"Where you are in life, you've gotten there because of attitude." - Ed Hochuli, NFL official.
Saturday, I had the pleasure of listening to Mr. Hochuli give the keynote address at a law school graduation. His speech was interesting, filled with awesome sports clips and famed athlete advice. He didn't dwell on what it was like to create his own firm in Phoenix and become a successful lawyer.
No, instead he focused on the passion in sports. His focus was on the ambition and success of some of the greatest athletes. Many got to where they were not because of some God-given talent, but because they worked hard to get there.
His message was simple and brutally honest. "Most people settle for good enough." He continued to drill into the audience with this message that was tough to swallow, but had so much pure truth.
Here's a little reminder, as Mr. Hochuli said, that "good enough is never good enough."
Sometimes, we just need a little reminder about the difference between good and great. "One thing we do choose is whether we want to succeed or whether we want to fail," Hochuli said.
Do you put into your work, your golf game, or your other passions what you want out of it? Do you give it everything you have, plus some more? If not, ask yourself what's holding you back.
Being fit is one thing, but being athletic is another. One characteristic of a pro golfer that always impresses me is athleticism and fitness. Tiger Woods was one of the first golfers to make the world awe at his physique and power. Now, Rory McIlroy takes the stage.
It's no surprise teenage girls (and really women at any age) melt when they see him. He's grown not only as a golfer, but as an all around athlete. His dedication to the gym seems like an obsession - one you'd definitely understand from an athlete.
It's no surprise Nike touts its brand as both the official Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy sponsor. Woods broke out as an athlete, putting on muscle to improve his game and rise to the top. McIlroy has followed in his footsteps by developing an inspiring fitness routine and becoming the world's best golfer.
Rory recently revealed his Nike training video. If this doesn't inspire you to hit the gym, I don't know what will.
I love what McIlroy is doing here. He's showing how much fitness is important to his health, his posture, and his swing. "Getting my body in the best shape possible for what I do, which is ultimately to go out there and play golf."
For all of the negative criticism that has been thrown at this video, I'd like to counter a couple of points. First, is that before McIlroy started this routine his body was poorly balanced. Exercise, specifically stability workouts, will be the only thing that improves that for anyone.
Second, McIlroy has always had an out-of-this-world drive at 300+ yards. With a little more muscle tone, he's not having to swing out of his shoes every time. In fact, this could save him issues in the future. His dedication shows how important it is to be an athlete, not just a golfer.
Lace up, it's time to hit the gym.
When you're just getting started, there's a lot going on that can be frustrating to figure out on your own. You probably start with lessons and some tips from your friends or family who are golfers. You start to figure out really quickly that there are many ways to do it and many philosophies about why one way works better than another.
Avoid getting overly frustrated by remembering that you will find your swing and tempo. It just takes practice and a lot of instruction. As I've mentioned before, if you're really trying to get serious about your game then you'll want to brush up on your reading. Here are three books you need to add to your arsenal as soon as possible.
The 5 Fundamentals of Golf by Ben Hogan
When one of the greatest golfers in history believes you can break 80, why would you not believe him? That's what Ben Hogan seeks to do by sharing his fundamental golf instruction through this book. The best part: there are pictures and diagrams to help you follow along and learn.
As a strong believer in positive thinking, I've found a really interesting element to golf that inspires me. Golf is a sport that not only allows someone to challenge their physical ability, but also challenge their spatial reasoning and strategic thinking.
It's really all about using your mind in a different way.
Recently, I watched a video that challenged using the phrase "pre-shot routine." Instead, the video explained that using the term "commitment" is far more positive and can impact your mentality before every shot.
You've probably heard someone say at one point, "Oh, I'm stuck in the same 'ol routine." That's where negativity starts and then continues to fester.
It's funny how changing one word, one connotation, will change our mentality. Quite honestly, it will change how successful one can be. Like I said before, I'm a firm believer in positive thinking. These slight changes in how one thinks are really slight changes toward being more positive.
And, it's almost a guarantee that positivity fuels success. What are your thoughts like when you're on the course? How does it affect your game? And, will you begin to call it your "pre-shot commitment?"
Today is Equal Pay Day, which reminds us that despite so many advancements in our society there are still many disparities between women and men.
My thoughts immediately this morning started running toward comparisons between the LPGA and the PGA. How much more in sponsorships do men make than women? Is there equality in purse? I mean, we're talking about a sport that has had many controversies with equality since its creation.
But, this is a conversation about wages. Here are a few interesting facts to think about:
According to a 2014 TheRichest.com article, Paula Creamer ranked no. 10 among the top 10 highest income earners in women's sports in 2013. She rakes in $5.5 million a year. Only $1 million from LPGA tour winnings. She was the only golfer who made the list.
The 2014 Golf Digest Top 50 Money List puts Tiger Woods at the top of the list with a whopping $83 million in total earnings, $12 million which was made on the course. In a sad comparison, the 50th man, Matteo Manassero, made a total of $4.9 million, $1 million on the course. (Paula Creamer was listed as 48th and the only woman on the list.)
So, is there a disparity? Sure, Tiger is one of the most well-known golfers of all-time, but what is it that's holding the LPGA back from rising above the top income of $5.5 million?
While warming up Sunday at the golf course, I sparked a conversation with a woman who was seeming to have a "bad day." As I warmed up, I could hear her behind me saying "good one" and "nice swing." It was pretty uplifting, to hear her saying that about me in between her curses at her bad shots.
This woman was still positive enough to comment on my good day despite her struggles. I turned around to her and all she said was, "I guess sometimes you have bad days and sometimes you have good days, but you just have to stick with it."
That positivity really excited me. It made me think about how much golf can either be a life-long learning experience or a failed effort.
I think about golf the same way I think about every other aspect of my life, whether it be relationships, work, or even my fitness routine. It's a lot of mental pressure. It takes a lot of effort. And, it's always something I have to work at to get better at. Negativity only brings me down.
I know that everyday isn't going to be a good day. That day on the range actually was one of my best days playing golf. But, she could have just as easily caught me on a day when I just plainly was doing terrible. But, it's the mental strength to continue pressing on when the day isn't good that really grows you as a person.
She went on to tell me that she learned to play when she was 54! "That's a little late in time to learn, but I know it's something I can do for the rest of my life," she said. Golf really is a beautiful sport in that aspect. It's a sport that can be fun, challenging, and competitive at any age.
More importantly, it's a sport that women should not be afraid to try. Failure is an interesting thing when it comes to golf. There's so much learning from basics, to strategy, to working a course, that failure in golf is like saying to yourself that you're not willing to grow or learn anymore.
It's not an easy sport to get the hang of, but when you stick with it, it's incredibly rewarding both mentally and physically. Whenever I can find an example, I find the beauty in perseverance. With an attitude like that woman's, anything is possible and she will be happy playing the rest of her life.
I believe that's what I've found in my golf game. Hopefully, I'll be that woman one day on the range motivating a young woman to stick with it.
THE LESSONS BLOG FROM AMY, THE GOLFER BABE
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