There are Going to be Hurdles in Every Journey, But You Will be Ok

There are Going to be Hurdles in Every Journey, But You Will be Ok

By Carson Racich


BELLEAIR, Fla. -- Joining spokeswoman Kelly Ring at the Raymond James Women’s Leadership Summit, Annika Sorenstam answered audience submitted questions regarding her success. Despite being her shy and humble self, Sorenstam gave the audience what she thought was the most valuable piece of advice that has helped shape her on her heavily decorated journey.


Sorenstam, who was never eager to take the mic after winning an event, more so took the trophy and ran while running as far away as she could from public speaking. Early in her career, she began to try to steer the narrative at events by placing second or third because she knew first was packaged with interviews. Her parents caught on quickly and made her face her fears and find a way.


Facing fears and finding a way, that's the advice Sorenstam wants to drive home. From a young age Sorenstam was heavily involved with sports in Sweden. Despite getting the golf bug at a young age, Sorenstam tried to convince the audience she was not that good. Not being able to play all year round contributed to that. Like most northern states and countries, the weather in Sweden is not that favorable.


“After representing Stockholm in Japan, I received a scholarship to Arizona and that's the first time I got to play all year round. This really transformed my game. Prior to this offer, I had to find a way to practice and get better. A lot of the time, that involved hitting balls in our basements and that's not golf. " said Sorenstam “although, I had to find a way”.


Sorenstam, who only played two years at Arizona, made the decision that college was not for her. After the end of her sophomore year she decided to turn pro. Even though she felt ready, the first year attempting tour school she had missed by one stroke.


“Tour school is like getting your driver's license. You are playing many stages working on all kinds of cards,” explained Sorenstam “It's very competitive, I quickly thought after missing, this was the end of my career, why did I drop out of school”.


Despite being grumpy at the result following her first Tour school, Sorenstam came to the realization that maybe this happened for a reason. After completing a year on the Ladies European Tour she finally got her LPGA card.


“I realized that not every path is a straight line, a lot of the time it's like an “S'' shape and I have to keep adjusting to it,” expressed Sorenstam “My dad even said there's no shortcuts to success and he's right”.


Sorenstam, who has always been surrounded by statistics with her father working for IBM, has always looked at the details and knows where her strong and weak points were. Like most kids, Sorenstam steered away from working on the challenging parts of her game. She enjoyed practicing what she was already comfortable with.


“It took a while for me to realize that if I want to get better I need to look at my challenges as opportunities,” said Sorenstam. “Don't be afraid to take on a challenge and push yourself.


Following the discussion, Sorenstam reiterated how we need to not be afraid of the challenges that we face, at the end of the day there are more good days than bad. They will continue to shape us and our journeys allowing us to grow.


“Life is a learning lesson, I've made a lot of mistakes, but I learned from them. I've also fallen down alot but I continued to pick myself back up,” Said Sorenstam “I've been okay”.


Closing out the Summit, Sorenstam touched on a sensitive point in her life to shed light on making sure we are mindful of our own mental health.


“In 2008, I lost my drive,” explained Sorenstam. “When you dont have drive, excitement or motivation when you wake up in the morning, it's hard to do anything. When I realized I reached that point, I knew it was time to change my path.”


While the loss in motivation geared towards her playing career, for her it didn't mean walking away from the game completely. Following her realization in 2008 Sorenstam shifted gears into putting her efforts into a family and her Annika Foundation which is continuing to promote the game of golf and providing opportunity to the next generations.


November 7, 2023
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