Friday, February 22, 2013

Step Up to Greatness

Over the years, I have been in a good position to watch players embrace greatness.  Players are individuals, so no two take the same path to success.  There are, however, some similarities from which we can learn.  Here are some I have noticed.

Personal Responsibility -
One mark of success seems to be personal responsibility for one's game, one's time, one's focus and one's goals.  These are the players who stand in the bunker for two hours until they feel like they "got it".  These are the players who stay home on a Saturday night so they can get up early on Sunday to go to the course.  These are the players who aren't disappointed by a poor round or a rough tournament, because they understand that their goals are unshakeable. 

Coachability -
Players who want greatness are sponges for knowledge.  They don't mindlessly accept coaching or advice, but instead, take in information, see how it fits them and use what they can to become better players.  They are often fun to coach, not only because of their skill sets, but because they will argue points, challenge you and take what you have offered and give you back more.  Coachability doesn't mean mindless acceptance, but a give and take relationship that teaches both teacher and player new things.

Unshakeable Belief -
You might think that players who embrace greatness are extremely confident and know how good they are, but that simply isn't the truth.  They suffer from the same doubts as anyone else.  The one thing they do know is that they will do what is needed to be successful.  Their unshakeable belief doesn't always lead to confidence, but simply the knowledge that they will work harder to reach their goal.  When faced with failure, their belief is that they can find their way through their diligence, determination and doggedness until they find their success.

Comfortable in Your Own Skin - 
“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
There has to be a time when you know deep within your bones that you are good enough to be successful and not be reliant upon anyone or anything outside of yourself to validate your worth as a player.  You have to be yourself, like yourself and quit comparing yourself to others. 

A Foundation of Faith -
Greatness seems to be easier to achieve for those who have a foundation of faith.  Faith is a belief that is not based on proof.  There are so many times in a golfer's career that there will be no proof of success or indications of greatness, yet there can still be the belief.   The ability to believe in the unknown or unseen is a trait that needs to be practiced and developed.  Players who come to the game with the ability can translate their faith into their own unseen success. 

These are a few of the traits I have noticed in the players who have achieved success at the highest levels of the game.  They aren't unique to golf, but golf seems to require them the most of any sport.  If you want greatness, think about how you approach each of these traits.  In these, you might find your key to success.

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