My love of the game and my comfort level with the game is the key to my success. My mother and father taught me the game. Everything we did was around golf.
What is the difference between the great champions and those who have talent but don't make it to the top?
The players who understand themselves are the ones that become the great champions. The players that have had that safe environment growing up become the ones that can take it to the pin, can hit that pressure shot time and time again because they know it's only a game. There's really nothing that threatens their core existence. It's simply, there's the ball, there's the hole, and I'm going to get it in there.
I don't identify with my golf score. I'm not a great guy if I shoot 65 and I'm not a bad guy if I shoot 78. I'm still Peter Jacobson the person and my golf score is simply that, my golf score. And the great players can go beyond the score and simply be the great people that they are, first and foremost. You've got to be a great person. You've got to have, I think, the great human kindness before you can be a great performer.
I didn't play organized sports really until I was 15 or 16, and I'm almost beginning to believe that we shouldn't have children's sports until the age of 10 or 15. Children are not emotionally secure enough to understand what it's all about. And what happens in that situation is that they turn to their mother and father who, a lot of the times are raving lunatics, out there screaming at the coach because the coach is not playing their son or daughter. No wonder they feel humiliation.
I've also seen many times when a child, a daughter or a son, misses the open goal kick in soccer, or misses a lay-in in basketball, and the parents berate them and talk down to them almost as if they stole a gun and broke into a store. It's that bad. I just sit back in amazement and shake my head. Watching them makes me want to do better with my children. One of the most amazing things I've ever witnessed or ever seen happened in a 10 year old basketball game, and I think this is, well what happened was I was keeping score for a team, for the game, and our team which my son was on went out and in a basketball game they scored 15 baskets and the other team scored 2 baskets and it was a whitewash.
I mean our team was just throwing the ball in in lay-ups back and forth and their team rarely had the ball and they rarely scored. So the buzzer went out for the first half. Kids come charging over to me and the coach is giving them high five, "way to go, way to go," and the kids come up to me and they say, "Mr. Jacobson, what's the score?" And I say, "well, it's 30 to 4," and they said, "who's winning?" Now if you think about that, it was obvious to everybody who was winning, the coaches, the parents, because they were scoring so many baskets here and none there. But if you stop and think about the children, score had meant nothing to them.
They were playing the game and when that happened I thought to myself, wow, if there is ever a reason to not keep score in these games. This one child who said, "who's winning?" He didn't know. He was playing a game. The only reason these kids keep score in these games is for the parents satisfaction and for the coaches satisfaction. Who cares? They're 10 years old. They're not qualifying for the Dream Team. They're playing a game.
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