Coach Kendal's 8 AMPs and 8 Elements
This series of online lessons was born out of a desire to make some of my content accessible to students who may not have the time or the resources to travel to the Green Box Academy at Sunridge Canyon Golf Club in Fountain Hills AZ.
For years I have done what I call an 8 AMP assessment, a movement assessment for golf based on the 8 Athletic Movement Principles in my book, “The Athletic Fundamentals of Golf.” The assessment was a prerequisite for students who wanted to take lessons.
When you come for the 8AMP assessment, we do an initial intake to find out what you want to learn and what you are having problems with, what injuries or pre-existing conditions you have that might affect your ability to take instruction and then we take you through all of the exercises in my book. “The Athletic Fundamentals of Golf” was written as a reference manual for my students, so the exercises appear in a logical order to explain the 8 Athletic Movement Principles. During the assessment we move from one principle to the next in a logical progression testing your ability to learn a new concept and move in ways that will help you with not only your golf but every movement in your everyday life. Recently I added the 8 Elements of Athletic Movement to further study the quality of athletic movement.
My hope is that you are open to learning the 8 Athletic Movement Principles and the associated exercises and that we can move you to the next level which revolves around learning to think critically, which involves developing the ability to solve problems using a finite set of rules. Our goal is to empower you to apply the 8 AMPs in your golf game as well as your other sports and your everyday life. Learning to think will set you free to explore the possibilities before you.
What you will gain from the assessment is an understanding and feeling of what your movement tendencies are and how they affect your technique.
You will learn how to:
- Quickly and easily identify your movement issues
- Use principle based movement drills to correct your movement
- Improve your technique with movement drills and swing drills
- Think critically and creatively within the 8 Athletic Movement Principles
- Be self empowered with the 8 Athletic Movement Principles as your foundation for learning
- Swing a golf club without any thoughts of swing mechanics.
The drills in this assessment will make your movement tendencies and the related swing faults obvious to you. The tests and drills are designed to become the fixes. Once you can perform the movements in this series with a high degree of proficiency, you will increase the odds of improving your golf swing, with technically precise movement as the foundation. As a player, a refined skill set allows you to play golf with a focus on strategy and tactics rather than technique.
These lessons are laid out in an order which will allow you to Test your movement and study the Concept that will help you improve your movement. The Concept is supported by Drills that help you get a feel for the Concept. Lastly we provide ideas on how to make the use of the Concepts and Drills a daily practice with Play.
The lessons are structured in a simple format:
- Test – The Test is an Exercise from “The Athletic Fundamentals of Golf”
- Concept – For your easy reference we list the Athletic Movement Principle or Element of Athletic Movement that is a priority focus of the Lesson.
- Drill – The drill(s) will provide a strong sensation or feel for the concept
- Play – We explain how to add the Exercise, Drill or Concept to your daily routine in a way that makes it fun and interesting. We encourage you to make a choice how much work your want to do and this is based on your fitness level, motivation and overall commitment.
These tests are meant to challenge you physically and mentally in ways that may not be immediately obvious, but time and repetitions will make the benefits clear to you. Intuition and instinct are two inherent rewards of dedicated training.
The evaluation criteria for the tests will help you identify what you do well, additionally they will help you identify areas that need improvement. Along the way you will see that you have a choice to set standards and create discipline for yourself. This is one way in which you can determine your mental resilience and it is also a way in which you may improve it.
The lesson content is enhanced with video links which include 2D and 3D video. The latter is used to try and convey a greater understanding of the forces at play, describe some esoteric movement phenomena in detail and make it relevant by explaining it within the 8 Athletic Movement Principles.
The 8 Athletic Movement Principles
- Midline: Your Midline is an imaginary plane that bisects your body from the center of your head through the middle of your torso and extends outward in front of you to infinity. You are strong and balanced with your hands neutral or facing, on your Midline. Your hands and arms move close to your Midline for maximum control and power. In order to properly Sequence your Med Ball Throw and your golf swing, you must synchronize or control the relationship of your arms to your Midline as you move and throw the Med Ball (or swing the club).
