“Aggressive play is a vital asset of the world’s greatest golfers. However, it’s even more important to the average player. Attack this game in a bold, confident, and determined way, and you’ll make a giant leap toward realizing your full potential as a player.” – Greg Norman
The year was 1996 and the lead entering the Final Round was 6 shots. It was Sunday at Augusta with the day beginning just like so many other Final Round Sundays at The Masters. April 14th would prove to be anything but ordinary. Springtime in Augusta is a magical experience and it looked like the shark would finally take his bite of history with the magical victory so many believed would be his.
Aggressive play is a vital asset of the world’s greatest athletes. It can be an incredible advantage based on the layout of some of the best courses in the world. However, Augusta National isn’t one of those courses. Augusta has been tamed a time or two over the years, but the last time it was truly tamed, was when a young prowling Tiger had been released from his cage. The hungry young cat was poised, ready to pounce on both his fellow competitors and his place in both history and the record books.
But this story, is about what happened to The Shark that fateful day and the lessons available to each of us applied to the activities of our own individual lives. You see, the lessons available from the game of golf apply equally well as the lessons of life.
In life, the majority of the time, a bold, confident, and determined approach will serve us well. There are always exceptions to the norm and it is our ability to not only identify the exception, but to have the courage to follow our instincts and act opposite of what we might otherwise normally do, that determines results. There is a relatively new field of study based on this information in both the sports world and in the business world.
In the business world, the phrase “Emotional Intelligence” has become synonymous with controlled thinking and actions decided and implemented based on thought. “Sports Psychology” is just a little less than 100 years old… In the sports world, when an athlete “chokes” they are said to have experienced a physical, mental, and emotional breakdown that typically begins with a lack of confidence.
This same lack of confidence can have a similar effect upon us in both our personal and professional lives. Self-consciousness causes us to question both our talent and ability. A combination of both physiological and psychological reactions to our uncertainty cause us to question our ability. Our natural capacity for concentration and focus diminishes and our bodies try to compensate with hormones to correct our state.
Adrenaline and cortisol which can serve us well in times of crisis, instead become our enemies and affect our ability to think clearly, perform fine motor tasks efficiently, and can even cause a change in our vision. Stress is real and our ability or inability to manage it effectively becomes the determining factor of our subsequent success or failure.
On that ill fated day in April all those years ago, the attacking style Norman had become so famous for, betrayed him during that Final Round on Sunday at The Masters. His “fixed mindset” was his undoing. He was unable to adapt for a multitude of reasons that have been extensively covered by golf writers and sport psychologists alike.
The line between success and failure is razor thin. Something as simple as being able to control our thinking can be the deciding factor between winning and losing. This ability to maintain focus and control over our thoughts is a skill that can only be developed with repeated effort and practice. It must be repeated and practiced with the same level of commitment that the player applies directly to the craft of precision contact between club and ball or the skill of both listening and speaking and knowing when to listen and when to speak that the master salesperson develops in the honing of their craft.
No matter what our occupation, there are skills and abilities we rely on for the successful completion of the activities required to support achieving our desired results or outcomes. Thinking, and the ability to think clearly under pressure, are the two skills that can be the delineating factors between success and nearly succeeding.
Author: Bobby Kountz
Bobby Kountz is a former Oncology Nurse, a seasoned Oncology Sales Professional, and Personal Development Enthusiast. He is also an Inspirational Writer, Professional Speaker, Personal Development and Career Transition Coach, Dedicated Community Volunteer, Social Equality Activist, Mental Health Activist, and Loving Father and Husband.
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