Here is what I have decided will be important in this first season.
1. Dreams - We haven't had an appearance in post season for quite a while. There haven't been many team wins either. We want to accomplish both of those things this year. It will be important to talk about these things, prepare for them and dream of the events.
2. Goals - The tools needed to reach dreams are goals. Goals shouldn't run your life, but they should provide you with the daily motivation to do what it takes to achieve big things. One of the most powerful things I learned from Fred Shoemaker is to allow players to have one goal for each tournament, allow them to make it their own, in their own language and whatever they want and then talk to them about it so they stay clear on it throughout the day. I can clearly remember player's goals that they grabbed and used to ride to success. Mimi Epps: "Fairways and Greens" Wendi Wiese: "Roll the Rock" and Ashley Knoll: "Hit shots" All were simple, all meant something to the player and all helped the player focus.
3. Motivation vs. Discipline - People talk about the changes here as though there needs to be a firm hand and discipline among the individuals. I doubt that that is the case. Instead, there needs to be motivation. To discipline people is to push them. To allow people to be motivated is to allow them to pull themselves to their goals. The second is so much more powerful than the first. Now we obviously will need discipline, but if the goals are in place, the players want to achieve them and the team loves golf, self-discipline will be the rule. (thanks to the blog Zenhabits for helping me form this plan).
4. Be a team in all things. This was hugely important for past successful teams and we worked on it daily. How? Pretty simple, we formed relationships with each other. We judged each other by our most common behavior, not the rare times when we were cranky or mean spirited. We refused to react to rumors or tattles, especially if it was a teammate throwing another under the bus. We learned to talk openly with each other, but didn't talk openly with people outside the program. The most important thing though is, we made the effort to develop our friendships. Friendships take time, they take care, they take genuineness and they take fun to be successful.
5. The final thing that we will do as a group is understand the importance of each person and the responsibility that goes along with that importance. That doesn't just include the team members, but also our coaches, and our support staff. In order for us to win championships, we all have to not just buy in, but work hard for them.
As we sift through the first semester, introduce the ideals that will be in place for SMU Women's Golf and then work daily to live up to them, the team will learn quickly that it is fun to be motivated, challenged and tired from working for what you want. Conversely, it is boring to go through the motions 8 hours a day for something that isn't very interesting or that has no dream attached to it. That is the lesson that is the most important for young people (and maybe old too) to learn, because it pushes them to choose careers in what they love or to throw themselves head first into feats that seem overwhelming and come out on the other end with a remarkable achievement. That is what we want for SMU Women's Golf!
|Old Quaker saying. Magnet painted by Charity Elise of Atlanta.|