?Links To Learning? Essay, Research Paper
?Links to Learning?
It just always seemed like something that I had to do. Ever since I was ten years old I?ve been playing, practicing, and talking about golf. I always have had a love for the game, but I never really thought about how stressful and painful it made my life. Even at ten I thought my future had already been planned for me. I was already thinking of life as a professional golfer. I was certain that I would go play golf for a big college, and instant fame would soon follow. It wasn?t until the last couple of years that life has changed for me.
At fourteen my dreams and hopes were becoming more realistic than ever. I was taking golf and myself very seriously. Golf was something that I was really good at, and I cherished it. It was my way out, my place of escape. It was an awkward time in my life both physically and emotionally. I was overweight, unpopular, and very, very clumsy. Girls didn?t like me and guys seemed to find joy in my failure. Junior High was by far one of the worst times in my life, and I had to make myself fit in somewhere. I found that place to be the golf course.
When I practiced it was alone or with my dad and neither one of us ever brought up my imperfections unless it was in a golf shot. I didn?t feel fat I wasn?t slow or clumsy, I could compete, and win. In tournaments I?m sure that kids thought something about my appearance and being kids would have loved to taunt. But its extremely hard to tease the guy holding the trophy.
Winning golf tournaments to me was and is one of the most exhilarating feelings I have ever experienced. Anytime you put one hundred percent of yourself into something, then reap the benefits it?s going to be a great feeling. Its why I practice so hard and why I?m still doing it today.
Excelling in something gave me confidence. Not only in golf, but also in life. I began to make myself exercise and loose weight. I had more confidence at school even if being a champion golfer wasn?t the coolest thing I could have told people. By my ninth grade year I had lost 25lbs. This made me feel better and be more athletic. I started at football, basketball, and I was one of the two best golfers on a very respected high school golf team. Things were much better at school, but it was taking away from the time I use to spend practicing golf. I had a terrible freshman year as far as golf goes. I was playing terribly and I had no clue as to why. The whole time it seems as if I was always trying to fix my faults quickly, and not really put in the work that golf demands. I was spending the majority of my time doing teen stuff: learning to drive, going to the movies, parties, and keeping up with my girlfriend.
Freshman golf ended miserably, but I wasn?t even close to giving up. In Arkansas golf, high school isn?t a big deal like in Football and Basketball. It?s the tournaments held by the Arkansas State golf Association that are most respected. So my golfing year wasn?t really over, it had actually just begun. So I began to practice more, and focus solely on golf. It seemed the harder I practiced, the worse I got. I was trying too hard, and playing badly in tournaments. It was extremely heartbreaking. This was the only think that I had complete confidence in and I couldn?t even be successful at it anymore. I was caring too much, still believing that golf was the most important thing in my life. I was wrong, and later that year I finally realized that.
A few weeks before school started my tenth grade year I came across the book Inner Game of Golf, by W. Timothy Gallwey. This book didn?t deal with any physical aspects of the game. I didn?t discuss what clubs to use, how to grip the club, or even how much to practice. Galley?s method was ? simply to help players observe what is to quiet the mind, to control anxiety and to think positively.?, page 09. Using his simple tactics I was able to relieve myself of some pressure that was on me. I didn?t get so nervous or feel like I had to win. I would just go out and play within myself , having fun at a game that I loved.
By my sophomore year I was feeling better about my life, my appearance, and my golf game. I had finally realized that golf was just a game, not a fact of life. I was and am blessed with the talent to be good at a sport. And I?ve learned to use that to make me happy, not let it drive me mad. Since reading that book, along with maturing in life, I?ve one two state high school titles, and numerous Arkansas State Golf Association tournaments. High school became one of the better times in my life, and I wouldn?t trade all the growing I did for anything.