Swing Efficiency- A Definition
By Don Parsons, PGA
Swing efficiency is a hot word in the industry these days, but what does it mean? I have learned to utilize the kinematic sequence to define swing efficiency. The kinematic sequence is a measure of the rotational velocities of the club and body segments during the swing. By studying the kinematic sequence we can determine whether a swing has efficient sequencing, efficient timing, and efficient speed generation.
Sequencing measures the what of the swing. What is the order of movement during the swing? It is measured during the takeaway, transition, and at the peak speeds. When the movements of a swing happen in the right order the sequence is termed efficient. A player who has an efficient sequence will be able to consistently strike the ball solidly.
Timing measures the when of the swing. When do critical parts of the swing occur? It is measured during the takeaway sequence, during transition sequence, and at peak speeds relative to impact. When a swing hits critical timing windows the timing is termed efficient. A player who has efficient timing will be able to consistently control ball flight.
Speed measures the how much of the swing. How much speed is present in the swing? It is measured at the peak speeds of the body segments and club head and is a function of how well each segment accelerates and decelerates during the swing. When a swing accelerates and decelerates properly it the speed is efficient. A player who has efficient acceleration and deceleration patterns will develop the top speeds possible for their athletic ability and will be a long hitter.
The kinematic sequence is a widely accepted scientific model for developing efficient movement in athletes. Developing an understanding of the what, when, and how much of the swing lets us develop a logical order in which we can work with our players to make them more efficient and allow to enjoy the game.
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