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Breakfast: Lay the Foundation

First things first, EAT A SOLID BREAKFAST - no matter what time you’re Playing! If you skip Breakfast you’re missing an opportunity to create a baseline of Blood Sugar and Energy Level to fuel your day. Without Breakfast you simply won’t Perform Optimally.

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Avoid processed/high sugar cereals (Rice Krispies, Special K, Granola etc). They’ll start you on a Blood Sugar roller-coaster (I’ll explain why that’s bad shortly).

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Go for:

  • Porridge/Oatmeal (Combine with Nut Butters, Greek Yogurt & Fruit)

  • Omelette (Throw in some Protein & Greens)

  • Frittata

  • Huevos Rancheros (minus the Tortilla)

  • Muesli (avoid high sugar options & Combine with Greek Yoghurt & Fruit)

Lunch

If you’ve playing in the afternoon make sure you follow the lead set by you Breakfast; avoid highly processed & excessive amounts of Carbohydrates.

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The following are solid Options:

  • Prawn/Shrimp & Avocado Salad (Dressing on the side)

  • Roasted Salmon with Green Beans & Tomato

  • Vegetable/Tofu Raman with Mushrooms

  • Grilled Steak Salad

  • Soup (avoid Creamy Options)

  • Lettuce Wraps (Grilled Fish/Chicken/Beef)

  • Cob Salad (Grilled Fish/Chicken/Beef - dressing on the side)


If you want to include Carbohydrates go for higher Fiber options like Brown Bread or Brown Rice, they take longer to digest so don’t spike your Blood Sugar as much as their White counterparts.


Be Prepared!

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Stay Hydrated

Always have a plan when it comes to your On Course Fuel and Priority 1 is ensuring you’ve got enough Water for your round - you should have 50% of your daily intake in your bag i.e. If you Weigh 75kg/165lbs you should drink 2.5 Liters/82.5 ounces during your round.



Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are great options for athletes performing continuous exercise for more than 90 minutes i.e. those competing in triathlons, marathons and other endurance events where you need to consume carbohydrates & sodium for fuel and hydration.

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Golf isn’t an endurance event. The act of swinging lasts no more than 2-3 minutes cumulatively for the entire round. The rest of the time your walking (slowly) which doesn’t require a tremendous amount of endurance or you’re riding in a Buggy/Cart.

Stick with Water. However if you’re keen to have something more interesting, put a dash of salt with sugar free diluted juice in your bottle.

Eat Well

So what Food should you have in your bag? The key is to maintain the blood sugar level you established at Breakfast/Lunch. You want high Protein foods for the Branch Chain Amino Acids (learn more about what they are HERE) and Fats to stabilise your blood sugar. You don’t need an excessive amount of Carbohydrates for energy during your round.

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Here’s some solid Mid-Round Snacks:

  • Jerky

  • Seeds & Nuts (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, almonds, cashews, macadamia, pecans, walnuts)

  • Carrot Sticks

  • Natural Trail Mix with Dried Fruit (Check our Wyldsson for some awesome options)

  • Fruit (always Combine with nuts, seeds or Jerky though to help maintain blood sugar balance)

  • Protein Bar (more on this below)



Protein Bars

For anyone that follows my Instagram account, they’ll know how much I love Protein Bars. They’re mega convenient, taste great and provide great Nutritional content. Unfortunately they aren’t created equally.

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When choosing Protein Bars for your round stick to these Principles:

  1. The fewer the ingredients the better

  2. Choose Organic when possible

  3. Go for Low Sugar (Impact Carbs) options

Avoid ones with these ingredients:

  • Soy Protein (highly processed)

  • Partially Hydrogenated (fake fat)


Here’s my favourite Manufacturers (click on their names/images below to see what they offer):

If you’re not sure which ones to go for, do what I do and get a pick and mix from Protein Package.


Eat Regularly

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A drop in blood sugar is going to affect you Mentally and Physically. Harvard University recommends eating small amounts of food repeatedly over a long period of time (grazing) as it’s better for cognitive performance and mood than consuming more sporadic larger doses; (Learn More via this Link)

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Practically, this means if you’re eating a sizeable Breakfast/Lunch then waiting to eat Lunch/Dinner until after the round you’re making a mistake. You should snack during your round. Here’s a few options for solid snacking during your round:

If you don’t currently snack start with Option 1. Avoid the mindset of ‘more is better’ and immediately go to Option 3. Any Change in behavior should positively influence Performance. Over consumption can make you lethargic/slow you down.

Experiment with the Options & contents to see what works (and doesn’t work) for you.


Adaptability

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Let’s be real. Being fully prepared isn’t going to happen all the time. Things happen that force us to adapt. If you get to the course and don’t have your snacks what are good options?

