While I don’t get out to the golf course nearly enough, I do value my time there. Aside from a nice stroll in the countryside (and occasionally in the woods or in the backyards of lovely golf course homes), a few hours on the course almost always teaches or reminds me of some very important lesson from the past. Last week’s reminder? No practice translates into no confidence…and often, a disappointing result.
Prior to last week’s round, I had to rush to the course because of a conference call gone long. I skipped my normal routine at the driving range and the practice green, and I headed out to tee #1. I had so little confidence about my approach and my swing that I had to step away from the tee more than once. Second thoughts, doubts, and a little too much noise in my head prior to that first swing ended in a predictable result. I executed a perfect slice, well short of my target, right behind a tree, which made my next shot nearly impossible.
To summarize the lesson… walk out to the first tee without at least taking a few practice swings, and you are more likely than not to flub your first shot. Don’t want to bother with the practice green? Plan to three-putt a few today….
By now, you know that I am going to relate this to selling, so I will keep this short and sweet. How often do salespeople dispense with practice, in favor of something else? How does that affect their confidence and their execution? What could be more important than practicing and preparation?
As for me, I take my craft very seriously…far more seriously than I do my golf game. “Practice makes