Structure (Down plane)

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1 By Lauren Russell

2 Structure (Down plane) The body (toes, knees, hips, wrists and shoulders) is aligned parallel to the intended target line. The torso is tilted over the ball from the hips whilst maintaining a long flat spine line, with only the naturally occurring spine curves apparent. When in the correct body angle the hands will hang under the front of the shoulders. The knees are slightly flexed to provide equal balance of weight across the foot, from toe to heel. The overall feeling is athletic, balanced and strong with no tension. There is not enough bend in the knees which is not allowing there to be enough tilt at the hips as she has not allowed herself stability to do this. By not flexing her knees enough, she is not allowing herself to have equal balance of weight across the foot, from toe to heel. This is causing her back to be slightly hunched also. Her hands are not hung under the shoulders, but instead are being pushed out from her body.

3 Structure (face on) Her legs are a bit wider than shoulder width apart, which gives her a lower centre of gravity and a wider base of support. This is preventing her from having full rotation. Her knees are also bent slightly inwards and are not aligned above the ankles as they should be. The body is not correctly stacked, which is shown by the ball being under the right eye instead of the left ear. This may also be due to the fact that she needs to be a bit more to the left of the ball.

4 3rd Line (Down plane) The right shoulder is visible between the wrists/forearms. The right forearm is close to vertical and the right elbow is at approximately chin height. The angles in the spine and right knee are little changed from structure. The right shoulder is visible, however, it is only visible over the top of the left arm instead of between the wrists and forearm. The right elbow is lower than chin height.

5 3 rd Line (Face on) The shoulders have turned 90 degrees from structure but the left ear remains on the initial ear line. The left arm is at a position best described as on a clock face with the point of the right elbow visible beneath a long left arm with the club shaft just short of horizontal. There is width between the knees and the feet remain grounded. The left ear remains in the same place. The left arm is in the right position at the position on a clock face. However, the club shaft isn t short enough of being horizontal. Gemma should bend her left knee in to get strength and power to put behind the ball.

6 6 th Line (Down plane) The right foot is grounded but rolling and body angles should closely resemble those of the structure. The hands are back under the shoulder line and the right forearm hides the left. The left leg has straightened and the buttock and back of left knee are visible behind the right leg. Her elbows are bent inwards towards her side whilst in the ideal, his arms are straight. Her right forearm is hidden by the left The left leg is bent and her left knee is hidden.

7 6 th line (face on) Both the arms should be long and the club shaft in line with the left arm. The left ear should be on the initial ear line and the left hip and shoulder are vertically above the left foot. The right foot is grounded but rolling and the width in the knees is reducing. The club shaft is not in line with the left arm and the arms are both bent The left ear is facing outwards slightly due to her head being bent out to the right side. This has caused the left shoulder to not be vertically above the left foot. However her hip is just in line with the left foot. The width between her knees is not reducing as it should be at this point.

8 9 th Line (Down plane) The left elbow should be at the same height as the shoulder with the club shaft behind the head, approximately bisecting or parallel to the ears line, both ears should be clearly visible. The sole of the right foot is fully visible, knees are together and the spine angle is reduced due to reaction to the forces created by the body s rotation. The finish should be balanced. The left elbow is lower than the shoulder with the club shaft behind the back instead of the head. The club shaft is not bisecting or parallel to the ears line and the left ear is not visible. The knees are not completely together Due to the club shaft swinging behind the back, there may be less stability as it may pull the body around causing her to lose her balance.

9 9 th Line (Face on) The head should have rotated to the target enabling the right shoulder, hip and knee to rotate past both the initial ear line and the left shoulder; they all now appear to be vertically stacked above the left ankle. The right leg is soft and bent at the knee with the foot up on the toe bearing virtually no weight. The head has rotated to the target which has allowed the correct position with the shoulder, hip and knee rotated past the initial ear line and the left shoulder. They are well stacked above the left ankle. The club shaft is pointing out downwards instead of being parallel to the right ear. Gemma is following the ball visually and is remaining in 9 th line position until the ball has landed.

