“The beatings will continue until morale improves”. It’s largely unknown where this saying originated but some believe it’s from a Japanese Navy Commander and wasn’t meant literally but in a facetious manner. No matter where it comes from, it brings to mind a popular train of thought….”I didn’t lose, I beat myself”. I’ve been fortunate enough to compete in pressure situations and to stand on a stage for others to see. I also am lucky to count some world class athletes among my friends and acquaintances.
Competition brings out the best and sometimes the worst in everyone. It’s through the crucible of competition that we find out who we really are and what we are capable of. It’s normal to feel nervous prior to an event, it’s natural to feel pumped up and motivated but doubt has no place in a champions heart. Think of it as a Cred vs Dread scenario. I assume many of you are like me in that growing up, you’d rather play a game than eat and the worst part of any game was the end. I remember the feeling of wanting the bat or ball in my hand and I couldn’t wait until it was my turn to hit or shoot. Part of it was fun and part of it was the ego of wanting to show what I could do. After a basketball game, I was approached by a guy who said, “you know you’re supposed to miss a few shots”. As silly as it sounds, I had never even entertained the idea of not being able to be perfect in a game situation. Perfection is obtainable but only for moments in time, nobody’s perfect.
As we once again stand at the edge of the Long Drive World Championship, I find great interest in reading the updates and postings by the competitors. It’s a ride of highs and lows and a story of victory and defeat. It’s frustrating when you spend an entire year or years preparing for your turn to prove what you’ve got and then, it just doesn’t come together. It’s a constant curiosity how even the most seasoned veteran can enter an event and under pressure, change everything that got them to the dance. It’s the same feeling of killing it on the range or practice area and then imploding on the tee box. Victory doesn’t always favor the strong, the fast or the experienced but Lady Luck does seem to have a crush on the confident player. I think people who say they didn’t lose but beat themselves are trying to deal with the agony of defeat but truthfully, unless you intentionally hit balls poorly or out of bounds, you probably didn’t beat yourself. The exception to the rule would be a player who dreads their turn in the spotlight or on the tee. Doubting your ability to perform or not feeling as though you belong is a sure bet to a ticket back home and a real case of “beating yourself”. Losing doesn’t make you a loser but wining will make you a winner.
Shark Attack Golf