It's been a few weeks since the Division III National Golf Tournament, and I have started to reminisce on the experience. It has made me think about how important being a student-athlete at Wittenberg has meant to me so far in my collegiate career, and how exactly I got to this moment.
I have been a golfer my whole life. Ever since I could walk, I knew how to swing a club. My love for the game had not developed completely until high school when I met lifelong friends and started to realize that I had a talent for golfing at a higher level. Golf is something I look forward to enjoying for the rest of my life. The first and basically only reason that I started to look into coming to Wittenberg was golf. There have been countless other components of the campus (the community, faculty, staff, friends, and family) that have reassured me that I made the correct decision. I know that this is also true for most of the campus, since many of us are student-athletes who decided to go Division III to pursue a quality education while still enjoying the sport we love. All of the extracurriculars, including but not limited to athletics, are the reasons that have made the first half of my journey so worth it, and will continue to enhance my college experience.
The tournament was held at Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C., this year. It is a four-day event, May 15-18, where the winner is named NCAA National Men's Golf Champion.
Just like any other tournament, nerves are present. Even though it is structurally the same as the countless other golf tournaments we play, the pressure and nerves get amplified at nationals. The big stage provides an atmosphere of pressure to have its effect. The best golfers are said to thrive under pressure and stand out from the rest of the competitors when it is all said and done.
I have found that golf is very similar to life in that way. There are plenty of opportunities to accept defeat, but as the classic saying goes, “it is a marathon, not a sprint.” Remaining calm, having a positive mindset, believing in yourself, and being confident in your ability are the only things you can control.
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
* Herman Cain
Coming into the first day of the tournament, all the hard work is already done. Time spent in last week’s practice, the previous tournament, and the offseason, all prepared me for this week. All that is left is to believe in yourself and have fun enjoying the experience of playing on the national stage.