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Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Success Soup - V is for Velocity

Last week as I was contemplating heading into the most difficult letters of the alphabet for my success soup recipe, my dear friend Shannon gave me several of my words, one of which is for today. Velocity.

It was inspired by the fact that I was headed to Sebring, Florida, where my daughter and her school team were playing in the Crutchfield/Hawkins Golf Tournament.

Velocity.  Speed.  Momentum.  Persistence.  Drive.  Determination.

For those that play golf, you know that these words all fit together.  What you may not know is that for this particular team, velocity doesn't begin with their stance and positioning their swing for maximum speed.

Oh, make no mistake, all of that is important and in this photo these girls had just come off the driving range where they had worked to get all of that down before heading over to tee off.

But their real velocity comes from each other.

My daughter Kiera (the sassy one in the middle) is blessed to play on the varsity women's golf team from Cambridge Christian School in Tampa, Florida.  They are known as the Lady Lancers.

Rebekah Bustamante, Sarah Noto, Gabi Patane, Ashley
Zagers, Kiera Fitzgerald (not shown, Alison Armstrong)
The Lady Lancer team is a bit unorthodox in that Kiera is the only full time student at Cambridge. Her teammates are all home schooled, which [at least theoretically] means that they have a little more time to work on their game than she does.

Last year was Kiera's first year on the team, which consisted of Kiera, Sarah, Ashley and Alison. These three are amazing golfers.

This could have been SO intimidating for Kiera, who was relatively new to the sport.  But even though her scores at the beginning were more than twice any one of their individual scores, they never once made her feel bad about it.

Velocity for this team began there.

By the end of the season, Kiera had shaved over 50 strokes off her score, boldly securing the "most improved" award at the awards ceremony.

Over the summer, Kiera invested a lot of time in her golf game, with private lessons, playing with her dad, spending time on the driving range and going to a Nike Golf Camp in Rome Georgia at Berry College.

This year they are undefeated in the regular season.  

Last week in the Sebring tournament, I saw something else that gives this team momentum.  Kiera was joined this year by Gabi, who brings her infectious smile to the course and very similar skill level to Keira.     Having a teammate at her level is another encouragement to her and they are enjoying the healthy competition that this provides.  In fact, in their last few matches they were separated by just one stroke.   In Sebring in their practice round they both scored in the high 40s on 9 holes, so  I look forward to the day (very soon!) when they both break 100 on 18 holes of competition.

And yesterday in another 18-hole tournament for the Bay Conference Championship, I saw another element of this team's success.

The parents rent carts to drive the course along with the girls and to bring along water and snacks. But in addition to moral support for their girls, they bring another element to the game.  They pass the word of how the girls are doing and that news is passed along amongst the parents and to the coach and that provides additional, unseen momentum and tangible excitement.

Even though the girls are not all even in their abilities, as a team, they are winners.  They definitely have achieved the velocity and momentum that coach Paul Rydell desires for them.

In the regular season they are undefeated and even though Rebekah and Gabi were both out of the country for this week's Bay Conference Championship, the team secured first place!

Alison Armstrong, Sarah Noto, Paul Rydell, Kiera Fitzgerald, Ashley Zagers
Their last regular season match is Thursday and then next week, the District competition begins.  I am confident that the team will move on to Regionals and then on to State.

And I'm also confident that these girls know the real source of their velocity this season.   They also share their faith and they live it every day in how they treat each other and their competitors on the course.

So proud of you Lady Lancers!










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