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11 Structure The club head is angled so that loft will occur Weaknesses: Stability and balance- Stability and balance is when Gemma s Centre of gravity is at the point at which all parts of the body are in balance. Her base of support- This is the area on the ground defined by the athletes contact with it. A small BOS means that the athlete can topple over easily and fall out of the line of gravity(pg. 6 of Sport biomechanics ppt.). Stability and balance is relevant to the golf swing because it considers the factors of base of support and centre of gravity. Having the correct of both of these allows maximum rotation. If the base of support is too wide, the centre of gravity will eventually end up outside of the body and maximum rotation will not occur. It should not be very wide but not narrow either. Gemma has her legs at shoulder width which is lowering her centre of gravity and widening her base of support, but this is too narrow to allow Gemma a good stable golf swing. This will affect her in the next stages of the swing. However her knees are turned slightly inwards which is going to affect her stability and balance as her feet will also be turned in slightly. Strengths- Levers- By increasing the length of your third class lever (Arm and club combined) you are going to get greater speed at impact. By increasing the club length you are going to have greater acceleration at the extremity of the club. You will therefore hit the ball further(pg. 7 of sport biomechanics ppt.). If Gemma s hands were too close to her body, she would be shortening her lever length and will not generate the power that is needed. The levers also produce torque which is a turning force. This will benefit line 3 and impact, so it is important that Gemma has her hands away from her body to allow this to happen which will help her golf swing throughout. She has executed this well as her hands are a good distance away from her body and her arms are straight which is lengthening her levers which will create more torque and power in her swing. Gemma s hands are quite far down the grip of the club which will give her more control of the club and will prevent the club head from swinging her whole body round.

12 Structure cont. In this part of the golf swing, the body is being set up to move. This means that greater forces are required to overcome the inertia of the body compared to the club because the body weighs more. Gemma will be positioning the club head to create a certain flight path, loft and angle of release. In the top left corner I have shown the club head position that Gemma has used and stated that the club head is angled at around 45 so loft will occur. Feed back: I told Gemma that she needs to flex her knees (refer to log 1 on the 1 st May) Feed Back: By flexing her knees more, Gemma would be allowing herself to have equal balance of weight across the foot from toe to heel which would provide her with more stability and balance to allow for a more rotational swing with more power. By having equal balance across the foot, Gemma would be able to put force on her feet without losing balance. This will help her feet to stay planted throughout the golf swing and prevent them from moving which will allow more rotation. Ideal angle

13 3 rd line Strength: Torque- Because all levers produce rotation about an axis, they also produce torque. Torque is defined as a turning force. Torque (T) = Force (F) x Distance (D) (Pg.7 of Sport Biomechanics ppt.) Gemma lacks hip rotation which affects her torque. She has not recruited the major muscle groups that are required for force summation. All levers produce rotation about an axis. Torque is also produced. It is defined as a turning force. Torque is created when the force is applied to the force arm. The greater this force, the greater the torque. It is also made greater when the force arm is longer than the given force applied. Gemma has created long levers for herself as she began the swing with her hands away from her body. This has allowed her to gain larger club head velocity (speed). Weakness: From observing the video footage, I noticed that Gemma s legs squat slightly and she rotates before activating her legs and hips. Her legs are tensed in this photo which originally made me think that she had activated them first but the video showed me that this was just the slight squat that she did. This is preventing the generation of momentum as to create maximum momentum, the muscles need to work in the correct sequence and by squatting slightly she is using her legs but not in the correct way that she should be. In order to create momentum, Gemma needs to push on her legs but her knees should remain relaxed and slightly bent as they were at structure to prevent energy being used unnecessarily. 3 rd class lever Gemma hasn t got a long left arm as her club shaft is very short of horizontal. This maximizes her lever. This increases the club speed at impact which gives the ball a good distance to travel.

