Day 2 of the Guru blogging chronicles leads me to a topic that I have been thinking about for some time. STUDENTS EXPECTATIONS!…..When a student asks me how long it is going to take to reach their golfing goals, I try to be honest with them as to not dispirit their eagerness to learn. Every case is different. As like a marathon race (not a sprint!), some get to the finish line quicker than others. The catch is, with the right coach, philosophy,plan, time, commitment and sacrifice…..Everyone will cross the finish line. The key is to set your goals and expectations accordingly. In the golf swing, we are using a bent stick with a weight on the end….making an 18 foot circle and trying to hit the ball on the clubface in a sweet spot the size of a dime. Let’s face it. GOLF IS HARD and any person that tells you otherwise or any teacher that says,”I try to keep it simple,” Is out of their mind. I have coached many great athletes that have played NFL football, Major League baseball, Division 1 college basketball, tennis and professional lacrosse and they all say the same thing. Why can’t this be as easy as (______). Because golf is hard people. Harder than any other sport I can think of. That is why I love it so much because it doesn’t matter what level that you get, you will never be satisfied, never mastered and you never completely own it. You are lucky to just rent it for a few months like Tiger Woods in 2000. Ask Tiger how hard golf is right now….you with me? Here is an example: I consider myself a better than average athlete. I played baseball, basketball and football at one time before deciding to play golf in college. I haven’t played or shot basketball for several months (since the Achilles rupture, hehe), and I can guarantee that I could go out to the court, practice for a few minutes and then shoot at least 80% from the free throw line and make a few three pointers. If I took that much time off from golf, there is not way that I could play to the equivalent level. I could go into the batting cage and make contact with a fastball after a short amount of work (I actually did it last week with my kids). Not that I could play professionally but you get the point, right.
YOU CAN’T CHEAT GOLF, SO DON’T TRY
To improve at golf, there has to be many hours of dedication, repetition and sacrifice. You can’t just pick up a club, read a tip from a magazine and go play your best. I have no sympathy for the student that takes lessons, doesn’t practice and complains that they aren’t getting better. It takes repittition people and you can’t fake it.
BE EASY ON YOURSELF
After asking the question why did you think you could shave 25 shots in 6 months to a student, here is the excellent feedback that I got that helps me understand why people fall into this trap.
1. the professioanals on TV make it look so easy
2. I work hard and anything I set me mind to I usually succeed at (I love this attitude by the way)
3. I have the best coach in the world (I swear he said it….just kissing up but I will take it)
All valid points but we have to understand that unless you are playing for a living, golf is a hobby. We shouldn’t take it so serious as to let it affect us as people. Your golf score is not who you are as a person.
STICK TO YOUR PLAN AND SET MINI-GOALS
Now I am not saying that if you are getting worse that you should be happy, just fire the coach (just ask the Cowboys). I am saying that if you trust your coach, your plan and are seeing improvement…..keep plugging away and you will get there. Set reasonable goals so you aren’t always disappointed and enjoy this great game. Remember……It is a marathon not a sprint and you will be fine. Talk to you tomorrow
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See you on the lesson tee,