I’m a big golf fan. I enjoy playing the game, watching it, and learning about it. I see similarities between golf and shooting a basketball; the repetition, the muscle memory, the result. I end up making a lot of analogies between the sports with players, and stealing ideas from golf drills that I can apply to the drills I use.
Just like any player, I’m trying to improve as a coach every year.
So my project for this off season was to talk with as many high level skills coaches in various sports to see if I could learn anything from them. Golf seemed like a natural place to start, not just because I’m a fan of the game, but because in Orlando there are a lot of high level golfers and golf coaches. I started researching who was in the area, and quickly found a name that stood out to me as someone I would love to meet. Annika Sorenstam.
If you aren’t familiar with her career, Annika Sorenstam is simply the greatest female golfer ever. She was the best player in the era that I was paying the most attention, and she was head and shoulders above the field.
I was surprised how easily I connected with Annika, and we quickly worked out a time to meet, just to talk development and drills. I’ll admit I was actually nervous as I got to the driving range to meet her.
We talked for about an hour, mostly me asking her questions, because how often do you get to ask questions of someone who is the greatest of all time at what they do? It didn’t make sense for me to tell Annika all the things that I believe. This is my chance to ask her what she believes, and she couldn’t have been more gracious, well spoken, thoughtful, and engaging.
We talked about routines, preparation, visualization, confidence, keeping practice fresh vs. living in a routine. She said many things that confirmed the way I look at building a shot. She had new phrases for similar ideas that I’ll mix into my daily speak. She challenged some ideas that I value, and provided thoughtful feedback on why she might believe differently.
Learn from anyone you can. Get outside your box a little. It is amazing how much you can grow.