Several months back, I wrote a blog about my golf lessons with my first golf instructor. I had the mistaken notion that it would be a good idea to make her laugh in an effort to lessen the discomfort (let me be clear....she had no discomfort. She knows how to golf; I, on the other hand, do not). Dave tried to assure me that I needed to focus on my lessons, not on pleasing her. Woe is me.
Fast forward a few months to this week. For Christmas, Dave and I gave each other golf lessons. Dave and I each took a golf lesson with the club pro the other day and I may not have made him laugh, but I am happy to say I think he taught me a thing or two...not just about golf but about life. While I took my lesson, Dave took notes for me, and then I did the same for him.
Imagine my shock and awe when the pro did not correct my grip or my posture or my alignment or my....whatever. Instead, he said, "I just want you to think about your intention." Hmmm....I thought. Outloud, I said, "I hope you could tell me what I need to intend to do." Nope. Wrong answer. He pressed me, and I finally said, "I guess I would like to intend to hit the ball." Blessedly, he did not roll his eyes. Neither did he sigh, at least not outloud. I did not look at Dave because I am certain he was doing both of these things. Instead, the pro politely asked, "Where would you like to hit the ball?" "Oh!" I exclaimed. "I don't usually know where the ball is going to go." He simply smiled and said, "You need to begin to have an intention every.single.time. you.hit.the.ball." He went on to say, "Don't picture it going in the bunker or in the lake or into the desert. Picture it going to your target. But in order to do that, you have to have a target." Novel concept, right? Wait, I can do this, I thought. This is like Stephen Covey's "Begin with the end in mind"
Over the course of the next 45 minutes, he suggested the following tenets of golf (and what I believe are appropriate for life):
1. An easy approach works better than trying to manhandle your grip.
I had certainly been swinging harder, as I thought it would produce more power. Miraculously, when I let go a little bit and engaged in an "easy" swing, the other stuff fell away a bit more.
2. When you complete the move, hold it there for at least five seconds in order to evaluate the move.
Oh wait. So, in golf, and in life, I shouldn't jump from one bad decision immediately to something else, just to try to get out of it or away from it? Another novel and totally thought-provoking point.
3. Hold a mantra in your head whenever you approach the next shot. For example, he suggested, "An interrupted flow of energy". Wowee!! That's what I want in life---an uninterrupted flow of energy. He even said, "And just evaluate what, if any, interrupts that flow".
I have to say I have taken his golf thoughts to heart, in my game and in my life. I like them---simple and thought-provoking.
Just for today, or maybe for the New Year, you can try on a new mantra for size. And remember...there are lessons to be learned in everything we do....if we are willing.