Par4Success. She currently is in her freshman year at the University of Virginia.
I was primed to succeed from the moment I stepped on campus thanks to the high level of fitness that I maintained prior to college. I came ready to take on the challenge of a full schedule with workouts and practice in addition to school. We workout and practice on the same day and occasionally have workouts on the same day as qualifying, so there isn’t a long period for recovery. Focusing on my fitness and training prior to college made it easier to adapt to the long days and prepared me with the endurance that a college program demands.
There’s an adjustment period in every aspect of life when you go to college, so it was a relief to know that I didn’t have to worry about the intensity of the workouts on top of everything else. I knew I was well prepared for whatever was thrown my way and felt comfortable with all the different exercises. Thanks to my previous training, I don’t have to worry about the risk of injury from improper form. I am able to walk onto the course for practice each day knowing that, whether we lifted that day or I walked across campus five times back and forth to classes, I am fully energized and finish practice feeling as strong as when I started.
At first, the workouts can certainly seem intimidating. You’re in a new environment and you have a new strength coach who you aren’t familiar with telling you to do a certain lift at a certain weight with the rest of the team. As a freshman, you feel intimidated and are afraid to speak up or ask questions. The important thing to remember is that the strength coaches are there to help you improve and get stronger.
It’s beneficial to speak up because it’s your body. If a movement feels uncomfortable or a weight is too heavy, the coaches will make adjustments so you don’t hurt yourself as long as you say something. If nobody knows about it, nobody can help you. If you stay in shape and have a baseline fitness level prior to your arrival, then you’re equipped with the knowledge to use correct form and know what mistakes to watch out for. It immediately gives you an edge over most other freshmen and makes the adjustment to college golf significantly easier.
In my opinion, the hardest aspect of training in college is nutrition pre- and post-workout. When you’re on a meal plan you try not to lose all the benefits of your workout but you don’t have the control to cook for yourself, and many of the options offered in the dining halls are not ideal for proper nutrition. There are options in the dining halls that fuel you properly. It’s all a matter of learning what is healthy versus what isn’t, when to eat which foods and how to time them with your workouts.
Par4Success was started in 2012 and their coaches work with Touring Professionals (most of whom play on the Symetra and LPGA Tours), elite level juniors & amateurs. Chris Finn is the founder of Par4Success and a Licensed Physical Therapist, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Titleist Performance Institute Certified Medical Professional. While Chris and his team have worked with golfers of all ages and abilities, there is nothing more rewarding than working with young golfers to help them achieve their dream of playing at the next level. Par4Success is excited and honored to be the expert team here for you and all of the PKB family. Whether it is working with you over a number of years in person or remotely, or just answering a few questions on the phone we want to help you in any way we can and can’t wait to hear from you!