Sports With Sticks

Bringing You Baseball and Golf

Achieving Why, Not What

I’ve been playing for my high school golf team since the start of my freshman year and so far, it’s been quite an experience.  I’ve definitely learned that nothing feels better than playing good consistently.  I’d much rather do that than shoot my best and then play poorly.  Last year, I shot a career low 35 for a nine hole match and the following week I think I shot 43 or 44.  Needless to say, I was a little upset.  And the rest of my season was like that.  I was either on fire or completely off.

So, after another day of battling it out with the trees on my home course, a question occurred to me.  Putting angrily after my round I thought, “whats the difference between my good days and my bad days?”.  I was just kind of mumbling out of frustration and I was fortunate enough to ask myself that question.  Interestingly enough, it was a question that I hadn’t seriously thought about up until then.  So, I went home and analyzed the differences.  When I first got home, I was thinking “Wow, this makes so much sense why have I never done this before blah blah blah” and in reality it really wasn’t as productive as I was hoping it would be because I organized my thoughts into something like this.

What I do on my good days

  • Drive the ball well
  • Hit good approach shots
  • Putt very well
  • Hit excellent recovery shots
  • Minimized damage, prevented high scores

What I do on my bad days

  • Drive the ball terribly
  • Hit horrendous approach shots
  • Hit putts like it was my first time on a green
  • The world’s worst recovery shots
  • Maximized damage, opened the door for high scores


I identified what was going on, but it didn’t help me at all.  So now what?  Golf I decided, was like a lot of honors or AP classes.  It’s not about what, it’s about why.  So, I focused on why all of those things were bad.  I couldn’t find anything out.  I didn’t consciously change anything and nothing looked different so I was completely lost.  I eventually decided that a lot of that was just determined by how I felt that day.  Sure, sometimes my swing would be off, but would it be off if I weren’t in my own head? Days I played poorly I wouldn’t get much sleep, or I wouldn’t feel very good, or I’d failed a test, etc.  On the other hand, days I played well, I always had this sense of genuine confidence, I was generally well rested, and I was in a good mood.  So after finding that much out, it was just a matter of doing everything I could to prepare myself for the day.  Sure enough, I felt better and I played better.


This experience greatly changed my perspective on things, and for that I’m happy.  Problems aren’t solved by people who know what the problem is, they’re people who take the next step and ask why that problem is there and how it can be fixed.  Next time you’re struggling with anything, just remember this.  Analysis is often all it takes to get to that next level in whatever you’re pursuing.






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This entry was posted on March 2, 2014 by and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
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