Monday 25 September 2017

Working it out... Prepare, Prepare, then Prepare again

Former Masters champion Gary Player (C) shakes hands with Victor Dubuisson as former champion Jack Nicklaus (L) of the U.S. looks on.
Former Masters champion Gary Player (C) shakes hands with Victor Dubuisson as former champion Jack Nicklaus (L) of the U.S. looks on.

John Masterson

There was a lecturer back in my college days who could always be relied upon to say something memorable. One of his favourite topics was public speaking. The essential ingredient was PPPPPP, which he then took great pleasure in reminding us stood for Plenty of Practice Prevents a Piss Poor Performance. Or Prepare six times. I have never forgotten it.

Gary Player is almost 80 years old but still practices his golf and does fitness exercises every day. He is in great shape. But as a younger man he was one of the 'Big Three' golfers in the world along with Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. He was known for his prodigious work ethic. In one tournament he holed an important and difficult chip shot. A journalist later commented that it was that 'lucky' shot that made the difference. "Yes," replied Gary, "and the more I practise the luckier I get."

I always went to see Chris de Burgh gigs in the RDS more than once. He was well known for his meticulous preparation. Rumour had it that the lighting crew worked for days with stand-ins to get all the lighting cues right before the band and Chris rehearsed for as much time again. Whether true or not, it was always worth seeing more than one performance to see a master entertainer give the audience what they wanted.

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