Friday, July 27, 2007

Sergio Gacia, "I just have to get better."

That was Garcia's response when asked what he needs to do to win a major. It's a reasonable answer, but totally evasive. For example, the rest of us, in order to shoot better scores, can and should get better--there's plenty of room for improvement when you're scores are above 80. However, when you're at Garcia's level of play, there isn't any technique you can improve to save strokes--he can hit a 2-iron 250 yards off the fairway, for Pete's sake. No, at his level, it's all about psychology.

So, let's ask Mr. Garcia the question again. "Mr. Garcia, why didn't you win the British Open?"

Mr. Garcia, "Well, that's complicated. You see, I'm young, and I've never really thought of myself as an equal to other players. Sure, I shoot the same scores, but deep down--and this is hard for me to admit--I feel like a little kid out there with the men. So at the crucial moment, I hit a bad shot."


"You've seen the outfits I where, right? Colorful, tight-fitting, gregarious. You see, I think I wear that stuff because I have to feel special, and if I don't win a major, I'm the least special of all. That added pressure--that I'm playing not only to win a tournament, but to define myself as a human being--is too much. I think I sold myself a bill of goods, and I think by losing, I'm rebelling against my own incorrect assumptions of identity."

Of course, a player doesn't have to admit that kind of stuff to the press, but he does have to admit it to himself (and probably a shrink) in order to get what he's after, i.e., a major championship.

So if any of us continually fail at something we're trying to succeed at, you have to ask the question, "Why am I really failing?"

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