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Beating the Odds

How Jordan Spieth (And You) Can Improve

Now that we know that Jordan Spieth can play, we will find out if he can learn.

Early signs are good.

“Saturday and Sunday, there were definitely nerves throughout the rounds, but that’s just going to happen,” Spieth said, reflecting on the last two days of the Masters. “The most important thing is channeling that positively and to use the adrenaline to hit it further and just to really enjoy the experience. I think that that’s mainly what I took in from a lot of veterans: Just to kind of walk slower, look around and just enjoy it.”

Spieth would have enjoyed things a lot more had he been able to keep the lead he held through the first seven holes of the final round. Instead, he got a bit shaky while Bubba Watson began making shots. Spieth tied Jonas Blixt for second, earning $792,000.

His mistakes included getting greedy on the par-3 12th hole, abandoning his game plan and winding up in the water.

“In the long run, it’s probably better that it worked out that way than if I pulled it off,” Spieth said. “Now I’ll sit back and look at it and realize you just have to stick to that original game plan out there and you can’t get greedy, and that’s what I did just on that one swing.”

That’s what Spieth learned: staying patient and channeling his nerves into excitement. Now that he’s identified the areas to improve, he must concentrate on them.

To get better at anything in your life, you must do what Spieth did, namely, step back and analyze what went wrong. It’s not easy to do because defeat brings anger and frustration.

But if you can put those emotions to the side, you become a learner, not a loser.

Once you’ve identified what went wrong, you work on making sure it doesn’t happen again.

It’s a simple, though not easy, response to failure: Identify areas for improvement and work on them.

What areas must you address in your life so you can win your version of the Masters?

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Thank you for visiting Total Game Plan. While you’re here, you can find many other articles to help you reach your potential.

Do you want to do your best when it means the most? Of course you do, and “Think Better, Win More!: How Sport Psychology Can Make you a Champion” will help.

How to Survive Your Sports Season” is an invaluable resource to help you with the highs and lows of practice and competition.

To improve at anything, check out “The Improvement Factor: How Champions Turn Practice into Success.”

Need some motivation? Everyone needs it now and then. Open any page of “Thank God You’re Lazy! The Instant Cure for What’s Holding You Back” for a story or a quote to lift your spirits.

Are you a sports coach? Here’s “Ten Things Great Coaches Know” by Mike Tully and Gary Pritchard.


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