THE PATH TO CHARACTER
When we espouse that the Mission of Bishops Gate Golf Academy is to inspire excellence of golf skill and character in our students, it is not just a company line but a calling that we take very seriously. With the high expectations that they manage and the hectic schedules that they juggle, golf academy students can easily become numb to the opportunity that is before them in the repetitive nature of the day-to- day routine.
As part of our mission, BGGA has developed a full 9-month student development curriculum to educate and encourage students to change, evolve, grow and be a better version of themselves. This is the road to character and it is a fraught with challenges and trials to test us on this journey. To kick off the 2016 fall semester we held our annual Pathlete off-site event at Hickory Point in Tavares to set the tone for the year by breaking down barriers within ourselves and with others by participating in activities, playing games, learning about communication styles and contemplating our personal purpose. It is often easy for young people to articulate their goals and aspirations, but it is more difficult to identify their reasons and motivations for wanting to achieve those goals. The Pathlete program allows students to learn about their personal “elements” which are their preferences and tendencies and how they influence actions and behaviors in relationships, at school, in sport and all areas of life. Having a clearly defined reason for being is the beginning of fulfillment. People or groups with carefully defined missions have always led and surpassed those who have none, yet the process of outlining that mission statement has been, up to now, an arduous one that all too few have committed the time, energy, and resources to undertake.
This event is a unique and special time for students to leave the golf training aside for one day and take a step back to evaluate, reflect and work on their personal mission statements and vision boards. Throughout the year we will be educating and challenging our students with a full syllabus with the objective of encouraging gratitude and building grit and character that will endure long after they leave BGGA. Building character takes effort and artistry, and the humility and grace to allow yourself to be molded and shaped by life circumstances and your own limitations and weaknesses. If, at the end of their stay at BGGA, students are more humble than proud, more empathetic than self-serving, and more grateful than expectant, then they will have started their journey on the road to character. Building character takes a lifetime, but a fulfilled life is created, not given to us, and we craft it by making good decisions and building good habits over time that will serve us well for the rest of our lives.