• Michael Edmondson

How often do you prepare?

Today is December 5 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “How often do you prepare?

American professional golfer Ben Hogan, one of the greatest players in the history of the game, is notable for his profound influence on the golf swing theory and his legendary ball-striking ability.

He was well known for his intensity in preparation. As Hogan noted “There is no similarity between golf and putting; they are two different games, one played in the air, and the other on the ground. Placing the ball in the right position for the next shot is eighty percent of winning golf.”

He practiced and achieved great success amidst many personal tragedies.

First, his father committed suicide when Hogan was nine years old, which left an impact on him forever. His father’s suicide placed the Hogan in financial difficulties, so his mother moved them from their rural Texas home to Fort Worth. To make ends meet, Hogan took to caddying to make money, and golf became his road out of poverty.

Second, it took Hogan 10 years to win his first professional tournament during which time he went broke more than once. Hogan practiced until his palms were cracked and blistered, then soaked his hands in pickle brine to toughen them up, and practiced some more.

Finally, he needed 59 days in the hospital to recover from a near death car accident that left Hogan with a double fracture of the pelvis, a fractured collar bone, and near-fatal blood clots.

With courage and perseverance, Hogan demonstrated time and again that despite a personal tragedy, a decade’s worth of struggle and a near death experience success is still possible. He didn't win his first tournament until 1940, when he was 28 and had been struggling (and mainly failing) for a decade to make it as a pro. All told, he went on to win 64 pro tournaments.

As former U.S. President Calvin Coolidge said “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

Hogan had to repeatedly rebound from failure and press on. Do you?

#BenHogan #golf #persistence #grit #athlete #prepare

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