I used to be a lone ranger kind of guy, and ultimately, that is likely why I’m now retired from professional golf. I thought I knew enough about my fitness, my swing, my mental game, my schedule, my finances, and everything else to not really need too many other voices in my life. Even though I had worked with many trainers, including my college strength coaches, a swing coach (Mark Steinbauer the goat), a mental coach (Mike Van Heuser the goat also), and had my college coach work through scheduling and help teach me how to practice, all of those folks ultimately taking me to the top 100 in the world for Amateurs and competing in major championships, I figured I was experienced enough to take on all those roles myself. At 25 years old. Dummy.
I’m here to advocate to you, high level performer, that a team will be necessary all your career. Even when you’ve reached top-ten in the world, they still will take a lot of things off your plate and allow you to focus on feeling the difference between a two-yard fade and a one-yard draw. The coolest thing about the higher you climb? The more high-level experts and performers you get to surround yourself with, either because you have the finances, or because you have the aura that now everyone wants to be surrounded by.
One of the best parts of my journey? I now get to be a part of the team for so many people. Instead of being the central figure of my own team, I get to be a cog in the wheel of so many player’s teams. I love being able to provide whatever insights I can for fitness, mentality, scheduling, and even swing sometimes for all of the players I work with. I’d lose my mind if I weren’t able to take my failures and hopefully allow others to learn from them (probably why I love Solomon so much).
Even today, I currently have my own team, and I’m not even a professional athlete anymore. I’ve got folks I reach out to with business questions, I’ve got my wife and others I can ask about fitness, I’ve got swing instructors (Hi Dom!), mental coaches, and everyone to make sure I don’t miss any little details. It’s become that clear to me and just that important to not allow my arrogance to take me away from something that’s working.
Something that usually arises when the “team“ gets talked about: cost. My encouragement to you is that all of us older folks are so willing to help those who are truly curious and truly want help. I have lots of people that ”kinda” want help, or really want me to solve their problems for them, but for those who want a true partnership and work as hard as I do? I’ll bend over all the ways I can to help them improve. It’s that much fun.
There really isn’t an underlying or deeper message to this post beyond this: get a team of folks who believe in you, want to push you, and will walk with you all the way. Hold tight to those folks for a long time. I can tell you that the other alternative likely ends with you doing it later in another career.