In 2002 I made my first final 8 at the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship. At the time I was known as “The ATM” because I always made the money round by being one of the most accurate hitters in the sport. I would hit my best balls in the grid and make the bigger hitters beat me… Very few could. On that particular night I was the 6th hitter in the final 8 contestants. Brian Pavlet had set the mark at 363 yards and I knew I could beat it. While in the on deck circle an unknown new comer named Carl Wolters shocked the world of Long Drive by besting Pavlet, the #1 ranked Long Driver in the World, by 21 yards! The new mark was now 384 yards!! I hadn’t come this far to finish second. So I tried to do something I knew I couldn’t do, be a Long Driver! As a long hitting golfer this proved to be a bad decision. On my first six balls in my first Final 8 ever, I swung for the fences. The result as we know was 0-6 that year… OB! I felt I had the ability but didn’t manage the circumstances well. I was so concered with getting there I was unprepared for what could happen when I did. The lesson I learned propelled me to my first REMAX World Title in 2004.
Alabama head coach, Nick Saban, has done the same thing. In order to compete with todays high scoring fast moving offenses that had been kicking his butt in the big games he made a controversial hire in the baligered Lane Kiffin as Offensive Coordinator. Kiffin is known to have a very good understanding of the modern fast paced offense that has swept college football. But also known as immature non leader unable to win the big games. The first half of the season Saban let Kiffin run the offense his way and things looked pretty good. Then came the biggest games of the year Ole Miss and Arkansas… when all of Alabama’s offensive shortcomings came out. The offensive side of the ball were confused and very lacking in execution, especially the Coach and QB… the mistake was made. So Saban stepped in and did what Saban does better than anyone else. He identified the problem, made a plan to resolve it and get the most out of his new coach and his players by teaching them the most efficient way to win is execution. I believe with Saban leading Kiffin, Lane is learning to lead his talented but inexperienced quarterback who is learning to lead a very potent high powered offense straight to their fourth National Championship in 6 years.
The lesson learned. All the highly successful people in life do it. It’s something I am trying to get back to implementing in my daily life… “Be true to who you are. Do what you do best better than anyone else.”