Friday, July 8, 2011

What's Love Got To Do With It?

What makes a successful player?  My answer to that would be love!  Nick Faldo, on today's telecast of the AT&T, said that there is now a blueprint for success and young players could copy it to earn their ways to the tour.  While it is true that there is a lot more knowledge out there of how to be a great golfer, there are still a limited number of players who make it.  Why is that if there is this so-called blue print?

Faldo mentioned hard work and determination, but I think he left out the most important word for success, whether in golf or in any pursuit.  There must be love.  It is easy to say you love the game, but you have to love it all, good and bad, that goes with chasing success.  Today's blog is about the things you need to love to achieve the success of a Yani Tseng or a Rory McIroy.

First, you need to love practice.  Great players are curious about how to hit shots.  Repetition doesn't bore them, but instead they get lost in the rituals and look for success on each and every shot.  Hours pass without looking at a watch.  Weather seems to be only a slight distraction, but not a reason to leave the course.  It is common for great players to spend eight hours a day at the course

Next, you have to love competition.  Competition doesn't mean that you set out to win each and every tournament, but that you compete on each and every shot.  You give each shot your full focus and do your best.  You have a feel for when you need to generate momentum and you know when to be conservative.  The more competitive you are, the tougher it is to give up on a shot, a round or yourself.  That is the essence of competition for great players and it generally leads to beating others but need only be about producing your best.

The next thing to love is the challenge.  Golf is a tough game and you will fail at times.  If you don't understand that each failure is a challenge to your motivation and a crucial part of learning greatness, you will fall by the wayside on your way to the tour.

Finally and most importantly, you must love yourself and your own game.  Mark Wilson isn't the longest guy on the PGA, but he has learned that length isn't the most important thing.  He knows his strengths and plays upon them.  He won multiple times this year and he did it because he is a great wedge player and a great putter.  There may be times when his length off the tee makes it tough for him to compete, but for the most part, he makes a great score using his strengths.  He probably doesn't announce that he loves himself or his game, but his approach, his confidence and his focus on his strengths say exactly that.

Learn to love your strengths and work hard to keep them strong.  You should also work hard on your weaknesses to bring them along, but too much focus on your weaknesses will erode your strengths.  Understand what makes you successful and capitalize on it at every turn.

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