Douglas has run courses in Johannesburg and Durban in conjunction with the PGA training golf professionals so they are able to activate their clients. These programs were 2 days and really got the golf pro’s into the space where they could create some immediate shifts with their clients.
Doug spent 4 days in Hamburg, Germany working with Wladimir Klitscho, Heavy Weight World Champion, a special athlete who knows his game so well, and who has a doctoral degree in Sports Science. He knew the areas he wanted to work on and improve, and there was work on a mystery injury that scans were not showing. It was a very successful week as his body responded immediately to what we were doing.
David Frost has been doing activation for a good few years, and we had the opportunity to film a TV show for SABC 3 at David’s wine farm in Paarl.
One week with Celtic football club in Glasgow, working with players and the sports science team and doctors. Amazing the facilities pro football sides have available.
It is always an honour and privilege to work with a master. Jack Nicklaus is certainly one of those. I was part of a golf program in Miami when I was given the opportunity to go up to Jupiter and the Bears Club, to meet and work with Jack Nicklaus. There were some real gem moments that happened as we worked through the activation sequence when something unlocked in his shoulder (limitation was not mentioned as it had been there since his professional playing days). He got up and took a few swings when his son, Gary, commented that the adaptation his dad had made to his swing because of the shoulder, was no longer there and that looked like his old swing. Then we had him in the Butt Bungi. When we were done with the exercises I asked him to step out of it, and he said something that makes me smile each time I think of it – ‘Doug – I don’t think I have felt my butt for 20 years – I am going to stay in the Bungi a little bit longer’.
I was back the next day and Jack was raring to go – we had to get the Golf DVD coverted to the US system and we then set him up with his bungi and daily program to continue himself. A few weeks later news came through that he had shot a 68 at the Bears Club, one shot off the course record. Not bad when you shoot under your age.
Ruud Gullit – Former Netherlands footballer.
Doc Julius Erving (Dr J) is a basketball hall of famer. The ultimate gentleman to work with and this is us testing his stability at the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational.
John McEnroe is one of tennis’s greatest characters and he taught me some wonderful lessons. One of the days after working with him on the driving range he went to hit balls. First ball ok, second ball bad, third ball bad! Suddenly he explodes with profanities at the top of his voice. He obviously saw the shock on my face as he winked at me and said – ‘Don’t worry Doug – it’s my brand, it’s what they expect me to do!’ Up and down the driving range, other celebrities started calling – hey Mac – didn’t see you there! It was amazing.
Sometimes in my travels I meet and work with powerful people, here is former US vice-president Dan Quayle at the Dunhill Links Championships – St Andrews, Scotland.
Always interesting working with a sport you know very little about. But you got to trust what you know, and working with the Miami Dolphins was great fun. The mornings were spent working individually with players and the afternoons were spent teaching the athletics trainers and strength/conditioning team to continue the work thereafter. The highlight of the week was doing a demo with one of the line backers – 6 foot 11 inches, 365 pounds, where I put him in his rush position and then got to knock him over (3 times…). As long as my sequence was good and his wasn’t I had all the advantage! The Dolphins went from played 16; won 1, to played 16; won 11 and made the playoffs!
Doug Howlett – All Black and Munster rugby player.
I was doing some consulting work in Barbados when I was asked to work with Ian Woosnam. He was struggling to walk and move effectively but very motivated to get back to playing golf. As we worked his strength, power and balance came back very quickly. At the end of the session his swing and movements looked incredible. He said to me he could feel his toes digging into the mat. I asked if this was a good thing. His response was that when he was world number 1 his toes would bleed they gripped so tightly, so this was great! The following week (as a senior), he made the cut at the Masters in Augusta, and 2 weeks after that one the Senior Open in Poland.
Steve Waugh – Australian Cricket Captain (retired).
I was invited up to Pretoria to meet with Heyneke Meyer, coach of Bulls rugby. After the meeting (which was initiated by the senior Springboks who were part of the Bulls team), he invited me to spend 3 weeks with the team in their off season training. What made the Bulls unique is everyone pulls in the same direction, so the medical and conditioning team, coaches and players all were on board (no politics). I worked with each player in the squad (45 players), did 4 team talks, worked with the coaches so they understood what I was bringing to the team, and did training with the medical team. A very positive environment and team. The Bulls became the 2007 Super 14 Champions – a first for a south African side, and then continued their winning ways – winning 3 times out of 4 years.
A day with LA Galaxy on the invite of coach Ruud Gullit to bring some activation to the team. High profile player, David Beckham was one of the players being activated.
While at a golf event in the Bahamas, rumours came through that Sean Connery was bed ridden in pain, and I was offered the chance to go through and see him. Robert and I drove through and I spent 45 minutes talking and asking questions – got to get the right information first before you start to work. Then we began. Things went so well that at the end, he took us to lunch. The next day we went back and he was up and about and doing great so we made him a personalised DVD program for him, before he drove us to the airport. Two weeks later he shot his first hole-in-one!
Dawid Mocke has been one of the world’s best in surfski for many years. This is him winning the Dragon run in Hong Kong. Dawid always does his activations before and paddling training or races!
Tour de France with Team Barloworld was an amazing experience. Driving with the team manager, Claudio Corti in one of the support cars was the most surreal, adrenaline experience. Cigarette in one hand, phone in the other, on narrow winding roads that drop off 200 metres below at break-neck speed! But that is just how it goes in these events. John Lee Augustine would get a dead leg on long climbs due to a previous hip fracture,but after activation, he managed to get to the top of the highest climb in the Pyrenees first – and then rode over the edge coming down in excitement. Also had the pleasure of working with Chris Froome and Baden Cooke, both consummate professionals.
Graeme Smith, a former South African cricket captain, whom I had worked together with over the years, arrived with an unusual scenario. He had broken his fingers 5 times in two years. He was either really unlucky, or there was something going on that was not so obvious. On assessment he has a 333 arm for his left hip, which meant his right arm was entirely responsible for driving his left leg. Before he started breaking fingers he had long suffered with elbow problems, had surgery, and the result was the locking up had moved down the chain to his hand, which meant it was really tight (trying to control the rest of the body) and therefore had no resilience when being hit by a cricket ball in batting or catching a ball – its only option was to break. We got him back to a 123. Interestingly he was also at the time getting caught behind a huge amount – if your hands move before your hips it takes away a lot of batting control.
Springbok rugby is close to every South African, and having previously worked with John Smit, the Springbok captain, I was asked by John and Jake White (coach) if I could join them at their hotel near Sun City before they played the All Blacks in a test match in Rustenberg. The Springboks were on the worst run, and a lot of heads were about to roll! I only had a day available and when I got there I worked with 9 of the starting line-up. The outcome was positive, and they beat the All Blacks (who were trying to break the world record for consecutive wins).
Ryk Neethling – Olympic gold medallist swimming.
Sally Little – ultimate golfing lady.
Dave Wallace – Irish rugby and Munster.
Marcus Allen is a Hall of Fame American football running back. We first worked together at the Dunhill Links in Scotland and then again here at the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational. Marcus is one of those athletes that takes his competitive drive into everything he does, in this case it was golf we were getting him ready for.