Who's Teaching Whom: Victoria
Pertinent question I'd say, peeps. First brought to my attention as I recall by one of my teachers, mentors and friends, Jim McLean.
One can only wonder at times in the student/teacher relationship, just who is doing the teaching, and who is doing the learning.
And I wonder what you might be sporting these days on the links... Click on the pic above for some ideas from Nike Golf.
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Far too often in this day and age - especially on our oh-so-terribly unsocial media platforms - the spotlight (like the one shining on my face in the image up top) is on the individual who never actually hits a shot, the teacher.
He or she showering in credit when a pupil plays well, but where are they drowining (heaven forbid we show the other sides of life's coin - the struggles) when things turn south..?? What gives?
The ever-smiling (but don't let that fool you - this girl will cut your heart out on the golf course) individual to my left is the incomparable Victoria Gailey. I've had the privilege of sharing time with her in the golf realm for many moons now as she continues to grow as a golfer and human.
I can only hope I've helped her to explore a few things on her path to progress. One thing for sure: I've learned a lot from her, and so can you. Read on...
During her successful run at the Oregon Am last month, Victoria - as she's done all summer - volunteered several times during the week at the local food bank, to help those in need.
Golf is a horrifically selfish game in so many ways. And, whilst in tournament mode, it's so easy to just focus on yourself, your results, you. Pre and post round grinds. All your eggs in the "me" basket, huh?
Alas, what does this barely not a teenager anymore do? She goes out of her way to help others.
You, in these unprecedented times where so many are struggling to put food on their tables? More concerned with making more putts, hitting more GIR, and lowering that index? I understand, barely.
Selflessness, Part II
That's "kiddo" as I like to call her (although she's far more mature and evolved than most 'adults'..) above, hoisting the hardware a few weeks back after shooting a course-record 66 in the final round of the Oregon Golf Association's Women's Public Links Championship.
The week prior, she finished runner-up at the Oregon Stroke Play event at Riverside Golf and Country Club in Portland, OR (she shot 32 on the back nine the last day, to fall a stroke short). Her Nana/grandmother, now in her early 90's, had been an avid golfer back in the day, and played frequently at Riverside.
So...what did Victoria do with the runner-up trophy? Why, she gave it to her Nana, of course.
Are you focused on accruing trophies, accolades, larger bank account balances, and the like? Gotcha. Yet please, take time to remember the individuals in your life who have undoubtedly sacrificed so much for your sake. Victoria does.
Frustration: Would it Help?
Ever been hit by a truck (figuratively) with a statement or act - an epiphany, if you will - by someone seemingly less 'advanced' than you?
I was one day when I first started helping Victoria...
One day she was really not hitting it well on the range (she's not much of a 'range rat,' BTW - the game is played on the golf course, is it not - so why not take your practice onto the playing field?), yet she exhibited no annoyance, no irritation, no frustration. I was more anxious and worried than she, so I asked: "Don't you ever get frustrated when you're hitting it poorly?" Silly teacher... Victoria simply looked at me and replied: "Would it help?"
KABOOM!!! Wow. And wow again (thank you Alice & John). Point well taken, young lady. Who's teaching whom?
Her comment reminded me of the fantabulously frank scene from "Bridge of Spies." Click on a colorfully clad Victoria above to jog your noggin'.
Frustration - I hear that word frequently in my coaching endeavors. The feeling inevitably stems from unmet expectations. Those expectations may come from someone, or somewhere else, and/or simply be unrealistic. Have you taken a good look at your frustrations with your golf? Had a sincere tête-à-tête (yep, those accents are spot on - be careful about sloppy, careless practice: learning is indifferent to correctness) with your golf guide?
If you have made a legitimate commitment to improving and not seeing the outcomes you desire, perhaps it's time for a shift. Consider this threesome:
- Shift those expectations into goals, intentions and 'wants.' Ditch the expectations.
- Shift your focus; this game isn't about making more perfect swings - it's about adapting, adjusting and embracing the adventure.
- Shift your mindset. Realize how incredibly fortunate you are to even be wandering the links playing the ball and stick game, when so many are wandering the streets without a roof over head.
Recognizable venue? Yep, fo shu. Wouldn't surprise me to see Victoria Gailey teeing at Augusta National Golf Club soon.
What did surprise me at one point (alas, I date myself) in our relationship was that this young woman had never heard the late '60's offering from The Kinks, entitled... "Victoria." OK, so maybe I did teach her something ;).
Click above for a blast from Ray Davies and his mates, this find end of July day.
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Nearly every week since late 2014, I’ve poured a tremendous amount of time, energy, and resources into the “CS Newsletter” offerings, which remain free. While many in my vocation have chosen other mediums to communicate (and hopefully help golfers, and humans, alike), I continue to opt for the written word, blending pieces of music, pertinent videos and articles. The intention: to authentically guide you - my fellow wanderers of the links and life’s daily sidewalks - on more fruitful paths.
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"When the student is ready the teacher will appear.
When the student is truly ready the teacher will disappear."
-- Lao Tzu