Jordan Spieth is one of the best in the business at dealing with fans and media alike, an all too often overlooked component of being a world class player.
The World Number Two showed his class again at this week’s Tournament of Champions in Hawaii when he sat down with the assembled media for a pre-tournament press conference.
Spieth, three-times a major winner though yet to celebrate his 25th birthday, was asked an intriguing, non-golf related question and his answer was a lesson to every wannabe professional on the planet.
The exchange went like this: “When you talk about big years especially at a young age, how do you avoid having great confidence morph into having a big head? And have you ever been guilty of that do you think?”
“JORDAN SPIETH: I'm sure, I'm sure I have been guilty of it. Say something that maybe is looked at out of context or whatever, but.
“And I'll be the first to tell you, when everyone tells you you're great all the time, it's difficult to sometimes stay grounded, while still maintaining that kind of confidence that you need to have to feel like you're over the ball and you're the one that's going to be the one that's hitting the shot, pulling off the shot to win or whatever.
"So there are times where I certainly fall into it and I've got people around me to bring me back out of it and to bring me level headed.
“And there is difficulty in any sport, entertainment, entertainers, that you get told enough times that you're special and you're great and you're better than this and that and that. Well, no one's better than anybody else, we just, we're entertainers, that's what we do.”
There are many far less accomplished players who would be well advised to heed Spieth’s words of wisdom. And every up and coming player should take a few minutes to contemplate what the Texan is saying.
Apart from making Spieth a more likeable human being, his honesty in admitting he is sometimes guilty of having a big head while also being sensible enough to rein himself in is undoubtedly one of the keys to his success.
The truly great players constantly walk the fine line of needing to believe they are better than their competition while simultaneously understanding that being good at golf is of little importance in the real world.
Humility isn’t a topic covered in most golf instruction but perhaps it should be, particularly at the elite level.
Jordan Spieth is living proof that nice guys don’t always finish last and indeed, it might be a part of the reason why they often finish first.
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