7 ‘roadblocks’ to avoid if you want to be great, according to Jordan Spieth’s coach

Cameron McCormick, Jordan Spieth

Cameron McCormick, background, and Jordan Spieth in January at the Tournament of Champions.

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“You wanna be elite?”

Cameron McCormick asks the question. And you do wanna be elite. Of course, you do. And maybe you’re elite off the tee. Or with your irons. Or with your putter. Or maybe all of the above. Lucky you. And those are things you should pursue.

But Jordan Spieth’s longtime coach also says this, in a recent post on the site formerly known as Twitter: 

There are “roadblocks” to avoid. Seven of them. 

The thought was a good one. Instruction stories are typically ‘do this.’ But these are must-don’ts. 

Here they are, slightly edited, with a few other thoughts:

1. “People who cut you down for their own gain” 

“It’s called ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome,’” McCormick wrote. “When you’re better than someone at something, you stand out — like a tall poppy in a field of flowers. Easily visible and therefore a target. Know this, forgive them, as it’s not you, it’s them.”

The takeaway: “Forgive them.” A good thought. Take control. 

2. “People and things that distract you from the path” 

“We’re influenced by those we hang with,” McCormick wrote. “Choose wisely. I’ve seen many a promising player stray from the path given influence from peers. As the saying goes, we are the average of the five people we spend time with. Who’s in your five?”

The takeaway: “Choose wisely.” A good thought. Don’t be afraid to move on either. 

3. “Tough times, they happen” 

“If you’re not failing, you’re not stretching,” McCormick wrote. “If you’re not stretching, you’re not learning. Lean into doing the difficult; you’ll grow from it. At times, you lose form. Keep records to reflect back on what you did to make you great. Use these to put yourself back together again.”

The takeaway: “Lean into the difficult.” A good thought. You grow this way.  

4. “Monotony of the journey” 

“Getting better gets mundane,” McCormick wrote. “Each day you go to practice may feel like yesterday. It’s a lonely journey. Don’t let this sameness turn into complacency. Work hard each day because I guarantee someone else is, and there’s not much room at the top.”

The takeaway: “Someone else is.” A good thought. Someone else is playing. Or practicing. Or thinking. Don’t fall back. 

5. “Early and sudden success: It can breed complacency” 

“Two sayings that don’t have to come true,” McCormick wrote: “1) Early ripe, early rotten; 2) hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard. Be a grinder. Don’t rest on your past success. Keep grinding or get caught from behind.

The takeaway: “Be a grinder.” A good thought. Dig it out of the dirt.

Cameron McCormick, Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth’s coach calls this simple error the ‘No. 1 swing killer’ for amateurs
By: Nick Piastowski

6. “No success — it’ll make you wanna quit” 

“Run your own race,” McCormick wrote. “Be mindful that people generally overestimate what they can do in one day and underestimate what they can do in one year. Play the long game.”

The takeaway: “Play the long game.” A good thought. Patience, patience, patience. 

7. “Avoidable injury” 

“You’re not bulletproof,” McCormick wrote, “so take care of the two most important pieces of your equipment — your body and your mind. Said simply: Don’t do stupid sh*t. Finally, there is no one path, but there is a path for YOU.”

The takeaway: “Don’t do stupid sh*t.” A good thought. Enough said. 

Editor’s note: McCormick’s social media feeds have recently been full of tips and are worth a follow. Here is the Twitter link. Here is the Instagram link

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.