Golf Is The Most Difficult Sport

Golf Is The Most Difficult Sport

Happy Gilmore is my spirit animal when I miss a putt.
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For most sports, like football for example, even if you do not excel at it, being athletic will still make you adequate. That goes for most sports, as long as you are fast and quick you will usually keep up with the studs. Golf on the other hand is not like that at all. Golf is one of the few sports where you can't muscle your way to greatness, and because of this reason it is the hardest sport ever.

Now, many people will begin to disagree and say rugby or boxing or one of those physically challenging sports that take endurance, is by far the hardest sport. While you are right, those sports are extremely difficult, they are also ones where you can muscle your way through half the time.

The reason I pick golf over any other sport as most difficult is because what the concept of the game is. Golf is where you take a four foot metal rod with a head at the end, and hit a ball that is one inch in diameter, at a hole in the ground. Not only that, but the hole is hundreds of yards away and the only way to detect where the target is, is by a big flag sticking out of the hole that should say, "you will never hit me."

When you see professional golfers on television they drive the ball at least 300 yards easily, so like many of you who have never played, I, too, thought all you do is Babe Ruth your way to this flag. But, like you, I was wrong. If you try to swing the club as hard as you can thinking you're Happy Gilmore, your club will most likely go farther than the ball. Hitting the ball far is not about a powerful swing like in baseball, it is about properly swinging.

It mainly starts with your first approach or your drive. The reason golf is the only sport where it's rude to cheer and has it's own 'clap' is because it takes more concentration than studying. Everything has to be lined up just right and your hands just so. Even if you get that down you can still mess up. Lean too far back and you're slicing it right and are going to have to Sandlot it out of someone's back yard. Too far over the ball and who knows where it will go.

The main reason it's so hard to hit a golf ball correctly is that it's not even close to baseball. Like I said, it's not a power game, it's all about precision. It can take years to get your swing down properly until it's muscle memory.

Now, lets say you have your swing down enough so it's decent and you don't look like you just started. The next thing you have to worry about is everything else. Once that ball is in the air you pray it lands on the fairway. If it lands in the sand bunker its the opposite of a beach paradise and you may as well give yourself three strokes on your score card automatically because, there is no way you're getting out of there in one swing.

Again, for the sake of assumption, you hit it on the fairway, you now have to deal with the type of club you are going to use. Which then brings up the very first problem: the swing. Hitting the ball with an iron requires a completely new swing. Now you really have to make sure you know what you're doing. Maybe you can get away with punching the ball from the box, but now that you're close your early-years-Tiger Woods has to come out. Your back swing may have to be less and even if it doesn't you still have the chance of not getting underneath the ball enough and it not even going in the air and just looking like a really aggressive putt. Again it's all about precision. Hitting the ball at the perfect angle requires the right amount of back swing, club angle and how far under the ball you get. It's like a really majestic upper cut.

Lastly, is putting; the part of golf where it feels the most intense. The worst part of putting is that it looks so simple but it's very deceiving. If you make it to the green without pulling your hair out then don't get too excited. Reading greens is like another reading level not even the advanced readers in elementary school got to. It's difficult. This is when you need to know how the green moves, where the bumps are and how hard to hit the ball. If you are an amateur and do not play often then putting is all luck because hitting the ball in on the first try seems to never happen. After finally scoring just remember, you have 17 more holes of fun left.

If you are someone with very low patience or thinks golf is something you can master in a day than this is not the sport for you. It's not easy to pick up and just because you're a business man does not mean you are going to be excellent; don't let the movies fool you. Golf takes the right technique from the grip of the club to where your feet line up. Nothing about golf is easy, and it takes years to master. Hell, even the professionals mess up and they're paid to make it look easy. Golf is the hardest sport there is, and anyone who says different has never played before.


In dedication to my grandpa Don Swanson, who just turned 81 and has been playing golf most his life

Cover Image Credit: PlayBuzz

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To The Coach Who Took Away My Confidence

You had me playing in fear.
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"The road to athletic greatness is not marked by perfection, but the ability to constantly overcome adversity and failure."

