Webb Simpson: Intimacy, Spirituality and Transformation

Webb Simpson didn’t come away with the win in the RBC Heritage playoff with Graeme McDowell that he had hoped for, but he came away with something just as good.

He came away with a more intimate relationship with his wife, Dowd, that renewed his confidence in himself as a player and a sense of calm that affirmed his faith in God. 

Yeah, it was a great week overall.  I came in with not too much confidence but I just stayed true to the process of what we’ve been working on.  My wife and I had multiple conversations this week just about my confidence, how I can become more confident as a player. So thanks for my wife for helping me get back in contention in tournaments.

I want to thank the Lord because I’ve been playing I think lately with more anxiety than normal.  So the Lord really helped me to stay calm out there today and tried to execute under pressure.  Unfortunately came up a shot short.  But hats off to Graeme, he played great today.

One of the best things that a man can have is a deep relationship with a woman who loves him. When a relationship gets to that level, that intimacy makes it possible to drop the veil and have enduring conversations that neither will ever forget. He, finding a way back from troubles to who he knows himself to be and she, engaging in trusted nurturing that helps him get there. And once there, closer still and looking back in love at what they accomplished together.

In this case, why the 2012 U.S. Open winner would devolve into relatively mundane results with no real obvious reason. As he indicates here, they got to the crux of what it takes to play well, freedom:

Yeah, normally my best attribute is my mind, and my mind, I feel, is what’s been holding me back this year.  And we were trying to dive into why I don’t feel like I’m playing free and with confidence.  So every time I play with a good junior player, 14 and under, they don’t do anything out of the ordinary, all they see is the shot they’re trying to hit.  So I just try to play more like a kid, and just drew on past experiences on when I used to play when I was younger.

And this sort of support from a soul mate you can completely trust is becoming more and more important, because with the increasing talent on the PGA Tour, it’s getting harder and harder to win.

Yeah, it’s getting harder and harder with I think there’s way more guys now in the fields every week that can win rather than so many first‑time winners.  That shows our Tour is getting more competitive and more competitive.  You look at a lot of European players like Graeme, they’re coming over and having full status.  It’s becoming more competitive.  And it’s that much harder to win when you get in contention.

Without intending to do so, here Simpson wades into a little conversation about transformation. One of the tenets of the transformation process is to step into the new role you see for yourself first, and then do your transformative work from that perspective to actually get there.

I don’t think so.  I understand how some guys it puts pressure on them, but I try never to do that to myself.  One of my friends, Eric Metaxas said when he wrote his big book Bonhoeffer he didn’t feel like he was a better writer, but all of a sudden he’s world famous.  So I kind of felt that way at the U.S. Open that I won a Major, but it didn’t change me that much as a player.  Next week at Travelers (T29), I wasn’t that much better.

Perhaps this was where Dowd was able to help him. If he didn’t see himself as a better player as a result of winning the U.S. Open, he missed his transformative moment. If you win the U.S. Open — given the extremely difficult course set-ups and intense pressure of becoming history — and don’t think that you’ve arrived as a player, it’s time for a little remedial work to convince you otherwise.

A loving thanks to all the women in the world who keep trying.

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