Category Archives: Peak Performance

Insights on the Spiritual Side of Performance: Worship and Competition

July 28

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Here are my notes to my Caddy Club support group that I thought would encourage you. They were written after my first round of the tournament in which I won by 13 shots!  I believe the power of worship in competition set up an Ideal Performance State for that result to happen. I hope this informs and encourages you:

Most of you know, but some don’t:  I am leading the Tennessee Women’s Senior Open by 3 shots!

I am into this tournament with a desire to win and a deep curiosity about how to worship God more deeply on the golf course and in competition.

I knew I was in a better place to score because I was coming off of competition last week and my MIND was already in the game.  I was determined to be more consistent in my shot-making and made that a non-negotiable in my MIND AND HEART.  I already knew the course, so I didn’t feel like I was in any place of striving. I wanted to ABIDE.

A few weeks ago in church, a visiting preacher prayed over me.  In his prayer he affirmed the reality of golf for me: “God, golf is no longer the prize for Veronica, but a platform.”  His words were so true.  I am so freed from the need for golf to validate anything for me that I can now be free to express that VICTORY OF FREEDOM through my game.  I no longer have an EGO attachment to my performance. I have released all outcomes to God, but that only frees me to do better!

Yesterday after my round which included 4 birdies amongst the bogies, I debriefed on what I learned about competition and worship:

  1. When you worship God, you forbid all negativity.  The amateur I played with showed up at the first tee stating, “I don’t know what you did to deserve to play with me.  I am in so over my head.” She was declaring her inadequacy and I was not going to allow that to come into my space.  “Don’t think that way!”  I stated.  It’s going to be a great day for us!”  (I had to affirm this was a no negativity zone, and change the atmosphere.)
  2. When you worship God, you claim your authority.  This never happened before, but she put a fan on the cart.  (What??)  The noise was so distracting and I thought, “This is a tournament. What is this?)  Normally I would just be nice and allow the thing to bug me, but not this time, “I’m sorry, but that noise is very distracting. Can you turn that off?”  I realized I was taking ownership of my space and not bowing to someone else’s infringement on my ideal performance state.
  3. When you worship God, you keep an open heart.  I was so free to converse with her, and even after the round, minister to her, as she shot a really high score.  “Listen, a champion defines success from the start.  Sometimes winning is just entering.  You did something that was far outside your comfort zone.  You showed up to play in a higher level tournament than you have ever done.  WELL DONE!  You ENTERED!”  She looked at me like I was from another planet.  That kind of mentality never entered her mind before, and she thanked me.
  4. When you worship God, you keep your composure of peace and stillness of heart.  For the first time in my life, I was reprimanded for playing TOO FAST!  The greenskeeper came over to us and said since we were the first ones out, we were encroaching upon the guys who were mowing the lawns on the holes ahead of us. We had to SLOW DOWN.  It disrupted my pace and momentum, causing me to have a few higher scores on those holes, but then I told myself, “just keep your STEADY COMPOSURE and CALM CONCENTRATION” which is what worship produces.
  5. When you worship God, you can be fearless in your shots.  This morning I began my day with worship. I was meditating on Brent Taylor’s song, “I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.”  Because of my IDENTITY IN CHRIST, I am set free from ALL FEAR.  That truth sunk deeper into my spirit.  There were some shots yesterday, particularly the ones were I was in-between clubs, that I sensed I was a bit tentative.  NOT TODAY.  Today I will play full out.  NO FEAR….because…I  AM A CHILD OF GOD!
  6. When you worship God, winning is FUN.  I had so MUCH FUN being at the top.  It was a NEW EXPERIENCE for me in this season—I’ve worked so hard and it’s nice to begin to see a RESULT OF MY FAITH and PREPARATION.
  7. When you worship God, you bring PRAYER into your atmosphere.  During my practice round, I was praying for people and people were calling for prayer.  Something punctured in the atmosphere on the golf course.  I can’t describe it, but I went into another realm of freedom and experience of His presence.
  8. When you worship God, you give Him space to display His power and presence in you and guess what?  GOD ONLY PLAYS TO WIN.  It’s in His blood, so it is in MY BLOOD.                 1 Cor. 9:24-26.
  9. When you worship God, you are free to FULLY EXPRESS yourself, and leave the OUTCOME to Him.  Yesterday I had such a wonderful time after my round NOT PRACTICING too much, just working on my short chip shots around the green, hitting shots out of that wiring grass—and then heading to the fitness center to SWIM and hit the Jacuzzi.   It was so wonderful to feel the ATHLETE in me BE HAPPY she was COMING OUT—and COMING OUT STRONG!!
  10. When you worship God, you are not afraid to include others.  It was so much FUN to share on facebook and receive hundreds of well wishes from folks.  It was like an on-line gallery. People love to connect to victory, so let’s create MORE OF IT!
  11. When you worship God, your mind thinks clearly.  I made a lot of great decisions out there because I was in a place of peace and calm. I could see clearly.
  12. When you worship God, you invite community to be a part of it. I could feel the prayers of people because I asked for them and invited others into my championship.
  13. When you worship God, He finds pleasure in your ALL OUT PURSUIT and ALL OUT EXPRESSION of WHO YOU ARE!  I am releasing all of me this week—athlete, competitor, writer, friend, minister, motivator, businesswoman (she’s still emerging!), coach and DAUGHTER OF GOD.

