Recently, I wrote about doing whatever it takes to become a champion, but I am not sure you really understand this sentiment. I am not saying to go out and cheat, lie or steal. I am saying that when you are talking about achieving an audacious goal like being a top 1% athlete (playing college golf means you are striving to be in this percentile), you will need to do more than give a little effort. This is not just effort on the golf course; this is also giving effort in all aspects of your life. Because this is not a singular pursuit. It is even more demanding than just trying to play golf. You must be on top of academic work, physical and nutritional health, mental training, social obligations to friends and family, golf practices, golf matches, traveling, and recovery. It is a sum game and if it doesn’t add up, your performances will fail in one or more of the areas and that could bring the roof down on achievement.
It takes a large amount of work and accountability in the process of achievement; it is why 20+ years ago I created the 5 Elements of Success. It was a way for me to help manage and create a system that allows me to keep myself accountable to the areas that are necessary to achieve my goals. As you may have heard recently on our new Youtube show, the 5 Elements of Success Player Development Series, we talk about “grit” a lot. Besides grit, I talk also about passion, perseverance, persistence and patience, or growth mindset, because these are all essential when it comes to high achievement. What am I saying? I am saying that for parents and junior student-athletes, by only saying I want something or just being able to afford the journey is not going to get you what you want! You must take actions on your desire to improve or achieving your goals. I am saying that because golf at the highest levels “seems” to be easy, it is not! It is extremely difficult to play high level competitive golf and not have to sacrifice something that you may like to do. Say like, have a “normal” high school experience! If you look at the best of the best in any sport or walk of life, they did not have a “normal” high school experience. Instead, many had an alternative path. Perhaps they struggled in school, but found their greatness in sports, music or the sciences. Bill Gates found his greatness in computers and would lock himself away in his room or a room in his school that had a computer for hours and even sometimes overnight! He and future co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, would instead of taking a summer vacation, spend their summers programming for their towns engineering department. They would work many days in a row just programming, hacking away, failing programs and restarting all the time until they got it right. It was obsessive but it was what they wanted to do. Normal? Only normal for someone who loves what they are doing, striving for mastery, spending countless hours honing skills, with purposeful efforts to achieve! Gates has said he remembers many of those hack sessions as hard but never regretted a moment of the painful hours in the “lab.” He remembers how other kids said they wanted to do what he and Paul were doing, but they weren’t willing to put in the time to learn.
So, you want to play college golf, and it has to be at one of the best schools in the nation. What would be my advice be to you? Start early in your journey on developing your “why.” If you come up with the answers, because I love the game, I love the school, I love the challenge golf gives me and I want my journey to have both a good school and golf experience on it. If this is the case for you, you must give more effort to the process than you think. It is a high bar and getting higher. Start with why, work on the process of developing skills (talent x effort= skills), and work hard on converting skills into achievement of excellence (skills x effort=achievement)! Check out the JuniorGolfHub.com and the many resources for discovering a school that may fit you, build a great profile, and then get after it! Be obsessive with your pursuit of your excellence, make sure your “roof” is built with the 5 Elements of Success!
Enjoy Your Journey!