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Beating the Odds

Why Jordan Spieth Will Bounce Back

If you’re wondering if Jordan Spieth can ever recover from his epic collapse in the Masters, wonder no longer.

He already has begun.

“He handled it awfully well,” ESPN golf commentator Andy North said Sunday after Spieth put two balls into the water on the 12th hole. “What he had to go through the end of the day: the green jacket presentation not once, but twice, and then go and face the media. I thought he handled that well. All those things he did so well are going to help him get over this faster.”

North acknowledged that the meltdown, which opened a door for Danny Willett to win his first major, will affect Spieth in the short run.

“I truly believe he’s going to struggle (with) this for a while,” said North, who owns two major tournament victories. “This is going to hurt him immensely for a week, a couple of weeks, however long until he gets back to playing again. I’m assuming he’s going to take a week or so off by plan, and then he’ll get back at it.”

Spieth impressed North with his poise and grace in two instances where anyone could have been forgiven for a bad mood. Instead, in keeping with Masters tradition, Spieth, as last year’s winner, put the iconic green jacket on the new champion. Then he faced the media with courtesy after experiencing a collapse for the ages.

Spieth’s conduct brought to mind a favorite acronym of certified mental trainer Gary Pritchard: EAR. You have control of only three things:

E= The level of your Effort
A= The Attitude you take toward events
R= How you Respond to mistakes

Spieth responded as well as anyone could have, not only after the tournament but in the six holes after his disaster. Pulling himself together, he birdied Nos. 13 and 15, giving him some hope entering the final three holes. His response contrasted with that of Ernie Els, who after a putting disaster on the first day of the tournament showed his frustration by putting twice with only one hand.

“Mistakes are a fact of life,” said poet Nikki Giovanni. “It is the response to the error that counts.”

Whether in business, personal relations or in one of the world’s most prestigious golf tournaments, you are going to make mistakes. By responding the way Spieth did on Sunday, you can think and act like a champion.

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One comment for “Why Jordan Spieth Will Bounce Back”

  1. I think the “R” in “EAR” is the most crucial. Many years ago, I read in a tennis magazine that, after you miss a shot, the best response is to go on as though no mistake happened — at first it may be play-acting, but eventually you’ll start to feel that way inside.

    Posted by Rebecca | June 9, 2016, 9:13 pm

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