By Sara Wright, Guest blogger, PGA TOUR
Positivity and perseverance have always been revered characteristics. This seems true now more than ever before. For most, regular day-to-day routines were flipped completely upside down during the COVID-19 pandemic. And it was a rapid change to the norm.
As the global health crisis took shape, most children saw their schools closed and their sports and after-school activities canceled. This inevitably included First Tee’s in-person programs, which were suspended for the unforeseeable future.
Many parents created a virtual learning environment for their children at home. While the lucky ones worked remotely, many faced layoffs as businesses closed their doors and unemployment rates skyrocketed. Our work-life balance shifted and even regular interactions with family and friends changed drastically almost overnight.
While some states begin to slowly reopen, the future is still unclear. Around the world, people and businesses are doing their part: helping others, spreading good news and simply reassuring each other with signs or messages of positivity that we WILL get through this. We will persevere.
Examples of golfers using perseverance and positivity are also plentiful, but the name that sticks out to us is one that we’ve heard frequently over the past year.
She is not a professional golfer (at least not yet), but Amy Bockerstette, along with her iconic self-assurance and her “I got this” mentality, is a player who knows first-hand what it takes to persevere against all odds.
If you are one of the few who have not heard of ‘Amazing Amy’ yet, don’t worry. We got you. Watch this video released by the PGA TOUR about Amy and her viral moment with Gary Woodland in 2019 on the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale.
So, what can we learn from Amy? Well, her story is one that truly shows just how powerful positive attitude and self-talk can be.
“Amy’s energy, her love, her attitude was so contagious,” four-time PGA TOUR winner Woodland said. “I need more of that, and I think the world needs more of that. Her positive self-talk is stuff I’m still using to this day.”
Woodland credited Amy’s positivity and perseverance as a driving force to his U.S. Open victory that came a few months after he met her. So if it works for Gary and Amy, it can work for all of us.
Positive self-talk is an essential tool in perseverance.
Positive self-talk helps boost your confidence. This seems like a no-brainer, but studies have shown that positive self-talk is among the most efficient and effective means of increasing a person’s self-confidence. Many psychologists believe confidence is one of the primary prerequisites to personal and professional success.
In addition, it helps eliminates stress. According to the American Heart Association, positive self-talk can aid in controlling stress. As a result, it makes you feel calmer and less anxious, reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease and other physical ailments brought on by stress.
How can you practice positive self-talk?
- Create a positive outcome in your head: Imagine a goal and how you will accomplish it. Once you keep this intent in mind, it becomes easier for you to accomplish and set out steps to achieve it.
- Build on your accomplishments: This can be done in two parts. First, remember your previous accomplishments. These memories will make you feel good about yourself. Then, praise yourself when you achieve your new goals.
- Repeated affirmations: Focus on regularly saying optimistic statements about yourself, your present endeavors or what goals you intend to accomplish. By repeating these affirmations, a person has a higher chance of recalling positive thoughts instead of negative ones.
One of the goals of First Tee is to better equip our children for whatever comes their way. With that in mind, we have provided a vision board activity to complete with your child at home.
A vision board is a physical representation of a goal or set of goals that you’re aiming to achieve. It is a collage of items that are meant to kick start their imagination and help visualize those goals with words of positivity and affirmation. Check out the project linked here on our new Links to Learning website.
With positive self-talk, we CAN persevere even through the most uncertain and trying of times. Remember, you’ve got this. (Now, just repeat that to yourself as often as it takes!)