Golf Fitness Best Practice: Live Up to Your Mission

Jason Rivkin is an Athletic Trainer and a Managing Partner at FitGolf Performance Centers in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

Jason Rivkin on the importance of living up to your mission:

As a managing partner at the FitGolf Performance Centers of the Delaware Valley Philadelphia location, I run operations, manage program design, conduct evaluations and promote sales. However, the majority of my time is spent as the facilitys head coach, training clients to help them attain their health and wellness and golf performance goals. Engagement is either one-on-one or in small groups of three or four golfers, and our target demographic is predominantly male or female golfers between the ages of 50 and 80. These individuals are breaking down a bit, dont feel as good as they used to or may even have a history of injuries, whether golf-related or not. Many of them are losing energy, reducing distance and resulting in a golf game that is not up to par with what they once enjoyed. Thats the type of client with whom we do our best work. Sure, weve worked with some very good high school players and college golfers over the years, but 90 percent of our clientele is that golfer who plays pretty often at his or her private club and is getting up there in years. We conduct a comprehensive two-hour TPI functional movement assessment with every new client to determine his or her needs and discuss their injury history and goals for the future. We do some orthopedic testing and muscle strength testing and measure range of motion and flexibility. We take a joint-by-joint approach to figure out whats hindering their movement in golf. And we never make assumptions based on gender, age or body type. We take a deep dive into their joints and muscles to create a baseline of numbers against which we will gauge our subsequent evaluations and assessments. We conduct a swing analysis using K-Vest that provides hard data and eliminates any guesswork.

Jason Rivkin on the business impact of living up to your mission:

With the customer niche that weve grown into, however, we do see a lot of the same issues, resulting in similar programming among many of our clients. With such volume, that programming is very effective and has proven highly successful. When we see noticeable improvements in their body, well go back to K-Vest for some more swings to demonstrate the impact that these physical developments have on the golf swing. Gauging progress is a natural result of the physical advancements weve made together. The time frame for such re-evaluations varies but usually happens about twice in a three-month program (in addition to the initial and final assessments). Currently, 80 percent of our clients fall into the category Ive described above where were going to see very similar issues. Ten percent of clients evaluated are golfers with very good functional movement and very few joint limitations and restrictions. They have good flexibility and mobility. With this client, well pursue golf strength and power programming. We train them to get stronger and faster and rotate with more athleticism. The final 10 percent have significant orthopedic issues related to their lower back. Well slowly and carefully get this person to a point where they can not only swing a club but move day-to-day relatively pain-free. However, in some scenarios – coming off a new injury, for example – well actually refer the client to a local physical therapist with whom we have a relationship. Because, at the end of the day, its about doing whats best for the client.

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email jrivkin@fitgolf.com.