Leadership by Kelci Parker

As a student who attends Spokane Falls Community College, I’ve shown my leadership skills as a collegiate golfer. Being a part of such a highly competitive team; I’ve learned that being encouraging at all times creates a good environment for everyone. I like to bring people up with the things I say when I can tell they are feeling down. There are three principles that I live by and demonstrate on a daily basis as I lead my team on and off the golf course.

The first principle that I live my life by and demonstrate to my team mates is, “Your attitude toward anything in life is completely in your control” -Micah Lacerte. Most people think that golf is an individual sport, but what people don’t understand is that particularly in collegiate golf, the team score is comprised of the top three individual scores. I’ve experienced this first-hand at the Grays Harbor Open this past fall. I placed second overall as an individual but I was just one piece to the puzzle that led my team to place first overall.  The only way this was achieved was because after the first round, we were able to debrief as a team and motivate each other to be even better in the second round.

My second principle is, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal” – Henry Ford. On the course, you see all types of obstacles including trees, water hazards, sand traps, out of bounds areas, and more. Golf courses are a good example of life.  Amongst all those obstacles I must focus on the best way to get the ball into the cup.  As a team, we have to learn the course and how we should play each hole.  We talk with each other as we practice and discuss the best strategy to accomplish our goal-to finish eighteen holes with the fewest strokes.  As a leader on my team I have found that by encouraging others to see beyond the obstacles we don’t allow the obstacles to become barriers to our goals.  I also believe that this principle renders true in life as there will always be barriers.  We must relentlessly press forward.

My third and final leadership principal that I demonstrate in all aspects of my life is, “Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody” – Unknown. This is the most important principle because it is applicable in all aspects of my life. Words of affirmation has made a drastic impact on my life, and it has been by the grace of encouragement that I have had the motivation to pursue my goal, and witness the success on the golf course. But, as much as I love to receive inspiring words of encouragement to help me through obstacles, I equally like to encourage others. I love making sure that whatever I say to people, especially my teammates, is something that they will always remember and remind them that they are special in every way. I believe in the power of words, and I believe that speaking life into situations, will not only change your attitude, connecting this to my first leadership principle, but the positive words can intervene in any situation. In my first season as a collegiate athlete, this principle has remained the foundation of my success in the transition into a new school, and on a new team, golfing new courses. The only thing that remained constant was the positivity, and that is something I treasure, and utilize for each and every person I meet.

In conclusion, the core of my leadership has been demonstrated throughout my experience as a member of a high school and college golf team.  There are so many obstacles in life and on a golf course  that can take away one’s focus on the goal.  Leaders encourage and leaders lead by example.  My experiences allow my leadership to grow.