TODAY I AM GOING TO PLAY AS A DAUGHTER OF GOD, as UNTO MY FATHER WHO LOVES GOLF AND ME.  Please pray for ALL my drives to land in the fairway.  A connected-swing. Please pray for clarity of thinking, great decision-making, and for the putts to drop!!  A strong start—and finish!

My tee time is 1:14 pm Central Time

Thank you!!

Veronica

 

AGGRESSIVE TRUST

golf at sugar mill

In just 18 days, I will be playing in the Women’s U.S. Open Qualifying tournament. It will be a daunting task as I will have to play 36 holes in one day in grueling heat. Today I played in a practice round at Sugar Mill Country Club where the tournament is taking place. It was a beautiful course, well-manicured and decorated with beautiful flowers.

I always love playing a course that is inspiring.  It is worth the investment of time, talent, and resources just to have a world class experience on a world class golf course. The real highlight of my high challenge, however, is not the dream of playing in the world’s most prestigious golf tournament.  For me it would be the second time around to do so. Rather, it is the pursuit of calling yourself up higher.  Today I realized that on this test of golf, I would have to call up my highest self —the champion within— to score big on this course.

Although the yardage for the tournament is marked around 6,500 yards, the course played much longer, about 6,800 yards.  A ridiculous length for women!  There was something about the challenge today, however, that was remarkable.  I kept asking myself, “How do I need to play this course in such a way as to win the prize? Not just to play and have fun as a senior player and most likely the oldest one in the crowd, but to really prepare to win and give myself the best chance?”

As I teed it up hole after hole, the answer came to me.  “I am going to play FULL OUT every shot for 36 holes.  This is going to require AN AGGRESSIVE TRUST IN MY SWING.”  “Aggressive trust,” I said to myself.  “I have never said those words before.”   What is an aggressive trust?

Webster’s Dictionary defines aggressive as “marked by a driving force of energy or initiative.”  “Trust” is defined as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. One in which confidence is placed.”  In other words, I would have to play each shot with a strong force of energy with an assured reliance in the integrity of my swing.  Get that?  MY swing.

My swing has been the focus of so much lack of confidence, breakdown, insecurity, and lack of trust. Do you know how long I have made a concerted effort to find the power in my swing where I could have a consistent, repetitive swing?  Most of my golf life.  Uhh…that’s over 40 years.  More recently, a concerted diligent effort to end my golf swing misery—a dedicated effort of over 5 years to banish my swing faults.

About a year ago, I found a really great teacher who helped a lot. I saw a lot of promise in my swing. The problem is, I am currently in Florida and he is in North Carolina. With just a few weeks to my big competition, I had to find a swing-thought that worked for myself.  Did you hear that? I had to work it out on my own. I had to OWN my swing in order to find the solution.

I did. As I grew in my new-found confidence in my swing move, I am still honing it out. However, today, I had to let go of “playing it safe,” trust the work I have done on my swing, and just RIP IT.  I had to.  I had to TRUST MYSELF IN AN AGGRESSIVE WAY.  You know what?  It worked. It was a non-conscious move to consciously trust my game.  It was the ONLY way I knew I was going to have a chance. Each shot would need to be an all-out shot.