As a coach, you have a wide variety of players. You have your slow players, your fast players. You have the ones that are good at defense. You have the ones that are good at offense. You have the ones who would choose to drive and dish and you have the ones that would rather shoot the three. You have the people who set up the plays and you have the people who finish them. You are in charge of getting these types of players to work together and get the job done.

Sure, a coach can put together a pretty set of plays. A coach can scream their head off in a game and try and get their players motivated. A coach can make you run for punishment, or they can make you run to get more in shape. The most important role of a coach, however, is to make the players on their team better. To hopefully help them to reach their fullest potential. Players do make mistakes, but it is from those mistakes that you learn and grow.

To the coach the destroyed my confidence,

You wanted to win, and there was nothing wrong with that. I saw it in your eyes if I made a mistake, you were not too happy, which is normal for a coach. Turnovers happen. Players miss shots. Sometimes the girl you are defending gets past you. Sometimes your serve is not in bounds. Sometimes someone beats you in a race. Sometimes things happen. Players make mistakes. It is when you have players scared to move that more mistakes happen.

I came on to your team very confident in the way that I played the game. Confident, but not cocky. I knew my role on the team and I knew that there were things that I could improve on, but overall, I was an asset that could've been made into an extremely great player.

You paid attention to the weaknesses that I had as a player, and you let me know about them every time I stepped onto the court. You wanted to turn me into a player I was not. I am fast, so let me fly. You didn't want that. You wanted me to be slow. I knew my role wasn't to drain threes. My role on the team was to get steals. My role was to draw the defense and pass. You got mad when I drove instead of shot. You wanted me to walk instead of run. You wanted me to become a player that I simply wasn't. You took away my strengths and got mad at me when I wasn't always successful with my weaknesses.

You did a lot more than just take away my strengths and force me to focus on my weaknesses. You took away my love for the game. You took away the freedom of just playing and being confident. I went from being a player that would take risks. I went from being a player that was not afraid to fail. Suddenly, I turned into a player that questioned every single move that I made. I questioned everything that I did. Every practice and game was a battle between my heart and my head. My heart would tell me to go to for it. My heart before every game would tell me to just not listen and be the player that I used to be. Something in my head stopped me every time. I started wondering, "What if I mess up?" and that's when my confidence completely disappeared.

Because of you, I was afraid to fail.

You took away my freedom of playing a game that I once loved. You took away the relaxation of going out and playing hard. Instead, I played in fear. You took away me looking forward to go to my games. I was now scared of messing up. I was sad because I knew that I was not playing to my fullest potential. I felt as if I was going backward and instead of trying to help me, you seemed to just drag me down. I'd walk up to shoot, thinking in my head, "What happens if I miss?" I would have an open lane and know that you'd yell at me if I took it, so I just wouldn't do it.

SEE ALSO: The Coach That Killed My Passion

The fight to get my confidence back was a tough one. It was something I wish I never would've had to do. Instead of becoming the best player that I could've been, I now had to fight to become the player that I used to be. You took away my freedom of playing a game that I loved. You took away my good memories in a basketball uniform, which is something I can never get back. You can be the greatest athlete in the world, but without confidence, you won't go very far.

Cover Image Credit: Christina Silies

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4 Traits Developed Through Sports

Participation in sports can be a fulfilling experience for student-athletes.

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It offers the opportunity to learn about competition and build skills during some of the most impressionable years. Therefore, it's important for athletic programs to promote and nurture positive, healthy coaching. Coaches and athletic staff are influential figures to student-athletes, especially in their capacity to teach those in their charge pertinent life lessons.

Student-athletes may find playing sports is a valuable way to learn. Students attain knowledge through different methods: visual stimuli, auditory cues, and active participation. Furthermore, the skills and traits that student-athletes hone on the field can usually transfer into other aspects of life. Participating in competition and practice, and being part of a team, can give student-athletes the tools necessary for success in and outside of sports.

