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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supernatural Study: David Dean’s Amazing Testimony

Sunday nights 9 pm Eastern –  Supernatural Study Prayer Session for Students                               Follow me on Periscope:  Veronica Karaman                                                                                              It’s time to revolutionize your studies with the power of God!

I am so thrilled to share David Dean’s testimony who is a God’s Way to an A student of mine. Please join us for a weekly Supernatural Study for Students Prayer Time starting this Sunday night on Periscope.  Join us at Persicope.tv/veronicakaraman on your laptop when the session starts or follow me on your smart phone:

Here’s the AMAZING TESTIMONY:

“Last week I was in a preparatory mode for an exam in Cellular and Molecular Medicine and felt totally overwhelmed with the workload of a PhD student. I had spoken to my mother about it and she stressed the importance of getting quality sleep.

I questioned myself as to how I could get quality sleep during this period. I sought the Lord for help and then remembered reading Veronica’s book on the “Spirit Led Student” where she felt less confident before a particular exam because she had forgotten her study notes and couldn’t get them for review right before the test. She realized at that moment that God was inviting her to switch her source of confidence–from self-confidence—to having confidence in God.  The result was her making the highest grade in the class.

This led me to talk to God as a friend, saying, “You got me. I have no confidence going into this exam. Let’s do things Your way.” This was the beginning of something amazing. I felt Him saying to me, “You want to get out of this situation, look at my word in Daniel chapter 2, study it and get the meaning out of it for yourself. You will see what I am capable of.”

I spent quality time studying Daniel chapter 2: “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him” (Daniel 2:20-22 NASB).

In reading this Scripture, I saw how Daniel and his friends sought the Lord for mercy, so that they may not perish with the other wise men (vs. 18) if they could not interpret the dream of the king. Their case was more severe than mine, as they were facing death, but God delivered them. “If God delivered them, He will surely deliver me,” I said.

I made Daniel 2:18 my prayer point asking God to show mercy so that I may not perish in this exam. After my prayer for mercy and my surrender, every burden was lifted, I had the feeling that I was on another level. Glory be to God for this. Studying was just fun. The Holy Spirit was leading me on areas to focus on. The materials became easy to read. Everything just fell into place I had time to complete other things and I slept like a baby during my preparatory period.

I had experienced God’s love and I spent every prayer time thanking Him for His mercies. On the day of the exam, after doing a little revision, I told God that I cannot continue anymore that I have done my part and He should continue for me. I also said a prayer of thanks to Him for sending forth to me His ministering angels and the Holy Spirit.

During the exam, it was just non-stop joy writing. In my heart I was singing praises to God and thanking Him for His ministering angels. Suddenly I got to a question that looked familiar, but couldn’t figure it out. Rather than fretting, I knew that I was not alone writing. I skipped that question and went on to other questions while still thanking God for His mercies.

Something profound happened some minutes later. Someone had called the professor’s attention to an issue and his response left me perplexed. He gave us an additional question during the exam for bonus points equivalent to the question I was stuck on and said that it was optional to answer this question since he didn’t cover it a great deal in class. Guess what? I had covered that question’s topic during my study session and was able to answer that question completely. I said with a whispering voice “Lord, You are full of surprises.”

After I had completed the last question and thanked God for His mercies, another profound thing happened. I had a short revelation, words started pouring out from my mind. At first I couldn’t make sense of it.  So, once again I thanked God for His mercies. The words were still being said and these words made me remember myself seated at a particular location in a class, typing a lecture note related to the question I had not answered. The picture became more vivid and the answer came. I laughed, thanked the Lord for His mercies and joyfully answered that question. Finally, I reviewed my answer booklet, handed in my paper and left the room singing praises to God.

I have experienced God’s love in other things but I can say that this experience is the most revelation I have had from Him. My mark on this exam doesn’t really mean much despite how excellent it is. In other words, my excellent grade on the exam doesn’t compare to the excellence of knowing God through my exam taking! What is most profound to me was the joy of relationship with God. This experience has reaffirmed my belief that He dues care for us as His children. Hope this encourages and blesses you and helps you realize even in studying for and taking tests, we can worship God and see Him move in a miraculous ways!

I give thanks to God Almighty for His mercies and compassion towards me. The lives of Daniel and his three friends will continue to inspire and instruct me.  They will do the same for you if you choose to enter into learning as a partnership with God!”

Check out God’s Way to an A at godswaytoana.com/class and pick up Veronica’s book on Amazon:  The Spirit-led Student.

Love you with Christ’s love, 
David Dean, PhD Student

8 Keys to a Fresh Start

Teddy and pink hat

Sometimes what you think is a beginning is actually an ending.

I discovered this truth when I packed up all my earthly belongings last December, put them in storage, and jumped in my car to “move” from North Carolina to Virginia Beach to find my new beginning. I had been through a season of immeasurable loss and needed to “find my new.”

