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October 02, 2012

It's all about not giving up!

this is about not tossing in the towel... yesterday I was playing a miserable round of golf on my home course... ended up shooting 45 on the front nine which is 9 over par for that nine... I then ran off 8 pars and a birdie on the back nine to shoot 32... first time I've gone one under all year on either of the nines... total score of 77 which is about average for me this year on that course... it wasn't so much the 32 that got me excited cuz I never sank a first putt and there were at least 6 golden opportunities for birdies under 10'... it was the differential between the 45 and the 32 --- 13 shots for those a little slower at math this morning :) that got me going!... at the end of 9 holes i set myself a goal of trying to break 80 which would meant a 34 and still a noble thought considering how I was playing... I put away my driver and played the rest of the tee shots with my 3 wood... I chose locations for the landing of my shots instead of just flailing away... and I focussed on where my putts would be rolling (not entirely successful except there were no three putts!) so... let's compare this to bowls and curling...  you've stunk up the joint in the first 5 or 6 ends... do you give up and call it a bad day or do you do something about it... do you set goals for the next 2 ends? for the next 6 ends? for the finish?... If you don't I'm willing to wager that you finish up just the way you started... in a mess... In 1984 I was honoured to be selected to play in the Gateway International Singles Tournament... alongside David Bryant, Willie Wood, Peter Belliss... some of bowls' greatest bowlers. In my last sectional game I was down 18 - 9 to Willie Wood, who at the time was at the top of his game. The other lads had finished their games and I heard them say to Willie as they walked by the back of the green... "see you in a few minutes at the pub, Willie!"... that was the spark I needed to get me out of my funk. For whatever reason I made an adjustment to my style that was obviously not working for shorteer ends (I was gettin hammered on them by Willie)... a little more crouch, less backswing, less hurried... just over an hour later the same lads came back as I was finishing my game with Willie, having just played an immaculate draw to the button (when the BCC commentators in the background were announcing to the TV audiences... "the young Canadian must surley be driving the head now!"... and next playing what may be the tighest and best placed guard I had ever played at that point... Game, Set, Match... Milligan 21 - Wood 20... and the lads in behind had a most astonished look on thier faces. Point is... I could have given up... I could have joined Willie and the lads in the pub shortly after they got there... I could have continued slogging along used my same technique and wondering how I got into that mess... but I didn't and nor should you...be willing to change what you're doing whether it's your style of play, the strategy you're using or a combination of both... doing the same thing over and over again and losing over and over again just doesn't make sense to me... and nor should it to you! If you can't figure it out for yourself, don't be afraid to ask a teammate or your coach. A second pair of eyes never hurts. If you've got a comeback story to share head on over to our forum and share it with everyone... maybe we can all get better as a result!

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