Tiger Woods is hot. Another Open title under his belt will tie him with Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones and Willie Anderson for the most Open wins ever. Knowing Woods, he does not settle for being among the top. Breaking records is his style, setting new standards for excellence.
His primary pursuit is to be the world leader in winning the most golf majors. Woods has remained at 14 major wins since 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
Regardless of the outcome at this week’s U.S. Open at San Francisco’s Olympic Club, Tiger Woods is on the upswing. He’s gone from an all-time career low of No. 58 to No. 4 in World Golf Rankings.
Tenacity, as I wrote in a previous post addressing Woods’ recovery mindset, kept him from early retirement. Golf offered something for him to focus on when everything in his life was crumbling around him.
His empire had shattered in 2008. Hope is a strong motivator for rebuilding. It’s similar to an athlete having a physical injury, doing whatever is necessary while injured to return to play and then being even stronger when they finally have medical clearance.
Getting inside the mindset of a world class athlete is an eye-opener. Following these 6 steps leads to breakthrough performance.
Passion – Tiger Woods is determined to be the best golfer in history. Even through some of the most difficult periods of his life, the personal failure leading to public criticism he maintained his love for golf. His game, like his life, went through a major overhaul. His love for golf, however, kept him going despite the complications he created for himself.
Purpose- Woods maintains his goal to beat Jack Nicklaus’s record for winning the most majors. His burning desire to win the title of greatest golfer on earth contributes to his strong determination to do whatever is necessary. The biggest challenge Woods faces is his mental game. He’s not invincible. Woods has to get out of his own way, to put the pieces of his game and his life back together. The shift meant a switch from being ego driven, which is an external motivator to reconnecting with his passion, his internal drive, for greatness and excellence.
Pride – is a tricky thing and is frequently misunderstood. Ego-driven pride feeds off of external recognition. It shifts your reality. Eventually, values become compromised. We saw this with Woods when the scandal broke loose concerning his extra-marital affairs. Positions of power require a dose of humility to avoid scandal. Pride does not mean integrity must be compromised. Athletes, like politicians, let their egos take over. We’ve seen the problems from those bad decisions. History has shown no one is above it all. So what is pride? It is personal fulfillment that you are strongly committed, doing whatever it takes while maintaining integrity and focused on results. Pride, when connected to your purpose, is a very humbling quality.
Persistence – An admirable quality is continuing to move forward toward your BIG goals when faced with adversity. Woods continued to play golf, deal with his personal and public life problems while adjusting his mindset and his physical game. He wasn’t going to retire early to avoid public criticism. His approach bought a lot of attention to himself. It made for some very interesting headlines and cost him a great deal in sponsorship revenue. Despite the hardships he continued to do what was necessary to follow his aspirations. Woods had to reconnect with his passion along with all of his other emotions. Being cold is not a winning quality of champion athletes.
Power – Is more than physical strength, endurance or muscle. Having a strong physical game is a necessary component for Woods. Personal power comes from within. Woods has changed how golf is played. Even during his lowest moments, he’s maintained icon status. He continues to set the standard for what is possible.
Presence – Woods commands attention. His strong energy attracts it to him. The most powerful strength in his game, when he is playing well, is his ability to maintain presence of mind. Shutting out anything surrounding him to solely focus on his connection with the golf ball and where he wants the ball to go is a highly developed talent. Clear focus, maintaining presence of mind, makes him an exceptional golfer. When Woods allows his outside life to interfere with his focus his game falters. Focused, present-centered attention, is his winning quality. This is why Woods repeatedly wins tournaments.
Recovery is a process. As Woods continues to play, he must maintain focus on what is possible. His goals are a marker which lie outside of his control. To really be the best requires his mindset stay strong, focused and strategic.
Everything about his game has changed since his heyday in 2008. His swing, his caddy and his personal life. He is returning to take his place among the champions because of his adversity, not in spite of it. To be the best golfer in the world requires him to make changes in his mindset. Personal growth is necessary to reach his highest potential. Walking through the Valley of Death has set the course of what is possible.
Challenge: Review the 6 P’s for breakthrough performance. Rate yourself on each one from 0-10, with 0 being low to 10 being strong. Are you satisfied with your numbers? If not, then write down how you would ideally like each of the P’s to look. Now choose one area you would like to focus on first. What is one step you are ready to take now to strengthen that area? Write it down and commit to taking action now.