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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Some Golf Help from Tim Tebow

Last week I did a post offering some golf advice to the Denver Broncos to help them fix Tim Tebow's passing motion. This week it's Tim's turn to pass on some golf advice.

Tuesday Tebow did a phone interview with Skip Bayless on ESPN2. Some of what Tim said struck me as being good advice for any golfer, but especially for weekend players who don't have a lot of time to practice. Let's face it, Tim is getting lambasted for not having the necessary skills to be a good quarterback... and yet he has a 4-1 record as a starting quarterback! How can this be?

Well, for one thing Tim says he doesn't listen to his critics. I don't believe that since some of his answers indicated that he was well aware of what is being said about him. But in another sense I do believe him. It's very clear that he doesn't let what others say interfere with either his self-confidence or the effort he puts into his game. He's very clear on what he's trying to do -- win ball games -- and those critics can neither help nor hurt his efforts, so he doesn't waste a lot of time on them. He said he just goes out everyday and tries to get a little better at what he does.

Too many of you are worried about what other people think of your swing. You're afraid it doesn't look perfect or that someone is laughing. But what other people think doesn't have anything to do with how well you play!  If someone gives you a constructive tip that you want to use, that's fine, but some people just like to criticize. Ignore them. As someone once said, "the best revenge is living well."

Or in our case, playing well.

The other useful thing Tebow said wasn't really a surprise to me. Skip asked him what he thought made someone a good quarterback. Almost every Tebow critic who has appeared on the show has said "the ability to throw from the pocket." (For you non-football fans out there, that means you get the ball and stay in the small area behind the players in front of you, hoping they can protect you until you find someone ready to catch your pass.)

But Tebow said it was (1) the ability to lead and (2) the ability to make decisions. This isn't surprising from someone who sees his goal very simply -- not to impress people but to win games. His team has strengths and weaknesses, and it's his job to figure out the best way to utilize them -- usually without much time to think. He believes that if he can make decisions that will win games, and if he can convince the team to trust him and act on those decisions, he's a good quarterback.

When you step out on the course, your goal is to shoot the lowest score you can. You may not have to lead a team (unless you're playing in a scramble) but you do need to make decisions. Those decisions, of course, are your playing strategy. You need to accurately access your strengths and weaknesses, then choose and execute shots that will make the best use of your capabilities. Even if your swing isn't the best in the world, you can still score better when you make good decisions.

So there's some good advice from a player who, regardless of his skill level, is considered one of the toughest-minded players in the NFL right now. I don't know exactly how far his mindset will get him as the Broncos playing schedule gets tougher, but I wouldn't bet against him. No one thought he could do as well as he has. If a tough mental game can help him overcome a whole team of heavyweights trying to crush him, I'm sure it can help you get the better of that little white ball!

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