They Never Gave Up on Me

I was the quiet shy kid on the ice. I was the fiery temper ridden perfectionist on the golf course.

How’s that for polar opposites!

I was so competitive in so many different ways. I’ve written about my anxiety on the golf course before, but I’ve only scratched the surface about my anger issues. One of the main reasons I stepped away from playing competitive golf was the way I felt out on the golf course. Obviously, I now know that I control all those emotions, but back then I had zero control over them. Sure I learned a lot over the years how to manage and cope with it, but I can honestly say I can count on one hand the competitive rounds of golf that I felt relaxed and in control. I was one or two bad swings away from an inner complete meltdown.

How I took my game and my lack of anger response to Provincial Championships is beyond me.

You see I practiced my arse off, I rededicated myself to practice, but there came a time that I just couldn’t to do it outside of my home course. I was embarrassed about my game and embarrassed about the potential meltdown I would potentially have.

Clearly as I aged things got better, my game got better, my understanding of my anger and reactions drastically improved, but in many ways I was still a few bad swings or decisions from an inner meltdown. Everyone talks about positive self talk, well let’s just say it was never positive. The more I practiced the more confident I became and ironically the more I gave myself some slack in the perfectionist department. The perfectionist tendencies on the golf course subsided slightly in favour of just going out and trying to get it around the best I could. I took pride in hitting it everywhere, playing my game and getting it around in the fewest amount of shots. I was never the most talented hockey player, but I knew how to work hard. I knew how to grind it out and I finally took that grinder mentality to the golf course.

There were some off days and some really good rounds, but the anger or temper issues were still there, always lurking, but I still had to manage it and try to find balance.

I wish I would have cut myself some slack a lot earlier on in the game. I wish I would have not let my emotions get the better of me when I was younger coming up through the game. I do have a lot of regrets when it comes the sports I loved to play, but really made a concerted effort when I started to coach hockey and help out with the Junior Program at Country Meadows to help as many kids as I could that had the same issues I experienced in both sports.

Lack of confidence in one, that being hockey. That was caused by trying to play perfect and not let anyone down and horrendous temper, because I was trying to be perfect on the golf course.

Looking back on my path in both sports, I feel so grateful for all the people that never gave up on me.

I’m so grateful for all the people that gave me a multitude of chances in both sports.

I often wonder what other young athletes are going through now in their journey in sports.

I had wonderful mentors in both sports that were always there to lift me up. I always had influential coaches, teammates, or competitors pull me aside and simply talk to me. Some conversations hit pretty close to home and hurt, but every single one of those people wanted the best for me and that is something I carry with me every day, in every facet of my life.

I’m so glad they never gave up on me.

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