Just recently I spent a weekend in one of my favourite places in the world – Lytham and St Annes on the north-west English coast, the home of Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club. Considered as the first major of the year the Lytham Trophy traditionally kicks of the British amateur season and this year was no different. The first day offered some wonderful sunshine and, using the reference scale appropriate to this part of the world, no wind. On the second day the wind picked up and on the third day some pretty heavy rain was added. In other words it was just what a tournament at the links should be!
 
As I walked the fairways of Royal Lytham I came to think about what a coach friend of mine used to say when trying to ‘coach’ his three sons. He was trying to get them to understand that whatever happens you can choose to go down one of two paths, the smiling path or the moaning path. In the conditions and with the challenges of Royal Lytham all players had the same choice and I have a feeling that the choice they made heavily affected the end result.
 
This choice of paths can of course be applied to any area in life. Over the weekend at Lytham we picked the England team that will go to Japan to play in the World Junior Championship in June. As you can imagine it is an event that most juniors in the country would like to go to and when four players get the nod at least a similar number have a choice to make, to smile or moan? What my coach friend was wanting his sons to realise is that the key of course is to focus on what we can control. Very few of us can control or influence weather, wind or playing partners as much as we can control selections, what grades we are given by a teacher or a decision made by a referee in a football match. The thing we can control however is how we choose to deal with it, whether we go down the smiling or moaning path.
 
Many times it is said that a picture says more than a thousand words. In reading the International Herald Tribune the other day I came across what is regarded as one of the best sports pictures of all time.

In 1978 Austrian ski jumper Klaus Tuchscherer in Lahti, Finland, lost his ski. (Rainer Martini)

In 1978 Austrian ski jumper Klaus Tuchscherer in Lahti, Finland, lost his ski. (Rainer Martini)

I bet Tuchscherer was all fired up as he left the slope for his ski jump in Lahti. When he suddenly realised that one of his skis had started to overtake him in the air I cannot even begin to imagine what went through his head. Smile or moan? It probably isn’t too difficult to realise that the only thing that was going to take him back to the ground safely was for him to focus on what he could control!
 
See the article, which actually has got nothing to do with the above but is a pretty interesting read anyway, from the IHT at:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/05/06/sports/SOCCER.php
 
And in case you want a name to look out for in the future – Matt Haines was the winner at Lytham! This past weekend when most of the England Golf supporters gathered at Frilford Heath Golf Club for the friendly against France Matt was on the winning English side along with eight other successful players, all ready to compete for a spot on the European Championship team later this summer.

Best regards,
 
Peter

“When you live in reaction, you give your power away. Then you get to experience what you gave your power to.”
– N. Smith

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