When people ask me what I do for a living I always respond proudly that I am a Head Women’s Golf Coach. Then I almost instantaneously prepare for the numerous questions that follow: “At a college? Which school? Do you get to play golf everyday?” I answer each question with as much enthusiasm as I can for sounding like a broken record, but as I do, my mind always wanders a bit and I think to myself, “Oh, but it is so much more than that.”
If I were to sum up my life’s purpose in one sentence it would be: “I am not just a golf coach, I am a life coach”. While teaching the game of golf and making decisions as a coach, I’m doing more than my job, I’m preparing young women for life after college.
I will teach you honesty. Not everything I do or say will be what you want to hear. My dad always told me that truth hurts. I think not hearing the truth hurts even more. Honesty is a lost art and I have an obligation to make sure my players understand it, use it to make themselves better people, and continue to be honest to others throughout their lives. Covering up what is actually reality “just to be nice” is not progress. Progress sometimes comes in a package not wrapped up with a shiny bow. Truth equals unconditional love.
You will most certainly learn how to deal with adversity. Pain comes in many shapes and sizes and our sport can be heartbreaking. How will we handle heartbreaks? With our heads held high. With a perspective like no other, meaning, that the adversity we are experiencing at any time, WILL make us stronger and WILL prepare us for great things down the road. Without adversity, how can we truly appreciate the times when everything goes perfectly? Adversity is necessary not only for success, but for our survival in our sport and lives.
I will want you to understand, more than anything, that your worth is not measured by how many trophies you have on a shelf or hanging on your wall. Who you are is not measured by what you shoot. You are defined by what you contribute to our team and to this society everyday. It is your effort. It is your work ethic. You can make everyday a success if you take care of all the little things and give 100% toward each task. If you do that and fail, in my eyes you still succeed, because you undoubtedly gave it your best. Let’s not forget that if we go after each day and conquer every minute, every hour good things will no doubt come our way. When you leave here, that skill will help you soar to the top!!!
I will want you to keep things simple. Over analyzing can get ugly. Overwhelming yourself can cause unnecessary stress and worry. Taking on too much can lead to frustration and even quitting before the job is complete. Simplicity, in our world of high-tech, instantaneous information, is a beautiful thing. Stress and worry? Trust me, it doesn’t look good on you! One of my philosophies is and always will be to keep things simple. This might frustrate you at times, but it is important that you are aware of this concept because one day you will need to simplify and you need to know how to get there.
I will teach you to embrace learning. If I had a $1 for every time I heard the words “I hate school” I could retire easily. School is not about the books you (hopefully) open on a daily basis. It is about the people who surround you. It is about diversity and keeping an open mind about each other’s differences. I’ve learned more things, good and bad, from people than I honestly did while in college. It is important that we know the difference between what is right and what is wrong. The people around us can teach us that. Your teammates, other athletes, regular students in your class…they can give you so much. Don’t discount this. Look UP from your phones and talk with someone different each day face-to-face. We need to get out of our social media shells and learn the real way to be social again. Learning from others will increase your chances of success, but it is not a full-proof plan to avert the negative. You will still make bad decisions, bad choices, and mistakes. It won’t matter if you are 21 or 31. We will not go through life scar free. Learn from everything. Learn from the good and learn from the bad.
I can’t say enough about living a purpose driven life. It gets me up in the morning and motivates me to give my very best everyday. Leading by example and my players are my focus and when it comes to my job, they absolutely are my first priority.