Lessons From a Living Legend

Strong Mindset

Tiger Woods, a name which will go down in sporting history. Not only due to his achievements to date, including his 2019 Masters win but due to his story.

If you are not yet aware, then where have you been the past 24 hours, but Tiger Woods has completed a remarkable personal comeback to be crowned the 2019 Masters champion. 22 years on since his first Masters triumph in 1997.

What lessons does Tiger provide in his latest success?

Never Give Up

Since 2008 Tiger Woods’ playing career has been plagued by injuries. The injuries sustained hampered his success and supporters feared that Tiger wouldn’t be the Tiger we knew. Despite certain injuries, Tiger was still able to not only compete but to win the 2008 US Open Championship. During which, he had to compete in a playoff against Rocco Mediate. It was noted that Tiger had beaten the field with one leg, such as the extent of the injury sustained to his knee.

We aim for success in life, but at times when the going gets tough, the choice to give up appears stronger than biting down hard, gritting your teeth and finding a way to your target. Tiger certainly showed this throughout this tournament to win what looked to be his final major championship. What could you say to yourself when the going gets tough? How will you ensure you get yourself through the tough times, to ensure you see the good ones? What reward will be waiting for you?


Distractions Hamper Success

Throughout the early stages of his career, Tiger appeared unstoppable winning his first major in 1997 and winning 14 more majors in an eleven year period. However, due to injuries and various life events, his career appeared to be on a downward curve. This was true, and the momentum being built was meaning it was dropping further and further.

In 2009 after knee surgery Tiger returned to competitive golf, but it was the first year since 2004 that he didn’t achieve a major win. Later, that year, Tiger’s personal life would come into the media spotlight and he would announce that he would be taking an indefinite leave from competitive golf. During this period Woods lost several endorsement deals.

Tiger would return in 2010 and finish tied fourth at The Masters. However, he would not win a single event for the rest of the year, a first in his career. He would not win another event until December 2011.

Our lives are filtered with various distractions and interferences. You have potential that you can tap into, however, if you don’t manage your distractions the potential will not be unlocked enough. Your performance will be the output. Performance = Potential – Interference. It is not to say that Tiger’s marital relationship was to blame for this period, however, his personal life would have had a huge effect on his performance. Managing interferences and keeping your head & life in order is crucial to your success.

What is currently stopping you from unleashing your potential? Write down everything that is currently in your head, what needs to be dealt with? Which can be dealt with now? What could wait? What impact is it having on you and your performance?

Setbacks Happen

2013 – the year Tiger returns to the top of the world. After winning The Arnold Palmer Invitational for a record-tying 8th time, Woods would be back to number 1 in the golf world rankings, he would also go on to win the 5th unofficial major, The Players Championship, it would also be the year he would notch up his first four wins of a season in the quickest time.

The first setback would happen at the US Open of 2013, an elbow injury would mean Tiger would finish at 13 over-par which was his worst score as a professional. He would then miss a period of time out due to the injury, before eventually returning to be in contention to win the Open Championship. Due to injuries he only competed in 2 out of 4 majors that year.

Further setbacks would happen in 2014 due to back injuries which result in Tiger having back surgery and even missing The Masters for the first time since 1994. The back would prove to be a real problem for Tiger throughout the year. He would play some wonderful golf in one round, but his back would hamper him and stop him from maintaining the form.

The back would continue to prove to be a problem and would have four back surgeries between 2014 and 2017.

No doubt, there will always be setbacks. Some setbacks may prove to be bigger than others, but ultimately they are only setbacks if we choose them to be. We can allow them to be a setback, or we allow them to be the end. A setback is only temporary, the end is final. You choose how you respond to the event, you either throw the towel in, or you find another way and continue to progress forward.

How do you deal with setbacks? How could you ensure you continue to move forward without letting it be over?

The Wait Is Over

Due to all the issues Tiger was attempting to overcome, his world ranking would be at a lowly 1,199. His comeback at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas would see him finish 9th and move up to 668.

For a player, who was ranked number one in the world for so many years, to find themselves as 1199 could have been fatal to many people. It shows the resilience and mental character that Tiger posses to keep coming back.

In 2018 Tiger would win the season-ending Tour Championship. Many thought, they wouldn’t see Tiger win another big tournament after the multiple setbacks he had been suffering. For most, it would have been easier to throw the towel in, and be done with it.

Not Tiger, and last night Tiger would eventually win his 15th major and his first in 11 years to become the 2019 Master Champion. He is the second oldest golfer to win the Masters, only younger than the great Jack Nicklaus.

It is Jack Nicklaus who holds the most major wins of all time, with 18 triumphs. Will Tiger be able to match or better that? Time will tell.

Keep Calm & Carry On

What is clear though is Tiger’s mental toughness. It is the first time that Tiger has won a major when not being the leader going into the final day. He is so assured and calm that he doesn’t allow nerves to creep in. Through various breathing exercises Tiger can calm his nervous system.

I have mentioned before the power of breathing exercises such as 7 – 11 breathing. Notice your breathing when you are calm, and then in other states. What is different?

Life isn’t plain sailing. There are plenty of setbacks and sacrifices made along the way. Identify what is important to you, and keep working at it, because no matter how long it may take, success could turn up when you’ve gone through some of your darkest times. Still searching for ways..? Get in touch today!

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