Addition to program provides boost for Rutgers
Bigger, better and stronger.
Last Tuesday, the Rutgers men’s golf team received a new addition to their program. Ben Shear was named an independent strength and conditioning consultant for the Scarlet Knights. It will be Shear’s duty to enhance the team’s strength, conditioning and flexibility to make them better golfers.
Shear is Titleist Performance Institute level three instructor and is an expert in Golf Biometrics, according to scarletknights.com. Also a nutritionist, Shear has worked with Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour players Webb Simpson and Luke Donald.
“He’s writing all of our workouts,” said head coach Rob Shutte. “Anything to do with the body. He’s going to be involved with a number of things. Down the line, we’re doing functional screen analysis and already put together a first round of programming for six to eight weeks which will really look at what their bodies dictate and their limitations and things like that and helps fix their mobility issues.”
A functional screen analysis or functional movement screening is a method used to grade a person’s ability to complete certain movements and flexibility exercises. Functional movement screening can help identify the body’s limitations and weaknesses and assist in finding exercises to make the limitations less severe.
Shutte said that these tests will help to make the players more flexible as well.
“Helps increase stability, power, strength and things like that,” he said. “So they’ll go through it (for a few weeks) and then try to re-test and see what kind of changed and what the next program (will be) with the body adapting to more corrective movements.”
Looking at a golfer's swing is often a tell-tale sign of the movements a golfer’s body allows.
“Very often their swings kind of dictate what their body allows them to do and it really uses a big range of motion,” Shutte said. “Their mobility and flexibility are kind of paramount. So yeah, (Shear) will be a resource and look at anything to do with the workouts that we do, that’s pretty much the primary thing.”
Most golfers, especially in today’s age spend a significant amount of time in the weight room. It’s very important for a player to generate as much power as possible during a swing, especially when driving the golf ball. Lifting weights is a good method to gain the strength and power needed to play the game of golf.
“Absolutely. You have to lift weights," Shutte said. "It’s just really trying to get our guys to be doing things that are appropriate for their bodies when it comes to it. Some guys should not be doing a back squat, for instance, because of some of the limitations that they have with their body. It hurts doing it actually, so it's just really making sure that the power and the explosive parts of their workouts that we have is done properly because their bodies are unable to handle that load.”
Rutgers has been preparing for its upcoming tournament, the Maryland Invitational on Oct. 19-20, last week and will continue to do so this week. The Knights will have had a two-week layoff between its last event, the Badger Invitational, and the Maryland Invitational in Rockville, Maryland.
The time between events has given Rutgers an opportunity to return to its practice facilities in Piscataway and spend ample time working on all aspects of golf to prepare for the final tournament in the fall portion of the 2015-16 season.
“Yeah, it was nice,” Shutte said. “We’ve got two weeks — well, one week so far and now we’re in week two. So, it was nice to be able to work on stuff. We never really had that, we had three tournaments in a row. We only had one practice. … It was the first time we had two weeks. Last week, we really didn’t play a whole lot so we were out, we worked on technique, worked on the process and things like that.”
Shutte will evaluate his players in practice during the course of the week and watch the team compete before he makes the lineup for the Maryland Invitational. With a week of preparation left, the Knights should be ready to contend for its first win of the season.
“This week, we’ll start off with a couple of practices early here in the week and then we’ll compete to kind of finish up the week and really determine the lineup from there for Maryland and we have the best chance to play well when we compete late in the week for kind of establishing that lineup,” Shutte said.
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