One question that I am frequently asked is whether a baseball swing can be ruined by playing golf. I have rather strong feeling concerning this topic. It is my opinion that playing golf can ruin a baseball swing in certain circumstances.
There are four circumstances that determine how harmful or detrimental playing golf is for a baseball swing. Those four different circumstances are:
1. How hard did the baseball player have to work to master his baseball swing? Was it difficult for the player to perfect his baseball swing?
The chances that the golf swing will harm the baseball swing are greater if the player is less skilled, a mechanical learner, or had a difficult time learning to swing the baseball bat properly. And if a young kid has not yet mastered the baseball swing, the last thing he needs to do is to go play a couple rounds of golf. If the player is a baseball player that has to work hard at keeping his swing tuned, I would recommend that the golf be played after he season is over.
2. What time of year is the golf being played?
Timing is everything! That certainly can be said for playing golf in the middle of baseball season. I would strongly try to discourage baseball players from taking to the links right before a big game, the league championships or just as the playoffs are beginning.
I do not see anything wrong with playing golf out of season. But I would not experiment with my golf game during baseball season. I have two reasons for this; 1) Muscle soreness may result from swinging the golf club. 2) The player may pick up a bad habit that may hurt his baseball swing at a crucial time of the season.
3. How much golf is being played?
The main reason I ask this question is that I want to know what is being neglected to get the time to play golf. If golf is becoming a daily activity, then what time sacrifices are being made? Has the player cut back on baseball practice time to play golf? Is the player taking his golf more serious than his baseball? I want my players eating, breathing and sleeping baseball. I do not mind if they play an occasional round of golf. But, if it is being taken to the extreme, I need to know. I want that player to stay focused on what he needs to do to help his baseball team. If he is considering playing golf over baseball, then that is an off season decision that he and his family must make. In the meantime, I need his full commitment and his “sense of urgency” should be in the sport of baseball.
4. How athletic is the player?
Some kids are such a gifted athlete that playing golf every day of the season does not affect their baseball swing. They know that both the golf and baseball swings are basically the same swing but the ball is just at a different level. They feel that playing golf helps them to learn to better focus their eyes on the baseball. These players are so talented and skilled they feel that that each swing type helps the other by relating back certain points to focus on.
Therefore, I feel that the more talented, more athletic, and more mentally confident a player in, the less the chances are that his swing will be harmed by playing golf.
Coaching Point: In all of these factors, there is a mental side to the controversy. You and I know that every player has heard or been told, more than once, “If you play golf, your baseball swing will suffer.” If he does go to the course and plays a round of golf and his first couple at-bats are bad ones, there may be a beginning of a “mental slump” or the player may question, in his mind” “Is my swing as good as it was?”
So in conclusion, you may ask, “Should I allow my Child to Play Golf”? My answer is simple, consider, the factors I have discussed and make the best decision for your child. However, if you child shows the potential to be a future prospect in baseball, keep him off the golf course, and in the batting cage instead.
I hope that you found this article to be informative and interesting. I really appreciate you taking the tile to read it. I wish you and your team the best of luck in the coming season. Have a great day, Nick.
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Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, a sports training company established in 1999. Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of the BatAction Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Target Trainer, the SKLZ Derek Jeter Zipn Hit Pro, and the SKLZ Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for Baseball Coaching Digest, the Youth Baseball Digest, the Baseball Parent Guide, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, and Blog 4 Coaches.