“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.” ~ Molière
Let us get right down to the nitty gritty of human performance. This message is specifically for those who complain about the progress of their golf games without analyzing their actions, and honestly evaluating whether their effort toward improvement is sufficient to match their goals.
Many categories have to be checked off to improve golf performance; such as course management, ability to move functionally, understanding how to make mid-round adjustments, club fitting, etc. A good golf coach can help with these performance categories. And a good coach can also point the student in the right direction to other professionals who can help check some of the other performance boxes. However, when it gets right down to where the rubber meets the road, is the student going to put in the work that is required to meet their goals?
Sports and business run parallel in many ways. I just considered it all to be human performance. As a result of my studies of human performance and how to create a good learning environment, I have developed a leadership thesis on how to manage a productive and high performance team in the work place. Almost, if not all, of my lessons are with students who have had incredibly successful professional careers. Many of these same students struggle to apply the same attributes that made them successful in business to golf performance. And, yes, I understand the stakes are much different–supporting a family and living out a professional dream is different from just wanting to play casual golf with friends. But again, this message is for the complainers, and/or those who desire to play better golf.
According to experts in the world of commerce, no business endeavor started without a goal, and yet when those same great business minds want to perform better at golf that same blueprint to success is a road not taken. We tend to look for “the secret,” that one little tip, which will help us play better forever; no process, just a nice little shortcut to glory.
To achieve improvement in the game of golf,
it makes sense to follow the same approach taken by successful business leaders. First, we must set a goal, and then decide on the action steps necessary to achieve the goal. The next step is to establish a time frame to accomplish the goal. With that in mind, we can begin to think in terms of our own personal culture of accountability—the state of mind that develops from the process of setting personal goals. It is that culture that will breed productivity towards achievement of the goal.
As a golf coach, my goal year-after-year is to get an increased sense of accountability from students. That sense of accountability is more important to the process of improvement than any swing guidance I have ever given. Remember, the process toward gaining that sense of accountability starts by setting a goal. The goal can be any one of a number of things, for example, “I want to shoot in the 50’s for 9 holes to feel comfortable in a social golf setting,” or “I’m a 12 handicap and want to be a 6,” or even “I want to win the club championship.” Based on an extensive evaluation, action steps can be developed to accomplish personal goals in golf. Like any great plan, adjustments to the process should be expected, because bumps in the road are standard.
The strategy outlined here to achieve success is a macro outlook on how you can have real sustainable improvement. Set a goal, a time frame to complete the goal, action steps to accomplish the goal, and be accountable personally for every triumph and disappointment while following the process toward improvement. If you have a goal, a plan to complete the goal, enjoy the process of the plan, and are accountable to the plan, better performance will be the result. This is the secret toward success in golf, as it has always been in the world of business and countless other fields of human endeavor.
Todd Elliott is the Head Golf Professional at Hideaway Beach Club on Marco Island, Florida. Todd is a PGA and CMAA member. Todd is Titleist Performance Institute Level 3 Golf Certified. To contact Todd email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @elliottgolfpro.