It is very interesting to hear great athletes talk about discipline and their goals to be the best in the world. Sometimes you wonder if they were they born great or did they put in the work and earn their greatness? I recently finished reading a story about the late Kobe Bryant, one of the best athletes on the planet! He talked about how he trained with the focus to push himself further than he thought possible. While on and off the basketball court he found himself wanting to quit time and time again. As a young teenager, he believed he didn’t have enough talent, but then he blossomed, becoming a NBA Draft pick at 18. Some would say he rivals the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan. Kobe found that his ability to push himself came from his drive to be the best he could be, in all aspects of his life. His dad was a successful basketball player in his own right, but not at the level Kobe had dreamed for himself. Kobe found that when he was feeling isolated, he would pick up a basketball and feel comfort. He immersed himself in thought and actions on the court that allowed him to transform into a champion. In his early teens, he would wake up at 4:30 or 5:00 am and go practice before school, so that he could get more reps in than anyone else, giving him a mental edge when it came to tryouts, competitions and games. He knew by watching his dad and his teammates play that it takes discipline to work so hard. He had the discipline to get up every day by 5:00 am to work out, stretch, run, shoot, stretch and then actively rest. He would put in 8-10 hours a day as a teenager! Bryant had discipline to stay with his goals to be the best basketball player ever. He had grit to push himself when it became tough. He had enough resolve in his abilities to manage the disappointments that happen in sports and life. He knew he would be prepared for the challenges that came his way.
What does this have to do with golf? Well, it doesn’t matter that Kobe was an NBA and Olympic great or if you are an aspiring junior golfer wanting to play college golf. Do you have the discipline to do the work necessary even when no one is watching? Are you accountable to get up early and stay up late to get the reps in? Will you cut your development and your dreams short by only doing what it takes to be good? Can you be the next great golfer? Well that is up to you. Be accountable and disciplined to stay with your process, even when it doesn’t feel good or when you are tired or frustrated. When you think you have done enough, you have more to give! Get after it!
When the crowd cheered after world championships Kobe was always reminded of why he was disciplined to do all the hard work! So when you hear the crowd cheer even if it’s just mom or dad, when you hit that perfect drive when it counts or make a four-foot putt to win a tournament or finish off a great round, remind yourself of the discipline to stay longer to finish your practice, to make the 100th putt in a row that you said you were going to do before leaving to go home. Get after it! Be great by staying disciplined to your goals and dreams! Discipline is not something that happens only when it is going well, or when you feel like, it is an everyday thing, especially when no one is watching you do the work!
Enjoy Your Journey!