for unconventional teachers, including coaches of all types, features in
various film genres.
Often, athletes get so enthralled with their sport that they define
themselves specifically by that one talent. While this mentality causes
some people to flourish, the lives of others can fall apart quickly without
grounding and balance. In the movie Seven Days in Utopia, the main
character, Luke Chisholm (Lucas Black) struggles with placing an
enormous amount of pressure purely on the success of his golf game.
While playing in a professional golf tournament, Luke has a major
breakdown during the round. He expresses extreme anger and shoots
an unsatisfactorily high score due to his lack of emotional control,
capped by his father, who is also his caddie, walking off of the golf
course on the last hole of the tournament. Still distraught from his
mental breakdown in the prior tournament, Luke gets in a car crash on
his way home from the tournament. Rather than going home, Luke
seeks out the wisdom of an old man named Johnny Crawford (Robert
Duvall) in the small town of Utopia, Texas.
While in this town, he receives many different teachings from
Johnny Crawford, however, very few of them are related to golf. The
older man takes him fly fishing to get his balance and rhythm back, and
they engage in various other activities that one would not particularly
relate to golf. One specific thing that Johnny has Luke do is to create a
painting of a golf shot he wants to visualize. Johnny takes Luke under
a tree and asks how he would escape the trouble to get the ball up on
the green to save par. Luke simply shrugs him off at first, but he begins
to get the point of the exercise over time. He draws the shot he sees: an
8 iron with drawing spin around the tree and into the cup. After days
of visualization, he hits the shot exactly as he has visualized it for days
on end.
The most important lesson that Johnny teaches Luke is the
acronym SFT, which stands for “See it. Feel it. Trust it.” This saying
really gets through to Luke, so much so that he writes the acronym on
each one of his golf balls during the following tournament. At this
tournament, with Johnny as caddie, Luke performs at a much higher
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