This is a question that gets asked a lot; how does a player become great? Simplest answer: Do not let good stand in your way of becoming great. Very often, athletes, musicians, businesspeople, and politicians get in their own way, preventing themselves from becoming great. We see this often with junior golfers who have success in the early years of their journeys. Before you know it, the fear of change or avoidance hinders further development. Unfortunately, with junior players, this can also involve parents who guide them not to change in an effort to avoid failure. Golf is not an early specialization sport, so early success can and often does become the greatest enemy of future success in the game. We coach our players and parents to think about long term development. If you know your goals, then work towards them with a mastery mindset. This will give you your best chance of the success you dream about and will also help stifle the mindset that there is nothing more to learn and that “my good” is good enough.
Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Bryson DeChambeau, Rory McIlroy, Annika Sorenstam, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates; the list is endless of the greats because they all followed the path of mastery. Being their best did not succumb to being good, and their journeys continued to develop. Each plateau was only a steppingstone to the next level of good. Recently, we heard Bryson talk about his quest to continue to improve, while winning the US Open, on his journey to be the best player in the world. Now that’s dedication to one’s goal!
What stands in your way of being the best you can be? We see and hear of aspiring juniors and parents avoiding tournaments or changes to their development because they fear the risk of failure. With juniors aspiring to play collegiate golf, the junior rankings can become a big distraction. Instead of playing golf for the sake of the love of the game, juniors and parents become obsessed with their “rankings”. I believe that if you strive to be the best you can be, rankings will take care of themselves based on the production of your efforts. Although becoming ranked #1 in the world is a motivating goal, it should not be set with the sole intention to get “recruited”. This goal can become a negative distraction and create unwanted pressure that can have a negative effect on performance. Something to remember is that everyone’s journey is unique and comparing yourself to others can also make continued development harder, so stay focused on you!
Greatness comes from effort, a growth mindset, and pushing yourself to do the ordinary extraordinarily well! Execute on the simple things daily and you may be surprised at how far you will go, there are no shortcuts to greatness and there can’t be avoidance of obstacles!
Enjoy Your Journey!