Greetings! From Suzanne June 6th 2011
VARIETY … THE BASIS OF ELITE ATHLETICISM
All it takes is one look into the individual histories of our greatest sports figures to see that before they became great at their chosen sport, they were amazing athletes.
There are many football, golf, basketball, soccer, baseball and tennis players – among others – who were dual-sports threats throughout college. These athletes didn’t specialize early, meaning they didn’t decide to do only one sport 20 minutes after they were born!
“When you’re 9, 10, 11 years old go play other sports,” Nicklaus said. “Round your body out. That’s why I played. I thought it was good for your body; round out your body, use different muscles and so forth. I’ve always felt that. I felt specializing is not a thing you should do at a young age.”Yeah, that’s an exaggeration, but only a slight one!
In Saturday’s Memorial Tournament telecast, the commentators were talking to Jack about Steve Stricker and his winter lay-off from golf due to where he chooses to live. Jack made to comment that he did the same, played lots of other sports, did not touch a club in the winter.
We see so many young athletes today playing only one sport from the time they first touch a club, a ball or a racket. Early specialization only leads to a stunted or severely warped athletic development, overuse injuries and possibly a lifelong disdain for the sport.
However, variety – it’s the not-so-secret formula to playing great golf. Athletes need to master the fundamental movement skills and the fundamental sports skills. Athletes, throw, kick, hit baseballs, play flag football, perform sprint mechanics, play dodge balls as well as do our many golf activities.
But, don’t take this advice solely from us. We’re sure Jack Nicklaus knows a few things about amazing golf.
Check out a few things he has to say.
In a recent interview session, Nicklaus talked about playing a variety of sports when he was younger and about how he made sure his children did the same.