The British Open, better known as The Open is without doubt the hardest test in golf for any professional. It takes place around the second / third week in July. Each year a different course in chosen in the UK to best represent all that is good in golf and that will test the players to the ultimate in perfection and discipline. It demands their utmost attention, focus and concentration as the course chosen is usually a links course (a course that is situated very close to or on a coast line, open to the elements wind, rain, sunshine). What has professional golf got to do with careers, education and young people?

When we analyze what makes a golfer first of all qualify to play in The Open, make the cut to play at the weekend and then to win it; it is a combination of skill, practice and mindset. Let’s talk about these three attributes and how they are relevant to us who are in education, working or looking for work.

Skill

People say we are born with a natural, talented skill and that it must be developed at a young age. Many of our golfing professionals are / have been. That can be the case, but many people have developed a skill from a mature age whether it be in their teenage years or further on. Have you a skill, what are you good at, what do you enjoy doing, can you turn it into an income generating job / career? Most people in education are trying to develop a skill or an interest and secure a qualification in it. Other people are trying to develop a skill or an interest in their job for reasons of promotion, financial and / or personal reward. Whatever your reason, identify your main skill and get really good at it either through education or employment.

Practice

When we have a skill that we have been blessed with or have worked hard to develop, we have to nurture and look after it if we want it to deliver on our expectations day in, day out. ‘Practice makes perfect’, ‘the more I practice the luckier I get’ and ‘Practice, Practice, Practice’ are all well known words that we heard from people who have actually put actions to their words and made practice of their skill part of their every day routine / life. Golfers spend more time practicing than actually playing. You need to enjoy practicing your skill i.e. enjoy the journey to where your skill will ultimately take you in education and employment.

Mindset

Without the correct mindset, skill and practice don’t always deliver consistently. So many golfers have personal coaches that specifically coach them on having the rigbht mindset to win the tournament, win the championship, win The Open. Mindset is foundational. You ask any golfer, indeed any sporing professional, they will tell you that they won the ultimate prize in their chosen sport by having the right mindset. Mindset is expecting nothing, only doing your best as you use your skill, allowing things to happen, knowing that at the end, you did your best.

Do your best in your chosen education and employment…