As I left the course, thinking about the STATE OF PLAY that my championship chances would require of me, I thought about the Body of Christ.  Yep. I thought about where God is wanting to take His people, how it is a SEASON OF ENTERING into the fullness of your calling. I thought about how there is only one way to fully enter something—all out—with an AGGRESSIVE TRUST.

A wonderful friend called me tonight asking for my feedback on an executive situation in her business. One of her top companies which produces the most income for her is not meeting her standards of integrity.  She asked me what she should do.  I asked her to consider not seeing the situation as a threat which only evokes negative emotions of fear, anxiety, and worry, which she admitted to having.  Rather, I challenged her to see the situation as a challenge which evokes positive emotions. “What would happen if you went into that conversation you are going to have with your client FROM a place of AGGRESSIVE TRUST in yourself? What if you decide to approach that conflict from the deepest place of your own integrity—not to run, but to call them up higher.  What if you didn’t move off of who you are but through being who you are, address the situation and then let the chips fall where they may? It all starts with how you see yourself.  Do you aggressively trust yourself?”  She got the point, was inspired, and left the call determined to swing into her meeting with an AGGRESSIVE TRUST in herself.

If we are going to fully enter into our calling in this season, we must call ourselves up higher, not to just trust in God.  In this season, God is calling us to aggressively trust in ourselves, take the swing full force, and leave the outcome to Him.  You see, everyone has a championship.  God wants YOU TO PLAY IN SUCH A WAY AS TO WIN yours.

The chances of my qualifying are slim in the natural.  I have learned to play FROM victory, however.  In my upcoming championship test, I have already won despite whatever score I shoot. I have tapped into my full out pursuit and potential.

Try it.  Go through your day today from a place of AGGRESSIVE TRUST in yourself. It’s time for you to play to win—and win!

On the Road to Championship: This Little Light of Mine…I’m Goina’ Let It Shine

May 16, 2017

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In just twenty-four days I will be playing in a Qualifying tournament for the Women’s U.S. Open.  Most likely, I will be the oldest one in the field, and the player with the least amount of play time to prepare.  However, the Holy Spirit led me to enter, so I am connected to a secret power from on high!  He is my confidence.  At the same time, I MUST prepare to the extent I am able, as I have entered a quest to play in a national championship.  “What is the best way for me to train and be ready with the limited amount of time I have?”  I ask myself this question on a daily basis.

When you are entering a championship, you cannot think incrementally. You have to think, “How can I best run my race to WIN?”  That doesn’t necessarily mean score, but process.  In other words, “How can I fully engage my heart in the process of preparing for the championship—and leave the results to God for the outcome?”  It’s about the training, calling myself up higher, and becoming something and someone I would not have reached had I not entered the championship.

I know that it will be a grueling day of 36 holes of golf from the longest tees on the course.  The heat will be high here in Florida.  One of the ways I can prepare is to put myself in the atmosphere of high heat now.  I decided going to hot yoga classes would be a great way to work on my endurance, make heat my friend, maximize my time, and get some great work in on flexibility, endurance, stamina, strength, balance, and an increased range of motion. There is nothing better.

I found a place only five minutes from where I am staying here in Florida.  To my pleasant surprise, the instructor is not only a master teacher, but nurse.  That means that she is grounded in the knowledge of physiology as well as movement. We struck up an instant friendship as I told her my aim.  I also told her my move in my swing that needed fixed.

She surprised me in the last class when she said, “Veronica, we’ve been thinking about you.  Here’s where I think your problem is with your swing from a muscular standpoint.  Your deltoids and upper back on your right side is weak and needs opened up.  Please know we see you, now know you, and will help you.”  Wow!  After putting us through a grueling but doable exercise routine, I felt my entire frame re-adjusted.  I even felt different walking down the fairway yesterday with my shoulders more opened, facing upwards and backwards, as opposed to forward—and strong.  I felt like a champion walking down the fairway!  She truly did let her light shine towards me with all her personal attention and knowledge. I was so appreciative of her expertise, as her approach was not weird and spooky, but practically grounded in the wisdom of sound physiology and movement.

