Book Excerpts

Foreword Two by Jim Harrison, Physical Therapist

Physical Therapists have always played a vital role in the post injury/surgical rehabilitation phase of recovery for laypersons and athletic participants. As a natural progression, Physical Therapists have become increasingly more involved with preventive care for individuals or “wellness” populations. One population, in particular, is the golfing population. This is a population that constantly seeks to improve their golf playing abilities–most of the time it is by the purchase of new and expensive golf equipment or “training aids”. An increasing number have discovered that there are other means of realizing improvement. They have found that by enhancing their physical attributes they can improve their golf game without the purchase of equipment. As a result, Physical Therapists have found an important niche and golfers are able to avail themselves of the skills of a Physical Therapist outside the typical medical patient-therapist model.

Physical Therapy skills are particularly well suited to helping the “well” golfer. During the course of a “typical” orthopedic Physical Therapy evaluation various physical attributes are measured quantitatively. These include: joint range of motion, strength, joint integrity, posture, endurance, function, and pain patterns. Upon completion of the Physical Therapy assessment the Physical Therapist is able to make a “Physical Therapy Diagnosis” and determine the appropriate exercise and physical modality prescription to address any specific physical deficits. These deficits most often affect functional capabilities. The conventional thinking is that by eliminating deficiencies, function will improve. Physical Therapists working with the “well golfer” usually have attended continuing education courses designed to instruct the Physical Therapist on how to work with the golfing population. These courses have taught Physical Therapists how to tailor their evaluation skills to the golfing model, correlate their findings, and prescribe the course of “therapy” to correct any deficiencies. Applying conventional thinking, it would follow that once the deficiencies are eliminated function (i.e. golf playing ability) will improve. However, that brings us to a couple of questions: 1) What is improved golf playing ability? and 2) How and what is measured to show if function/golf playing ability is improved?

Until recently, those were questions largely left up to the individual fitness practitioner to answer for his/her specific population and program. The answers varied from fitness practitioner to fitness practitioner, program to program, and were not always easily measured. With the introduction of the Playfit® Performance Enhancement System (PPES©) the fitness practitioner now has excellent diagnostic tools as well as measurable functional goals. It does not matter the type of program or the types of exercise/modality prescription used. The fitness practitioner can use the PPES© in a gym/clinic setting to diagnose deficiencies within the golfer. The PPES© then can be used to help design a personalized program for the golfer addressing those deficiencies. The fitness practitioner and golfer next use the PPES© to measure the progress of the golfer as well as diagnosing the strengths and weaknesses of the prescribed program. The ultimate goal is for the golfer to be independent of direct intervention by a practitioner. The golfer now directs the program. The golfer can continue to monitor the progress of any maintenance or formalized program performed either at home or in a gym. Further, the golfer is empowered to determine if staying on a maintenance program is needed or whether the golfer should return to a formal supervised program. This is the ultimate in flexibility for the fitness practitioner and the golfer.

Jim Harrison

Member Requirements | Member Preview membership is for Golfers, Fitness Instructors, Golf Instructors, Golf & Country Clubs and High School & College Golf Teams using the Playfit® Performance Enhancement System (PPES©). PPES© Software updates are provided continuously on the Website. To become a Member, simply purchase version of the PPES© that's designed for you.
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