Cognitive Backpack

I have various skills from the cognitive backpack. Some are strengths and some are weaknesses. I will be discussing my strengths throughout this essay and I will also share a few various stories to help prove my strengths. The three skills I will be discussing my strengths about will be: Analyzing expectations, assessing opportunities and thinking long-term and previewing potential outcomes. The stories I share will precisely provide support to my strength. The first strength that I am going to asses is my ability to analyze expectations. I play a lot of competitive golf and I have to keep my expectations for myself very high.

If I lowered my expectations my results would get worse. When you lower the bar of expectations you will never reach your true potential. I also have to keep my expectations realistic though. So when I go into a tournament I will have a score that I want to shoot that day. I can only control how I play and if I achieved my own expectations. If I achieve my expectations then the leader board will fall into place. This story might help explain what was just said. I am going into the Burlington High School Championship and the weather was just brutal. It was raining, super windy and extremely cold.

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I wanted to win that day as I had won it a couple years prior to that year. So I expected to play well, I have been practicing for weeks just to perform in this one event. With those brutal conditions I am certainly not going to expect to shoot a 66 and I also did not expect to have to soot something that low. My expectations had to be realistic but they also had to be high to win. I have achieved many golf accomplishments and I wouldn’t have been able to do that if my mind set was not in the right place. Part of my mind set being in the right place is having the right expectations.

My expectations have to be realistic to be able to think properly. As golf is 90% a mental game, you can practice all you want and that is only 10% of the game. The definition of expectation is: belief about (or mental picture of) the future. I did not mentally visualize myself holding the trophy and shooting a 63 in the tournament before my round. That would be getting ahead of yourself and I do not do that because that is how you get in trouble on the golf course. I expected to play well and play the way I know I can. All I can do is play my best that day.

If my best that day doesn’t get me holding the trophy and shooting a 63 then I need to work on my game a little bit and keep working at my mental state. The fact is that if I get ahead of myself I will not perform my best because I am thinking too much about the prize not about the playing part of the game. That is why for all those reasons and more I am very good at analyzing my expectations. I believe that aspect from the cognitive backpack could possibly be on of my best aspects and will help me through life. The second strength that I am going to asses is my ability to asses opportunities.

The definition of opportunity is: possibility due to a favorable combination of circumstances. Once again I am going to be talking about a golf related story as most of my life revolves around the sport. This story has more then one relation to my strength of assessing opportunities. Each and every year I have to register for my tournaments and their tournament qualifiers. When I am deciding which qualifier to register for I asses which one has the harder field, harder course, amount of players taken and few other aspects about each qualifier.

Those are all factors relating to my opportunity to play in a tournament. In 2009 I decided to register for a match play qualifier. I decided on the location because I had played in the same qualifier the previous year and did well. Choosing the location is trying to optimize your odds of getting into the main tournament. It is certainly hard to decide which one to go in. You have to asses your opportunities and look at which one is most favorable for you to succeed at. I won that qualifier that I registered for. That is because I am good at assessing opportunities.

At that match play tournament I had to pick times to play aggressive and times to lay back. Those types of play are parts of assessing opportunities. I don’t need to go for everything and play full out attack, some holes all I need to do is lay back and make a simple par. In my first match, my opponents first tee shot went in the water. I realized tat all I need to do to win the hole is layback and get a par. So I just laid back and hit an iron off the tee and made a simple par instead of trying to force a driver down there an possibly making the same mistake my opponent did.

That is a perfect example of assessing an opportunity. There were various occasions during that match that I had to asses what was going on and what I thought my opponent would do, so that I could favor myself to winning the match. Golf is a thinking game and you need to be thinking at all times. In match play specifically you need to think about how you can win each and every hole. Of course sometimes your opponent will be able to win some holes because no one is perfect, not even Tiger Woods. Having the ability to asses opportunities is very key in golf.

It helps your mental ability and will help win more tournaments. Assessing opportunities will definitely help in my life and I am glad to have developed this skill. Opportunities are in everything, every day you make a decision that affects something and there are opportunities in everything you do. My ability to asses them is hopefully going to help me through my life to make good decisions and make myself successful in life. Therefore this skill in the cognitive backpack is very important and I am very glad that I posses it.

The third strength that I am going to asses is my ability to asses thinking long term and previewing potential outcomes. I like to link my stories to golf because golf is one of the best sports for many reasons. So I am going to link my ability to think long term and preview potential outcomes to another golf story. As I have said numerous amounts of times throughout this essay, I play in a lot of competitive golf tournaments. For each golf tournament I go in I have to think about the potential outcome if something good happens or if something bad happens.

Even for every hole I have to preview potential outcomes for each shot. For example if I am hitting towards a green that is surrounded by bunkers or water. I have to factor in my club choice to carry the water just incase my shot doesn’t go perfect. The potential outcome of a shot that was not perfect could result in water or in the bunker, which would cost me strokes or make the hole a lot harder. To be a good golfer you have to think about potential outcomes of each shot and you have to weigh the positive aspects versus the negative aspects of each shot.

Anther example could be if I’m on the first tee in a tournament and I see water left but if I can possibly carry it with my driver. I have two options two this shot, I could attempt to carry it which is very risky and could result in a negative potential outcome. The other option is laying back and hitting an iron to the 150-yard stake from the green. I have to weigh out the potential outcomes of each shot. The first shot could result in water and cost me a lot of strokes on the first hole or it could result in a shot that is only 50 yards from the green and give me a good opportunity at birdie.

The second shot could result in the water if I hit the shot very poorly but this shot is a very high percentage of making par. I would choose the second shot because the potential outcome is good and the risk is low. You can still make a birdie from the 150-yard stake and this play would put the water almost out of play. Golf is about controlling your bad shots and if the first shot wasn’t hit well it would result I the water and the outcome would be very bad. So to say the least golf requires a lot of thinking on every shot.

It requires you to look for potential outcomes of each shot and when to take risks and what the rewards will be if you are successful. The skill of realizing potential outcomes and thinking long term is also a very good skill to have. This skill can help in various situations throughout life. I am glad that golf has showed to how to realize stuff like that and I am glad that I posses this skill from the cognitive backpack. The cognitive backpack is full of various useful skills. I would like to someday say that I posses each and every skill.

If you posses each and every skill you are going to be successful in whatever you do. They are all very useful in many situations. I am happy with the skills that I posses right now but I am not satisfied with the amount that I have. I will not be completely satisfied until I posses every one. I have many goals to complete in life and if I have all of those skills those goals will be done very easily. Therefore the cognitive backpack skills are very useful and everyone should strive to posses ach and every one.