VERONICA KARAMAN: Dealing With Swings During Open Quest
This past week has been a wild ride in my U.S. Women's Open quest.
With just over two months until the Open qualifier, it's been important for me to establish my routines, disciplines and training and stick to them.
Life is not perfect, however. Every now and then an unexpected bump along the road occurs. This week a bomb dropped on me -- and I had to find a constructive and quick way to deal with it on my road to championship.
Since I am still new to Pinehurst, having been here only six months now, most of my trusted relationships (or "so I thought trusted relationships") are still from my former hometown.
I worked out an arrangement with one of my colleagues there to come up every two weeks or so for golf lessons.
Even though it was a hike for me to pack up and make the over-800-mile trip in three days, I thought it was worth it to learn more about the specific approach to the swing this particular coach offered.
So last week, according to our scheduled plan, I packed my suitcase and my miniature American Eskimo Spitz, Teddy-boy, who is my faithful travel companion, and headed north.
I stayed with my friend, Julia, who opened her home to be my "home away from home."
It is so nice to have the liberty to come and go as I please in a dog-friendly place. We spoke briefly when I arrived. Teddy growled at her all-too-friendly dog, Harley, and I headed to bed excited about sharing my progress the next day with my swing coach.
I had worked hard on my swing and I couldn't wait to make the connection. It will be another hour and a half drive before I see him.
Shortly before my lesson the next day, my swing coach called me.
"Listen, don't bother to come up. The range is closed due to the rain we had last night. I don't want you to travel all this way."
I didn't understand why we still couldn't do something since it was an indoor teaching facility.
"Well, what about tomorrow?" I asked in eager anticipation of advancing my quest, since I had already traveled 400 miles.
"Sorry, I'm booked."
I continued, "What about the next day?"
"Sorry, it's my day off. I won't be here. It's just not going to work out this time. I'm getting ready to leave early."
He hung up. I was crushed.
I couldn't believe what just happened to me. This was my trusted friend, who I thought was with me in my quest. I needed his help.
I'm dumbfounded that he didn't even try to work it out, or consider the cost I had already paid in travel, time, effort and stress, not to mention the emotional hit that left me feeling like I had just been majorly dissed.
As I drove back, I thought, "Now what am I going to do?"
I had been wronged. I decided to call him back, leave a voice mail, and state my case, "Hey, I'm not just coming up here for a golf lesson. I'm preparing for the Open. You are important to me and so is this process. I just don't understand why you didn't even try to find a way to work me in. Please call me."
A little while later he returned my call. He offered to help me out if I could get there ASAP.
I jumped in the car and drove back almost another two hours in Friday afternoon traffic only to get there 25 minutes before he had to leave.
He gave me some new information that would radically change my swing and sent me off with his declaration, "Now this is what you came here for!"
"No it's not!"
I thought, as I drove home crying and exhausted from what turned out to be a 900-mile trip, three days of lost wages, several hundred dollars of hard costs, and a broken spirit -- for 25 minutes of ego-driven teaching -- NOT!
As I sat out on my deck once I got home, wondering what to do next, Teddy-boy sat down beside me and licked my face. At least someone cares!
Thinking it over, what I realized through years of competition is that maintaining your confidence is supreme. If anything destroys your confidence, like a broken trust, you don't have a chance of winning, succeeding, or even moving forward.
As I felt my confidence punctured, I knew I had to take some action to stop the emotional and psychological bleeding as soon as possible.
I also knew that one of the traits of a champion is the ability to release quickly a bad shot.
If I could not rule my emotions off the course, I certainly could not rule them on the course.
It became apparent to me that this week's lesson was not about my golf swing, but my emotional swing.
The decision was mine to be a victim or a victor. I made the decision to release quickly my wild ride and the total letdown it produced through forgiveness, and by creating a new shot and direction.
With a little ingenuity, reflection and research, I knew just what I was going to do but that's next week's story!
Veronica Karaman lives in Pinehurst. She is a golf professional, life coach and speaker. To read more about Karaman's quest visit www.true
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