I wondered when I would get a chance to shine my light in return.  It came this morning as I told her about the results of her training in my body and swing.  We spoke about the importance of alignment. I told her that is my approach in my performance and life coaching practice.  “I have a specific process that puts people into alignment spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically.  It doesn’t matter their goal is.  The process of whole person alignment always leads to breakthrough.  The system puts people into transformation naturally—and most often in an accelerated fashion with extraordinary results.”

“Now you got the Budda thing going on,” she said.  I knew she was referring to the process of transforming lives. However, now I needed to let my light shine. “Well, actually it’s not Budda.  It’s Jesus Christ.”  “It’s all the same thing,” she replied.  “Jesus is not Budda.  Budda didn’t die on a cross for my sins.”  “It’s all energy,” she responded.  “I believe that ultimate reality is not an energy force or a philosophy.  It’s a person—the person of Jesus Christ.  He is the way, the truth, and the life.”  She continued from her vantage point:  “I can see the light in your eyes. There are a lot of people here with that light.”  “That light is the light of Jesus Christ,” I said, looking at her with love in my eyes.

At that point, she had to attend to another student.  I walked out of the studio glad to have released my voice of spiritual leadership, having engaged my culture.   I believe true Christianity is not just a matter of praying your prayers and having intimacy with God.  It is a matter of both intimacy and letting my light shine as I intentionally and openly engage with the culture.  I know there are a lot of believers who would separate themselves from what they would consider to be darkness.  Light is light.  I never allow the system of the world to influence me negatively.  I am committed to influencing my culture. Why?  Because of WHO I AM.  I am the light of the world!  That is WHO Jesus calls us to be.  I do not shine my light out of duty or responsibility.  I share it out of IDENTITY.

When you know who you are, you are FREE to speak, to change any atmosphere you are in, because you OWN the spiritual atmosphere if you are a believer and have the Holy Spirit in you.

The Son of Man came eating and drinking with others, and they say, ‘Behold, a                    glutton and a wine drinker, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’  Yet wisdom is                    justified by what she does (her deeds) and by her children.”  (Matthew 11:19)

Don’t isolate yourself from darkness in the culture. Penetrate it with your light.  Know who you are. The Kingdom of God is within you.  You take it everywhere you go, from the first tee to the exercise mat to the boardroom to the grocery store.

“This little light of mine…I’m goina’ let it shine…”  I am hopeful, should God anoint me on that day, I will let it shine all the way to the U.S. Open.

If not, I am now strong, free, and ready to slay some giants because of an intentional pursuit to call myself up higher.

Join me.  The air is rare up here.

 

How to arise from defeat and advance to victory before the new year!

me and tee

The Christmas holiday is over and the new year is upon us. Have you thought about how you are going to enter the new year from a place of victory?

Most people think about starting new years’ resolutions, but we both know how ineffective a new resolution is. By February, most people have bailed on their resolution, largely because it was done from a “willed” place.

But how can you truly finish off the final few days of the year from a fresh place of victory?  I’d like to offer a champion mindset that will help you arise from defeat and advance to victory, right now, today!

Champions are those who enter a new paradigm before others.  The best way to start the new year off from a place of victory is to start before the new year begins. That means this week!  Victory doesn’t have to be determined from a place of the end result.  Victory can be determined by creating moments of success in an area that you have felt defeated in. One action of victory will announce to your being that you are on the upswing!

For example, I was determined this year to knock off the excess weight that I have gained over the last “too many years.” I started the year off losing over 20 pounds.  During that time, I moved to NC and experienced a lot of stress.  Then I gained it all back.  Determined to lose it, I did the diet again, losing another 20 pounds.  Still in a state of stress, I gained it all back and more.

Not wanting to end this year without some measure of victory under my belt (ha, ha, pun intended!), I decided NOT to judge myself.  Instead, I took some time to reflect on what caused the yo-yo outcome.  I realized that I eat as a source of comfort and that was not empowering me. Getting to the true source of my unsustained success, I knew I had to work on building relationships instead, particularly in the midst of all the changes associated with moving I had experienced.

