Q&A with Golf Fitness Specialist Mike McDonnell: @CoachMikeMac
“It doesn’t get more important than recovery and injury prevention which is why I believe quality products like Nuvamed can help golfers and anyone that prioritizes their fitness and movement training.”– Coach Mike
Meet Mike (@CoachMikeMac). He’s a fitness pro who specializes in golf mobility training. He shares a ton of great instructional workout content on his Instagram page, and also trains in private one-on-one sessions. Mike even started started his very own “Golf Movement Academy“: a 12-week personalized online coaching program for those who can’t get to South Carolina for in-person training.
We’ve partnered with Mike to bring you his top 5 “Golf Fitness Fundamentals” workouts. See them here. Follow him on Instagram to get more daily workout tips to improve your golf game, or just get in shape period.
We also worked with Mike on this awesome Q&A. Read on to learn more about Mike’s background, why golf fitness is so important, and how Nuvamed CBD has helped him with recovery! (spoiler alert: his favorite is the Relief Roller!)
Nuvamed: Tell us about yourself: How would you describe your job as a trainer? How did you get into it? Was it always golf-specific?
Mike: My name is Mike McDonnell and I am a TPI certified golf fitness specialist. I live in Charleston, SC and I train golfers both in-person and around the world through my online coaching programs. As a coach, my job is to assess golfers to identify their limitations and designed customized programs that address these needs, goals, and how restrictions in movement correlate to swing compensations on the course. I train golfers to be more mobile, healthy and strong on and off the course.
I first got into golf fitness working at Equinox in Greenwich, CT because many of my clients were recreational country club golfers. I then went and took the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) level 1 certification and was hooked. I knew I wanted to help people play pain-free golf.
After moving to Charleston, SC in 2017 I formed my online training business and began working with golfers of all ability levels. I now train several professionals, competitive junior and amateur golfers, and regular golfers just trying to get out and play well with their buddies.
I am a golf fitness consultant to country clubs and membership groups and in January of 2019 started the first ever golf fitness mastermind which is comprised of the best golf fitness pros in the country. We get together twice a month and host a webinar series for our online audience about the best ways to train for golf.
N: Do YOU actually play golf? How often? What’s your handicap? How would you explain to someone why you don’t need to play great in order to be a golf trainer?
M: Absolutely! I probably play about twice a month (not as much as I would like!) I’m an 11 handicap, I have my moments of good golf and then like to spray a few drives OB (Out of bounds)! I love getting out and playing with my clients, I just make sure they give me enough strokes 😉
You certainly don’t need to be a great golfer to train golfers because nothing I teach ever has anything to do with swinging a club, that’s what swing instructors are for. I coach movement and how the body is supposed to act in the golf swing.
The great thing is when I team up with a swing coach and we form a team around a client to make sure the things we are doing in the gym compliment the things the player is working on from a swing perspective. Many times people are trying to do things in the swing that they are physically not capable of doing from a movement standpoint. This is where I come in.
Say for example someone has a hard time rotating their hips through impact, I would assess and improve lead hip internal rotation to allow them better mobility to rotate. The body and the swing are directly connected.
N: Are most of your clients training to prevent injury, or trying to recover after one?
M: Practically all of my clients are training to prevent injury and play pain-free golf. Of course there are aches, pains and minor setbacks from time to time, but proper training is injury prevention and the more mobile and strong they are, the better prepared they will be as they step to the first tee.
N: Why is mobility so important for golfers? Who needs it most? Younger, older? Men, women?
M: This could be a very long answer so I’ll do my best to keep it short and simple. Our joints are designed to move in certain ways. When we lack full range of motion through a joint, our body compensates and tries to make up for that movement. This is when problems occur. Mobility is the #1 thing people should focus on because when our joints work properly, the doors are open for strength, power, speed…. You name it.
Mobility is important for everyone but especially older populations as movement declines lead to poor ranges of motion and decreased mobility.
“Mobility is the #1 thing people should focus on because when our joints work properly, the doors are open for strength, power, speed…. You name it.”– Coach Mike
N: What is your top tip for golfers who don’t have the time or budget for a personal trainer? What can they do at home with no equipment?
M: There is so much information out there now about exercise and things to do. TPI has a database of certified professionals that you can contact and I strongly urge every golfer to at least go get assessed by a professional to identify the limitations in your movement and things you need to work on.
There are also many people that offer lower cost online training options that give you customized plans to do on your own time and schedule. There are still so many effective workouts and things to be done without equipment!
N: What is your experience with CBD? Do you feel it has a place in golf fitness?
M: I’ve always been a proponent of giving my clients and players the best strategies and tools needed for them to improve on and off the course. And a lot of times, those things include components like mobility, sleep, and recovery.
I had heard about CBD making the rounds in the golf community as a means of recovery and pain relief and was intrigued to try it out. It’s so important for people to not only work their body’s properly, but also have the ability to recover well so that they are ready to go for the next round.
I started using the Relief Roller from Nuvamed for my lower back and was very happy with the results. My back, just like many golfers, has a tendency to tighten up and get uncomfortable from time to time especially when I take a few days off from workouts. Using the Relief Roller allowed my back to loosen up and got me back in the gym quicker.
I know a lot of people are intrigued and interested about CBD products and whether or not it has a place in fitness or sport. I can tell you that if things work they will certainly have a place in the highest levels in the sport. It doesn’t get more important than recovery and injury prevention which is why I believe quality products like Nuvamed can help golfers and any one that prioritizes their fitness and movement training.
N: Ok, let’s talk business…
How do your clients find you? How many sessions does an average person do?
M: Clients find me mainly through my Instagram profile and website. I also provide content and serve as a consultant for several companies and membership groups. And the best way to grow clients is through referrals of satisfied clients who have already gotten results.
For my in-person training most of my clients train 2x a week with me. For my online coaching, clients receive 4 workouts a month designed specifically for them and we update the program each month. Lastly, many of my pro clients who travel a lot during the season do a hybrid approach where they train with me when in town and then receive all of their programming and online support while on the road traveling to events.
N: Any tips for other personal trainers looking to build their brand? What has been most successful for you in terms of getting new clients, increasing engagement, etc.?
M: For those looking to build their brand and make an impact my advice is pretty simple: over-deliver value. Give the clients what they want, and more. Make it so that you are the only choice when it comes to training. It’s not just about being smart, build relationships, gain trust and get people results.
I’ve found success getting new clients by posting a ton of content about what people what to see. My social media is about the client not me. Being relatable certainly helps so I try to give people snapshots into my life, but ultimately by establishing myself as an authority and expert, I can attract clients who want to work with me because they see what I do and know it has worked for other people just like them.