"Act Without Expectation"
Yesterday was a really fun day attempting to qualify for the U.S. Open. 9 years ago, I qualified for my 1st U.S. Open at Pinehurst. I fell short of advancing to the sectional but in the process I remembered why playing tournament golf is so valuable. I have been on the golf course a lot in tournament settings lately, just haven't played in them myself. I have been coaching players on how they can perform at their optimal when the outcome means something to them and their future. No matter how many times I tell my players how to approach a situation or how to handle adversity, if I'm not competing some, I am not giving them the best advice. Playing tournament golf brings out a different level of anxiety, a different amount of tension. Being able to think clearly, staying calm and relaxed is a skill that must be learned. It's why Jack Nicklaus was so successful. He said the four things that make a winner are the following:
When competing myself, I am able to attempt to do the above. It isn't easy when you are the one hitting shots. It is pretty easy to say to a player what kind of shot was that you just hit? What was your target? What were you thinking there? Emotions are a crazy thing. Everyone responds to stress differently. Competition reiterates to me every time the importance of a great routine that allows you to swing with great rhythm and tempo. At the end of the day the most important is your attitude. Can you adopt an attitude of confidence and playing with no consequences when the stakes are high? I challenge all coaches to not lose sight of competing themselves so they can practice what they preach. It will go a long way into getting your players to listen and buy in to what you want them doing under those conditions. Play the game...enjoy the walk.
Professional Golfer, Golf Coach, Director of Golf for SFA, #UF, #Gator Grad, sports fan, musician, student of life & all things social. Married to an amazing woman with two incredible children.