Helping Junior Players Take Responsibility
By Jeff Troesch, Junior Golf Scoreboard
Who or what is to blame when things go poorly in your round of golf? Who is responsible when things go well? The obvious answer is for you as a player to look in the mirror. Ultimately, whether you hit the ball well, putt well, score well or don’t do any of these things- it is your responsibility.
It can be challenging when playing this game, as players regularly want to blame some condition or circumstance as the reason for their poor performance- “my parents were annoying me before the round”, “the greens were terrible”, “the wind was constantly shifting”, “my playing partner was taking forever”. The truth is that as an athlete you have a choice to make about what you are going to choose to pay attention to when you are on the course. You also have the option to disregard those things over which you don’t have control and put your attention instead on factors over which you do maintain control.
It can be a sometimes frightening prospect to assume full responsibility for our actions. When things don’t go as we’d like, to have excuses to turn to can feel like a good outlet and, in the short run, help us feel better. In the long term, however, most junior players will learn that accepting responsibility for their actions frees them up to honestly assess the elements of their game upon which they can work. “My lag putting was really poor this week, I’m going to spend some time working on that on the putting green tomorrow”, “I didn’t get up and down out of a bunker in two days, I’m going to wear out my bunker practice this week”. If you continue to use excuses and to choose not to accept your part in your poor play, you will be constantly challenged to feel secure in yourself as a player, as you will believe that the many forces outside of your control are ultimately more important than those over which you do have some control.
Taking responsibility also permits you to assume credit when things are going well. It’s not just because “I got lucky”, or because “other people gave strokes away”, it’s because you did what it took to get the job done. This is an essential element to building real, solid, and permanent confidence.
Taking responsibility also permits you to assume credit when things are going well.
Congratulations to Russell Henley who qualified for his first British Open Championship with another strong showing at the Greenbrier Classic this last weekend. Russell is a PGA Tour rookie who already has one win and three top ten finishes under his belt!
In Another’s Words…
You are the handicap you must face. You are the one who must choose your place.
– James Lane Allen, Novelist