Next,  I had to make a decision to go back on the diet short term, long enough to lose enough weight to feel that I was ending the year on the upswing—that is, that I would not let myself go into the new year without some measure of success—a state of victory in the same place I had defeat.  The diet I was on was a short term “knock it off diet,” so I will switch to a more lifestyle change diet once I achieve my initial victory. But I had to begin!  I had to get victory into my spirit first!

The hardest part was deciding to lose the weight over the Christmas week.  Yep!  But I did it!  Down 5 pounds already.  I am ending the year in victory and starting the new year FROM victory.  How about you?

Here are some coaching questions to ask yourself to arise from defeat and advance to victory:

1. area of your life do you want to turnaround right now before the end of the year?  Name it!

2.How can you get away to be in an undisturbed place of reflection?  Upon reflection, what was the root cause of the defeat?  Was it a mindset, skillset, or not getting off your assets (motivation)?  What did you learn about yourself from the defeat that can set you up for victory?

3.What action can you take in these next 5 days that will change your state of being—your mindset and emotional-set about that thing?  Determine to step into your victory.

4.Take the shot!  Regardless of what the culture says about chillin’ the rest of the month, you be a champion.  You decide what you want to arise to, and do it!  I remember going into a grocery store and asking the person behind the counter about weighing a piece of meat for me.  I then said something about the enticing sugary food at the counter.  Upon telling her I was on a diet, she said, “Today it’s okay to cheat.”  I said, “Oh no it’s not. I am on a mission to lose this weight and gain victory today.  My mind is set.”  She looked at me like I was from another planet—someone who was set on victory as she was set on mediocrity and compromise.  I knew I was speaking into her soul a completely different mindset. Don’t let your atmosphere influence you to change your mind.

5.Rinse and repeat.  Once you get the taste of victory, you will want to do it again!

It’s a beautiful feeling to know that in the midst of losing weight I am gaining victory.  While my end goal is going to take some time, I am loving myself to a higher place. My new year has already begun from a place of victory.

Come join me.

Please feel free to share your “arise from defeat, advance to victory” places.

I am currently offering a special on private coaching through the end of the year.  Book before December 31 and enjoy a $75 savings.  Normally $200, now $125.  UP to 2 sessions.  Redeem before Jan. 31.  Email: at veronica@truechampioncoaching.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making the “7” a Gain, Not Loss: My Encouragement to Jordan Spieth

 

Here I am at 17 years old, in the heat of competition in the West Penn Amateur.golf west penn am

I love to compete.  I hate to lose and I hate the feeling of defeat that lingers in my bones after a loss.  So, I could totally relate to what happened to Jordan Spieth as a competitive golfer and as one who has an active faith in God.  Some years ago, however, I discovered a spiritual way to turn my bad scores, crushing losses, and emotional letdowns into a spiritual victory:  by making my bad scores an offering to God.

I learned this amazing revelation the hard way.  The following is an excerpt from my first golf devotional, A Quiet Clap, Life Lessons Appreciating God and Golf, Hole #9:

“It happened during one of my yearly quests to qualify for the Women’s U.S. Open.  Not playing pro golf as a career anymore, it was always a difficult decision whether or not to prepare for the Open Qualifier.

On one hand, it satisfied my dormant competitive juices.  On the other hand, I had to ask myself if it was worth all the time, effort, and sacrifice needed.  After all, it was a long-shot chance at qualifying.

My competitive urges won out over my more rational thinking.  After months of focused training, I headed to Dallas for the qualifying tournament.

I played the front nine well enough to still be competition.  Approaching the 10th tee, I noticed the Dallas winds beginning to blow about 35 mph–directly in my face.  My drive was fair, but I still had about 200 yards to the green.  I’d have to hit my shot across a lake into horrendous winds to reach the green.

‘If I hit a perfect five wood, I can make it,’ I thought.  Expecting perfection and not attaining it, I promptly hit my ball into the water.  ‘I know I can hit this shot,’ With winds still almost blowing me over, I grabbed my 5 wood again, along with my persistent pride, and proceeded to hit my second ball into the water.  The third was equally wet.  Finally reaching the green in 8, I two-putted for an outrageous 10 on a par 4 hole.

