Wow! What a week it’s been. When I started to add speed and the pressure of playing under some competition, I regressed back to my old move. YIKES! I lost all my confidence and motivation. If I couldn’t hit the ball well and have a swing to work with, then how could I play? My initial enthusiasm turned to mush once the wall of reality hit me hard. What I thought would be a short term fix is really a long term fix—and I have to play now! I submitted my struggle/conflict to prayer. And God answered, but not in the way I thought. About a month ago, my accountant had told me about this gal named Isabelle, who was a business associate of his. A real golf champion. “Isabelle!” I thought, “Beisiegal? She was my best friend in golf when I played the mini-tour 10 years ago! I haven’t spoken to her in years.” I called her up to say hello. It was so great to speak to someone who has the same DNA as I do—someone who loves golf and deeply loves God. “What are your strengths?” She asked. I told her: I think well, putt well, chip well, have been working on my endurance, and my overall outlook is good. “Well then,” she went on, “You have to see what you have lost in a redemptive light. Jesus lost his life so we could gain life. You have to turn your weaknesses over to God and let Him work His strength in them.” Somehow she was always able to break through my mental barriers. I wanted to quit because I had lost my true move for now—and have to face my weaknesses, which is my swing. Now I had the choice of truly trusting God or not. I chose to trust, even though I didn’t have the answer for regaining confidence in a faulty swing. A few days later my friend, Kim, also a professional golfer, called me. “Hey, Veronica. I heard you were playing in the Open Qualifier. I don’t like that course. It’s long and boring.” She went on to rag on all the negatives about the qualifying tournament. I agreed with her, and when I hung up the phone a bolt of lightnigh lit up my mental sky. In other words, I had a little talk with myself. “Veronica, you made a commitment to this tournament. It wasn’t about how great your swing was or how much you liked the course or the yardage. It was about engaging your heart in the process of preparing for a championship again. That was the goal. If you stay negative and quit now, you’ve failed to reach your goal. Besides, if you are so caught up on a perfect swing, you can’t get your head or heart in the game. You have to get your head and heart back in the game–regardless of the conditions and challenges. All of a sudden, I realized that the real victory was in clearing a path from all the mental obstacles standing in my way: a 6700 yard course–the longest I’ve ever played in my life, a faulty swing, a course I don’t like. All of those things DON’T MATTER. What matters is getting my whole heart in the game and staying true to my processes of preparation! It was like I took a big mental broom and “SWOOSH” —dusted away every mental barrier standing in the way of my goal. That alone was a major conquest. Literally. I felt like I took a major leap forward. Then I had this leap of motivation to go play another practice round. “I have to find MY swing for NOW. Forget my future swing. I can’t be about the perfect swing. I have to find my authentic swing. The one that works for me NOW. While I played my round, I experimented with a couple different swing thoughts. I settled on working on shortening my backswing and creating more hinging at the wrists. WACK! All of a sudden my confidence was back. I started hitting it good again, and felt like I could repeat that swing. I also learned the course at a deeper level. This week I will work on MY swingthoughts again and see if I can re-produce them on the course. At least now I do have swingthoughts that can be executed on the course with speed and under some pressure. I am so glad I spoke with Kim and Isabelle, had discernment, and saw God answer prayer–yep, even about my golf swing!
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.