14 Line 3 BOS & COG Gemma has a very narrow base of support which leads to instability issues. Her Centre of gravity is on the outskirts of the margins for her base of support (right leg).her weight is over her toes which is causing Gemma to become unstable as her muscles are working hard to remain balanced and stable instead of creating force. Feedback: I told Gemma that she needs to widen her base of support (refer to log 2 on the 2 nd May) Feed forward: Base of support is important as it allows the player to get good rotation without overbalancing. Gemma has a very narrow base of support which leads to instability issues. Her Centre of gravity is on the outskirts of the margins for her base of support (right leg). Her weight is over her toes which is causing Gemma to become unstable as her muscles are working hard to remain balanced and stable instead of creating force.

15 6 th Line Weaknesses: Levers: Gemma s arms aren t extended out which is not allowing for long levers to increase the rotary inertia at the club head. This will prevent her from getting good acceleration behind the ball, therefore she will not hit the ball as far. These levers are meant to be long which is how they were set up at structure but by folding herself over the club, she has bent her elbows towards her body. This may mean that she is standing to close to the ball as she hadn t stuck her hips out enough at structure which didn t allow for this. Projectile motion acts upon any object that is released into the air. Once in the air, the object has two forces acting upon it at release. These are horizontal and vertical. They determine the flight path and are affected by gravity, air resistance, angle of release, speed of release, height of release and spin (Pg. 3 of sport biomechanics ppt.). Projectile motion is relevant in this part of the swing as the momentum lost by the golf club is equal to the momentum gained by the golf ball at impact. This means that the momentum that is being gained by the golf ball is equal to the momentum that is lost by the golf club. In this part of the golf swing, all of the factors that affect the projectile (ball) are taking place to determine the flight path of the ball. Strengths: The club head has made impact with the ball at a good angle of release to allow the ball to gain loft and with speed, it will gain good distance. She has made sure that the club head is aiming to hit just after the ball which has allowed for this. Newton s 1 st law is also applied here as the golf ball will remain at rest until another force has acted upon it. The amount of momentum and force behind the golf club will determine the acceleration and speed that the ball will travel at. Here the initial force is the golf club and the reaction force is the golf ball. The golf club is putting force on the golf ball which is reacting. Feedback: I told Gemma that she needs to remember to keep her arms straight at impact.(refer to log 1 on the 1 st May) Feed forward: Gemma needs to keep her arms straight at impact because by flexing her elbows towards her, she is actually shortening her levers. The problem with this is that the rotary inertia at the club head is decreasing which decreases the acceleration of the club head, which in turn shortens the distance that the ball will travel.

16 9 th Line Weaknesses: The golf club is pointing out from her back and it pointing downwards significantly which is because the momentum has not changed from 3 rd line. This has caused the club to pull her around and swing around her back instead of cutting the back of her neck like it should. This has occurred because the club head travels the furthest distance around the pivot point, therefore it is the force or rotary inertia is increased at the club head causing it to gain momentum which swings the rest of the body around. This is why controlling momentum is important within the golf swing. The 2 nd newton law is applied in this stage of the golf swing as The force that has been applied to the ball is passed on to the ball which determines its acceleration. The amount of force that Gemma has put on the ball depends on the acceleration of the ball. This is an important part of the swing as it is what determines the distance that the ball will travel. Projectile motion can also be incorporated as air resistance will be acting on the ball at this time in the swing. The air resistance may slow down and decrease the distance. This can be reduced by the dimples on the golf ball to prevent the distance from being decreased by a lot. The follow through will help to determine the flight path of the ball so it is important to follow through after the initial swing has taken place. Weaknesses: Rotation: Gemma has rotated, but not because of good stability and balance and levers, but because of the lack of control of the club which has pulled her around. I can see this as her right shoulder is pointing upwards whilst the left shoulder is pointing downwards. This shows that her upper body is not balanced as she may have over balanced from having a narrow base of support. It also shows a lack of control in her swing.