- Center of Gravity Control: You are strong and balanced when you hold an object close to your Center of Gravity. Your Center of Gravity may also be understood as your Center of Mass, an average position of the Centers of Gravity of each of your body segments. Control of your Center of Gravity and the Med Ball will allow you to move athletically in balance and throw the Med Ball with accuracy, power, and consistency. You must be able to control your own Center of Gravity, lowering it to increase your control and generate Ground Reactive Force to develop more accuracy, power, and consistency in your golf swing.
- Midline + Center of Gravity Control = Physical Advantage: When you hold an object on your Midline close to your Center of Gravity, you create Physical Advantage. When you throw the Med Ball from your Midline and you are able to manage your Center of Gravity and the center of gravity of the Med Ball, you are using Physical Advantage.
- Gathering: Gravity is a constant, consistent timing mechanism for your swing that can assist you in Gathering the Med Ball or golf club on your Midline with a consistent tempo. Use gravity to help set the rate of acceleration of your transition as you Gather the Med Ball on your Midline close to your Center of Gravity and create Physical Advantage.
- Centripetal Force: Centripetal Force is a force that makes an object follow a curved path. The nature of the force is at right angles to the motion of the object. In golf the club travels on a curved path around the swing axis, roughly approximated by the most prominent bone at the base of the neck. The power of the golf swing is generated on an arc. Maintain your position to establish your swing axis as you rotate the Med Ball on an arc to create centripetal acceleration or acceleration on an arc.
- Heavy Point: The Heavy Point is the point of the highest velocity during the swing or throw, it occurs when the clubhead or Med Ball has the greatest sense of weight. The Heavy Point happens under your Center of Gravity on your Midline. Feel the Heavy Point to release the Med Ball at the bottom of the arc. A Med Ball released at the Heavy Point will fly accurately and consistently on a tangent from the arc.
- Ground Reactive Force: Ground Reactive Force is the force exerted by the ground on a body in contact with it; for example, the ground exerts a force on a person standing on the ground. The person also generates an equal and opposite contact force on the ground. Use the pelvis, hips, knees and feet effectively to manage your Center of Gravity and generate power in double support (both feet on the ground) to deliver power through your arms to the club and ball.
- Integration: Apply the concepts of Midline, Center of Gravity Control, Physical Advantage, Gathering, Centripetal Force, Heavy Point and Ground Reactive Force to create shot shapes and trajectories.
Like art, which has 7 elements: line, color, shape, form, value, space and texture, movement has elements. Movement is based on the Athletic Movement Principles listed above. You can gain an even greater appreciation of movement by understanding the Elements of Athletic Movement listed below. The inclusion of these elements in my work is meant to promote an understanding and feel that movement is not just positions and forces, it is just as much about the subtlies of change in direction and musical elements like rhythm and tempo. An appreciation for the art of movement – The 8 Elements of Athletic Movement is meant to enhance the science of movement as described by the 8 Athletic Movement Principles.
The 8 Elements of Athletic Movement
- Balance: Balance implies static and dynamic balance
- Sequence: Sequence implies discrete events and order
- Tempo: Tempo implies the control of discrete events in Sequence, whether they are faster or slower. Tempo contributes to the overall impression of texture, rough or smooth, in movement and also communicates emotion.
- Rhythm: Rhythm implies regularity, recurrence of a Sequence in Tempo over a period of time. Within Rhythm we can track a beat, which contributes to predictability.
- Transitions: Transitions are the articulations between discrete events or the articulations between a series of discrete events. In music, articulation refers to the direction or performance technique which affects the transition or continuity of a single note or between multiple notes. Control of transitions implies how to play the notes and use the spaces between the notes for specific effect.
- Release: Release implies coordination and the ability to let go for control. From the contract/relax nature of muscle to the cognitive processing that precedes a movement that is let go of to be in the moment and just do.
- Objective: Objective implies direction and the result of athletic movement. Athletes learn to organize their body and create movement relative to a target for specific effect. Objective is the organizing entity for any kind of strike, throw, hit or kick. Objective also implies an awareness of self and one’s environment, or concurrent internal and external focus.
- Flow: Flow includes all 7 previous elements. Flow is the integration of all elements, the physical is balanced by the mental and vice-versa.