Knowing that the only way I was going to find it was by TAKING ACTION, I grabbed onto my spirit, released courage, and headed back to familiar territory to establish what I thought would be a new sense of family.  Mentally, I had to give myself permission to explore, to give myself some time to see if moving back to where I had once lived would be my solution for family, not having any of my own.  If it worked out, great.  If not, I would at least know, as this was where my long term friends were.

It was an excruciatingly hard year, amazingly freeing, but not in the way I thought.  The people I thought who would be family to me were no longer in the picture.  I had to come to terms with my past, truly lay it to rest, along with any notion of “what was” to “still be.”  I discovered some deep truths about a new beginning, especially one that God builds:

  1. You can’t start a new beginning with old energy.  Going back to where I lived before was old.  Familiar and new cannot be sipped out of the same cup.  New is new.  My spirit was crying out for something brand new.  If you want new, don’t go back to old.
  2. You are a product of your culture.  We are not products of our own being.  We are products of our environment.  I needed an environment of vitality, and the city I had grown to love, no longer provided that vitality.  If I wanted a new culture, I had to go where new culture existed for me.
  3. Until you get delivered from foundational lies, you are not free to enter into new life. Period. I had to face and extinguish the foundational lie that my life was meant to be lived alone.  While I have tasted great glory in my life, I have also tasted great suffering, most of it self-induced.  God brought a great pastor into my life, who in one divine sovereign setup, helped me to discover the lie that has sabotaged most of my life, a false identity put on my by a sin of omission by my parents.  I was never nurtured emotionally—and so I took on a lie—a false identity that my life was meant to be lived in an emotional isolation.  Until you deal with your fundamental life-lie, you will not get to your new.  As soon as that lie was broken off of me, I immediately recaptured my sense of true identity.  My life has not been the same since as I now feel whole.
  4. Don’t take so long to listen to your gut.  I wish I had a mentor in “gut training.”  It took me way too long to realize what my gut IS my best mentor.  To listen to it, trust it, and act on it is an act of self-love.
  5. When you are in “your new,” your whole being will know it.  Having just moved back to North Carolina about a week ago, my entire being was filled with the oxygen of life.  I could breathe again.  There is an emerging sense of exploring the new, not the old, and fresh hope, but this time with confidence of good things ahead.  It’s still been a leap of faith with much to fall into place, but there is no feeling like KNOWING you are in the right place.  My gut and every other atom of my being says so.  All this to say, all aspects of our being help us to make decisions.  While some are great logical thinkers, others rely on discernment.  Whatever your mode of decision-making is, all parts of our being speak to us.  If you want to get to your new, wake up and listen to each part of your speaking being.
  6. Accept total responsibility for creating your new, especially new relationships.  I often say to people, “We don’t have the power to fix, but we do have the power to create something brand new right in the middle of our mess.”  Renowned life-coach, Tim Storey, says, “A comeback is not a go back.”  In other words, we have to move forward into our new—and not go back to fix things to get to our new.  Take some time to reflect on what you don’t want—and that will open up your mind to consider the opposite—what you do want.  While I made some great new relationships which I will still take with me, I developed some deep confidence in my ability to form new relationships and open up my heart to life again.
  7. God is not in the improvement business.  When He does “new,” He bulldozers down the old to build a whole new foundation from the inside out.  When I allowed Him to “gut me,” I was utterly amazed at what happened afterwards:  after the past comes the future.  After the old comes the new.  After death is resurrection.  After winter comes spring.  Some loved ones I had totally relinquished are coming back into my life in a brand new way.  When all the old energy of strife, control, and bitterness were dissolved in my own heart, God is bringing about a fresh start.  Wow.
  8. Put yourself in the middle of the equation of life.  As a life-coach, I help a lot of people get new jobs, process their grief, resolve their interpersonal conflicts, set and achieve new goals, and expand their confidence.  One day I said to myself, “What about me?”  I help all these people and now it is my turn for my own life!  This led to my asking myself a lot of new questions I have never entertained.  More about that in an upcoming reflection. But for now, I have been on an eight year journey to get to my new.  Now I am here!  In the last two weeks, I have moved, lost 15 pounds, working on publishing a book I wrote, and expanding my influence.  All systems are go!  Praise the Lord!

What I thought was a new beginning in Virginia was really an ending.  I am now so grateful I went through the process of ending because now I am IN my new beginning. I don’t have to think it up, confess it up, imagine it up.  I did the work and I walked it up with God.  He brought me to it, and He is going to do the same for you!

If you deeply desire to make a shift in your life and make 2016 a banner year, a time for conquest, please reach out to me.  Let’s find a time to talk.  Remember, hoping, wishing, and even just praying, doesn’t change anything.  What is it costing you to stay where you are at?  Only taking action, inspired imperfect action will make the difference.  

