Akron – “You have to be comfortable being uncomfortable,” said well-known mental performance consultant and former Cal State Fullerton professor Dr. Ken Ravizza who helped the Chicago Cubs win the 2016 World Series Championship.
As Dr. Ravizza was alluding to, sometimes, maybe in fact a lot of the time, athletes do not have their “A” game and really have to fight through adversity in order to have successful performances.
Stricker Wins His Third Major Championship of Season
Steve Stricker, a 12-time PGA Tour winner, fought through adversity this past week on his way to winning the Kaulig Companies Championship for his third major victory and his fifth win of the season on the PGA Champions Tour.
On Sunday, Stricker won the Kaulig Companies Championship by three strokes over David Toms who finished at -8.
Also finishing in the top five were K.J. Choi, Ernie Els, and Harrison Frazar who all finished four strokes back at -7.
Dealing with Swing Issues
According to Stricker, he was fighting through some difficult swing issues throughout his round on Friday that was causing him to hit pulled golf shots to the left.
However, Stricker was able to analyze the issue on the range and was able to bounce back from Friday’s round to do what he needed to do to perform optimally on the weekend.
“Friday was very disappointing for me,” said Stricker. “I haven’t played that poorly or hit some of the shots that I hit in a long time. I mean, they were awful. Some short irons that I’m normally very accurate with, I was missing. I had this pull hook going and I just really didn’t know where it was coming from. I went to the range Friday afternoon and hit some balls, worked on it and went back to some of the keys that I always go back to since 2005, (and) started feeling some better things. I still fought that feeling like I was going to hit it to the left even today. So I wasn’t swinging as freely as I’d like to, but I was still able to hit the shots and the proper shots at the times that I needed to.”
Stricker Bounces Back From Adversity by Staying Patient and Relaxed
As Stricker was not hitting the ball as well he would of liked on Friday, he was able to remain composed and focused on Saturday as he made a great comeback to get back to the top of the leaderboard.
Stricker emphasized the importance of the mental game of golf and staying patient after he shot a five under 65 on Saturday.
“I have been patient, I think for the most part. I’ve been letting things just go. When I do hit a poor shot, I just kind of shrug it off and move on. After winning the tournament, Stricker again commented on his ability to stay relaxed and composed. I’m playing very consistently. I have a lot of belief and trust in what I am doing. I am not getting rattled. Today, I felt very comfortable being in that position and I think that’s the difference from now to other years on the tour.”
Stricker noted that trying to handle pressure is a fun part of trying to be a successful athlete.
In talking about the pressure on holes 15 and 16 in the final round on Sunday, Stricker believed his success on those holes led to winning the tournament.
“Those two holes definitely won me the tournament, but that’s fun, that’s why we’re playing and that’s what’s exciting for me coming down the stretch, to see if you can handle it.”
Observing Stricker’s Leadership Skills on the Golf Course
In watching Stricker win his third major championship of the season, there are important leadership skills and life lessons that we can learn from observing Stricker on the golf course.
Above all else, we all face adversity.
But what may be most important is how we respond to the things that did not go our way and then how we try to bounce back from that adversity.
Just as Stricker did this past week in the Kaulig Companies Championship, when things do not go our way, we can learn to analyze and reflect upon what did not go as well as we may have wanted. Then we can try our best to remain relaxed and calm and determine what we can do to improve and get our focus back to the task at hand.
Certainly, the leadership and mental skills that Stricker demonstrated on the golf course are the same types of leadership and life skills that can help all of us deal with the challenges we face in business and within our own personal lives.
Thus, it is only fitting that on Stricker’s left collar of his shirt as he was talking about overcoming adversity in the post-tournament press conference, the logo for the company Admired Leadership was clearly visible.
Stricker a Brand Ambassador for Admired Leadership
Stricker is a PGA Brand Ambassador for Admired Leadership.
Admired Leadership is a company based in Radnor, Pennsylvania that focuses on studying expert leaders and then teaching the leadership techniques and strategies of great leaders through their online courses.
Stricker has previously stated, “Admired Leadership, through its online courses has shown me how to improve myself and become the leader I want to be in all aspects of my life.”
Stricker will attempt to win his fourth major championship of the 2023 PGA Champions Tour season when he travels to Royal Porthcawl Golf Club in Wales for the Senior British Open Championship from July 27-July 30th.
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