The Perfectionist's Story


My 6 year old is in a rut.

He's in the perfectionist stage of his life.

He's never wrong. He never loses. He never screws up.

People aren't allowed to be better than him. He's happy when he wins, but when he loses....

Well. He doesn't know how to handle it quite yet.

That's the key word. Yet.

And that's where my job comes in.

In our "everybody gets a trophy" society, I'm not that guy.

Because I teach golf. And in golf, you are never perfect.

You can't win golf. You can't beat the course.

You could play the best round of your life, and then think back, "But if I only...."

My son is 6. And I know he'll change. But there are people who are 16 and 26 and 36 and 66 who act the same way. You probably know someone like this. It could be you. (It was me when I was younger).

So here's to the kids (and adults) that need to learn something about being perfect.....

Dear Kids,

There's going to be times where you are too scared to try. Because you don't want to screw up. Because you don't want to lose.

Try anyway.

And when you do try and you do give it your best, there will be times where you still screw up. And you still lose.

But this is where you have a choice.

A choice to show the real you.

Who will you be?

Winners are praised in the moment, then quickly forgotten.

But the real you is always remembered.

Looking from the outside, your sports have many skills you'll need to learn.

And these skills are important.

But there is an internal skill you need to learn first.


Accept that at some point you're going to lose and fail and screw up and be wrong. Accept that you're not going to make every shot. Accept that other people are going to beat you.

And that's okay.

Show them the real you.

Show them smiles after misses.
Show them congratulations after losses.
Show them grace in defeat.

And be proud of it.

Because there are plenty of other kids (and adults) in this world, that don't have that skill. And you will.

Your coach may not teach you this. But you can practice on your own.

Just remember...

I lost, and I'm fine.
I missed, and I'm fine.
I failed, and I'm fine.
I'm wrong, and I'm fine.

Perfect doesn't exist. But the real you does.

Show it to the world.

Talk soon,

P.S. Here's the shorter version for the perfectionists..... Dear Perfectionists: You're not perfect. You never will be. Deal with it.

Bryan Skavnak