I’m pretty sure that Winston Churchill wasn’t talking about disc golf. He was most definitely talking about more serious business than throwing plastic in the woods. But as we’ve talked about again and again, what is true in life is true in disc golf.
When I was in Emporia, Kansas a couple of weeks ago, I went to a clinic held by JohnE McCray. In addition to being my favorite pro disc golfer, he’s also one heck of a teacher. One of the best things about the clinic was that he took as much time as needed helping each person individually. It was fascinating to watch him give each person feedback on what they needed to do better. After watching him talk to the first 10-12 people, I noticed something that he kept saying to most of them…
“Don’t worry about where the disc goes right now, just do X”.
In other words, worry about your form first and the results will come later. For me, this highlights one of the single biggest obstacles to improvement in any area of life. When you first try to do things differently, your results tend to suffer. I think the old adage is that you have to take one step back in order to take two steps forward. Easier said than done.
When you are working on your form and trying to improve at disc golf, you often find yourself playing worse than you did yesterday. It’s easy to fall into the trap of reverting back to your past behavior (even if you know in your heart it’s incorrect). It’s easy to go back to the devil you know instead of trying to meet the one you don’t.
When you start identifying what you want to get better at, you almost always end up being bad at it at first. It’s just how things work. Trying to learn to forehand? You’re probably going to suck at it when you start. Trying to learn a roller? It’s not going to go very well in the beginning. Trying to add an extra 50′ to your drives? Don’t expect them to go where you want, or anywhere close on your first attempts. You might even lose distance before gaining it back. These are all versions of being in disc golf hell. You want something bad enough to work hard at it, yet it eludes you and blesses you only with frustration.
You only really have two choices. You can give up on learning something new or improving on what you know. You can take the loser’s route to comfort and tell yourself that where you are now is good enough. Or you can keep going. You can press through the pain and the steep part of the learning curve to emerge on the other side victorious. You can embrace the fact that for the successful people in the world, there is no such thing as good enough.
So I ask you. What do you do when you find yourself in hell? Winston and I encourage you to keep going. What will you choose to do?
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