Seven Secrets to Zen Sportsmanship

In life you have those moments when you say to yourself: “I wish I would have known…”

For me, golf has inspired many of these reflective moments.

The Jesse girls start young!

The Jesse girls start young!

I’ve been around golf all my life, but only began playing in 1999 when my newly minted husband gave me 52 lessons as a wedding present. You think he had anything in mind?

Let me tell you, I tried so hard to be good that the more I tried, the worse I got. Not only did my technique decline, by my attitude towards the game did, too. The only respite I would get, I am ashamed to admit this, is that I noticed that for the most part other people were not much better. Even the really good players had what I call “groaner” moments. Then, and only then, could I step back and chuckle. Isn’t this completely un-zen-like? Yes, but very human.

Through my journey, especially through my daily BuDhaGirl journey, I have developed the skills that now make golf a pleasure. Whether you're playing golf, or another sport that has you feeling disheartened, use these seven techniques to be zen while at play.

Beautiful bougainvillea on the golf course

Beautiful bougainvillea on the golf course

Secret 1 : Live in the moment

Nothing that has happened or will happen matters.

Secret 2: Only count the good strokes

Don't dwell on mistakes. Keep in mind how good it feels to hit the ball well.

Secret 3: Enjoy the beauty of nature

Unplug from the game, look around, and appreciate your environment.

Secret 4: Have a margarita

Only do this on the back nine.

Secret 5: Don’t keep score.

Let somebody else do it for you.

Secret 6: Look great.

My first golf instructor always told me to think of Grace Kelly when she finished her golf swing. Who cares what happened to the ball if you look great?

Secret 7: Wear your All Weather Bangles.

Set your intention for your game. Then… go. Be it.