More Family Joy

Teddy and pink hat

Join the 100 Shots of Joy Campaign: Elevating family relationships over the holidays                     I am looking for 100 families who want a transformation this season!

 It’s early November am I am already hearing Christmas music playing on the radio!  No doubt the merchandisers are already laser focused on making the holidays successful, but how about you? For many, the holidays are a wonderful time of year and for many it is a stressful, painful, and a time of separation. Whether you have a good relationship with your family, or need to leap over some landmines, could your family use more joy over the holidays?  Could you use more joy this time of year? Would you like to reach the heart of your family or that estranged  loved one in a new way?

Christmas is relational gift.  This is an opportunity to reconcile, reclaim, and rejoice in the heartbeat of your family.  It’s a time to not only open gifts, but turn closed hearts into open hearts towards one another in a new way. I will show you how!

In Breakthrough to More Family Joy Over the Holidays, I will share with you:

  1. My story to give you fresh hope.  You will hear my amazing story of redeeming a lost relationship with my mother.  Together we turned Mom’s 6 month death sentence into 7 fruitful years. What began with “the impossible divide,” characterized by bitterness and emotional separation ended with Mom dying as my best friend at Christmas time.
  2. One Simple Strategy you can immediately implement that can usher in a brand new start or fresh atmosphere in your family dynamics.
  3. The 3 Dynamics of Creating Joy. You don’t have the power to fix someone, but you do have tremendous power to create authentic connections and change atmospheres.  The key to transforming any relationship lies in your conversations.

My goal is to transform at least 100 families this Christmas season by infusing fresh joy into the family atmosphere and creating fresh heart-filled connections.  If you would like to experience more joy in your life this Christmas season, please join me for the upcoming free webinar and be one of my 100 Shots of Joy Families!

“I reconciled with my brother thanks to Shots of Joy!”  Rose, Raleigh                                                    “My son and I have a brand new start.”  Dyane M., Wake Forest                                                            “My relationship with my husband has never been better!”  Carol, Durham 

 “You can’t change a person, but you can change the atmosphere!” 

Veronica Karamanis the founder of True Champion Coaching.  An author, speaker, and spiritual mentor, she is a transformational life coach who specializes in applying principles of peak performance to help others achieve results beyond their expectations in record time.  She is a graduate of Duke University and Regent University, and received her certification as a professional life-coach through Life-Forming Leadership, Inc.  Veronica’s background as a professional golfer brings a unique perspective to achieving personal and professional goals. She currently resides in Virginia Beach.

Call to register for the upcoming More Family Joy Presentation in Pinehurst:

Sunday, December 6                                                                                                                               Longleaf Family Golf Club                                                                                                                           10 Knoll Rd, Southern Pines, NC                                                                                                                  
3 – 5 pm                                                                                                                                                             $25

Call to register:  757-407-1907  or email: veronica@truechampioncoaching.com

To listen to the replay of my recent free webinar and check out resources:  shotsofjoy777.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop Shooting 125!

teaching

Recently I took on a new young golfer who wanted to uplevel his play on the high school golf team.  He came to me shooting 122.  After the first lesson, he shot 115, and then a sparkling 47 on 9 holes.  His next match was back up to 125.  Something was wrong.  He was making great progress in his lessons, improving his swing and short game. There was no reason to score high again.  The answer was clearly not in the physical realm. It had to be psychological.  He was shooting 125 because he had no internal limits to shoot less.  In other words, he was not “owning his own game” enough to tell himself, “these kinds of scores are no longer acceptable.”  He was not setting internal limits on his performance and demanding a better game of himself–and doing the work to achieve it.

As I was driving home thinking about a champion’s mentality—the resolve to own your own game and call yourself up higher,” I heard an internal voice say to me, “That applies to you, too, Veronica. There are areas of your life where you are shooting 125–putting you in default mode, causing you to just survive because you are not setting limits on a low performance life–and not calling yourself up higher.  It’s time to own your life, make the changes, and and resolve that certain things are “just not acceptable anymore.”  This realization hit me in the gut hard.  Yep, you and I are responsible for our own scoring, which means the results we are getting are not a result of shots that just happened to go bad, but thinking which produced the shots in the first place.

Hit with this conviction, I am taking out 3 days to get away, to fast and pray, to make some clear decisions about saying goodbye to a 125 life FOREVER.  Now if my student only had the ability to shoot 125, that is a different story, but he clearly had the ability to score lower–that’s why staying stuck in a comfort zone is not acceptable.  Staying in the comfort zone of a 125 life is not acceptable because you and I CAN do better.  Equipped with a resolve and some reflection on better thinking, a higher expectation, and the belief that we can do better, we will. It begins with answering the question, “What am I no longer willing to tolerate?”

