How to Deal With an Epic Choke?
Whether or not you are a fan of golf, Sunday’s epic choke by Jordan Spieth is something to learn from. He was poised to win the Masters until his quadruple bogey on the 12th hole.
Spieth’s “choke” dashed his hopes of joining Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods in an elite group of players to have successfully defended a Masters title. Despite the disappointing loss, Spieth’s character shone through as he graciously gave the Masters green jacket to Danny Willett.
Dealing with an Epic Choke:
Manage Your Mind – when threatened with meltdown, have you built strong mental muscles? Do you control your thoughts or are your thoughts controlling you? Although Jordan lost the Masters he maintained his dignity. Imagine losing and then being required to present the trophy to the person who beat you. Consider Cam Newton’s interesting response after being beaten in the last Super Bowl. Can you picture him handing the Lombardi Trophy to Payton Manning? Managing your mind comes from the practice of disciplines like visualization (used by many athletes to “practice” wining) and meditation (used to learn how to quiet the noise in the mind.)
Reframe the Situation – this could also be the silver lining or making lemonade out of lemons. Whatever you want to call it, the practice of reframing the situation is critically important during times of setback. A good example of this can be found in the New York Times piece on this story; “More important than golf, he’s had a lot of really cool things happen in his life” Jordan Spieth said Sunday night as a preamble to publicly congratulating the new Masters champion, Danny Willett (this was in reference to Willett becoming a father 11 days prior to winning the Masters.) And with those words, Spieth showed that he would live to laugh about his Masters meltdown.” How can you get your mind out of the doldrums of the choke and reframe the situation or change your perspective?
In his Twitter feed, Jordan Spieth said, “There’s always more work to be done. This is my rule. How do you #RuleYourself?” What a gracious and dignified response in a time of great personal frustration.
We all face situations where things don’t go as we expect. Whether it’s life or a competition, how we respond makes all the difference. Here’s another way to think about the Pareto Principle…life is 20% what happens to you and 80% how you respond.
Build your mental muscles and choose your responses wisely. Whatever you are going through, it too shall pass. The only lasting memory is how others see you react. Manage your mind and reframe the situation so you can wisely choose a response that’s worthy of remembering.