aka, how expectations of excellence can crush your soul
Seems counter-intuitive don't it?
But harken ye…
when I played golf up to 3 times per week I reached my own level of golf excellence:
I played on a cheap under-groomed $9-an-outing course with my wrestling coach/insurance salesman buddy.
I rose to the level of pretty averagely not too bad….
fighting for bogeys and an occasional par.
My best game ever?
I parred 5 holes and bogeyed another, ending up 5 over for 9 holes.
This best game ever had the following impact on me: it kept me coming back, giving me a false sense of an impending level of excellence that I convinced myself was right around the corner…yet I was never never able to attain.
Instead, I attained more of the same:
- fighting for bogies while making an occasional par
- chipping great one day, struggling to climb out of the bunker the next.
- sinking a long putt one day… struggling with even the short ones the next
- drilling it right down the fairway on the tees… struggling with grounders, hooks and slices the next.
You get the idea.
Perhaps you've seen it on the mat – I know I have.
It looks like this:
- hitting a great shot one minute…getting buried underneath following a dive shot on the next.
- firing up out from bottom one minute…getting stuck on the mat the next.
- confidently shutting down the opponent’s shot one minute…getting dominated the next.
Those expectations of excellence arise from the moments of success…and the feeling that you can replicate that success every time.
But the moments of defeat slowly translate into:
- he can’t finish his shots
- if he’d just do that every time
- if he just tried harder
- and ultimately…"he can't win the big one”…
We all strive for consistency, but we rarely train to achieve it. Instead, we’re constantly in search of the next magic bullet, the secret formula…
instead of doing what really gets us to this:
- being able to drill that shot every time
- finish every front headlock with points
- confidently shaking off the toughest spiral and leg riders.
- knowing exactly how to start every match…how to set up every opponent…and how to finish every shot
- more importantly…having the skill to do it consistently…every time.
We wonder why we don’t reach those levels but the answer to doing so is clearly in front of us.