It’s a powerful question that is the first step to lower scores and higher living.  When we set limits internally, we start owning our own game which will result in getting our shots in the fairway and out of the rough!   our shots in the fairway and out of the rough!

The Second Blossoming Intro Event – Monday, August 17th

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The Second Blossoming Ladies Evening Out                                                                                        Power for Living Your Best Life Now                                                                                               Monday,  August 17th, 6:30-8:30 pm

As a life-coach with a deep history in competitive athletics, I am always noticing the connection between sports performance and personal growth.  One of the distinguishing features of champions is that they have less thoughts than others and can sustain them longer. That means they can think a new thought and bring that thought into reality by “holding” to itover time and execute it until it happens. Not so with the average person.

One of the benefits of coaching is to have the support you need to step out and try something new and keep “holding” to that thought over time until the new thought gets rooted in your life and you see the breakthrough you have only been “wishing” for or “praying” for forever!

It has been beautiful to see women in the Second Blossoming come into the community with only the hope of something new–and now they are beginning to SEE that something new:

A brand new mother-daughter breakthrough when it appeared impossible                                       A brand career path opening up because it is now being acted upon when it was previously a   dream                                                                                                                                                            An open mind for a second blossoming with your spouse                                                                      A letting go of negativity and blame to align yourself for new possibilitiesA letting go of being “the caretaker” to become the “dream maker” for a fresh outlook on life and freedom of emotion.

I am so thrilled to see all these new blossoms open up and I want to extend an invitation to you and yours to join us for the next Summer of Transformation intro session. It’s not too late!  Please join me for our next intro to The Second Blossoming Life-Coaching session on August 15!  Info below.

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Feeling stuck?  Have you lost your sense of self and where your life is? Have you been yearning for a new beginning but don’t know how to get there? Are you wondering how to find your life, your voice, and the fulfilling life you desire?

You are cordially invited to a special life-coach introductory training with Professional life-coach , Veronica Karaman on how to step out of the old and into the new to create a new you and a life you love. It’s your time now!

Monday, August 17, 6:30-8:30 pm

at the corner of 35th and Holly at the Oceanfront – First Baptist Church –  The Parlor               401 35th St., Va Beach

Discover:  3 Keys for stepping out of the old and into the new                                                       The number one mindset shift in getting unstuck and moving forward                              How to start loving yourself first! 

You will step into a brand new inner freedom and direction for life as you learn to cultivate your inner garden and

Enjoy connecting at the heart level with other inspiring women

“Veronica reminds us who we are as women and connects us to our warrior spirit.” Becky, NC

“Through The Second Blossoming I found the courage to dream again.”  Lynn C., Va. Beach

“Veronica’s coaching gave me great confidence to pursue and find my dream job.”  Kim D.

These sessions are limited to 25 women and will fill up quickly.  Register today to secure your spot.

To Register, call 407-1907  or email: veronica@truechampioncoaching.com.                            $25 introductory fee.     Payment on-line at:http://www.truechampioncoaching.com/agame/march2014/keynote     (Breakthrough)  

OTHER DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY: Ladies Beginner Golf Clinic

Saturday, August 1  10 am til 11:30

$60  Bring a friend and it’s $50 each

Virginia Beach National Golf Course

call to sign up!  407-1907

Upcoming Second Blossoming Life-Breakthrough Sessions

The-Second-Blossoming_FINAL

Are you stuck? Have you been yearning for a new beginning but don’t know how to get there?Are you wondering how to find your life, your voice, and the fulfilling life you desire?

You are cordially invited to a special life-coach introductory training with Professional life-coach, Veronica Karaman on how to step out of the old and into the new to create a new you and a life you love. It’s your time now!

Two options:          Sunday, July 12 , 3-5:30 pm            Saturday, August 15, 9:30-12:00 pm          Virginia Beach

Discover:  3 Keys for stepping out of the old and into the new                                                 The number one mindset shift in getting unstuck and moving forward                                     How to start loving yourself first!

 You will step into a brand new inner freedom and direction for life as you learn to cultivate your inner garden and enjoy connecting at the heart level with other inspiring women.

“Veronica reminds us who we are as women and connects us to our warrior spirit.” Becky, NC

“Through The Second Blossoming I found the courage to dream again.”  Lynn C., Va. Beach

“Veronica’s coaching gave me great confidence to pursue and find my dream job.”  Kim D.

These sessions are limited to 25 women and will fill up quickly.  Register today to secure your spot. To Register, call 757-407-1907  or email: veronica@truechampioncoaching.com                $40 introductory fee.    Karaman True Champion Coaching,                                                           P.O. Box 65171, Virginia Beach, VA 23467      Directions to follow.

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