Enjoy The Journey!
#EnjoyTheJourney is an Instagram hashtag that my best friend adds to each of his posts. It is a constant reminder that we need to find our enjoyment in the experiences we have every day. This is my friend’s way of telling others that life is all about the process and not the product. It is a paradigm shift that most people need in their thinking that will improve their enjoyment and satisfaction in everything they do, especially golf!
What do I mean when I say the process vs. the product? One is where someone’s main focus is based on a preconceived outcome (i.e shooting 36). The other is where someone’s main focus is based on the exploration, dynamic, and creativity of getting better or learning. Everything we do is a new experience that we can draw from. No round of golf will ever be the same, we will face different problems on the golf course each time we tee it up, and we will need to critically think our way through these problems. Which sounds better for the long-term development of your junior? Here are a couple examples of process vs. product based viewpoints.
Example 1 –
Johnny finishes up from an Operation 36 Match and shoots a 38. He comes in with a frown on his face, although he beat his previous personal best by 3 shots. He can only focus on the fact that he did not shoot the 36 he was hoping for. The beautiful 5 iron he hit onto the green on #3 (that he and his coach had been working hard on) and the 25ft putt he made on #8 did not seem to matter much. Johnny is rude to his parents who are also frustrated that he did not pass. Dad makes a comment that if Johnny wouldn’t have 3 putted on 3 holes he would have passed. This makes Johnny feel more like a failure, which makes the ride home even worse.
Example 2 –
Johnny finished his Operation 36 Match with a score of 38. He is excited to tell his coach that he knocked 3 shots off his personal best. His coach gives him a high five and Johnny tells him about the 5 iron he hit into #3 that the two of them had been working so hard on. Johnny is excited that he is seeing hard work start to pay off. He knows if he continues putting in the effort the result (product) will come. His parents smile and tell them they loved watching him today and they praise his efforts and not his outcomes. Johnny is eager to practice after the round because he knows his effort is appreciated. He is not worried about the bad rounds because he knows he will continue to work hard. Johnny stays an extra half hour after the match while the parents and coach sit back watching. They reflect on how well Johnny is doing and have a great conversation together forming a deeper relationship. Everyone leaves happy!
We can either focus on the process or the product. What you choose to help your junior focus on will impact every decision they make!