A sort of golf story

I’ve been using a Tiger Woods story in this round of presentations.  I lifted it from the Happy Manifesto by Henry Stewart.  Apparently plagiarism is the finest form of flattery.

Back in 2009 he was asked in by Fortune magazine what the best piece of advice was he ever got.  He said that ‘When I was young, maybe 6 or 7 years old, I’d play on the Navy golf course with my pop. My dad would say, “Okay, where do you want to hit the ball?” I’d pick a spot and say I want to hit it there. He’d shrug and say, “Fine, then figure out how to do it.” He didn’t position my arm, adjust my feet, or change my thinking. He just said go ahead and hit the darn ball. My dad’s advice to me was to simplify. He knew that at my age I couldn’t digest all of golf’s intricacies. He kept it simple: If you want to hit the ball to a particular spot, figure out a way to do it. Even today, when I’m struggling with my game, I can still hear him say, “Pick a spot and just hit it.” When I’m making adjustments during a round, I know some of the television commentators theorize that I’m changing this or moving that, but really what I’m doing is listening to Pop.

I asked my audience if we knew where we wanted the ball to go.

Joe, a friend of mine was telling me about how much he enjoyed his golf.  He professed to not being very good and so had decided to take some lessons.  He wished he hadn’t as the professional had told him about positioning his legs, how to hold the club, turning the face in or out and in the end it did my friends head in.  All he wanted to do was hit some balls and have some fun.  He wanted to get better yet the lessons had taken a lot of the pleasure out of the game.

Perhaps that’s the difference between training and coaching.  Wood’s dad wanted him to get the feel of the game and grow in confidence as his play improved.  Joe’s instructor on the other hand leapt right in and bamboozled the life out of him.

People learn better when they enjoy what they are doing.  They pick up more when they get to try things out for themselves and have someone there to help them learn from the experience.

So, do you know where you want the ball to go to?

About philjackman

Guerrilla Worker, strategic thinker, occasional maverick and reluctant over-achiever with an interest in culture change, creative opportunities and regional development.
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