At that moment, the reality of what had just transpired hit me harder than the wind. I thought,  ‘I just blew my chance to qualify.  All my preparation for the previous 6 months just blew up in smoke.’

It would have been nice to quit at that moment, but I still had 8 more holes to play.  Now what do I do?  Flooded with emotion, I tearfully headed toward the 11th tee.  If I was going to complete the round,  I knew I needed an immediate release. Somehow I needed to clear my entire being of the jolting experience of the 10th hole.

From the core of my being, I looked to my heavenly Father and cried out, ‘God, I give you my 10! Take it!  All of it!  I offer it up to You.  I know You will receive it as a welcomed gift.’

A ton of emotional bricks lifted immediately from my heavy heart and mind.  I parred every remaining hole, except for one.

Although I did not qualify, I did not fail to get an incredible victory in my character. I still played to win, even in the midst of my loss–and I did win.

Dakes Annotated Reference Bible defines worship as ‘not confined to praise; broadly, it may be regarded as the direct acknowledgement to God of His nature, attributes, ways, and claims, whether by the outgoing of the heart in praise and thanksgiving, or by deed done in such acknowledgement.’

Anything you do that acknowledges who God is, is worship.  When I offered my 10 up to God, letting Him know that He was my Source of Release, I worshipped Him. In return, He received my 10 as an acceptable offering, because I was giving Him what was IN MY HEART.

What is in your heart?  A few tens? Maybe a truckload full? Do you need a release from a loss, disappointment, or offense?  Open up your heart and offer up to Him what’s on the inside. He will accept it and cause you to follow through with that issue in victory.

May the champion in you rise to the occasion as you develop the art of ‘offering it up.’ Your recovery will be quick indeed.'”

Jordan Spieth, I pray you will catch the revelation of offering your scores up to God as an offering–yes, your 7 and devastating loss—let Him consume it—and return you to the first tee full of faith, vigor, and victory as the young champion who is the ultimate epitome of confidence.  I pray His all consuming love will melt away every vestige of defeat and disappointment as you are more than a conqueror who Him who loves you.  Amen.

If you would like to learn the spiritual dynamics to peak performance, please contact me at: veronica@truechampioncoaching.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leveling the Playing Field

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I have always been fascinated by the spiritual side of performance.  While most people think that a competition is simply on a mental-physical plane, we are in reality four-part beings.  This past week I had the chance to experience the emotional-spiritual side of a championship. In this case, it was in the internal completion of a championship that happened almost 40 years ago.  I had no idea there was still something to be completed until I returned to my hometown where I lost my first major championship to the 7th ranked amateur in the United States, and some say it was done in an underhanded way by her.

I was a teenager at the time who had a fiery competitive spirit, but the West Penn Amateur was the most prestigious tournament in Western Pennsylvania at the time.  I had just beaten my biggest rival in junior golf in the semi-finals and now I had to face Judy Oliver III for the championship.  Yep, you heard me right.  The third.  She was the jet-set millionaire type that had everything and I was the pip-squeak who grew up on the other side of the tracks, until the back nine of the competition.

I was 1 up on her on the 14th hole.  She hit her drive out of bounds.  I hit mine slightly in the rough.  Then I hit a freaky shot out of bounds.  We both had a horrendous hole after playing great golf.  She accused me three times of having a higher score than I did when we reached the hole.  I was so afraid, being in the pressure of the moment, that I did not know how to respond, so I thought, “She must know what she is talking about. She is more experienced than I am.”  So I agreed, and conceded the hole.  Only problem was, she was wrong.  We were both on in the same number of strokes, but I gave away the hole because I listened to my opponent’s adamant voice, and ended up losing the tournament by a narrow margin.

The loss was traumatic, as I did not have anyone to help me process the intensity of a fully engaged heart, mind, and body in my competition.  When I got home, I was hoping my mom would console me. She was listening to the radio broadcast the tournament shot by shot and she was more devastated than I was. I ended up consoling her.  The next year I had totally forgotten to enter the tournament, as I psychologically blocked the whole competition out from my mind.

It took me years to process what had happened, and although I never though she had an evil intent in her actions, a lot of people did.  I always admired her, however, and was a bit envious that she had so many more advantages than I did.

