If you’re a fan of major league baseball (or the NFL or NBA,) like I am, you understand what the term “career year” means. You may also have noted that a very high percentage of players who are in the last year of their current contract, (and have “free agency” on the horizon,) always seem to have their “career year.” In baseball, this typically means a higher batting average and more runs batted in (RBIs) for a position player. For a pitcher, it’s a lower earned run average (ERA) and/or more quality starts.

Why is there such a correlation? With only a little evidence and some logic, it would seem based on the following formula: “Hunger + Effort + Preparation = Increased Performance and Impact.” As a logical result, we can conclude (and we have seen,) the better the performance and/or greater the impact on the baseball diamond, the better the contract in free agency, including base salary, incentives and length of contract.

Are you ready for a Career Year in 2013? Just like veteran baseball players facing an uncertain future, each of us needs to face facts about our unique situation and analyze what we can do to take control of our future.

Let’s unpack this idea, by honestly asking ourselves the following questions:

A. HUNGER TO BE BETTER

  1. What is my “why” for being in the golf business?
  2. Am I hungry enough to want more? (In line with your “why.”)
  3. Do I want to be doing what I did in this year, in 2013 or for the next 5-10 years?
  4. Has my current job become less PGA-centric and more about “paper pushing?” Is this good or bad for my facility or my career in the long run?

B. STEPPING UP IN FOCUSED EFFORT

  1. Based on my “personal why,” WHAT should I focus on in the next six months to get WHERE I hope to go?
  2. Is the team at our facility “on board” with the plan? (Not just the golf department team, but the entire facility team.) If no, how can I share my “why” with them to help get them on board?

C. PREPARING TO SUCCEED**

  1. Would a Player Development Business Plan for 2013 be a good idea? (If you answer yes, I’m here to help with this.)
  2. Do I need to refocus on Knowing My Customers Better? (Here’s how: Effective Tactics to Building Relationships with Your Customers)
  3. Should I share my Player Development Business Plan with other departments, senior management, the Board of Directors, etc?

**To further develop your “preparation plan,” please plan to participate with your fellow professionals at the upcoming PNWPGA Fall Education Series event on Monday, October 22, 2012 at Fircrest Golf Club in Tacoma, WA. This event is planned to include three hours of education on Finding Your Why, Active Marketing concepts, Best Practice Breakout Sessions and more! There are also MSR points included as well.

THE RESULTS:

D. INCREASED PERFORMANCE

  1. How am I going to track the results? (Unfortunately, we don’t have the MLB stats team, but we do have PGA PerformanceTrak, with newly added Player Development tracking capability.)
  2. What if the weather is not as good in 2013? Will my “increased performance” show my value to my employer by softening the blow of poor weather or a poor economy?

E. MAKING A GREATER IMPACT

  1. Considering my personal “why” for being in the golf business, am I helping my customers find joy, hope and friendship in golf?
  2.  In terms of my “why,” am I leading the way for my family, my friends, my employees and my fellow professionals in making a difference?

If I may, can I say that I believe in you, the PGA Golf Professional! I believe that you are in this business because you (1) love the game of golf, (2) love to share your passion for the game with others AND help them enjoy it more and more often, (3) want to provide for your family and (4) want to leave a lasting positive imprint on the lives of your customers, employees and colleagues.

For the remainder of 2012, and in your personal development for 2013, may I encourage you…call you to use your special position as a PGA member to make the impact you have been called to. Let’s never forget that our customers, members, and guests come to our facility to get away from their own economic and personal stresses, misery and “dark clouds.”

Let’s not be fake in what we do. Let’s be an authentic combination of encouragers, teachers, player developers and game promoters…let’s even pass out mulligans more often. As one of my favorite musical artists, TobyMac, wrote in one of his recently released songs called Speak Life,  “Speak life, speak life/When the sun won’t shine and you don’t know why/Look into the eyes of the broken hearted/Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope.”

“Speaking life” can also be valuable for our fellow professionals whom we know are simply worn down, discouraged, unemployed, underemployed or just not seeing much brightness on the horizon. As the season winds down in 2012, let’s be mindful of these colleagues and do what we can to help them find their own “why” and their hope for 2013 again.

Monte Koch

Phone: 206-335-5260

E-mail: mkoch@pgahq.com