Program Design & Implementation:
Proud Success Stories at Tatum Human Performance

Ash Williams is the Director of Operations and a Performance Specialist at Tatum Human Performance in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Many of our clients at Tatum Human Performance are high-level performers – some of them are among the top professional golfers in the game. But there are two other demographics that make up a big part of our community – the youth competitive golfer and the retired competitive golfer. Our training principles, however, apply to all of our clients, whether they are current or former business executives, elite youth athletes or Jon Rahm himself. The pathway remains the same.

As you know, golf is an extremely results-driven sport. Golfers will invest in expensive equipment, lessons and technology just to cut one or two strokes off their handicap. People are obsessed with making the swing fit their body, rather than making their body fit the requirements of the sport. They’re solving short-term issues while creating long-term problems in the process when it comes to longevity and physical well-being down the road.

The main things we hear in terms of goals are “increased clubhead speed” and “more distance.” But trying to build speed and power with an inefficient body is like putting a Ferrari engine on Prius brakes. It’ll go fast up until it breaks, and then we start having the injury conversation.

In terms of performance, we look at a simple pathway that needs the applicable boxes checked in order to demonstrate true expression of athletic performance (meaning, you aren’t leaving your potential on the table).

PERFORMANCE PATHWAY IN THIS ORDER:

Mobility > Stability > Motor Control > Strength > Power

Mobility serves as the precursor to all performance. You need to be able to create good joint alignment in order to have stability around that joint. Think about stacking Ritz crackers on top of each other. The more in line they are, the sturdier the structure. Motor control refers to one’s ability to control their mobility and stability. Performance does not occur in full alignment all the time, but your ability to get back into alignment says a lot about your strength and power expression. Strength requires this joint alignment and control to be absolute. And if you have all your strength on the table, you will be able to access your power.

We try to instill this into every client who comes through our doors. If you want the shiny things at the end of the road, we need to make sure your body can handle it, and most importantly, we want you to feel your best while doing it. We assess simple things like their ability to touch their toes or rotate efficiently from the hips and t-spine, and whether they’re at their peak potential or are a super compensator.

Below are some success stories that we often see.

Client Demographic – Youth Golfers (Alston, Jameson, Henry and Cash)

These young men are current clients between the ages of 10 and 14 and are elite golfers for their age group. Typically, we’ll see some tight hamstrings due to the repetitive patterns they’ve employed in golf for several years. The majority of our young athletes’ needs fall more in the stability category. Their bodies are growing. They’re playing more golf at a young age in order to compete, and they have absolutely no control over their bodies.

So, by demonstrating how to set up their lifts in the gym, teaching them how to create their own stability from their environment (teaching them the ground is their friend when it comes to force production) and building up their strength on good alignment, they have all increased their clubhead speed by at least 15 mph and are adding 50 yards to their drives. This is just by teaching them how to stabilize.

I have 13-year-olds driving the ball 300+ yards due to this same process. Also, working with them and teaching them to lift properly while their body is growing makes a world of difference. Jameson has put on 9 lbs. of skeletal muscle mass in eight months and first had trouble doing a 15-lb. dumbbell bench press for five reps, but is now repping out 40 lbs. in each hand.

Client Demographic – Retiree Golfers (Mike and Joe Sr.)

This population will see more mobility challenges (tight hips, low backs and immobile t-spines and shoulders). After years of sitting at desks with poor posture, possibly dealing with multiple surgeries and maintaining structural imbalance, they now want to rotate around the spine at high speeds.

So, a lot of time is spent ensuring that acceptable amounts of hip and shoulder mobility are there initially. Sometimes their immobility is due to neurological tension or locked-up joints and muscles, but is sometimes attributable to a lack of stability or an inability to dissociate the upper body from the lower body by means of a stable core/midsection.

Both gentlemen are in their 60s and were dealing with physical pain when they first came in. Their goals were to gain speed and power but without feeling like they’d been hit by a bus after a round. Since coming to THP, Mike has lost 20 lbs. and has found better joint alignment resulting in more turn in his hips. He now walks the course and refuses to use a cart. Now that he can access his mobility, his swing feels more effortless and he doesn’t have to swing as hard to get the powerful result he desires.

Joe has discovered that he has more mobility than he knows what to do with. Mobility is good, but it also means there is more range of motion during which things can go wrong. So, we’ve been focusing on building the deceleration stability and the mind-body connection to know when to stop in the backswing. I see this on the gym floor with people who have a lot of mobility. They will go too far in their range of motion to the point where they lose tension in the muscle, and strength and power is lost. Teaching him through his lifts that there is a definite start and end point has carried over to his golf swing. Both of these gentlemen feel comfortable playing the game and are able to enjoy multi-day golf trips with fewer issues.