When I went to my hometown to play in the U.S. Open Qualifier this past week, I had the chance to reminisce with a lot of people about my upbringing in golf and the people in it.  I asked my friend, Bob Ford, “How is Judy Oliver doing?”  He responded, “Not very well. She died about 12 years ago of cancer at age 54.”  I was stunned and saddened.  Then all of a sudden I also had another thought come to mind, “In the big picture of things, the playing field had been leveled.  I scored a win in the game of life in that I was still living.  I now have an opportunity she won’t ever have and that is I am alive—I am alive to play championship golf age an age that she never will.”  In that moment, I felt something deep inside me have a sense of full closure.  The book was now closed on a devastating first championship experience and how it laid the foundation for my competitive trajectory for years to come.  I didn’t even know there was still something there meant to be brought to closure, but I felt it deep within.  There was no longer a need to even think about that story because I was granted a win in life that surpassed my competitive loss.  I could go on, now fully cleared of that experience, and in a sense be restored to “competitive innocence.”

None of this was conscience to me until I heard of her loss.  Being an emotionally and spiritually aware person, I was saddened for her loss, stunned at the effect that experience still had deep within, and deeply grateful for the sense of closure and new perspective I gained to start a new era of play now from a fresh sense of advantage in my life.  I will always admire Judy Oliver for her life and legacy, and now I can get on with my own in a new way.

All competitions have to be emotionally completed or that energy will stay within you until you deal with it.  If I can help you in your competitive journey, please reach out to me at: veronica@truechampioncoaching.com.

Jordan, Jack, and Unstoppable Success

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My first memory of life occurred when I was three years old on a Saturday afternoon with my dad.  We were staked out on my brother’s bed, tuned into our little black and white television.  Perhaps a better word would be “glued” to the t.v. as the indomitable Arnold Palmer charged up the 18th fairway winning yet another victory to expand his kingdom.  When it wasn’t Arnold, it was Jack staking his claim to  championship territory.  While most little girls were playing with dolls, I was at Daddy’s side absorbing his love for the game and enjoying watching the world’s greatest players seize the prize.

With decades of observing the greats of old as a weekly tradition, and rubbing shoulders with them from time to time, it is no wonder I found myself comparing the new young Master’s champion, Jordan Spieth, to those who have gone on before. As my eyes once again were glued to the television for an entire weekend, I couldn’t help but compare Spieth to Nicklaus.  The two could pass for twins when it comes to similarity of style and the unique factors behind their success.

In terms of the way they play the game, both are strategic thinkers, methodical and along the serious side in their natures. Jack was all about course management and his thinking about how he played his shots.  Ditto Jordan.  While you might argue that Tiger Woods is also a strategic thinker, he is, but in a very different way.  His thinking is much more aggressive and a lot of the time, outside of himself in his fighting style.  Woods’ energy is very forceful and physical.  Both Nicklaus and Speith vent their energy verbally.  They also are very ritualistic in the set-up of each of their shots, meticulous to the bone.

At last year’s U.S. Open I had the opportunity to get inside the ropes to watch the players.  As a performance coach, I am a trained observer and watched each one like a hawk.  When I saw Jordan, he stood out like a like a lone cat in a line of German Shepherds.  There was something about his quiet demeanor, the way he carried himself as champion, and his utmost confidence in himself.  His level of focus was off the charts, and I thought to myself, “Who is this good-looking young guy who conveys the air of an Open champion even in his walk?”  (I have to admit, I also said to myself, “Wow!  Too bad I am not a thousand years younger!  He’s so cute!)  Both Nicklaus and Spieth exude a similar air of a champion who refuses to think about himself as anything less than one–ever—even in a casual walk around the clubhouse.  Their mindset is sealed to dwell forever in the champion zone.

Perhaps the greatest similarity between the two champions is their upbringing. While most people don’t link home life and friendships as causal factors to championship performance, deep trusted relationships are primal to long-term success.  Nicklaus had a very holistic upbringing, playing numerous sports, and was grounded in a solid, intact, family life.  Jack Grout was his teacher since he was a young boy.  The consistent encouragement and friendship that Grout offered Nicklaus through the years had both a pillow and launching pad effect on the champion.  I know this first hand.

