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You Can Learn from Your Children

The Finish to the 2019 – 2020 School Year was Brutal

My son, Jack just turned 17 a few months ago and he will be a senior in high school next year.

Like most kids who attend school, the last few months of the school year were brutal with remote, online learning because of COVID-19.

But it was especially challenging for kids who work year-round to participate in their school’s spring sports season.  For Jack, he missed out on his entire Junior year golf season at Detroit Catholic Central High School as it was cancelled because of the virus.

Additionally, the courses in Michigan were closed for an extended period of time, and to add to the complication for golf training, the spring weather in Michigan this year was awful – cold, rain, wind.

Jack was in a funk.

Back in the Game

Incredibly some social distancing golf tournaments opened up in May, and Jack finally got a chance to compete again.

It did not go as well as he hoped, playing at about 6,400 yards he shot 77, 83, 76, 78.

He wasn’t sharp physically, or mentally, and he was just overall out of sync.

He didn’t get the practice time that was needed to perform well prior to the May tournament schedule, and his mind was not sharp.

It showed.

Golf, just as anything in life that is performance based, is unforgiving.

And the numbers never lie.


There are always options in this world. For Jack and golf, his were to either stay level and continue to go through the motions (which ultimately would lead to negative production), or to dig in, establish some goals, quickly develop a disciplined practice regimen, and ultimately get back to work with high intensity and focus.

Jill and I were, of course, hoping that he would choose to dig in and get back to work, especially since we have seen him flourish so much in the sport over the years.

Motivation though …. if it is to last …. needs to come from within …

It’s his life ultimately and anything that requires a great deal of time should be owned by the individual who is doing the activity, not a parent, coach, or supervisor.

And this is a primary reason why we have encouraged our children to participate in athletics – great batting practice for life lessons that they inevitably will experience again down the road (when it really matters …. like …. during a career … or raising children … or having a family …. or paying bills, etc.).

Choosing Success

Jack chose to commit to an intense, and highly disciplined practice regimen leading up to the Michigan Amateur Qualifier at Salem Hills.

The preparation and hard work paid off, as the course played difficult at 6,900 yards and he qualified for the Michigan Amateur with a +1 and total score of 73.

This was one of his largest golf accomplishments to date.

I of course was happy for Jack, and to see him with his bounce back in his step, but mostly I am happy for the process that he chose to dig himself out of the hole he was in.

Even if he didn’t perform as well in the Qualifier, he chose the proper process to be successful.

And that is the key.

You aren’t always going to hit the number, and some days, weeks, months, or years will be better than others.

But if you can constantly choose success in your work habits, and your approach … then overall, you will end up being much more successful than you would be otherwise had you not chosen a focused approach.

The Path, The Experience, The Grind

Jack is now one of only a small handful of high school age players who will get an opportunity to compete with the big boys (Current College Golfers, and Grown Men who are passionate and highly accomplished golfers) at the Michigan Amateur to be held at the Boyne Highlands Resort at the end of June.

I hope he enjoys the experience and continues to learn that the only limits you have in this world are truly the ones that you place on yourself.

Jack was kind enough to remind his old man of the simple life lesson that has held up for the test of time – good things happen to those who work hard.

If you are in business, enjoy the ride, enjoy the experience. 

Enjoy the grind that is always required, to achieve success.

Don’t ever sell yourself short. 

Stretch yourself to reach for the stars, maybe you’ll fall short but that’s ok, you still have a good chance of landing on the moon.

Don’t ever stop challenging yourself to get better, or to do more.

Life and careers are full of ups and downs.

How you choose to handle adversity, and how you choose to handle difficult situations will define you in business, and in life.

Take all challenges head-on.

If you find yourself in a hole, or a slump … just start working harder … grind harder …. this is the primary initiative that is needed to dig out and get yourself on the right track.

Take a look at your children … no matter how young or old they may be … there are things they are doing that may be inspiring!

Jim Guerrera

Author Info

Jim Guerrera

Jim Guerrera, Managing Director, founded SCN in 2000. Jim is primarily responsible for the development of the leaders at SCN, strategic planning, the hiring and development of company associates, culture leadership, core value leadership, sales le...

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