Brett Duff is a Senior Consultant at Compliance Council
Taking up an Obscure Sport - Disc Golf
When a friend asked me in late 2019 if I wanted to come play a round of disc golf, I didn’t anticipate how different it would be to throwing a frisbee, or that it would turn into a small obsession.
I’ve now played 122 rounds in 8 months and taken 30 shots off my round score. Here is what I’ve learned from disc golf that helps me in business and life.
Know your tools and their application in the conditions
In disc golf, like regular golf, there are different discs/clubs for different uses. There are putters, mid-range discs, fairway drivers, and distance drivers. Some discs want to turn right, some want to turn left, and they want to do this more or less depending on the wind. You have to know your discs, how you throw them, how they behave.
Business is the same. The same tool, the same method, the same approach, will not work in every situation like a cookie cutter. You must understand the environment you’re working in, the external pressures, the internal culture, and adjust your approach for maximum effect.
There is more than one way to attack a problem
Disc Golf courses will often use many trees as obstacles. There are often multiple lines one can take to attack the basket. Sometimes the obvious line is not always the best.
In business there is often more than one way to achieve an outcome. The method you take can also depend on your skills, capacity and the prevailing conditions. Very often we see a problem and we go straight to the obvious solution, but this solution isn’t always the best. The professional disc golfer, Simon Lizotte, is famous for his “Simon lines” or creative ways he attacks the basket that no one else sees or would try. Creatively thinking outside the box can sometimes result in the best solution to a problem. What is the “Simon line”?
What is “intuitive” is not always intuitive
Unlike a regular frisbee, throwing a disc properly, and for power, involves a chain of complex and timed movements, in what is an abnormal movement. When you first throw a disc basically everything you do is fundamentally wrong.
We can often make the mistake of assuming people will intuitively understand a task, a concept, a job, etc. The reality is that for most people that thing you are pointing at is not intuitive and may be quite complex. We must take the time to explain things, teach people, and have patience with them.
Consult the experts regularly and try new things
When trying to learn disc golf, I found consulting the professionals for tips, via YouTube, very helpful. Building a shot, drills, footwork, grips, the physics of flight, there is a lot of information to take in. Something that made no sense a month earlier might suddenly turn a light bulb on a month later. Sometimes a new change would work, sometimes not.
When taking in new and complex information, like the standards, we won’t understand it all right away. Even if we do, it will not all sink in. Its important to keep consulting the experts and being reminded of things that maybe we learned once before but forgot due to business pressures. Something that flew over our head initially may really make sense at the right time and spur us to better things. We should also be open to trying new things. The way we have always done it gets us the results we have always got.
Enjoy the journey and celebrate improvement
The first time I played I was terrible. But one thing I love about the sport is seeing steady improvement, watching my scores improve and achieving firsts. Having friends to enjoy these moments with is even better.
You must enjoy the journey. You may not be instantly good at everything, the project may not have immediate results, and your business may not instantly be successful. But you can track the small improvements and celebrate the little milestones. Celebrating these with your team.
Everything is more fun with friends
Disc Golf can be played solo, but it is more fun with friends. When you’re walking around a nice park, enjoying nature and laughing with each other, you can’t be unhappy.
Work is more fun within a team. A team provides someone to help spot and correct our mistakes and pick us up when we’ve been knocked down. It also builds us up and celebrates us when we have a win or finally reach that achievement. Everything is more enjoyable with a good team around you.
Brett Duff getting the disc out of the tree