Did you ever get picked last in gym class amongst dozens of other kids?
Did you ever complete the month with the lowest sales numbers?
Did you ever finish “dead stinkin last” amongst a field of 64 other teams in a golf tournament?
Getting picked last, or finishing last, can be a lonely place.
Teachers do not award for the lowest grades in the class.
Companies do not promote employees with the poorest performance.
Reporters do not gather round the last place finishers at a golf tournament.
People that find themselves in these situations experience all types of A.N.T.s (Automatic Negative Thoughts).
These A.N.T.s lead to negative emotions such as self doubt, uncertainty, frustration, despair, confusion, depression and more.
These negative emotions directly impact your brain chemistry, and ultimately your performance.
This past weekend, I had an opportunity to play in the 61st Harry Yates Invitational Tournament at Orchard Park CC in Orchard Park, NY.
When my friend Vince invited me to play in the event, I recognized it was an opportunity to play some competitive golf, meet new people and have lots of fun.
I also saw it as an opportunity to put my game to the test and play my best golf ever.
I did all of that, with one exception.
There are two major sides to every game.
Technique and Thinking.
My thinking game was awesome.
It was the best ever.
I was totally prepared.
I created my strategy days in advance.
I was highly confident, motivated and ready.
By the time the first match started, I had zero physical anxiety, only excitement.
Vince was equally as excited and ready.
We were both hitting the ball well entering the tournament and ready to get started.
Here is the format for how the tournament was set up.
It was a match play event with the appropriate handicaps in place for each player.
There was 64 teams divided into eight different flights for a total of 7 matches per team (2 on Thursday, 3 on Friday, 2 on Saturday).
Each team was awarded 1 point if you won the hole, or a half point if you halved (or tied) the hole, and one bonus point for winning the match.
Therefore, the maximum # of points you could earn per match was 10.
Here is how we finished:
Match #1 – Lost
Match #2 – Halved
Match #3 – Lost
Match #4 – Lost
Match #5 – Lost
Match #6 – Lost
Match #7 – Halved
Our total # of points for the entire tournament was 23
Pretty sad for two guys who know how to play the game.
What the heck happened?
We lost our swings on day 2.
We worked to improve them (which we did), but never really regained them.
We battled the entire way, stayed positive and had fun, but we sensationalized our poor performances ….
WAY TOO MUCH !!!
So much to the point that on the last match of the last day I told Vince we had to stop talking about it.
So we made light of it as best we could and started joking about the fact that we were probably going to finish …
DEAD STINKIN LAST !!!
At this point I started to use reverse positive psychology.
I said why don’t we just tell each other how bad we’re playing, maybe that will make us feel better
Vince said that we needed to create some positive ENERGY, and while we tried as best we could, it never really manifested.
So we came in dead stinkin’ last, and it’s over.
Oh well, life goes on.
As the guest of the event, I did not receive too much harassment.
However, Vince definitely took some heat.
He received eight different text messages the day after the event teasing him about our last place finish.
I could go on and on about the event, but I won’t.
I am going to do what I tell every one of my students at the end of every round.
Write down your ’3 Positives’.
Here are mine from the event.
#1 – It was a phenomenal golf/life learning experience.
#2 – There is a lot of room for improvement.
#3 – My game will become better than it has ever been.
Golf is like life.
It is not about winning and losing, it is about continuous improvement.
It is not a sprint, it is a marathon.
Treat it as such and work to continuously learn and improve.
MAKE YOUR NEXT ROUND YOUR BEST ROUND EVER.
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