Thursday, October 19, 2006

How to turn success into failure

From the sports world 49er (who btw is not necessarily a SF football fan) can't help commenting on the ever-widening gap between Michelle Wie's potential and performance.

First of all, why are we even talking about the successes or failures of a teen-ager? Why can't she just BE a kid? Well, IMO the answer to those questions lies deep in the heart of misplaced parental ambition. Recently turning 17, for some time now Ms. Wie has had a business manager, Nike products endorsement contract, professional caddie, and all the other trappings of a successful professional golfer. What she doesn't have, however, is the winning record she has been capable of achieving.

Maturing very early in life, and blessed with a tall, strong, athletic, rangy frame and body, with intelligent or thoughtful development of her obvious skills and potential, Ms. Wie could have become by now the enfent terrible of the LPGA. Instead, she has mostly fizzled and flopped her way the past three plus years, picking and choosing events while trying to play in this PGA event and that. In the process earning a dismal record following the quixotic path chosen by her parents that has put her on public display as a freak of nature playing against professional men. Where the results were quite obviously foreseeable (Bill, note word usage, please).

Instead of using the advantage of her early physical development to train their daughter how to compete and WIN, her parents have been teaching her how to get attention. As if that were the same thing. Its not at all, and at 17 the young lady will probably soon be overtaken by her just now maturing peers, and - again foreseeably - if she doesn't learn how to finish off - or hold off - opponents during the final rounds of golf tournaments, Ms. Wie may be a washed up has-been before she reaches her majority. And even Nike's millions will have amounted to rot.

With all his strenths and abilities, Tiger Woods still had to learn how to WIN. Michelle Wie, though becoming rich and famous because of her potential, has somehow never learned the mind-game to match her golf-skills. Shame on her parents. Their misplaced ambition has likely gained them a financial windfall, but may have ultimately lead to their daughter's professional downfall. Not a fair trade, I'd say.

Even so, 49er can't help hoping he's wrong and the young lady manages to turn things around. It would be a nice result, but for some time now she has been on a much more rocky path and the ultimate destination might turn out to be not what her family at first intended.


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Jack's Shack said...

There is something sad in the loss of childhood.

Bill said...

I must admit I don't follow the LPGA so this is mostly lost on me. As you are more of a golf expert I will take your word on this one, but just so you know I am still reading I did not miss the fine print (-: