Friday, April 1, 2016

Golf as an Identity Project

I read an article recently that reviewed some research done on inner city kids about the factors that led them to a more successful life later on. one of the biggest contributors to success was whether they had an "identity project." this was essentially a hobby, but one that ran much deeper into the core of the child, and exploring this hobby lends to greater confidence and better outcomes in other parts of their lives. It's really a fascinating concept, and immediately I realized that that is EXACTLY what golf is to me: my identity project.
For a little backstory: I did not fully appreciate my love of the game until after college (played four years for an NCAA DIII), when I was fortunate enough to have one of my FOUR part-time jobs be to coach the very high school team that gave me my start. The three hours I got with those athletes every Tuesday and Thursday were the best hours of my week. We even won the first tournament I coached with them, which also happened to be my birthday. (BOOM).
Then what feels like sheer luck, I landed what would be the coolest job I could have ever dreamed: coaching a men's and women's college team. To this day, I'm still like, how the hell did I get so lucky? And I LOVED doing it, every minute. It was challenging early on, but so wonderful, especially a few years into when I really assembled my team from freshmen to seniors with student athletes who fit with my style. The only drawback to this dream job was that the time for ME to actually play, practice and compete was basically nothing. It was all about the players getting better (as it should be), managing the administrative side (travel, budget), and recruiting (a 24/7/356 grind). But I loved it. Even when we welcomed our sweet baby into the world, it was the dream working mom's gig.
It came to a bittersweet end after five great years (or hopefully this is just a break!), when my spouse's job (he's pretty awesome btw) offered a promotion too sweet to pass up. The cross-country move meant that suddenly I was a stay-at-home-mom. The irony was that before, I had ample resources yet no time; now I had ample time but no resources. C'est la vie. Fortunately, I have the support of my husband to start playing for my own pleasure again. I've signed up for a league, and I'm damn anxious to play.
Which brings me back to how this is an "identity project" of sorts. I believe that personal interests should be nurtured, and everyone deserves the opportunity to do what they love, even for a small part of their week. Fortunately, my husband agrees and thus is being supportive and encouraging.  From my years of coaching, I also believe that anything worth doing in life should be documented -- whether that's playing stats, or just the enjoyment of the game. With that in mind, welcome to the blog where I will ramble to no end about my experience.
Are there any other golf-fanatics out there who get me? Would love to hear from ya.

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