Lessons Learned: Phil Mickelson

Lessons Learned: Phil Mickelson


At the age of 50 years of age, Phil Mickelson won his 6th major championship in golf, becoming the oldest person to ever win a major championship. He hadn’t won one since 2013. Most thought his time had past. And, for all intensive purposes, they should have been right. As you get older, the body loses muscle and flexibility. It’s why you don’t see 50 year old basketball, football or tennis players at the professional level. At some point, even the best athletes can’t compete against the highly conditioned 20 or 30 year olds playing the same game. Heck, I just finished writing about Wayne Gretzky, the greatest hockey player of all time and he called it quits at age 39 because he knew that it was becoming more and more difficult to compete against the next bigger, stronger, faster generation.

However, there is an important lesson to be learned from Phil’s victory. He found ways to compensate for his aging body. He changed his eating habits. He ate healthier foods and began fasting 36 hours each week. He developed a workout regimen that built strength and provided greater flexibility. As a result, Phil hits the ball just as far or further today than he did when he was in his 30’s. Next, Phil has said that he was having trouble focusing on every shot over 4 days in a tournament. So, he took deliberate steps to walk slower, control his breathing and spend more time visualizing every shot.

So, What’s Phil’s Lesson: Full disclosure, Phil is my all time favorite athlete. I have been watching him play since I was a junior in college. I am also 51 so I might see more relevance in this story than you do at the age of roughly 16. However, the lesson is still there. Phil located his weaknesses and found solutions to overcome them. When others dismissed him as over the hill, he surrounded himself with a team who believed in him. He kept trying to find solutions, and at least for one weekend, he beat the best athletes from all over the world at his chosen sport.

Your Turn: What lesson do you take away from Phil’s victory this weekend?

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  1. The lesson I learned from his story is that if you want some thing you have to work for it. As an athlete you always have to prove yourself in practice to succeed in meets or games.

    1. If you are willing to put in the work you will see positive results. It might not be a PGA Championship or an MVP type season but you will preform better because you prepared to be successful

  2. I take away from this how he adjusted his game to keep improving, he didn’t just decide to give up but he saw the weaknesses and fixed them. He didn’t let anyone else tell him he was to old, he ignored the world and got better anyways.

  3. That if you surround yourself with people who believe in you, and identify and fix your weaknesses, you can improve beyond your belief

  4. I take away the fact that you have to be mentally there and believe in yourself that you can do things. Set your goals high but accomplish even higher. There is always room to improve and you have to know that failure is gonna happen but just keep pushing.

  5. Phil didn’t stop just because everyone expected him to stop. He seemed to have taken it as a challenge and used it to work harder than ever to show that he is still one of the best players out there. The lesson I took away is to use past failures/disappointments and the words of others (both positive and negative) as fuel to get better.

  6. If you surround yourself in people who will help you achieve your goal and if work hard enough you can achieve anything no matter how old you are.

  7. My take away is that you must be able to handle adversity no matter what , you have to be able to overcome those challenges and keep pushing yourself as an athlete

  8. What I get out of this is that you need to know where you are as a competitor and staying within your abilities and making the best of what you can do.

  9. Always put yourself in a good place and if some things your doing don’t work, try something else that might help. You always have to adapt to what is happening to you and your body.

  10. I take away that it’s never too late to succeed as long as you put in the work and surround yourself with people who believe in you.

  11. I take away that it’s never too late to succeed as long as you put in the work and surround yourself with people who believe in you. Also there will always be people that doubt you.

  12. This lesson really helped me think about my changes and when my body changes I need to learn to adapt to that and push myself no matter what.

  13. Things are not handed to you, you have to work hard for what you get. If you don’t try it will show in the end.

  14. I learn that if you surround yourself with the right people who will push you to do better and believe in you, that you can make things happen.

  15. Phil was able to persevere and work hard to get what he wanted. He didn’t let “norms” get in the way and pushed himself to be his best.

  16. The lesson I took away was that if you want to win something or get something done, you have to keep working hard at it and never give up. I also took away the fact that your mentality plays a big part to your race or whatever you want to do. It you want to get something done, you have to keep a positive attitude.

  17. The lesson I took away from this is to adapt and overcome new obstacles that may come in your way of success. For Phil, it was his age and he changed his habits for the better. Living the healthiest and best you can is a crucial step to success as well.

  18. That no matter what if u work hard at something and make changes u can do anything. All u have to do is work hard and never give up.

  19. The lesson I learned was that you have to adapt to your competition. If you want to be consistently good at your sport you need to adapt and take care of yourself.

  20. What I learned is that you have to work for what you want and have supportive people around you. Also, push through all the obstacles that get in your way.

  21. I learned that if you put worth the effort to achieve your dreams some will come true. It takes dedication to win a golf championship and it doesn’t matter your age if you just work hard at it

  22. I learned that if you put worth the effort to achieve your dreams some will come true. It takes dedication to win a golf championship and it doesn’t matter your age if you just work hard at it

  23. You need to put so much work in for what you want in sports. Whatever your goals are u need to train practice and be the best you can be always