October 20 2016

Principal’s Message October 19, 2016

I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me. —Philippians 4:13

NIS was very blessed to have Professional Golfer Suzann Pettersen visit NIS yesterday to share about her experiences with the students and to do a demonstration with them. Suzann is a Norwegian professional golfer who plays mainly on the U.S.-based LPGA Tour and is also a member of the Ladies European Tour. Her career best world ranking is second and she has held that position several times.

There was an exciting buzz all morning as coaches gave the students a taste of golf. It was the first time for several students to try golf and the coaches were very good with guiding them so they experienced success. The event reached a climax when Suzann arrived and spoke with them. She shared about her childhood and how she discovered her passion for golf. Then there was a session of questions and answers where students came up with many good questions including asking about her golf grip. What really came through again and again was Suzann’s passion and dedication to golf.

I had the opportunity to interview and chat with Suzann, and also shared about our school’s personal learning goal of resilience and asked her how it relates to her, and her journey to be where she is today.

Suzann is the youngest of three children so she often followed in the footsteps of her two older brothers. Her father took her to a golf course one day and she immediately fell in love with the sport. She enjoyed the sport, including the competitiveness of it, and she had the drive to try and get better at it every day.

Even at a young age, Suzann was focused and she knew in order to develop her golfing skills, she had to practice a lot. School was very important in her family, so as long as her parents felt she was doing well in school, she would be allowed to attend training camps, and because of her inner drive, she would complete everything to make it for training and practice.

Golf has many challenging aspects. It is complex and all aspects of it need equal attention. They say it is 90% mental, and 10% physical. Even when Suzann was young she would plan her practices accordingly to address all the different areas. As we talked about challenges and the importance of resilience, it is easy to see how this champion golfer is where she is today. Resilience to Suzann meant dedication, having a plan, and sticking to that plan. There will be huge learning curves where you will experience ups and downs. You will make good choices and also bad ones, but this is where you learn and grow strong. Suzann is deeply passionate about golf and she loves what she does. She has fun with it, but there are no shortcuts. You have to dedicate your time and effort to practice.

Resilience is something that we teach our students every day. It is also highlighted during Journey 2:52 that God gives people strength. We encourage the children to pray and ask God to help them. Resilience was also mentioned by parents during our Parent Workshop when I asked them about what kind of person they hope their child will grow up to be. Our children will experience many successes and challenges in life, but it is their attitude towards how they will overcome these challenges and learn from it that builds their character. A child may struggle in math, but being resilient means knowing that ‘I may not be able to do it yet, but I’m going to get better”. With good communication between the child, parents and the school, goals and plans can be set so they can experience success. Suzann has shown the children yesterday what can happen when there is resilience and dedication.