The Passion of the Burton brothers.Posted: August 22, 2012
It didn’t take long for me to see the competitiveness of the Burton brothers. I had heard of their legendary will to win and how serious they take competition. On that overcast, Friday afternoon on the golf course, I witnessed their passion to win and their desire for perfection first hand.
The Burton brothers take their sports seriously. They play tennis, golf, softball and volleyball among others and the only time they relish in the joy of these sports is if the results earn them a notch in the win column. From physical sports to Iphone games, the only foreseeable end for them is with a victory.
Golf is a leisure sport. But not for the Burton brothers. From hole one to eighteen, they embody the eye of the tiger. They analyze every lie and every break. They judge the wind and argue the accuracy of yardage markers. A round of golf for them is not leisure. It’s business.
It’s when things didn’t go their way that I saw their true passion. A bad decision or a hitch in their swing leads to expletives and outbursts. It was only until I saw the shiny nine iron flying over my head followed by the eight iron that I knew that one of them had missed the mark.
A bad day of golf leads to lots of flying golf clubs when you play with the Burton brothers. And by the end of that day, their throwing arms had to be sore.
If you joke with them about their golf balls landing in the woods, their passion turns towards you and you have nowhere to hide from their wrath. In the heat of the moment, their skin is thin. You don’t haze the Burton brothers unless you’re their father.
“I thought I raised boys!” their dad says when one of them leaves a putt short. Their faces turn red and their brows furrow. But they don’t return their fathers chastisement. They never would.
Before playing golf with the Burton brothers, I always thought that I was overly passionate about competing. I’ve been labeled a sore loser, an ungracious loser. I’ve lamented over a run that didn’t go my way. I’ve pounded my fist on the poker table when the cards didn’t fall my way.
But I learned something about my passion when I played with them that day.
I learned that pitching a fit may make you feel better but it doesn’t make things better. There is a better way to deal with failure than throwing clubs and screaming four letter words.
While playing with the Burton brothers, I learned that I didn’t want to lose that way. There can be grace in failing.
How do you handle failure?