That is a message I repeat time and again to the students and athletes I work with in my job. I remind them that WHAT you are can change at any moment, WHO you are does not. We’ve sent our graduates out into the world equipped them with what they need to accomplish amazing things. More important to me is how we have contributed to who they have and will become.
|Merion Golf Club's East Course|
and have great admiration for the skill of the players. In recent memory no one has matches the skill and dominance of Tiger Woods.
|They are both really good at golf.|
|2006 US Open, Michelson reacts with the Double Bogey.|
I know neither player well and admit to having no sound basis for judgment save their public actions. If you look solely at raw talent, Woods may take the lead, but off the course it is no contest. What I mean by that Michelson distances himself in the things that should matter most. In 1999 Michelson wore a beeper and stated outright that if it went off during the U.S. Open, he would leave to be there for the birth of his child. Fourteen years later that same child is graduating from the 8th grade and on the eve of the 2013 US Open he flies back and forth across the country to hear her speak at her ceremony. He’s finished 2nd in the US Open 5 times. He has given the lead up late and I remember when he gave up the lead in 2006 with a double bogey on the 72nd hole and what did he do afterwards. Throw his clubs? Curse? Avoid the media? No. As a window to who he is, he made a point to apologize to his supporters. Lefty is in contention this year. Do I want him to win. Yes. Will I be sad if he doesn’t? No.
We can all struggle with personal relationships and I don’t mean to pick on Tiger. But it is tough to forgive some things. Mostly the WHO type things. I admire Ben Hogan who knew all too well how quickly the WHAT can be taken away. His horrific car wreck in 1949 was supposed to keep him from walking let alone playing. Inspired by letters from people who cared WHO he was. He went on to play and win as he continued his epic career. Another guy I admire is Arnold Palmer met and traveled with his wife on tour why I find it ironic that he and Woods appear on the cover of PGA 2013. We can't forget the Golden Bear Jack Nicklaus. Watching in 1986 when he won with his son on the bag. Wow. Those guys care about WHO they are first.
|Hogan was struck by a greyhound and threw himself in front of his wife during the wreck.|
#1 I am terrible at golf.
#2 As we cheer them on by yelling obnoxious phrases when they tee off or salute them arriving on the green be sure we appreciate who they are as much as what they do.
#3 During those goosebump inducing video montages steeped with history and emotional music give some pause to WHO the great figures of gold were and what they meant to the sport and the people in it.
#4 Whoever wins will be a US Open Champion. That’s what they’ll . While the title is theirs for now, next year there will be another champion taking their place. All that will remain is who they are. When they play their last tournament they’ll walk away and have to live with who they are.
I hope that will be the case.
They'll be competing on Sunday.
Happy Father's Day.
Happy Father's Day.