December 11, 2010

Positive Response - Featured Writer Jennica Hirrlinger

POSITIVE RESPONSE - Featured Writer Jennica Hirrlinger
My son, Lincoln, is obsessed with golf. He walks the course for an average of 7 hours a day in the summer. He wears collared shirts instead of t-shirts because that’s how golfers dress and when I do the laundry I find golf balls and tees, ball marks and tiny pencils. The kid is obsessed, for sure.

He asked to get a private coach to help him improve because he wants to play in the PGA when he gets older. He works incredibly hard and he practices like crazy. His work ethic for golf is very inspiring.

In a weird way, he kind of reminds me of myself. When the race season kicks over and I pick the next seasons races, I eat , sleep, and obsess those races. I check previous years’ race times and then I figure out my training according to those winning times. I visualize courses and transitions in my head and I see myself crossing the finish line and doing well.

Then, I do the race and I find that it’s hard to know what to say when people ask me how it went. If I did well, I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging. If I did poorly, I can’t say much because anyone who tries is a winner, right? And because most people don’t have the same race expectations that I do, it can feel a little strange when I can tell they don’t understand why I would tell them all the things I could have done better when I just won the race.

Yesterday, Lincolns’ new coach came to meet us and to give Lincoln some things to work on in the off season. First though, she asked him to tell her about his 2010 season. He listed several different tournaments and talked about how he putted poorly at this one, it was raining at that one, he played the wrong ball . . . all these negative things.

The reality is that he won all but one of the district tourneys!

Then, she pointed out to him and us about how he focused on the negative and had to be pushed to say anything positive about those tournaments. I realized, that this was another way he reminds me of me and this made me sad. It was sad to think that of all the great “athletic” things I could teach my kid and he is emulating my negativity . . . or, at least, my unwillingness to be satisfied with my efforts.

The coach taught Lincoln a new phrase. “Positive response nets positive outcomes.”

This is his new motto. He knows what he needs to work on and he will but he will do it in a more positive way. He will learn to love the distractions and the journey. And, he will learn a lot about life.

And, I intend to be more like him this time.

1 comment:

Jillicious said...

sounds like a great golfer in the making! way to pass along the hard-core training genes, jennica!

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