IMPROVE MY GAME
Inside Adam Hadwin's Work with his TPI Certified Team
Tue Mar 14, 2017 by TPI
Canadian Adam Hadwin has been on fire in the 2016-17 season. In his last eight events, Hadwin has recorded four top 15 finishes, including his breakthrough victory at the Valspar Championship on Sunday.
Casual fans might presume that pro golfers like Hadwin win championships with four days of exceptional play, but anyone connected with the TOUR know that these milestones are the product of YEARS of preparation. Adam Hadwin is no exception.
Like many of the players on the PGA TOUR, Hadwin leans on a TPI Certified team for support. His trainer is TPI instructor Jason Glass and his medical team is Dr. Harry Sese and Dr. Kevin Dieleman, both TPI Medical Level 3 professionals. His swing coach is Ralph Bauer, an instructor based out of Toronto who also assists with the Canadian Olympic team (Bauer is not TPI Certified).
In the first few years they worked together, Jason focused on adding some mass to Adam's frame, specifically strengthening his posterior chain. Building and maintaining mass isn't an uncommon problem for young players on TOUR. Players can walk upwards of 50 miles in a tournament week. Add sessions in the gym and it's no wonder that they have a difficult time keeping the weight on.
"Our goal with adding mass was to improve the transfer of energy from the lower body to upper body. I told him I wanted to him to have a butt and back like a hockey player. Once we did that, we were able to turn our focus to High Threshold Training."
High threshold training refers to exercises that focus on prime movers and force production. These are the type of exercises you're most likely to see on social media since they generally incorporate explosive movements and/or heavy weights. Even though this is the focus of his program today, Adam's workouts are the result of careful exercise progression. Any athlete that works with Jason Glass and Co has to earn the right to train explosively. Only after they master low threshold training strategies and present sound movement would they move on to more explosive, high threshold training. Here's an example of a high threshold exercise (left) and low threshold exercise (right) below.
Postural Step Ups to Depth Jump is a great assessment that acts an exercise and an exercise that acts as an assessment. Here @ahadwingolf is focused on #TSpine extension, R hip extension, L hip flexion, Core Control. What you can't see here is the drop into a controlled landing while maintaining posture. Why? Because it didn't look as cool when I cropped the picture! 😜 But the landing was 👌🏻 @myTPI @thegolfingdoc @themovementnerd50 #Patch Work
"Our goal is to build a better athlete rather than just adding pure strength," said Jason. "Don't get me wrong. I'm a strength coach and a huge believer that a stronger athlete has a chance to be a better athlete. That said, when you're strong enough, it's time to focus on being a better athlete." For more information about high threshhold training, check out this video on Jason's site.
Hadwin is a prime example of the advantages of working with a team. Dr. Sese (of GOLFLETICA® in Bellevue, WA) travels with Adam most weeks on the PGA TOUR, while Jason Glass does the majority of his work remotely and Dr. Dieleman works with Adam when he's home in British Columbia.
"Our team is in constant communication," says Dr. Sese. "We want the work I'm doing on Adam's body to complement his program in the gym and vice-versa."
Dr. Sese works with several pro golfers, including Jon Rahm, Andrew Putnam, Michael Putnam, Kyle Stanley, Jerry Kelly, Will MacKenzie and Graeme McDowell. On a tournament week, Dr. Sese will work with Adam daily, from overseeing gym workouts to pre-round warm-up/activation to post-round stretching (below: Dr. Sese stretching Adam after Round 2 of the Valspar Championship).
"Like the vast majority of athletes, Adam has a few underlying physical issues that we try to monitor and treat on a regular basis. I'm constantly assessing his ankles and hips for mobility so that we can address any issues before they affect performance."
Dr. Sese takes athletes through TPI, FMS and SFMA screens to evaluate their movement, in addition to relying on manual therapy to assess tissue quality.
"My number one priority is to keep an athlete healthy. Some golfers think minor pain is normal and try to play through it. Pain is not normal and, almost always, will negatively affect performance."
While Adam benefits from hands-on training most weeks on the PGA TOUR, his team was able to approximate the work through remote programming and consultations when he was on smaller pro tours. By relying on a shared language afforded by TPI assessments, Dr. Sese, Dr. Dieleman and Glass were able to effectively communicate issues and opportunities despite only seeing their client quarterly.
Most importantly, Adam did his part. Programming is essential, but it's useless without hard work.
"Adam is an unbelievable athlete and can compete at a high level in all sports," Glass says. "He trains like a champ and follows a strict performance plan."