Our environments never solely define us, but they have a major impact on the people we grow up to be. Just ask Christina Lecuyer.
A former professional golfer, Lecuyer grew up surrounded by golfing. Her father, uncles and younger brothers were all avid golfers. From an early age, she was encouraged to pick up the clubs and swing away. But it didn’t happen.
“My dad encouraged me to play golf my whole life, but I thought that was for boys and I was interested in other sports,” she says.
At 18 years old, she began working at a local golf course and realized that the only time to interact with anyone there was to actually play golf. That’s when Lecuyer decided to finally pick up the clubs.
According to Ken Martin, a PGA member certified in instruction and general management, the younger a player begins learning to golf, the more of an advantage they have in the game. He attributes this to the increased motor skills and repetition time that younger golfers have. “Junior beginning golfers typically have more time to play and practice than beginning adults,” he says.
This didn’t stop Lecuyer, though. The Canadian native hit the ground running, playing in money games at the golf course using money she earned from working at a bar at night. By watching other players – how they took shots, how they handled themselves on the course – she got a quick education in how to play the game.Playing on her own money was a useful incentive for getting good fast, but Lecuyer says something else propelled her.
“I think – actually, I know that the reason I got so good so fast was the fact that I was constantly around people who were better than me,” she said. “You know, I’m really not that talented in a lot of things. I’ve had a lot of success in life, but I will tell you that I’m not really that good at anything. I will say that my superpower is grit. I am always willing to work harder than everyone else. I don’t quit, and I will always figure it out.”
That grit paid off with a full scholarship to the University of Central Arkansas to play golf. In fact, Lecuyer and two of her brothers ended up graduating from UCA.
While at UCA, Lecuyer was a three-time All-Conference Selection, an All-American selection, and was named a second-team Academic All-American by ESPN The Magazine. In 2005, she led the girls’ golf team to the Gulf South Conference championship and qualified for the 2006 NCAA Regionals.
Academically, she was no slouch either, notching a 3.9 GPA with a degree in business management – something that would come in handy later.
After college, she went pro, participating in golf tournaments and developing a high profile through television appearances. Making the jump to the big leagues proved challenging and prompted Lecuyer to think about what she was doing.
“It was very difficult to be honest with you. I was okay. I wasn’t great,” she said. During the time I was playing in college, I was living a life based upon external validation. That was not a really good time of my life, and I was playing golf because people said that was the only thing I could do and that’s where I was going to be happy.”
She did make appearances on several television shows, including The Golf Channel’s Big Break show, where she competed for a $100,000 prize. These appearances boosted her profile and gave her a platform.
To counter this difficult period, Lecuyer delved into self-development and began working on her own mindset. Eventually, Lecuyer became what she calls a “confidence coach.” All of the skills and habits that enabled her to become a proficient golfer – grit, determination, smarts – came into play in her coaching.
“I call myself a confidence coach, but what I help people do is overcome obstacles, let them gain the confidence to actually do the things that they’re truly able to do. Limiting belief pulls us back a lot, but one of the things that I share with people all the time is that you have to be around people who are better than you and to be around people who are doing the things you want to do,” she said.
Companies began reaching out to Lecuyer after she appeared on the show, asking her to hit golf balls on the course with their executives. It wasn’t long before Lecuyer began helping to coach them on their business and personal development on the golf course. This developed organically, she said, after she began printing business cards and handing them out on the golf course.
In short order, her business skyrocketed. Working with dozens of Fortune 500 companies, billionaires and global charities, Lecuyer has created a job fusing her talents for golf and helping others realize their potential.
She has also paid it forward, serving as a fundraiser for global causes. Through this practice, Lecuyer has helped raise more than $1 million and raised more than $60,000 in the span of a single day for a children’s hospital.
These days, Lecuyer is focused on motivational speaking, offering online courses, retreats and live events. This year, she will be doing her event online, which can be viewed at www.decideitsyourturn.com.
So why does the Edmonton, Canada native stay in Arkansas? Partially, it’s because of her love of the state – having gone to college here and meeting her husband here. But you can’t discount the business opportunity.
“We don’t have a ton of growth mindset, self-development events [in Arkansas]. I’m a dime-a-dozen in Los Angeles, but in Arkansas, I’m a shark in the water,” she said. “I think it’s a good business move. It’s a scary business move due to the fact that most people have never even heard of life coaches, confidence coaches, or personal coaches in general.”
Having a personal coach, for Lecuyer, is a way of investing in yourself and your life/career. She brings up the fact that professional athletes have coaches, in addition to team coaches, who help them develop and get better than they already are.
“Athletes know they need more accountability and they need people pushing them to the next level…there’s something that’s bound to happen when you have accountability,” she said.
How does Lecuyer keep moving to the next level in her life and career? By staying uncomfortable, she says. Fears and doubts never go away even when operating at the highest levels, but learning to embrace those fears and move past them helps propel Lecuyer forward.
“It’s not about getting to a situation where you don’t have fears, worries and doubts. They thing that you really have to do is learn to live with them, learn to thrive in them and work past them,” she said. “You’re always going to have to move up to the next level. You’re always going to have to get uncomfortable. My thought process is that I’m comfortable living in the uncomfortable. That’s how I know that I’m always growing.”