Maintaining a stable Blood Sugar Level is still the priority and we all know that options might be poor at best. So let’s be aware of the potential choices that’ll obliterate your stable Blood Sugar level:

  • Alcohol: Only drink if you’re enjoying yourself vs trying to Perform Optimally

  • Bread (bagels, toast baguettes etc): It could potentially spike blood sugar and make you bloated (not good if you want to Play your Best).

  • Chocolate/Candy Bars: Will make you feel awesome for an hour then you’ll want to sleep.

  • Tenders/Goujons (Chicken/Fish etc): Fried Food simply ain’t good for you.

  • Chips/French Fries: For obvious reasons.

  • Granola Bars: AKA Undercover Chocolate/Candy Bars. Hello Blood Sugar Spikes!

  • Sports Drinks/Fizzy Juice/Soda: This is a tough one for me! These often have huge amounts of sugar and the electrolyte (hydration facilitators) content and benefits are often negligible (see above).

Better Options:

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  • Chicken/Tuna Salad (Dressing on the side - many of them are mega fatty & full of sugar).

  • Fruit

  • Burger/Hot Dog (without the bun)

  • Hard Boiled Eggs

  • Nuts & Seeds

Any combination of these will help you avoid spikes in your blood sugar/maintain stable Blood Sugar.


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To Reflect:

  • Lay a solid Foundation with Breakfast/Lunch

  • Be prepared! Ensure you’ve got plenty of Water and non Blood Sugar Spiking Options in your bag.

  • Choose your Options wisely - if in doubt, EAT CLEAN!

  • Experiment and discover what works best for you.

There’s no right or wrong when it comes to food/drink. It’s about striking a balance that optimises your Health and Performance: Eat Good, Feel Good, Play Good!

Thanks for reading!

Oliver C. Morton

The Leading Edge Golf Company

www.TheLeadingEdgeGolfCompany.com

Posted
AuthorOliver Morton
CategoriesNutrition

Switch your reason for Playing from Performance to Health and Happiness:

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I don’t mean Physical Health Primarily (although you get a ton of benefits as a by product - click on the image to Learn More), I mean Mental and Emotional Health.

Many start Playing Golf primarily because it’s something Fun to do with their Friends/Family. The Competitive side comes later (see my previous Blog on ‘Growing The Game’).

It’s important to frequently remind yourself and stay connected to your ‘WHY’ i.e why you Play the Game (or anything else for that matter). If you haven’t come across Simon Sineks Book “Find Your Why” I highly recommend you get a copy (Click HERE or on the Image).

Establish exactly what brings you joy from Playing and judge your rounds on that e.g. how many times you laugh, how many beers you drink 😉 etc.

I recently listened to a great Episode of Karl Morris’ Brainbooster Podcast where he discusses gratitude (Click on the Image to have a listen), during which he makes a very poignant point: none of us are Eternal - we all have a finite amount of opportunities to Play. So, on reflection, does that errant shot or higher than desired score really matter enough to spoil the aspects of the Game that are the essence of why you Play?

I’m not for a minute saying that Score doesn’t matter or that Playing well and improving aren’t great reasons. Challenging yourself is healthy. Why I say the above isn’t to create a hierarchy of Motivation, it’s to help you gain perspective on your Performances; to help you stay connected to the reasons you Love the game and to ensure you get the most you possibly can from each and every round you play.

Thanks for reading!

Oliver C. Morton

The Leading Edge Golf Company

www.TheLeadingEdgeGolfCompany.com

Posted
AuthorOliver Morton
CategoriesWider Lens

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As you can guess by the Headline I’m not a fan of the expression ‘Grow The Game’. Golf’s a Sport, not a Plant.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for getting people into the Game but let’s be clear on what we’re really trying to do; increase engagement and encourage participation. By framing it this way vs ‘Growing The Game’ it establishes a clear and specific Intention, from which we can create and facilitate strategies to do so. If we have to use a slogan why not simply use ‘PLAY GOLF’?

To get people interested in the Game I believe we first need to recognise the Phases of Engagement Golfers go through - their ‘WHY’. 

From being involved with the Sport for nearly two decades I’ve deduced 3 main Phases of Engagement:

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  1. FUN - the Foundation. People start Playing because they find it Fun. It’s a nice thing to do with Friends & Family.

  2. PARTICIPATION - the Walls. As engagement deepens, Players compliment their ‘Fun’ Golf with participating in Club events, potentially fun format initially then progressing on to weekly/monthly Competitions.

  3. PERFORMANCE - the Roof. Players not only play for Fun, but they’re now engaged enough to want to Perform well in Competitions and even play Professionally.

