BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MIRROR SPORTS — Andrew Bick is trying to be a goldfish.
Now, if you’ve watched the hit show “Ted Lasso,” that makes complete sense. But for those who haven’t seen the show, let’s explain.
During one scene, Lasso asks one of his players what the happiest animal in the world is. When the player doesn’t know, Lasso responds, “Goldfish. You know why the goldfish is the happiest animal on earth?” Once again, the player doesn’t know, so Lasso says, “Got a 10-second memory.”
It’s the perfect metaphor for a golfer, where a bad shot needs to stay in the past and not affect the rest of the round. For Bick, a senior on the Maumee golf team, it’s been one of the things he works on the most.
“There have been rounds where I’ve completely swung back and forth,” Bick said. “It’s a lot of, you just hit a bad shot, you need to just shut up and go after the next one.”
Most of that growth has been with the help of his grandfather, Larry Nyhart, who introduced Bick to the game when he was 7 years old. It’s a relationship that remains strong and relevant today.
“For a while, I would golf when he offered or if there was a league, he’d ask me if I wanted to do it. This year was the year I asked the most questions,” Bick said.
“Over the summer, we tried to play as much as we could so I could get ready for the season, because I wanted this season to be much better than last year.
“Some of the things he would say – it was less the advice he would give me and more just get out of my own head and get to fixing your swing.”
Panthers coach Blake Williams said after a bad round, Bick and Nyhart can inevitably be seen heading to the range. The work has paid off, too – Bick’s 9-hole average of 48 this season is four strokes better than last year, and his 18-hole average of 93 is 12 better.
“Course over course, year over year, everything has been improved,” Williams said. “Even his fall-apart rounds are better than most of his rounds last year. When you can have a guy falling apart and he’s still playing as well as he was last year, that’s nice.
“A big portion of that has come from the mental fortitude he’s built this year. That’s a big part of his development. It’s taken some time, effort and patience.”
Bick and his Panthers teammates were found last week on the range at Heather Downs Country Club preparing for the Division I sectional tournament at Stone Ridge.
They rounded out the practice with a driving competition, with Bick besting a sandal-clad Williams in the final.
More important than who won, though, were the laughs and smiles on the players’ faces.
“Ultimately with high school sports, it’s so important that these kids take away the love of this sport,” Williams said. “With golf, it’s one of those sports that can be so dragging on you because it’s just you, there’s no team you can rely on. The fact is, when you get out there and you’re having a bad round, it can ruin your whole day.
“Don’t get me wrong, we want to win, we want to improve, but the fact is we need to enjoy the sport before we can focus on the improvement.”