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School sports are a valuable platform for packaging important lessons into comprehensible, practical ideas. Interscholastic athletics are more than just a fun way to exercise and compete; they are a springboard for developing universal traits that can lead to life success. The following are four of those traits, along with information on how they can be utilized outside of athletics.

Listening

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Young athletes can learn how to develop their listening abilities within sports. Comprehending what others say is crucial to learning success. During practice or a game, players must listen intently to the coach's instructions and fully understand what is being conveyed. Additionally, they must listen to their teammates to coordinate better, and at the same time be able to hear an official's whistle or call.

Listening is more than just hearing; it is the ability to understand and utilize critical information. Listening, in reality, conveys respect for the individual who is communicating. Athletic competition emphasizes the importance of listening in a way that is different than in a school classroom. Outside of competition, a student-athlete's comprehensive listening abilities and focused attention can translate successfully to situations in the real world.

Due to their competitive experiences, student-athletes may find it easier to understand instructions or listen to information they previously thought of as mundane. The student-athlete's listening ability is a critical trait that will most likely benefit their career. For example, being able to fully listen to a customer's desires, or to an employer's needs, can set an employee apart and lead to further career growth.

Resilience to Failure

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How athletes respond to loss is just as important as their response to victory. Failure is a natural part of life that requires resilience. When a loss or something negative occurs, it can devastate an athlete's confidence and create uncertainty. While these are natural responses, some athletes can let their doubts or negative thoughts consume them, sometimes to the point where all they see is failure. Athletes who work through failure don't let it affect them or their future performance. They become resilient and rise above.

Coaches can help student-athletes build resilience by being an example of resilience themselves, and by defining other aspects of success. By providing positive feedback and identifying lessons learned through failure, coaches can build positive attitudes in their players. Similar to a defeat on the field, life has its rough moments. In a professional setting, an individual may face the loss of a job, or experience failure for not meeting business goals.

Resiliency assists and prepares athletes to push past life challenges when and if they are encountered. In the real world, the resilient student-athlete will be able to handle rejection and failure, learn from them, and continue to pursue their goals.

Teamwork

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Cooperation is an invaluable trait that can be built through teamwork in athletics. It's an important quality that will reap benefits during a career and in family life. Collaboration isn't always easy. Learning early on how to master it can deliver immediate advantages.

In athletics, players work together to pursue a common goal. That means they must communicate openly, compromise occasionally, and respect their teammates. Individually, they must be dedicated and focused so they can play at peak performance. When student-athletes enter the professional world, they will find being a team player has major benefits. In their career, they will most likely work on teams where collaboration is key. In family, working with a spouse to align values and strategies can lead to a strong bond. Without teamwork, goals will be more difficult to achieve and progress more difficult to accomplish in any aspect of work or life.

Dignity

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How athletes react to victory or defeat will create the foundation for future reactions. Student-athletes who learn how to win or lose with dignity are building a mindset of respect, and a positive self-image.

How others perceive you—and by inference, how they perceive your true nature—is a major aspect of life that shouldn't be ignored. How athletes are perceived on the field, and later as a professional, can lead to the gain or loss of opportunities. Treating others with respect and being humble after a victory conveys a dignified attitude. Dignity is a trait found in leaders, and in those who seek to make a positive impact on the world.

The Far-Reaching Impact of Interscholastic Sports

Sports as a whole can only be as helpful, dignified, respectful, and life building as the athletic staff that is in charge. Student-athletes learn valuable life traits directly from dedicated coaches and other staff who grow to be looked on as role models. For those considering becoming an athletic administrator or similar professional, the career offers many rewards. You are able to mold young lives by setting an example, by teaching important life lessons, and by cultivating useful traits that can carry the student-athlete far beyond school. Interscholastic sports have the ability to reach—and to change—students on a personal, teachable level.

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