It’s easy for those in the industry to neglect the first two Phases and assume People are automatically in the 3rd. It’s vital we honor all the Phases and create strategies that encourage Golfers to start and keep Playing, whatever their motivation.


How to Increase Engagement and Participation from a Junior Perspective


To increase Engagement and Participation we first need to establish Traditional avenues Children ‘Get into Golf’ i.e:

  1. Parents

  2. Friends

  3. School/Community

  4. Inspired by High Level Performance (e.g. watched Tiger Win the Masters on TV)

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They then:

  1. Hit Balls on the Range/Practice Area

  2. Get ‘Good Enough’ to head out onto the Golf Course (typically playing from the furthest back Tees as permitted)

  3. Struggle & toil until they Love the pain 😉


An Alternative...

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Read how Australian Tennis are combining ESports during their Flagship Event; The Australian Open

Read how Australian Tennis are combining ESports during their Flagship Event; The Australian Open

Technology driven participation is here (all you need to do is take a look at the great work TrackMan & Top Golf are doing). So, instead of fighting the ‘lure of Fortnight’ let’s embrace it!

We’re all on the road to self-driving electric cars and virtual reality lifestyles so let’s make Golf the ‘First to Market'.

The below is what I feel could be an effective Process* for Juniors (and Adults) to go through in order to remove Golfs major participation barriers of Cost and Time:


Step 1: Social/Simulator Experience

Step 2: 9 Hole Short Course Play

Step 3: 9 Hole Fun Format (Full Length Course)

Step 4: 9 Hole Stableford/StrokePlay (Full Length Course)

Step 5: 18 Hole Fun Format (Full Length Course)

Step 6: 18 Hole Stableford/Stroke Play (Full Length Course)

*Cost kept appropriate & Coaching oriented around Play vs Technical Proficiency)


As you can see, at no point is Competence a prerequisite to Participation. To my knowledge, no other Ball Sport has constructed this ‘Performance Barrier”.

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In Skiing/Snowboarding for example the mere presence of gravity determines the Goals:

  1. Stay Upright

  2. Stay Upright while moving down the Slope Slowly 

  3. Stay Upright while moving down the Slope Quickly

  4. Stay Upright while moving down the Slope Quickly & make it to the Bar 😉 

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It’s crazy to think Golfers should have Lessons/Coaching in order to reach a level of competence and THEN they can go out and Play!?! Yes, you need to be Coached to be able to move the Ball well enough so it doesn’t drive you insane but we need to take the lead set by US Kids Golf and get People on appropriate length Courses!

Let’s remove the Stigma created by naming Tees ‘Ladies, Gents, Junior’ (and while we’re at it, Golf Clubs: drop the Dress Codes and segregated areas of The Clubhouse). Lets simply name them by colour then encourage Players to start at the shortest Tees and give them the opportunity to Tee it back via Gross Score e.g:

BLUE = 120+

YELLOW = 110 & Below

GREEN = 100 & Below

ORANGE = 95 & Below

WHITE = 90 & Below

PURPLE = 85 & Below

RED = 80 & Below

BLACK = 75 & Below



Gamify Your Training


As Children, we all played those Sports where we had to endure 50 minutes of Drills to Play the 10 minute game at the end. So, why don’t we adapt our Training/Practice/Coaching to make the entire Session a Game i.e. Gamify: use the Golf Course/Practice Ground to Learn though Playing Games! Here’s an example of one of my Junior Coaching Sessions at Archerfield to illustrate:

As you can see, it’s Task Orientated; as they are Playing a themed Game (a Game designed around the development of a particular Skill: Direction, Distance, Curvature etc) Coaching Moments emerge - Players ASK for input (usually because they’re Loosing 😉) vs having to endure a monologue of someone telling them what to do. The format provides Context, increases active Engagement and drives Technical improvement. Most importantly it’s FUN, encourages on Course play, Club Membership and the creation of a Social Life around the Game.

This approach isn’t just effective for Children, it works for Adults too! Here’s an example Putting Game. Give it a go: 

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If you like the idea of Gamifying your Practice take a look at my Connected Coaching Programme and for the little ones, here’s a link to a Downloadable PDF Playbook of Games & Tasks I wrote with Pia Nilsson & Lynn Marriott from VISION54:


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To Reflect:

  • Lets Eliminate the Stigma/barrier that Players have to reach a Level of Competence in order to Play on the Course

  • Facilitate Participation through Play on appropriate length Courses 

  • Embrace Technology 

  • Players: Gamify your Training/Practice

  • Coaches: Gamifiy and orientate your Coaching around the Intention of getting as many Golfers on the Course, joining Clubs and building a Social Life around the Game. 

Let’s do this! Thanks for Reading!

Oliver C. Morton

The Leading Edge Golf Company

www.TheLeadingEdgeGolfCompany.com