The title of today’s post is actually similar to a title of a book that I once read. It was a book written by Tiger’s golf coach when he was a kid. I must have read it when I was 14 or 15 years old.
I thought it would be a good topic for today’s blog is that I saw a video clip last night of Tiger Woods hitting golf balls again and it got me thinking...
If you are a golf fan then you will no doubt realise the impact that Tiger has on the game of golf. Despite his recent misgivings, years of injuries and press coverage he still remains the most popular player in the field when he tees it up.
Whether it is because people want to see a glimmer of the man that once was, or if they want the chance to say that they saw him play, or simply because he is still a great player and might actually make a sneaky come back.
As a kid I was fixated on a career path to golfing success and spent hours each day at school thinking about my next round of golf and day dreaming about teeing it up next to guys like Tiger. As a young teenager, when I was handed a book about nurturing self confidence to become a great player I was in there like a shot.
If you speak to any old member of a golf club there will be a couple of things you’ll hear, one will be crazy golfing jokes and stories that will make you chuckle and the other is the undeniable reality that golf is possibly the most frustrating simulation of life that there ever has been.
I’ve played golf all around the world and met people who share the frustration of wanting to quit the game, scream, shout, rant and throw their golf clubs in the bin. And then the next day, after quiet reflection, they are back on the booking sheet or the course for their next round of golf.
The best example of frustration I can give you on this was when I was in Texas and playing the final qualifying round to make the team for the NJCAA Championships in 2007. I was leading the group of golfers coming into the last 7 holes, my game was on point, every shot I hit I visualised and implemented perfectly. I had managed to ignore the banter from the playing partners about the impending danger on each hole, their subtle way of trying to get in my head, and stepped up to the final stretch of holes with a decent lead.
The wind was up and the realisation hit home that I was making a seriously good impression on my coach. My whole year I had underperformed and I was putting words into action, hitting my stride and showing him shot by shot that I had what it took to be on the team.
I stepped up to hit my tee shot on the hardest hole on the course, I looked at my target and visualised the shot, I could see the coach in the distance watching with the rest of the team. With confidence I took the club back to hit the ball and for the briefest moment I let self doubt creep in, “don’t hit it out of bounds,” a little voice in my head said as I got to the top of my swing.
I looked up after making contact with the ball to see it start out right of my target line, the wind caught it, my body english signalling the ball to come back, every fibre in my body hoping for the wind to die down, but it wasn’t to be…
The ball sailed over the fence on the right of the course and landed in a field.
It was a moment that shook my confidence, it grabbed my mind and for the final few holes allowed for a series of smaller mistakes to roll through my scorecard and put me 2nd overall. I had lost, I had lost the chance to prove myself and the chance to travel with the team. Not only that I had lost the chance to make the team for the following year, I just didn’t know it until later in the year. Despite the set back I stepped onto the course every day afterwards, however the confidence knock and the fact that I couldn't be on the team stopped my pursuit of professional golf.
There are a few things that I learned from that experience that I try to relate to life when I can:
When I saw Tiger hitting golf balls again I thought to myself, “wow, he is still chipping away at his goals.” Granted his goals might have shifted from 10 years ago but he is still trying to push past his set backs, his personality flaws and be the best version of himself that he can. What that means for his future in golf is unclear but what is clear is that there is never a time to give up on yourself. Tiger hasn't and if you think about it he shows the traits of a Tiger, tough, mighty, and dynamic, something we all can be!
Go out there and have an awesome week and remember, IN EVERYONE THERE LURKS A TIGER!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
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Brendan is the owner and head trainer at Raw Motion Fitness.