The Laws of Impact

Dan Gold
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Elements of a Proper Impact Position

You may have heard of the “impedance law,” which is defined as the number of products or pieces of equipment worn by soldiers during a training exercise. It includes backpacks, heavy rucksacks, night vision goggles, Kevlar helmets, body armor, weapons, magazine pouches, flashlights, gloves, knee pads, elbow pads, and even the partial armor that covers only the forearms, and so on. A full-blown PT course can see soldiers wearing up to 40 pounds of equipment.

This gear is often way too heavy for the average soldier, which means that it will make all the exercise routines you go through harder and more strenuous.

For example, the standard PT regimen consists of running five miles at a deep crouch, or doing 50 sit-ups or 100 push-ups. A soldier with only light equipment would finish these exercises in perhaps one hour. On the other hand, a soldier wearing heavy gear might take over two hours to complete the same exercises.

In short, a soldier wearing an unusually heavy load is not going to have a fun time exercising.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the components of an ideal body armor system.

Impact for Irons, Chipping, and Pitching

There are “Laws of Impact” that you must understand and abide by in order to maximize the effectiveness of your iron shots. Certain conditions must be met in order to produce the desired results. Respected golf authors Ken Bowden and Gene Sarazen were the first to explore and describe the laws of impact. Before they did this, the opposite was true. Golfers were more likely to play an imprecise shot than to cause variation in their shots.

These laws are very important components of alignment and tempo, which are the two other important laws of golf. An alignment law requires the clubface and stance to be square to the intended target. The tempo law requires an upswing that is both consistent and slow. Without these three laws in place, the result of the shot will not be dramatically changed.

While the three laws are important, the laws of impact are most important. This is because good timing and good alignment can be offset by poor impact. And keeping impact within the proper limits is much easier than keeping alignment and tempo out of the proper limits. Many amateurs lack a full understanding of the laws of impact, and therefore for them, it is much harder to produce good shots.

By applying the laws of impact, you will play the ball farther from the hole.

You will be able to hit the ball higher and softer.

Fairway Woods Impact

Driver Impact

On the face of it, a Pelican Crossing is a fairly simple thing to understand. It aims to be the safer version of the normal pedestrian crossing.

What is a Pelican Crossing?

A pelican crossing is a type of traffic control system used to control traffic at a road crossing with less waiting time and less intrusion to road users than the standard pedestrian crossing. The crossing is a combination of an advance warning sign showing a flashing amber beacon and a pedestrian crossing with flashing amber beacons. It is more common in the UK and Australia than it is in the U.S., where pedestrian-controlled traffic signals are much more common.

How does it work?

A pelican crossing is activated by the presence of pedestrians, and therefore is a type of actuated traffic control, in contrast to a pedestrian crossing in which a pedestrian activates the lights, for example by pushing a button, and assertively so. This leads to a stop of all vehicles.

Simply put, when there is a pedestrian on the crossing, the lights will flash, and cars must stop. This is a little different from a normal pedestrian crossing, because only one car is allowed on the crossing at a time. Once a car has passed the crossing, the lights will flash again, allowing another vehicle to cross.

So, why do the laws of impact apply to a Pelican Crossing?

Impact in the Greenside Bunker and Flop Shot Impact

Impact is a combination of physics and geometry. It is the point at which the club meets the ball.

Understanding how to manage your impact can improve your short game. It will improve accuracy, consistency, and dispersion. It will increase your greenside bunker and flop shot consistency. It will also transform your spinning wedge shots into solid contacts. You’ll have better distance control. You will always land the ball near the hole with greater finesse. If you want to achieve the highest level of strike consistency, you need to know how to manage impact.

Impact in the Bunker

I’ve helped many players improve their greenside bunker play, and greenside bunker contact, consistency, and distance control. I always address the impact and the strike.

First I make sure they don’t accidentally look at the ball until impact.

I tell them that looking at the ball will either make them right eye dominant or left eye dominant. These are very common mistakes that create the syndrome of looking ahead, which is a waste of time.

Common Impact Mistakes

When you are going to make an impact on your career, there are various mistakes that you can make while trying to do it.

Here are some of the most common mistakes that most people tend to make.

A Bad Impression

Making a bad first impression is better than no impression at all. Some consider that first impression as the thing that can help you and your career get better in the long run.

Avoid that habit of talking too much while you are on a business meeting. You can always say a few words here and there while letting the other person talk and talk.

If you have the urge to give a piece of your mind to a certain person that you just met, just hold it in and wait for the right moment.

It is better to stay quiet and give a good impression than to say something that you will regret and end up offending the person that you heard.

Be in Carrying Your Business Cards

You can always carry your business cards with you when you go on your meetings. It is a very good thing to have when you are in a business meeting.

Drills to Improve Impact

In a previous post, I outlined some of the problems that result when impacting with the ball incorrectly. I discussed the importance of good contact, and I shared several drills that helped me get my impact position squared away. Now I’d like to share some more drills that help with impact error correction.

First you’ll need a decent-sized ball and a partner to help you through the drills. I’ve found that these drills are most effective when done on the main practice court. You might also notice that many of the drills are geared toward a player who tends to impact the ball from the outside. However, these techniques should be able to help just about anyone.

Hit a volleyball.

Pick a partner, and make sure you’re ready to do some serious work. Everyone is going to have a different impact position; this is where you’ll find yours.

You’ll need to realize that this drill will get tedious pretty quickly when you’re just starting out. But remember, it’s all worth it to finally get rid of that outside impact or one-handed shit. You’ll also come to realize that this drill can be pretty fun because it really goes back to basics.

The Bottom Line

Most coaches and athletes know the physics of sports more or less. But how often do you actually apply them? I think it’s a rather rare thing to see them being used for developing specific skills or relationships. Our goal in this section is to introduce a more scientific perspective. We hope that doing so, coaches and athletes will be better equipped to make more educated decisions when designing training programs and daily practices.

Based on this understanding, we hope that coaches and athletes will also be able to develop a more “scientific” mindset in their daily practice and, in particular, when doing so with clients and athletes.

Lastly, we hope that coaches and athletes will also be able to apply the laws to perform better themselves.

Part of developing specific capacities, it’s not only about making more efficient movements, but also about making them more solid. That means that this section is not only for coaches and athletes, but for all the students of our programs as well.