Monday, November 21, 2011

Never Say Never

You don't need to be an athlete to know who Tiger Woods is, and the "situation" he created for himself in the last couple of years. When the bottom dropped out from underneath him, everyone (including myself) instantly became judge and jury. I was as quick as the next person to throw him under the bus, judging his personal life and decisions he made. It took some time, but I eventually jumped down off of my soapbox, viewing him as the golfer I grew to love and regularly used as a positive example. His personal life is just that - personal! I won't teach my daughter to emulate his off-course lifestyle, but I will absolutely help her understand the importance of his work ethic.

During this down-time for Tiger, I continued to Tweet, blog, and preach his eventual comeback to anyone who would listen. I contended that he became the best we'd ever seen, primarily due to his unmatched self belief and relentless practice habits. As long as his passion existed, these strengths would also still live inside him. My positive Tiger opinions were definitely in the minority, leaving me open to the naysayers' hammer-drop ... and it was being dropped regularly.

"He's finished. He'll never win again. He looks like he's never played before. You're crazy to think he'll ever make it back..."

They were correct. He did look awful! And if this was a normal human being with average mental toughness and an unwillingness to sacrifice, I would've agreed with the majority. This was Tiger freaking Woods, however. He changed his swing three times while he was dominating the world of golf, because he always believed it could improve. Obviously, it's valid to aruge that he shouldn't have changed anything if wasn't broken, but Tiger doesn't think like 99% of the population. He believes that it's never good enough, and won't ever settle for less. As we've seen, he'll go through these holding patterns until he finds a better way, but as he's proven time after time, he always finds that better way. The last couple weeks in Austrailia have shown us that he's on his way back, and will undoubtedly be a force to reckon with again.

Ignore his personal life decisions, but put a microscope up to his work ethic and ability to continuously find a way to believe in himself. A year ago, while playing the worst golf of his life, he was asked who he thought was the best player in the world. He stared at the interviewer, paused, took a deep breathe, cocked his head to the right, and didn't say a word, as his body language said it all. His non-answer said, "Me!"

When you look at your reflection, do you see belief or reasons why it can't happen?

No comments: