Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Coach Joey D checking in from the Byron Nelson

Made it to Dallas after an amazing week home in Palm Beach. I'm in the process of building out D1 Athletics, a training facility where I'll spend my off-season working with professional athletes as well as personally working with a handful of select clients. I'm beyond fired up about the opportunity and I expect D1 to open sometime in August. I'm also launching CoachJoeyD.com - a website that will provide information about both D1 Athletics and my upcoming book, "Fix Your Body, Fix Your Swing". Stay tuned as things are going to get rather exciting as the year progresses.

The weather finally turned here in Dallas for Byron Nelson week. The locals let me know they got a ton of rain last week, but the forecast is pretty solid for the majority of this week, with rain and thunderstorms expected over the weekend. We'll see what that means for the tournament and how things wrap up on Sunday. Weather permitting, the course should remain in great shape.

Speaking of the course being in great shape, that almost wasn't the case. I worked in Ryuji Imada earlier today and he said that someone literally drove his car on the course and got himself arrested... prompting me to remind folks that you should keep your ball on the fairway and your car on the highway. In all seriousness, glad to hear nobody was hurt.

I have a couple guys out this week, most notably Pat Perez, indefinitely out with an ankle injury. Mr. Perez was getting in a little cardio during the off week and had a mishap when his large German Shepherd went one way and he went another. His foot slipped off the curb and he tore some tendons in his right ankle, sidelining him for up to eight weeks.

Another injury in the Joey D camp this week is Jason Dufner and some nagging shoulder issue we've mentioned here in the past. It's been a week-to-week thing for Jason, allowing him to sort of play through the pain - but he's finally at that point where the hurt isn't going away and he needs to deal with it. I know he was scheduled to see Dr. James Andrews while home in Alabama this week and that he too will be sidelined for a few weeks while getting right again.

This current situations of both Pat and Jason lead me to my focus for this week's blog; injury prevention. In Pat's case, you can't prevent a freakish injury of this nature, but with Jason there were definitely signs that something was wrong with the shoulder. We spent weeks working on it in the trailer through stretching, massage and treatment from the guys in the physio trailer.

For Jason, he chose to fight through some of the pain as he was on a solid run. For a guy who entered the season with limited status and a Q-school exemption, Duf wanted to get after it early in the year, working to secure his card. A few top tens and roughly $821K later he's done that and can now focus on getting the shoulder right.

For the weekend warrior types, there's obviously not that same sense of urgency to play and earn a check. For the casual golfer, I recommend that you listen to what your body is telling you. Don't play through the pain as often times you will do more damage than good. If you're dealing with something that you feel could become more of a injury, I urge you to get it looked at right away.

Golf is an overuse sport. Range rats will get out there and beat bucket after bucket of balls, until they can't feel their arms. Most folks do this without properly stretching and fixing their body beforehand, causing them to often overcompensate with another part of their body if they are battling injury. In most cases, injuries don't just "go away". Often times something needs to be done to fix the problem. This can be very dangerous for someone who earns their living on the golf course.

Regarding Pat's situation, he definitely needs to rest these next four weeks and let the ankle heal properly. From there, another month of extensive physical therapy is needed to get all the muscles performing properly again. If he rushes his return, the muscles aren't going to heal correctly and he'll need surgery to tighten everything up, sidelining him for upwards of a year.

Pay attention to the signs, people. The body is a complex instrument. You're not going to get over on it. If there's something wrong, deal with it as soon as possible. If you can't get to a doctor, if you're dealing with insurance issues - at minimum, put the clubs down and rest until you can effectively deal with the problem.

Smaller field this week with Charlie Wi, Tom Pernice Jr. and Ryuji out here. I think all three guys can make a run. I'll report back later in the week and we'll see where things are at after the first round.


Joey D.

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