Kevin was diagnosed as profoundly deaf at age 2 after surviving H-flu meningitis. He learned to play golf at 9 and later became the first Black golfer to play at Ohio State University (OSU). Kevin is a four-time Advocates Professional Golf Association TOUR champion and winner of the 2004 Big Ten championship.
We recently spoke with Kevin and his mother, Jackie Hall, on the Forge Ahead podcast about honing your skills through practice, maintaining a positive outlook despite difficulties, and concentrating on your end goal.
1. Hone Your Skills Every Day
Make time to hone your professional skills. Regular practice will yield steady improvements until you’re a master in your profession. Keep in mind that mistakes are also part of that process, so be patient with yourself as you improve your skills.
Kevin remembers practicing for the Big Ten championship, hitting 500 wedges to the same spot. That’s how he knew his rhythm and tempo were “spot on,” and he knew he could win. Kevin’s confidence and practice paid off: He won the championship by 11 strokes.
Kevin’s experience teaches us that discipline and practice lead to excellence.
2. Keep Your Composure in the Face of Difficulty
Challenges will undoubtedly arise throughout your career. Stay true to your path and keep your chin up—even if your colleagues don’t immediately recognize your progress.
Kevin remembers watching Tiger Woods during the Masters Tournament. Tiger’s confident body language and intense focus stood out to Kevin. He says, “You could see he was not going to give up.” Tiger went on to win that tournament.
Kevin’s observations of Tiger teach us to remain calm and collected despite challenges or external pressure.
3. Concentrate on Your Objective
Target one goal and define the steps to get there. Then, have faith that completing each step will achieve your mission.
Kevin admits that his achievements are hard-won. He says, “There are times I say, ‘Is it worth it?’ All of a sudden, I win a tournament, so I keep going.” He adds that it takes strength and courage to continue after setbacks.
What can we learn? You may experience moments of doubt, but there will also be successes along the way. And those victories will be all the more satisfying because of the hard work that led you there.
Visit the Forge Ahead homepage to hear the entire conversation with Kevin.