Key Indicator For Increased Clubhead Speed w/ Dr Sasho MacKenzie

In this podcast we learn about a key indicator for increased club head speed involving ground reaction forces in the lead foot. We get a good understanding of the research and examples of why it happens with Dr Sasho MacKenzie.

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Over the last three to four years, I always have golfers swing on a couple of AMTI force plates that are synced to the club motion and we also have ball launch data when doing any research projects.

One of the things that I started to look at was the variables that we’re getting from the ground that help us predict club head speed.

I was looking at the different components of the ground reaction forces and some interesting things came up with the vertical component. Particularly the vertical component of the lead foot when the club shaft was vertical in the downswing.

It was showing discrepancies between fast club head speed players and slow club head players at shaft vertical down swing.

At that point in the swing it seemed that the magnitude of the vertical ground reaction force on the lead foot was separating out between the two groups (fast club head speed and slow club head speed).

It (vertical ground reaction force) could peak later, it could peak earlier, the point is at shaft vertical down swing, you want this vertical ground reaction force to be as high as possible.

Get the full story in the podcast. Listen below.

Additional articles / resources on the topic:
How Steph Curry Uses the Ground for Power
What is Vertical Ground Reaction Force

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Dr. MacKenzie completed a PhD in Sports Biomechanics at the University of Saskatchewan, which focused on 3D forward dynamics simulation of the golf swing.

He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Human Kinetics at St. FrancisXavierUniversity and his research interests lie in the optimization of human movement with a strong emphasis on sport performance.

His research encompasses both optimal sport movement patterns as well as the most advantageous training techniques. He has conducted, presented, and published research on putting, shaft dynamics, 3D mechanics of the swing, shoe fitting, and the role of center of pressure in the golf swing.

My research interests are centered on the optimization of human movement in sport. My current research endeavors range from optimizing the biomechanics of athlete training techniques to customizing the properties of the golf club to a player’s swing.

My approach to solving problems on the optimization of human movement is founded on the development of forward dynamic models. Recently I have been programming genetic algorithm routines to determine the optimal timing of muscle activation patterns in my human models.

This Episode’s Sponsor

Boditrak Sports is a leading-edge sports technology company, focused on the interaction between an athlete and the ground. BodiTrak Sports is a sister company to Vista Medical, who developed the pressure-sensing technologies used in our products. Vista has been active in the pressure sensor production business since 1995. All of our products are (proudly) manufactured in Canada.

Their products give teachers, coaches and golfers the tools to visualize and better understand the golf swing, to make improvements and track success.

Make sure to check out their new certification program. A comprehensive education platform on an athlete’s interaction with the ground and golf performance, designed by the leading minds in the industry.

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