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Monica Lieving: The Mindset of a Champion

In 2023 Monica Lieving’s competitors were focused on winning tournaments, but she had a different goal in mind. Monica’s focus in the beginning of the year was on the experience and the improvements she had made in the offseason. This mentality proved to be a game-changer as she went on to win the first two events of the season and ultimately become the 2023 World Champion. Rather than fixating on the outcome, Monica approached the first event with an open mind, focused on enjoying the adventure, no matter the outcome. Each event became a learning opportunity for Lieving, as this mentality put a much bigger emphasis on the process rather than the results. The 2023 season was filled with ups and downs for Monica Lieving, but her positive attitude and mentality proved to be the decisive factor in her remarkable championship season.

 

            Monica Lieving began her season as one of the hottest golfers in World Long Drive. Monica cruised through the round-robin, winning every set she was a part of to claim the number one seed entering the Head-to-Head format. In the H2H format, Monica knocked off World 5 Gabi Powel in the quarterfinals, then defeated World 3 Devon Casazza in the semi-finals to set up a matchup in the finals with the 6X world champion, Sandra Carlborg. Monica rose to the occasion against the world champ, breaking her personal ball speed record on her final shot of the finals. Monica registered a 183.3 ball speed on ball 6, which was the highest of her career in competition and practice. With confidence after winning the previous event, Monica went on to win the next event in Hobe Sound, putting the division on notice after her hot start.

 

Monica did not win every event this year, but she was able to learn and improve on the occasions when she was not successful. "Every event this year, even the events I did not win, I would say I did something that pleasantly surprised me and impressed me about myself," said Lieving. Each event contributed to her preparation for the World Championships in Atlanta, the biggest event Monica had been part of at this point in her career. "Kingsport was the first televised event for me, and I have never been in a situation like that, so I was super proud of how confident I was and how I handled myself on a stage like that even though I did not win." The event in Kingsport, Tennessee, was the last event for Lieving before the World Championships, which gave her the first taste of standing on the tee box with all the eyes and cameras on her leading into the biggest tournament of her life.

            Over time, Monica's body started to recuperate from injuries, allowing her to intensify her training without apprehension of reinjury. While working with her coach, Bobby Peterson, Monica broke her own ball speed record multiple times in the week leading up to the championships. Despite setting a personal best leading up to the world championships, Monica still had trouble finding her groove. "The first few days, I really was not feeling it. I think that is what I am most impressed with— that I was able to dig deep and find it within myself to pull out the win." Leading up to the final day, Monica had a conversation with fellow competitor Andrew Eigner, who was able to eliminate self-doubt in her mind. Andrew asked her, "What real things are you looking at that are convincing you that you cannot win the world championship?" That singular question forced Monica to the realization that conquering the obstacles in front of her was the only thing between her and her first world championship. Once she made that realization, the weight was lifted off her shoulders, and her new positive mindset carried her to victory.

            Monica Lieving will enter the 2024 season as the reigning world champion, holding the status of the World number 1. Even with that, her approach will not change as her goal for the year remains to enjoy herself on the course and keep that as her priority. While savoring the experience, if she can continue to win events and world championships, that is just a plus. Monica Lieving’s long drive career may still be young, but her future is extremely bright, as she will remain a contender for the crown for many years to come.

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