“If you don’t get your butt in there and work it off, you will never make my team or anyone else’s! There is no time to pout and if you want to pout, do it on your own time! I showed you the routine, I gave you the music, do you want me to dance for you in the competition?!! Well, I have never seen anything like this, do you want a trophy for showing up?!!” – Dance Coach
“If you quit now! Don’t you quit on me, don’t quit on yourself!! You have ten more steps!! Go! Go! Get over the line!! You can do this! Don’t quit! If you quit now you will quit every time something in life gets tough!! Suck it up and move!! I don’t care if it is 95 degrees out here!! Don’t quit! If you want something in life you have to stick it out! How bad can it be? Once you have given every ounce of you, it gets easier; pain is fear leaving the body!!” – Texas Youth Football Coach
“If you want to win a scholarship and change your life then you will do it my way or go home. I am not looking for half effort, I want you to be fully present and giving 110 percent to yourself, team and our program! We win National Championships, 13 out of last 15 years, I will make sure you are prepared to compete at the highest level. You will find that after my program, life will be much easier!” – Junior Cheerleading Coach
So, the other night I was channel surfing and came across these shows and at first, I was intrigued by the kids’ enthusiasm for their competitions and then I discovered how they were being coached. WOW! I was I blown away by what I first thought was unnecessary screaming, abusive language and the unconventional coaching tactics (as some would say back in the good ole days). The excerpts above are from a couple popular “reality” TV shows and if you have never seen them it is shocking, controversial, a study in human resiliency or some may call GRIT! It really made me think about how golf coaches are coaching golf athletes and what are we doing to help the kids overcome the reality that life is going to be tough and competition to survive is going to be tougher than ever before in business and sports.
Why is it that when junior golfers say they want to reach a certain goal/s with golf they think the hard work is done? Unfortunately, we have seen our share of epic failures when it comes to achieving goals for junior athletes, not surprising since being a collegiate golfer and/or a professional golfer is the top 1% of golf athletes in the world. It wasn’t because these athletes didn’t have the talent, it mostly came from not doing the work that it takes to be one of the best. I am writing about this because I feel strongly that sometimes tough love is good love. Maybe, it is because golf is an individual sport and young golfers are looking for an “easy” way to be good? Maybe parents think it takes a few lessons and golf isn’t hard? If your golf coach is not pushing you to improve your skills in all aspects of development, you may want to re-think your coaching choice. When a coach is trying to squeeze out the absolute best of his/her athletes there comes a time when being nice just does not cut it. John Wooden, one of the best coaches and nicest coaches of all time, would not be happy about some of the coaching methods of the “reality” shows. He would, however, agree that sometimes people are not sure of what they are capable of until they find the very edge of their ability and persevere through pain and discomfort to find out. As another great coach said, “a person, who knows the depths of their desire, knows no man/woman can beat them no matter the battlefield.”
What I am saying is, if you want something and it is your dream – own it. There should be no excuses or reasons not to give your best every time, every day! There should be no reason that you wouldn’t want to listen to your coach and want to be pushed or pulled to your edges of development. And when you fall over the edge you learn how to get up again and move forward to get over the line, if you will. Don’t let short term discomfort stop you from being your best. Push through the pain of hitting a bad shot or having a bad tournament. That is temporary. Stick to your plan and move forward. It gets better when you know you have given it every ounce of energy!
Enjoy Your Journey!