Tiger Woods Taught the World a Lesson

June/10/2015 5:16AM
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It’s not always what you do, but how you are seen by the world. Tiger Woods was a golfing idol. He won everything, made millions, and had a great family. Sure, he was cocky and arrogant, but we all excused that. Yes, he did swear a lot on live camera, but that was overlooked.  He was going to overtake Jack’s records for most majors won and few doubted that would happen, and soon.

He really needed no one. He fired Fluff, his first caddy, because he talked to the media too much. He fired Butch Harmon, his swing coach because he was taking too much credit for Tiger’s success. No problem, he kept right on winning, proving he didn’t need anyone.

Then came the wreck. Tiger wrecked his car.  He was OK, just some bumps and bruises.  He would be fine.

But, the carnage soon followed. Tiger has been chasing skirts for years. Lot’s of skirts. He goes off for sexual addiction treatment at a clinic. Elin is not forgiving. The world of golf fans has a different view of Tiger. Fans at tournaments yell unkind things when he plays. He gets a new swing coach. He gets a new caddy, Fluff is with Furyk and Stevie is with Adam Scott. Both of those guys are playing great.  Tiger has a new guy no one knows and Tiger likes it that way.

But, Tiger can still win tournaments,  just not majors. Elin dumps Tiger and after eight years gets her degree from Rollins College. Tiger cycles through another swing coach.

Tiger embarrasses himself at a tournament with his short game. He and Lindsay Vonn become a couple.  Tiger tells the world he’s working hard on his game and looks forward to the Memorial Tournament in June.

Tiger makes the cut at Jack’s tournament (Memorial) right on the line. Day three Tiger shoots 85. It’s over. He’s dead last going into the final round.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. What happened?

In my judgment  it’s as simple as this. Anyone who has been involved in any sport at any level knows, it’s all about confidence. You can face a better opponent in skill, size, or ability and prevail if you believe in yourself. I wrestled in college. I believe that my high school wrestling coach, who developed many college wrestlers, taught confidence first, and skills second. He could convince you that you were invincible. If you bought into it, you almost were. You never looked at your opponent before you went on the mat. You never looked at his record. You treated every match as if it were a practice match, just a teammate trying to take your spot in the lineup. He would match you in practice with the guy in the next higher weight class or even two higher to teach you that even size wasn’t a factor.

That confidence requires self-image. You have to see yourself a winner. A winner in sports, a winner in life. You have to believe you can take on anything and survive.  A marriage, parenthood, a job, a career, in my case, even a plane crash. Who you are is a big part of what you can do.

Tiger, in his own eyes is a loser. He can’t help being a loser. Lindsay Vonn dumped him a couple of weeks ago for cheating on her. It’s no coincidence he shoots 85 the next time he plays. In his eyes he’s a chopping hack on the golf course and he can’t fix that because he’s a chopping hack in life.

See, guys like Tiger believe they are an island, the biggest island in the ocean. When the hurricane comes, they can withstand any wind. When they can’t,  it only takes a breeze to make them question what they can do.

Cheating didn’t affect Tiger one iota, only knowing the world saw him as a low-life cheater did. It destroyed his confidence. His self-image is low. His massive ego is shrinking to nothing.  The very essence of what made him the best golfer in the world is gone. The love and adoration from the fans, that love he couldn’t share with Fluff, that image that fed his self-confidence is missing. Without that he doesn’t belong on the pro tour. Until he gets his life in order and feels good about himself, he won’t win another tournament. Go home and rebuild yourself Tiger. Good luck.

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