Exercise Science Instructor Chad Odaffer has been named one of Golf Digest Magazine’s Top 50 Golf Fitness Instructors in the United States. Odaffer is Indiana’s only ranked coach and he holds that position in addition to being an instructor at Indianapolis University.
“I always maintain a practice outside of the classroom so that I bring these experiences that I get into the classroom,” Odaffer said. “I teach many of our students the practical application of how to take science and put it into practice.”
Odaffer is a certified level three golf fitness instructor and has trained athletes at the National Institute of Fitness and Sport. He has also coached the strength and conditioning programs for sports at the WNBA Indiana Fever and Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis Division I, according to his employer, Altered Physique Training.
As part of his coaching role, he said he is also working to improve the fitness of golfers at all levels, from juniors to professionals.
Golf fitness doesn’t teach someone the basics of golf or how to swing, according to Odaffer.
These would fall under the category of a golf instructional instructor, he said. He said he started with a full body assessment of the client to see what the client’s issues or needs were.
“This [golf fitness] just works on how the body works in golf… ”said Odaffer. “Where golf differs [from other sports] is that we need specific ranges of motion and specific amounts of flexibility in certain parts of the body. It is a rotational sport.
Strength, power, flexibility and endurance are some of the most important areas Odaffer said he focuses on. He said some of the things he trains athletes for are no different from other sports. The main difference, he says, is how spin-oriented golf is compared to other sports. His expertise is to get athletes in top shape for them to be successful. He said golf is a skill-based sport.
Golf fitness is a relatively new area, according to Odaffer. He said he started with it in 2006, when it was still just starting out.
“I walked in at ground level,” Odaffer said. “I would say the two main things are getting started and trying to work with as many people as possible: taking the time to build a reputation. [and] take the opportunity to give remarks so people get to know you.
But ultimately, Odaffer said his accomplishments coincided with those of his clients. As they improved, it shone positively on his efforts as a coach.
“The main thing is probably that I have had golfers that I have helped that have been successful,” said Odaffer. “Success as a fitness professional isn’t how I create a program or how hard I can push you, but ultimately it’s what I do to help you. [my clients] to succeed. If my clients are successful, these are my successes.
These successes reflect not only Odaffer’s work, but also the quality of the programs, according to Lisa Hicks, chair of the kinesiology department. She said it’s always nice when the teachers are recognized for the work they do.
“This shows that the University of Indianapolis is a key player in the field of exercise science, particularly when it comes to applications,” Hicks said.
Hicks and Odaffer agree that it is also very important for students to understand what it is like to be a professional.
“It’s a good example for the students to show an applied profession and practice…” said Hicks. “It helps students understand what they can do with an exercise science degree. “