“Hi grandpa how are you?”
“Mark! how are you buddy, what are you doing out here today? Where’s your mother?” “Mum dropped me off and will pick me up at 4pm. Grandpa I wanted to see you and ask you some questions for a school project for Career Week.”
“Really, what can I help you with?”
“Well, you’ve been teaching golfers here at the club for a very long time, and I have to ask a family member some questions about their job or career, and you were the first person I thought of.”
“Wow Mark, I feel privileged that you would think of me first.”
“Yeah, all our family have ‘normal’ jobs Grandpa, but you have a strange job compared to them. Actually, I don’t know anyone else who does what you do.
So I thought you could help me with my questions, as I want to do something different to the rest of my class.”
“Well, I’d be more than happy to help you to understand my “strange job” haha. I’ve got one more lesson to do, and then I can sit down with you to discuss your questions. Why don’t you sit in on this lesson, maybe it will help you with some of your questions.”
“Ok, that’s a great idea.”
“Go sit over there next to my computer.”
“Hi Sally, it’s nice to see you again, and I trust you are well.”
“Hi coach, I’m fine thanks.”
“Sally, I hope you don’t mind but I have my grandson Mark visiting me today, and he’s here to ask me some questions about my job, for a school project.”
“Really? Well hi Mark, I’m Sally Jackson, nice to meet you.”
“It’s nice to meet you too Miss Jackson.”
“Mark, please call me Sally.”
“What class are you in at your school Mark?”
“I’m finishing up my last year of high school, and heading off to college next year on a golf scholarship.”
“Sally, Mark is the top ranked junior golfer in the country, and has been accepted into a top school.
“Well good for you Mark, and I guess you know you are in good hands being coached by your grandpa.”
“Yes, he’s an awesome teacher Sally.”
“Have you been taking lessons with my grandpa for long Sally?”
“Actually Mark this is my second lesson. I play on the LPGA Tour, and travel a lot. I’m back in town for a week, so I wanted to spend some more time with him.”
“Wow! So you are a tour player. How long have you been on tour Sally, and have you ever won a tournament?”
"I’ve been on tour about seven and a half years, and I’ve won five times Mark.”
“Wow, that’s great, you must be really good.”
“I have my moments Mark.”
“Sally, why did you come to see my grandpa, I mean, he’s not a tour coach?”
“Well, I heard his name mentioned by a few players, and I have been struggling with my game and mentally been in a terrible place. So a friend of mine insisted that I book in to see your grandpa when I was in town.
"Over the past couple of years I’ve been to almost every well-known swing coach you can think of, and I’ve spent lot’s of time and money with them, and quite frankly Mark I just wasn’t seeing any real improvement in my game.”
“Yes I think I know what that feels like. Fortunately, it never lasts long because grandpa gets me back on my track very quickly.”
“Actually, when I met your grandpa for our first lesson, we just sat over a cup of coffee and talked for what seemed like ages. That was kind of a strange experience for me because he wasn’t in any hurry to look at my golf swing, he was much more interested in asking me questions.”
“Were the questions he asked difficult to answer Sally?”
“Yes, some were for sure. I guess I wasn’t expecting the depth of your grandpa’s questions. I’m used to teachers asking me questions—you know the usual questions like, “which way was my ball was flying?” or, “what am I currently working on in my swing?”
“Sally, one of the members of our club Dr. Johnson said to me one time that when Grandpa’s asks you questions, it’s feels like he’s using a scalpel to cut away the filters of your conscious mind to get to your unconscious.”
“Hmmm that is an interesting way to put it. I guess I’d have to agree that your grandpa’s questions are sharp, that’s for sure.”
“Grandpa told me once that the secret to playing golf closer to your potential is to ‘manage the dominant one.”
“Really, what does that mean?”
“I can’t tell you that Sally, it’s a secret, hehe. You’ll have to ask my grandpa”
“Ok, coach, what does ‘manage the dominant one’ mean?”
“All in good time Sally. We will get to that, but right now we better get to work.”
“Ok sounds good coach. Hey Mark it was nice talking to you. Maybe we can arrange a game while I’m in town.”
“That would be awesome Sally.”
“There’s just one condition though Mark.”
“Oh, what is it?”
“You have to tell me what ‘manage the dominant one’ means...”
“Not a chance hehe.”
“Ok, I’ll get your number when I get finished up with your grandpa.”
“That would be great.”
“Your grandson is a lovely young man coach.”
“Yes, he’s a good boy, works hard, and has a good head on his shoulders. Now Sally, do you like stories?
“Uh, sure I do, but what kind of stories do you mean coach—fiction or non-fiction?”
“Well, it doesn’t really matter too much Sally. We tell stories all-day-everyday—mostly to ourselves, but we also tell stories to others.
"For example, when you arrived today and talked with Mark, you told him a story.”
“Sure you did. You told him a story of how you came to have lessons here, and you told him about your experiences with other teachers, and your struggles of recent times with the game.”
“Well, I guess I did, but I never thought of it as telling a story...”
“Sally, we are all story tellers, and the stories we tell are a blend of some facts, but mostly fiction.
"Remember last time we met you began by sharing your story with me, and maybe you’ll recall that I was actively listening to you, and that I only asked you questions after I felt I understood what you were saying.”
“Actually I do remember that coach. I actually felt that I was talking too much.”
“No, not at all. But I asked you questions in an effort to dig out more from your story. You know that when mining companies mine for gold they have to move mountains of rock to find the nuggets. So I dig through the story with my questions in an attempt to understand the meaning within the words of your story. They are the gold nuggets for me."
You see, your stories contain a complex code of words within the sentences that need to be deciphered carefully to reveal how much the dominant one controls you...”
“Ok, enough already coach! You really need to tell me what you mean by managing the dominant one.”
“All in good time Sally, but for now, let me share with you a very short story based on a famous Zen story...
"A horse suddenly appears out of nowhere, and it comes galloping quickly down a dusty road and through the Main Street of a small town with a woman frantically holding on to the horses mane for dear life. Now Sally it seemed to a group of bystanders in that small town as though the woman might have somewhere important to go. One man who was standing with the group then shouted out to the woman as she went by, "Where are you going in such a hurry?" and the woman replied, "I don't know! Ask the horse!...
Now Sally, it must be about 6 weeks ago since we last saw each other. How have you played since then?”
“Ah pardon me coach, but what about the story?”
“Yes the story about the woman and the horse...”
“Ah yes the story, all in good time Sally.”
Part 2 posting soon...