Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lorena Ochoa: The Importance of Vision, Discipline, and Practice



Lorena Ochoa: The Importance of Vision, Discipline, and Practice

"You know, I saw myself on the 18th green lifting the trophy and it's almost something that you already believe."
--Lorena Ochoa, from Guadalajara, Mexico and the first Mexican-born player to win on the L.P.G.A. Tour, who felt that her victory at St. Andrews in 2007 was destiny.


Lorena Ochoa won her first major and became the first woman to win a pro tournament at the Old Course at St. Andrews.Her confident feeling grew stronger after she played her first practice rounds and saw how the course was a perfect fit for her imagination. She luckily drew a morning tee time on the first day and was able to play in nearly ideal weather conditions.


Ochoa opened the tournament with a six-under-par 67, leading wire to wire to record her first Grand Slam victory in the first women's pro tournament held at the home of golf. She protected the win on the final round with a 74 that gave her a 72-hole total of five-under-par 287."There were a lot of people saying that I wasn't good enough or that I couldn't win a major or when am I going to win a major," said Ochoa, the No. 1 women's player in the world. She added, "I did it, and there's no more to say. I love St. Andrews."


As of April 2008, she has won 18 times. Taking in more than $8 million since 2006, Ochoa, a 26-year-old Mexican star, has collected corporate sponsorships, such as Mexican banks and the national airline, a German automaker, a luxury Swiss watchmaker, a large golf club manufacturer based in Arizona, the country club in Guadalajara where she learned the game and still lives.


"Everything that she's done this year (2008) has been phenomenal. Just as a person, she would give you the shirt off of her back if you needed it. Just being so nice and be able to play so well and not being cocky about it, how she presents herself."She's definitely a role model to every kid, every adult, everybody out there that likes golf. So it's really great to have her out here."


-- Brittany Lincicome, LPGA competitor."


"I enjoy very much the pressure of playing in the last group. I like to be in the pressure. It is fun, something I have worked very hard for, to give myself the opportunity to win tournaments. It's been fun."--Lorena Ochoa.


Ochoa's work ethic is rapidly is becoming legendary on the tour.


"Obviously, at practice, she's phenomenal at doing it and getting it done the right way," Lincicome said.


Discipline, structure and regimentation are the hallmarks of Ochoa's approach. All the style, flair and creativity with which she brings to playing and shotmaking on the golf course is a result of her strict adherence to a training and practice regimen.A typical week between events: travel on Monday, off on Tuesday and Wednesday, practice from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, home for lunch, then to the gym from 5 to 7 p.m.


As a result of her commitment to training and practice, Ochoa is the longest hitter on the tour so far this season, averaging 279.6 yards. Her technique has improved in other areas as well."I always want to take everybody down, I think you can do it with a smile on your face, and be nice and talking to them. You don't have to be mean or rude," said Ochoa.


Ochoa knows that you just have to practice to excel at all aspects of the game, on and off the course. That is what it means to be a peak performer.


Excerpts from the New York Times 8/6/2007 and 4/20/2008.
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