2020 has now turned its final page bringing many people hope for the new year. Some people have plans to get into the gym and become a more physically fit version of themselves, while others will be wishing to accomplish various goals within their respective fields. The truth is that most people’s faith quickly disintegrates the instance adversity shows up. Not to be dramatic, but if you feel as though you aren’t where you want to be in life, you need to get yourself out of the hole you dug. The first step to getting out of the hole is to stop digging. This is easier said than done and the majority of people will never propel to their fullest potential due to their inability to change themselves. I have a theory that most humans are one or two dysfunctional patterns away from becoming everything they ever wanted to be. It is as simple as learning that new skill that makes you a shoo-in for your goals, instead of cruising aimlessly through social media. There are two kinds of people in regards to setting goals and accomplishing them. The first pertains to those people who want better for themselves but just don’t have the knowledge on what they need to change in order to be successful. In this scenario I find it to most of the time pertain to kids who rely on their older peers with more life experience to educate them on what they should change to experience some sort of success, or learn through trial and error to have a chance. The second group pertains to the majority of the people in the world. These are the people who are well aware of cause and effect, and are cognizant of what they have to do to be successful. I have very little sympathy for these people when they don’t achieve their goals because they had the railroad tracks laid down. They know exactly what they have to do, they just have to keep pushing forward and they will get to their destination. The average person will divert their energy to other things that distract them from accomplishing their goals for various personal reasons. I bring this up because most young athletes are tenacious and hungry to be the best, however 2020 made it dangerously easy to become complacent and fall into dysfunctional patterns. If this was you I would suggest you ditch your new year’s resolution on losing “x” amount of pounds or to “have no three putts,” and delve deeper into the foundation of your problems. I’ll give you a hint, it starts with You.
Since it is the new year and many of you are planning your tournament schedule for the year along with thinking of what you can change to get better for this upcoming season, it is important to think from a different perspective. If you look at your game through the same lens you will never realize where your skills lack. Most of the junior golfers spend way too little time practicing their short game, putting, and wedge game, and way too much time trying to mold their swing into an Adam Scott clone. The problem with this is that as a junior golfer your body is rapidly growing and changing from being an adolescent to being a grownup. Minute changes that make astronomical differences in how your body moves are constantly happening during this period, and your fundamentals will more than likely suffer because of it. The things that always remain are your skills around the greens and wedge game. What juniors do not realize is that if a college coach is following you and showing interest, they are looking at the things that distinguish a junior golfer from a solid college player. In college just about everyone can hit the ball solid and far enough to compete. Your solid teams and players in college will have a sharp wedge game, and solid putting. Most kids think they have a good wedge and putting game until they get to college and realize where they actually stand. Coaches look for the kids with a solid mental game, great putting, and a solid 120 yards and in game. They are experienced enough to know that any chop can hit it solid, but what kids have put in the work on the things that aren’t as fun to work on to edge them over the rest of the competition? That’s the kid that I want to invest the future of my program in.
Another Issue that I see a lot with just about every golfer whether it be junior, college, or pro golf, is that when you have your plan on what you have to work on, DO IT. It’s great to have friends at the course or on your team, but you have to do what is going to make you better. I have a saying that if you do what everyone else does, you will end up where everyone ends up. There’s a reason you see certain friend groups shoot relatively the same scores in almost every tournament. It’s because they all do whatever each other is doing. If they pull up to the course and their friend is hitting balls, that’s where they are heading. If their friend is on the first tee, they will just throw their cubs on with them and not work on anything they had planned. You have to stick to your process and focus on getting better on what your greatest weaknesses are. If you want to be great there is no substitution for this mindset. It’s not easy, I’m not saying it is, but if you have aspirations to be a great college player or play pro golf, you have to realize the little battles you have to win and decisions that you have to make along your path to accomplishing your goals. The overwhelming majority of golfers will experience frustration around their junior golf and college year’s because they aren’t progressing. I hear so many of them say that they are “grinding” or putting in the work to get better, yet can’t seem to translate their work into better results. The truth is that most of you don’t actually grind or work hard. Anyone can drive to a golf course and hit balls for hours on end with their friends and then go play a round of golf while being on their phone in between shots. That’s fine if you don’t have aspirations to be a distinguished player, but I know most of you who are invested into the GPC want to be better than average. I would suggest that you make the goal to be an uncommon person amongst a world filled with common people. Do what you already know is going to make you a better player. If you can honestly say at the end of the year that you were an individual and accomplished what you personally needed to do to get better, you will have the biggest leap of progress your game has yet to experience. Remember that where you want to go in golf requires you to be better than average. Roughly 1 percent of junior golfers go on to play college golf. If you truly want to be part of that 1 percent you don’t have the luxury of being average. You have to do what will make you the best version of yourself every day and remember that those who do what everyone else does, will end up where everyone else is.