Confidence Part 2

There are a number of reasons why I couldn’t carry on in my second year, the first being that there was a financial collapse and the world was in a bit of a pickle. The second was that I had really struggled to perform well on the golf course in my first year. I had some good rounds and put myself in good positions but I seemed to always fall shy of getting the job done. This was purely down to not believing in myself on the golf course. I was playing with guys who had oodles of experience; who’d played in different tournaments; they had mentors and coaches for a lot longer than I had and I felt a little bit out of my depth.I had come from the confidence high of losing weight and building up to a moment that I had dreamed of, once I got there I thought to myself that the rest would take care of itself. In life or sports when you take your eye off the ball you either get hurt or don’t succeed, and that’s what happened to me. I didn’t really understand that the things I wanted in life were things that I was going to have to grind out myself. I also didn’t apply the lessons I had learned on the golf course to my personal growth in the first few months that I was out there. I should have been working harder than every single person on the team because I was the one with the least experience; instead I worked the same amount as everyone else and expected my game to improve. I have had a lot of time to sit and think about why I never made a success of my golf out in America and I look back on the experience with so many mixed emotions. I’ll tell you a story, for those of you who don’t follow golf you won’t understand the lingo but just realise that it was this moment that defined my future in golf.
We were coming up to the end of the first year and my results had not been very good, I had not qualified to play on the official team once, but I had represented the team when it was necessary. I cant really remember all the rounds that we played but what I can remember is the qualifying for the final team that would head out to the biggest tournament of the year. In any given college team there are about 10 players, within those, 5 are chosen or ‘qualify’ to play each tournament. Qualifying happened every week, of the 5 there’s always the top 2 that honestly don’t have to qualify because they’re very consistent. Realistically and in my case 8 guys were playing for 3 spots.
It was the final tournament of the year and it was a big one, we had 3 qualifying rounds to play, 2 at our home course and 1 away at another course. The first day I played really well, I had a solid round and putts were dropping in from everywhere, I think I shot 68 putting me ahead of the other players. It was a real confidence boost and I felt great. The next day we went to a course that I had never played in my life, it was windy and raining and I really struggled. I shot something like 82, needless to say the team found this hilarious and I joked about it too. The final round was still to play and we were back at our home course. I started playing really well; I was under par and came to the final stretch of holes on the back nine. It was looking like I would qualify. I stood up and made a bad swing the ball sailed out of the golf course into a field and nearly killed a cow (I’m not joking.) With the coach and the whole team watching it was one of the toughest moments I have ever faced on the golf course. I stood up to hit another one and bang, all the way out there again. I eventually wrapped up my round and it ended up being 2 shots that cost me my journey onward to the next year. The coach let me know that it wasn’t looking good for me, realistically I could have gone back in the second year as just a student and try to earn my way back onto the team of 10 somehow.
You may read that and think that it was quite harsh of the coach, but the reality had been building for some time, when you spend a year living with and playing golf with your team you learn a lot about their attitude; my attitude was not professional and yet I was striving to be one. Joking had become my defense on and off the course; I would get really sarcastic and get really vocal, encouraging negativity. In my head at the time it made me feel better, but all that it was doing was driving me further into my problem and it was annoying for the other players. Golf is often likened to life and it is safe to say that negative people are very tough to be around; negativity does not equal productivity. My confidence on the golf course was no where near where it should have been and that was down to the way that I approached the situation, I let the bad rounds beat me down and I let them fester, this wasn’t productive because I wouldn’t let myself learn from the mistakes.
Fast forward to 2012/13 and I was a real mess, I had ‘failed’ to achieve what I wanted in America and I was working a job that I really didn’t like in a place that I wasn’t really enjoying. I had stacked the deck against myself, and found comfort in food and cigarettes, leading to me becoming obese and having even more confidence issues. I know what it is like to sit down and think about your life and have no idea where you would like to be. I had so many conversations with family about my future when I was at my biggest and I couldn’t see it in my mind; I couldn’t see what I wanted and it really depressed me. My head was clouded from all the rubbish food that I had been eating and the lack of exercise. Once I decided to have that faith in myself that things were going to brighten up I was on the road to recovery.
As I mentioned before, I faced the fact that I was unhappy and wanted change, I had belief that I could achieve it and now I am happier than I could ever wish to be. My goal with this blog and with the YouTube channel that I am working on is to give people the chance to reach their full potential. I want you to say to yourself, “Yes, he did it and that means I can do it too!” Think about this scenario, if your life never changed from today onwards and you lived the rest of you life the way you are now. Would you be happy? Would you be angry? Would you regret not stepping up and taking control?
I am telling you that you can take control, you are awesome and you have the ability to reach your full potential, you just have to believe in yourself and keep going! I have full belief in you and I have never met you, I have this belief because we are all humans and on this earth striving to move forward. Don’t let your self-doubt hold you back! I recently read a very good book by Joe Manganiello called Evolution, the very last line of the book says; “Your past is a pedestal. It’s waiting for you to place the statue on top. What’s your statue going to be?”
Stay strong and keep moving lovely people!

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