One day I was on the driving range watching Nicklaus hit balls with Grout’s eye upon his every shot.  The intensity of Nicklaus’ focus on the range was no less than it was under pressure.  Hitting one irons, each ball shot forth like a torpedo to a tree way down the range. Nicklaus never looked at his target. His eyes were riveted on a spot a foot in-front of the ball.  “Great shot, Jack!”  Grout said to Nicklaus. Jack hit another shot followed by another shot of empowerment from Grout, “Jack, you’re the greatest!”  Grout built Jack up after each shot.  I felt like I was watching a song and a dance routine between the two of them.

While Spieth obviously looked at his targets, they were small ones.  His head was down a lot, focusing deeply on what was right before him.  He chose his caddy because of his powers of encouragement and friendship.  Like Nicklaus, Jordan too, has a grounded home life, a special needs sister whom he is deeply inspired by, and a long term teacher he had since he was an emerging teenager. There is something to be said about the relational dynamics of having the kind of support around you that breeds stability, nurture, and emotional security so that you are free to look outward and soar.  Because I never had that, it is so glaringly obvious to me the power of nurture to one’s success when I see it. Spieth himself credits his family and team as the most important factors in his rise to the top.

Whether Spieth will ever equal or surpass Nicklaus’ record has yet to be seen.  From the eye of this beholder, however, there’s no telling how many more decades this golf chic will be glued to the television screen, engaged in her father’s favorite past-time, cheering on a new generation champion who has already demonstrated the traits of unstoppable success.

God’s Way to an A upcoming seminar

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I am pleased to announce that I will be equipping students for intellectual and emotional victory in their studies through my upcoming God’s Way to an A seminar here in Va. Beach.  If you have been seeking God for a breakthrough in your studies, this training is for you.  I have seen amazing skyrockets in students’ personal and academic life through this eye opening, paradigm changing approach to learning.  Trust me, you will never approach learning the same way again.  If it’s time for you to stop striving, start abiding, and enjoy soaring–PLEASE don’t waste another moment in academic torture!  Sign up today. Make the investment in yourself.  God has a more excellent way for you.  The workshop is geared for college and grad students.  Interested high school seniors accepted upon request.  Email me at: veronica@truechampioncoaching.com.     To register: Go to: newlifeprovidence.com.  Click on “events.”

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Hope to see you there!  Veronica

Invoke the Slight Edge for Success

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Sometimes it’s not the big things in golf that cause you to advance your game, but the little things done consistently over time.

The other day I was giving a golf clinic to a group of women who wanted to learn how to read greens and develop feel in their game. Considering that feel for the greens is the number one factor in scoring well, it is a much over-looked component to lowering your scores without making a major investment in lessons or equipment. It only takes a little more time to practice strategically before you go out to play.

“The only way to learn feel is to spend time on the greens, especially before you go out to play to give your body a chance to align properly to a target based on the speed of the greens.” I noticed that most high handicappers will hit a putt from one place and then immediately go to another spot to putt without actually taking the time to learn how a specific putt breaks to the hole. Continue reading

Join us for the Big Bloomers Golf Clinic this Sunday

Please join me Sunday, September 21 from 3 to 5 pm
at Longleaf Country Club in Pinehurst
                    Fore 
A VERY SPECIAL GOLF CLINIC:
                     
 WOMEN EMOWERING WOMEN
 Learn:
The 4 Movements to the Golf Swing
                            AND
 The 4 Movements to Becoming a Big Bloomer!
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Hello Friends!
How often have you and I heard the phrase, “Golf is a man’s game?”  As many times as I have looked down the driving range and realized I was the only woman working on my swing in the company of 25 or so men, I just happened to know better:  Golf is a woman’s game—and a passion of mine is to do golf a girl’s way!
That’s why I have decided to use the game to empower women to create a more beautiful life.  While I have used the language with many of you of becoming a champion, in my life-coaching to women, I like to use the term “blossoming.”  Both terms are about releasing your potential to become the best version of yourself.
Mom became the best version of herself when she took up the game at 85 and broke free from a 6 month death sentence due to a terminal heart condition and a death wish to literally blossom while she was dying.  She lived almost 7 more years
and finished strong–Together we re-created her legacy.

Continue reading