Be like Jason Day—never say die

 

IMG_1817If Jason Day ever retires from golf, he could give sales seminars. In his world, every door that slams in your face brings you one step closer to one that opens.

After his birdie putt came up just short on the 72nd hole at St. Andrews for yet another disappointment in a major championship, it would have been understandable if the 27-year-old Australian missed the cut at the RBC Canadian Open, shrugged and went home for much needed rest.

But in winning the RBC Canadian Open with three straight closing birdies, Day showed the resilience that has sustained him through a number of near misses in the majors, including the U.S. Open in June where he battled vertigo-like symptoms.

With Day, there are no excuses or petulance. He accepts his disappointments with grace—as steps forward. After his victory Sunday, Day said “all of those little hiccups” in major championships make it easier for him in future events.

“I fell short a little bit last week, but I knew my game was ready and I was focused on playing good this week,” he said. “I just want to be the best I can be while I’m on this Earth… I’m not going to quit and I’m not going to stop fighting until it’s over.

“My dad used to say ‘never say die’ all the time. Even though I may be 72nd dead last coming up, I’m going to keep fighting because I know there is one little thing you can learn each and every day to try to get better at your profession.”

We can also learn a lot from Day in handling highs and lows, which included holing out from the rough on No. 10 on Thursday and high-fiving the fans, then dealing with a bogey, double-bogey string on Saturday.

Day says keep your emotions “as neutral as possible… Even though it can be tough at times, give it 100 percent,” he said. “Never get frustrated with yourself. Always learn from the down times.”

With that kind of perspective in the face of so much adversity, Jason Day is a great model, and it’s obvious why he’s so popular and respected among fans and his peers. And with that attitude, Jason Day will one day win his major, maybe even in the upcoming PGA Championship.

I’ll be rooting for him.

Picture: Tim O’Connor

About Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor is a performance coach, an award-winning writer, Head Coach of the University of Guelph golf team and Mental Performance Coach at the ClubLink Academy at Glen Abbey. He is co-host of the Swing Thoughts podcast with Howard Glassman, and a leader in training in the ManKind Project. He gets all excited when he helps people tap into their brilliance.

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