“You have to call me once you get there, please. I’m worried they will screw up your swing,” says John, my golf coach. “I don’t think they can do any harm, really. It’s not like I’m going to show up and completely forget about everything I learned these past four years”, I say, “it should be fun! I’m not going to lie though, I’m super nervous”. “Casey,” John goes on to say “I want you to be prepared to be let down. You need to understand these players are playing in every top Division 1 college. They will beat you. And they won’t feel sorry for you. This will be one of the biggest challenges you will have to face. But remember, this isn’t for them. This is for you. This is for you to improve in ways you never thought you could before. No one cares if you have a bad shot. Just think about you and how you want to succeed”.
John, a man with a past career of Division 1 tennis and music, is one of the most encouraging coaches I have ever met. He is always early, stays after hours in the dark, tells me how bad I am at times, yet shows me how I can win a match, in the most difficult sport I have ever played, golf. He is always positive, telling me and his other students, that we can achieve what ever we set our minds to. He is always smiling, always rubbing and making jokes about his big belly, and always a father figure to us all.
“Kid, you hit the ball as hard as my grandma does, and she’s dead”. These comments are shot my way during every practice. “Yo, you hit like a girl. When are you going to start lifting weights, like I tell you every time you come to me?” he says. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I’m so busy. I’ve been trying my best” I say. “Well, obviously your best is not enough!” says my coach.
This makes me nervous. How am I going to survive two weeks at a golf school? TWO WEEKS?! I will most likely be the only girl and I will have to play with boys everyday on the course. Why didn’t my mom let me get out of this earlier? How far will I get until I break down in a panic attack? “Case, I understand how much anxiety you have. But that’s a good thing. If you didn’t have any worries, than there would be no reason to do this clinic. It will be rough, but you can do it. I have yet to have any doubts,” John tells me. If John thinks I can do it, then I think I can. He knows all. He is god of golf for me. Yes, John, I can do it. I’m doing it for not only me, but for you too. You will not be there but we are in this together. Every stroke, every pitch, every putt, I will follow your suggestions, tips, and advice. I will take a practice swing first, every motion identical to the way you taught me. We can do this John, we can do this.