John’s Story

I have been very fortunate in my life.  The path to where I am today has been a winding, challenging, fulfilling one.

 

I grew up in a stable, supportive family who created a solid emotional base for me to approach the world in a positive, proactive way.  Growing up at a private golf club is not a bad way to spend your early years – especially if you love golf and have access to play anytime you want. My father, Peter Haime, was the Golf Professional at the club, helping me to shape my golf game and give me access to a fundamental way of playing. My mother Dawn worked at the club and was always available for moral support. I played many sports, but the eventual shift to focusing on golf was natural. By the time I was 17, I was regularly winning youth events and building a reputation as a national player. My dream from an early age was to play NCAA athletics – and I reached that dream accepting a full athletic scholarship to Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. It was a very exciting time.

 

I went into college as a leading junior and amateur golfer and loving the game and left college disappointed and not as far ahead as I wanted to be in my athlete development.  I had some nice early successes in college climbing up to the top of the Big Ten Conference in my freshman year. For several reasons, my golf game eroded and I stagnated in college, beginning the experience a confident, optimistic athlete and leaving with a lower level of confidence and a feeling I had made marginal progress over a four year period. Although I did not experience consistent development in college, Professional Golf was a dream and a next step – something I felt like I had to do – to honor my talent and see if I could find the spark … and enjoy playing again.

 

It was a fast start in professional golf finishing as medallist in the player’s tour school to gain a playing card around the world.  I started in Australia, shifted to South Africa, returning to Canada and the United States to play in events, shifting to Asia and continued that pattern for about six years. There were successes and tournament wins, but too many disappointments and frustrations. Running out of finances and out of patience, in my final year in professional golf, I failed to qualify to gain a card for the U.S. PGA Tour School. In my final round in professional golf, I played with Todd Hamilton from Illinois who ironically went on to win the British Open Championship several years later. Sadly, my golf career was over – as was a large piece of what I did since I was 10 years old – competing and trying to improve in a competitive environment.

 

While there were successes in the game, playing with the best golfers on the planet and competing at the highest levels, in reflection – the access and exposure to the world was by far the biggest benefit of my golf career. Traveling through Asia and Africa as a young person caused a major shift in my perspective of the world understanding that someone in a position of privilege like me must work toward helping others and lifting them up.  This calling would become my eventual focus.

 

The shift to the “real” world from professional sports was a difficult one. “What the heck do I do now” and “how does a golfer dramatically shift focus and do something else” were re-occurring questions I asked myself – for several unproductive years!!  I moved from traveling and competing around the world in t-shirts and shorts with a flexible schedule to an inflexible office environment wearing a suit and tie. There was a lot of soul searching and questioning during this time.

A random opportunity with a leading Trade Policy Consulting firm helped me begin understanding the world of business and how organizations function. I was fortunate to see how organizations tick from manufacturing, to operations, to accounting, to sales and marketing – to the executive chair. Evenings and weekends were occupied with providing golf instruction, clinics and camps at my brother’s Golf Centre.

 

I eventually decided to take a piece of the sport of golf, and my roots, and bring something different to corporate learning programs. This would allow me to move forward in business and keep a small link with golf. The company I built, LearningLinks, produced workplace learning programs that have been been delivered around the globe for some of the world’s top organizations. The LearningLinks experience started a 15 year series of transitions to where I am today – a Performance Specialist helping some of the world’s top performers in sports, business and entertainment build mental and emotional muscle so they can maximize their abilities. So many “mentors” have helped shape my career and help me elevate to where I am today – to my parents at early ages and throughout – to some of the top experts in the world in sport, business and leadership performance – helping to shape my thinking and beliefs on how best to serve others, elevate their performances … and most importantly – get results.

 

The concept of my company, New Edge Performance, was a culmination of 15 plus years studying, researching and investigating in Europe, North America and Asia, working with and being mentored and trained by some of the top performance experts & systems. “New Edge” was created out of trial and error with leading performers – creating a process that worked in the real, fast-moving world of performance. My goal is measurable results with my clients.

 

Giving a speech in 2008 in Palm Springs, CA, inspired the writing of my first book, “You are a Contender”.  A publishing executive in the audience felt the messages could be developed into a best-selling book. You are a Contender became a bestseller in the United States and Canada in the spring of 2010. I have since published the 2nd Edition in January 2016.

 

Acting as a mentor for leading athletes in Viktre Athlete’s “Locker-room for Life” is a natural fit. I have been in the shoes of athletes who make the transition from their sport to normal, everyday life. I know the feelings and the challenges of leaving professional sport. I can directly relate to those I mentor. I learned the hard way that “what you do is not who you are”. The world is a big place and there is much to look forward to beyond sport. The special experiences and unique lessons of being an athlete can be used to create tremendous value in the world after elite sport.  What a great privilege to help professional athletes and Olympians carve their new path and mentor them to success!

 

Finally, I am very proud of the growth in the Serge Giroux Golf Dream Foundation. In partnership with the Canadian Professional Golfers Association, I created a community event that provides “golf dreams” to children with life-threatening illnesses in the Ottawa/Outaouais region – my home. The families are selected from patients at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). A partnership with Walt Disney World and selected important partners allows our group to offer completely unique “dreams” to the families. The selected children and their families join me, representatives from the PGA and the corporate sector to experience the week-long dream of a lifetime.  The event is now in its 13th year and many families have experienced the dream and built life-long memories.

 

There is much more to do and I look forward to the challenges.

READ MORE