How To Choose A Golf Fitness Trainer
by Sean Cochran
I can't begin to tell you how many times I've been asked this
question during my travels around the country and world on the
golf circuit; "Sean, I am looking for a golf fitness trainer
in my area, what do you suggest?" Finding a golf fitness trainer
for you, simply takes a little knowledge and time on your part.
Bottom line there are thousands of fitness experts, personal
trainer, instructors, and conditioning coaches available to
you. Some are more qualified than others to help you improve
your golf game. Lets first off take a look at some general qualifications
to look for in candidates.
The golf trainer's education would be the first thing I would
consider. In the world of personal training and fitness, there
are no educational requirements, governing bodies, or state
boards. Essentially, anyone can hang a sign on their front door
and call themselves a "personal golf fitness trainer". It's
unfortunate, but unqualified people are training people every
A highly qualified golf fitness trainer will likely have a college
degree in the field of kinesiology, biomechanics, health sciences
or a related field. There are many other organizations that
accredit trainers too. These organizations provide intense educational
programs providing the trainer with certifications. Accreditations
from the National Strength and Conditioning Association, National
Academy of Sports Medicine, and American Council of Exercise
are highly regarded within the field. I would suggest looking
for a golf fitness trainer with a degree in the field and at
least one additional certification from the above organizations.
This tells us that they have taken the time to become more specialized
and better educated.
The Proof is in the Pudding
Experience within the field is absolutely critical. First look
at the trainer's general experience and dig deeper. In general,
I am talking about how long they have been in the industry.
Are they just starting out or are they a seasoned veteran in
the field? What areas of the industry have they worked? Have
they worked only in the health club setting, have they worked
in a collegiate or professional athletic environment, or experience
directly related to the golf industry?
I would look for a golf fitness trainer with some experience
in athletics. A trainer with experience in competitive athletics
understands the demands on your body under competition, whether
it's the weekend round with your friends, the club tournament,
or the Masters for that matter.
Go to the Right Mechanic to Get Your Car Fixed
Now I don't know about you, but if I had an engine problem with
my car, I probably wouldn't go to a motorcycle mechanic to get
it fixed. Would you look for a personal trainer that specialized
in let's say, youth football, to help your golf game?
Most trainers in the industry usually have a repeat client base.
The client base can tell you a lot about the trainer's area
of expertise. The trainer's cliental base could be very specific,
for example working with elderly individuals or with athletes
only. Other trainers may work with numerous types of individuals
from young children, homemakers, to the budding collegiate star.
More than anything a trainer's client base gives you an idea
if they have experience working with someone like you, and if
they fit your individual needs.
I would suggest looking for a golf fitness trainer that has
some experience working with someone like you. For example,
if you are Nationwide Tour player, I would probably suggest
looking for a golf fitness trainer who has experience working
with professional athletes. The experience of working with professional
athletes is only going to help with the interaction between
the two of you.
Can't We Just Get Along
Outside of education and experience, the final area to consider
is the trainer's personality. Some personalities will work well
with you and others will not.
To get the best results for you, you must find a trainer that
you are comfortable with on a professional and personal level.
This will allow for the training sessions, development of your
program, and the relationship to be a positive experience for
both. Remember, you must trust the golf fitness trainer and
this requires a level of comfort with them.
Overall, I suggest taking some time on the front end and interviewing
a series of trainers. This will allow you to compare and contrast
all of the criteria we've discussed, and help you make a decision
you feel good about.
Remember, choosing the right golf fitness trainer for you can
mean the difference between reaching your goals on the golf
course or not.