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Daring Greatly with Kim Cifuentes - "Practice to Learn, Play to Win"

Northern Arizona's Kim Cifuentes
Northern Arizona's Kim Cifuentes

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. –Brad Bedortha has spent nine spring seasons in Flagstaff as the head coach of the Northern Arizona University women's golf program, garnering three Big Sky Championships and three more conference "Coach of the Year" awards in that time span.

With the success he has experienced during his tenure with Lumberjacks, one might be curious as to how his athletes are able to stay motivated on a consistent basis and put themselves in the best opportunities to achieve greatness.

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The importance on their physical skillset and capabilities as golfers certainly cannot go overlooked, but in recent years, Bedortha has put a larger emphasis on character building. Who his golfers are off the course and how they define themselves outside of the sport is just as important, if not more so, then what they accomplish on the links.

As such, one of the methods he employs in order to impart positive and reinforcing lessons is having each golfer read a series of books throughout the semester to help them deal with a multitude of different challenges every athlete, or person, struggles with. An avid reader himself, Bedortha asks the golfers to consider the distinct messages of each book—dealing with the maintenance of a positive attitude, how "success" can be understood and everything in between—and to write down their key takeaways.

Then, to further push them out of their comfort zones, they must deliver their book report to an audience of NAU coaches, employees and fellow student-athletes that are interested in what each golfer has to say. The whole point being to "dare greatly," which is a concept the NAU golf team has adopted this season and has acted as the squad's mantra.

In the next couple weeks, we will be releasing those testimonials publically in the form of short videos that highlight what the golfers had to say about the respective books they read. Hopefully, as was the case with the athletes, the audience can appreciate the revelations of each book and how their teachings were interpreted by the Lumberjacks. 

The first "episode" can be found below. It is from NAU senior Kim Cifuentes and her thoughts on the book, "Practice to Learn, Play to Win" by Mark Guadagnoli.

To view Cifuentes' video review of Guadagnoli's book, click here.