17 9 th line Feedback: I advised Gemma to hold the grip on the golf club lower down to gain more control of the club (refer to log 4 on the 9 th May) Feed forward: Gemma needs to remember to attain good control of the golf club as to prevent it gaining momentum instead of losing momentum will prevent her from being pulled around by the golf club which could cause her to lose her balance and lose her follow through. It would also prevent the club from pointing out from behind her instead of cutting the back of her neck like it is supposed to. In these two photos, we see that Brad has more rotation than Gemma and has more control of the club which is why his club is tightly held across the back of his neck and Gemma s club is pointing out so far.

18 Conclusion From studying Gemma s golf techniques and skills, I have come to the conclusion that the skill holding the greatest impact on performance is structure. Structure is extremely important in beginning to master the golf swing as it involves setting up the stability and balance, the levers and the control of the club. Stability and balance is important in the whole part of the swing and it is set up in structure. It is important as it prevents over balancing in the next few parts of the golf swing and it allows maximum rotation throughout the golf swing. The stability and balance considers both base of support and centre of gravity which prevent the player from overbalancing and toppling over when trying to get good rotation to increase momentum and force, which will need to be generated on the downswing through to impact. This is important as force behind the ball is important to get distance and speed behind the ball. Levers are important in the golf swing also as they are what creates the power at impact and torque which is the turning force. Torque is required for a successful golf swing as it is the maximum rotation that is gained within the swing and the power that is gained by the rotation. I have mentioned rotation a lot in this biomechanical analysis which shows to me that it is a very important component of the golf swing. Levers are what helps to cause this rotation as well as stability and balance, and both of these components help to generate power and both are set up in structure. The control of the club is set up in structure also as Gemma could place her hands on the grip where she felt that she held the most control. By doing this, she had control of the club through the entire swing. But as mentioned before, I believe that levers are the most important part of the golf swing as it is what produces torque, rotation and power. All of these are what a golf swing requires to get maximum distance and a controlled golf swing with good rotation. However, to be able to use levers successfully, good stability and balance is required, to prevent over balancing. These two biomechanical principles are the foundations of the golf swing as they make it possible for other biomechanical principles to be used. This is why I believe that structure is so important as it is the set up at which all of the important components are considered and are intertwined within the set up. However projectile motion is also very important as it determines the flight path of the ball and this is important as the flight path is what determines the score that the player will get. Projectile motion is considered at impact because the angle and speed of release at impact affects the projectile (the ball) and its motion. The impact of the ball begins the process in which gravity and air resistance begins to act on the ball and its speed. These biomechanical principles within these two parts of the skill, I consider the most important biomechanical principles in a golf swing. I believe that improving the performance of Gemma s golf swing was not entirely reliant upon learning the biomechanical principles, as by changing one biomechanical principle in the golf swing, does not improve the whole golf swing, as I assumed it would. However I do believe that it contributed and helped with understanding of why certain parts of the swing required a certain change. By telling Gemma that she needed to lengthen her levers, she did not understand that to do so, she would have to lower her hands on to the bottom of the grip. However, they helped in the consideration that by learning them myself, I was able to relate the information to golf through research, and transfer that information to Gemma, to help her with her golf swing. By learning what biomechanical principles were required for the correct golf swing, I was able to learn in detail, how certain factors affected parts of the golf swing and the flight path of the ball and how to best avoid these or to decrease the effect that they would have on the ball to improve the success of the golf swing. This helped me to see what Gemma was doing correctly and incorrectly so that I could give her feedback and tell her how she could better her performance.

