WHAT DOES CONDITION. PERFORM. RECOVER. MEAN TO GCSAA CEO RHETT EVANS?
Like successful athletes, turf must be conditioned to perform its best and recover quickly from stress. Just ask Rhett Evans, CEO of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA). As a four-time Ironman Triathlon® finisher and active adventurist, Evans explains why Condition. Perform. Recover. is important for success on and off the course.
Through September 5, submit a photo of what personal or turf fitness means to you for a chance at one of two $2,500 grand prizes.
Q: How important is conditioning prior to running an Ironman Triathlon or climbing Mt. Rainier?
When preparing for an endurance event, it is paramount that planning be done months in advance. A full Ironman® consists of a 2.4-mile open water swim and a 112-mile bike followed by a full marathon of 26.2 miles. There is no faking it. You have to be prepared. The same holds true for mountaineering. There's no cramming the night before the test. The consistency of focused, ongoing training leads to the required conditioning levels to cross the finish line or stand atop the summit.
| Evans after completing an Ironman Triathlon.
Q: How important is recovery from your challenges/competitions?
No training is complete without a good recovery plan. Overtraining is a serious sin, which in my case often leads to increased stress and injuries. Planning recovery time into your training is vital to becoming stronger – the body needs time to rejuvenate broken down cells and fatigued muscles. Recovery doesn't mean that you need to completely shut it down – you simply just need to slow it down.
Q: Do you see similarities between conditioning oneself for an event and conditioning turf at a course prior to an event?
I certainly do not profess to be a superintendent, but in my view there are many similarities. Superintendents manage living organisms, like turfgrass, trees and other vegetation. We are living organisms, and it is physically impossible to remain at peak levels all the time. Superintendents have learned to be terrific coaches and they push their turf to be at its best during big events and they know they must build in recovery time to rejuvenate and rebuild. The same holds true with our bodies. We can't race every day at our peak and expect to do well – we have to find balance.
Q: Syngenta prepares agronomic programs for its customers that help control key pests and include application intervals and rates. We also know that as the weather changes throughout the year, so does a superintendent’s program. What sort of parallels do you see between using a program approach for conditioning turf and your own personal health?
| Evans golfing on Mt. Kilimanjaro
Managing turf is a science and it can be complicated. Nature is in charge and changes conditions constantly. Having a plan and a program in place that helps you navigate decision points is an acute practice. Whether training for triathlons or long climbs, well thought-out training programs tailored specifically to my needs and goals are fundamental for success. My programs help me create consistency, probably the most important aspect of training, and are responsible for my consistent improvement. Having a training plan establishes balance between intense and easy sessions to allow me to push my performance and ultimately progress my training in a way that leads me to accomplish my goals.
Q: Superintendents work long days and put their heart and soul into their courses. By devoting so much time to their course, it can be tough to make time to take care of themselves with exercise, rest, family time, etc. Do you have advice for superintendents that have such high expectations for themselves?
You can't be good to anyone unless you're good to yourself. It's instinctive for superintendents who are driven and passionate about what they do to work around the clock, and they can make little time for themselves. We’re all guilty of this sometimes, and we can see work-life balance as rhetoric, insisting there are only so many hours in a day and no time can be wasted on activities that don't include succeeding at your job.
I have found that when we take time for ourselves were able to clear and refresh our minds. Just like sleep refreshes our mind and body, exercise in almost any form can act as a stress-reliever and boost our endorphins and distract us from daily worries. When I allow my mind to focus on something other than work, it helps me gain fresh perspective. Managing a golf course takes a lot of work and can certainly be stressful. The day-to-day responsibilities and commitments can make the to-do list seem endless. This constant motion can prevent us from engaging in deep thought, which inhibits our creativity and lessens productivity. Exercise should be part of our stress management plan. Virtually any form of exercise, from aerobics to yoga, can act as a stress reliever.
Q: What does Condition. Perform. Recover. mean to you?
A proven and scientific recipe for success!
Syngenta understands maintaining first-class turf quality is time intensive and stressful, so while you’re conditioning your turf to be its best, it’s also important to prioritize the health and fitness of you and your team.
Show us how you Condition. Perform. Recover. yourself or your turf for a chance to win $2,500.
©2017 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties and/or may have state-specific use requirements. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration and proper use. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Must be 18 years or older as of 06/05/17 and a resident of the US to enter. Void where prohibited by law. Condition. Perform. Recover. contest runs 9 AM (EDT) on 06/05/17 – 11:59 PM (EDT) on 09/05/17. Sponsor: Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC. The Syngenta logo is a trademark of a Syngenta Group Company. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.