The Adversity Drill

Back when I played Lacrosse in college my coach used to run this drill he called the “Adversity Drill” and it was a running joke on our team whenever we saw it on the practice schedule.  The reason we thought it was so funny was because our coach would run around during our scrimmage and throw his clip board at players, blow the whistle and throw a new ball out to the other team, call outrageous penalties and make up rules to help the losing team score more goals on the fly.  It was basically a half hour of frustration because you never knew what was going to happen and the minute you figured it out and were winning the rules would change and you would have to adjust and fight your way back.

At the time I just thought it was funny, but looking back on it now I see how valuable that drill was.  As a team, we never complained to the refs about anything during a game, we never thought we were out of a game no matter what the score and most importantly we never got down on ourselves or stopped fighting.  It was a lesson I have not soon forgotten and have tried to bring it over into my golf game.

Golf is by far the most frustrating game I have ever played, but also one of the most rewarding.  I look back on those cold winter practices and all of the times I went through the adversity drill and I know it helps me with my golf game.  I find that I don’t get as frustrated when I make mistakes.  I still get frustrated, but I don’t throw my hands up and say “my round is ruined” because I am not playing well.  I know that in golf more than any other sport you are never out of the game.  Every hole in golf is an opportunity to perform to your fullest.  It doesn’t matter what you got on the hole before because the hole you are about to play will never change.  If it is a 450 yard par 4 it will still be a 450 yard par 4 regardless if you made birdie, bogey or triple bogey on the hole before.

I can recall many times when I have been out on the course and found myself tied up in a bad hole I had earlier in my round.  All of a sudden my scorecard looks consistently bad and I haven’t had an ounce of fun.  This is where I have tried to think back about the adversity drill and take a “so what?  Bring it on” attitude towards golf.  I don’t play golf because it is easy.  I play golf because it is challenging and rewarding.  I don’t understand players who pout or looked amazed when they make a mistake.  It happens to every golfer and the ones that are successful in this game are the ones that move on and control their emotions.

I laughed whenever I saw “Adversity Drill” on my teams practice schedule back in college, but now I write “Adversity Drill” on the top of every score card I take out.  It is a constant reminder to roll with the punches and move on positively.  I think we can all learn from our own “Adversity Drill” and try to handle our mis-steps a little bit better on the course.

One Comment to “The Adversity Drill”

  1. What a great drill to promote a good mental attitude, thanks!

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