19 Conclusion Continued In terms of the technology we used to help with improvement, the videos and photos that Simon took of us during our golf swing helped very much with analysing Gemma s golf swing. They allowed me to take a closer look at Gemma s performance and because we also got given pictures of the ideal, I was able to see what Gemma was doing wrong and what she was doing wrong so that I could determine what I was going to have to help her with during the lessons. Because we got our photos taken of the down plane and face forward, I was able to get a very good perception of what was strong and weak in Gemma s golf swing, especially as they were two different swings so that I could see what her common mistakes and strengths were. However, this was also a negative as by showing two different shots, I was not able to analyse one swing using both angles which meant that I couldn t analyse her swing precisely as I could have. But I believe that the technology helped me a lot with analysing Gemma s swing so that I could help her in the future, as I was able to research before hand what she was doing wrong and what she was doing right. This allowed me to do some biomechanics research also so I could help her out in the future. This was possible with the photos of the ideal golf swing for me to compare Gemma s photos with. There is other technology now in golf such as the radar golf system. This is advanced technology that allows the club to be tracked. It analysis the golf swing and was created for golf coaches to measure their students golf swing and the entire flight path of the ball from impact to landing whilst displaying it s 3D directory ( I don t think that it would be entirely necessary for someone to get a good shot from using this as it analysis angle of release etc. but the player may still get a good golf shot from not using the correct angle of release in their golf shot. Players may benefit more from just playing on the golf course with no modern technology, but learn from their mistakes and successes. By hitting off the driving range with cameras and technology analysing them, they may not improve as they are made to make movements that feel unnatural to them, when they prefer the way that they are doing it, and are happy with the flight path of the balls that they are hitting and their golf swing in general. By improving the biomechanics of a golf swing, the swing may not be improved as expected, as there are other limiting factors to a good golf swing such as wind that may be strong enough to blow the ball to one side or humidity making the air heavy and affecting the flight path of the ball. Gemma s common strengths were her stance. She never failed to have a good base of support which helped her with balance and rotation. She commonly has strengths also with levers, however at impact she folded over the club and lost the long levers that she had created in structure by starting with her hands away from her body. Both of these combined, gave Gemma a good golf shot at most attempts as her rotation and long levers contributed to give her good power and force behind the ball. This is what she was aiming for, which made her shots successful. Her common weakness was her lack of control of the club in her hands which meant that she could not carry out her follow through in a controlled manner as the club head would swing her body around which gave the danger of Gemma losing her balance and stability, which in turn would affect the rest of her golf swing.

20 Conclusion Continued In terms of motor skill learning, I found it easier to help Gemma through distributed practice and massed practice. Distributed practice was helpful to Gemma as it was easier for her to break the skill down so that she could understand the movements that she was required to do. We did this by practicing without the ball and by only going to 1 st line so that she could learn the first part of the swing and master it before continuing to learn the rest. During these practices, we didn t use a ball and I instructed Gemma to swipe the grass, which I had been taught by Simon previously. This helped me a lot so I told Gemma to try it. It helped as swiping the grass meant that the club head would be getting under the ball and creating more loft. Because I told Gemma to practice going to each line continuously, she was practicing massed practice. By using massed practice, the athlete may become bored quickly, which means that by not making the athlete carry out massed practice for a long time, they are memorising the skill, but are not bored, so that they can continue to practice using different drills. Distributed practice was ideal for golf, especially in Gemma s case as she is a beginner and repeating the golf swing on a driving range caused her to get bored. By using distributed practice, Gemma was able to have breaks to review how she had done and what she could have done better to help her when she began her practicing again. In some cases, massed practice may be ideal as by practicing the skill over and over again, imprints it in the player s mind. I believe that both types of practice are important as they both contribute different qualities that can help with golf, depending on the player. I believe that Biomechanics alone, cannot improve a golf swing, but along with different types of practice, analysing the golf swing through video and photographs and through coaching. By practicing different golf swings in different situations such as the driving range and the golf course, the player s skills can become more diverse and will improve their game. By practicing the same shot continuously instead of practicing different shots, the player will only be learning how to play that shot. This advanced technology does not help with any of this, as it does not improve those other shots that you may need to play on the course. Golf is not just hitting a ball off of the driving range, it is a strategic game of angles and skill.

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