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Lessons from Tiger Woods

Few people would question the proposition that Tiger Woods is by far the best golfer in the world and in time he will probably go down in history as the best ever.

Now you’d think that if someone is that good there wouldn’t be much pressure on him to work on getting better. From 1999 to 2002 Tiger absolutey dominated the field but towards the end of 2002 he was having a problem with stress on his left knee and realized that something had to change for him to stay at the top. From 2003 through 2004 he worked on developing a new swing adjustment to take pressure off his left knee and in this period his winning streak all but disappeared.

But the 2005 season saw a new Tiger. His swing was now working for him and he won the 2005 US Masters and the 2005 British Open as well as several other PGA events. But 2006 was not a great year, his father died in May and he took some time out to be with his family but by the time the 2006 Open came around at Royal Liverpool Golf Club he was again at the top of his game and won by 4 strokes.

There are several lessons for us mortals in this.

First, no matter how good you are, there’s always room for improvement

Second, what’s worked well for you in the past in not guaranteed to keep you at the top of your game

Third, even the best performers in their class will occassionally deal with adversity and they need to perservere to get back to their top form

Fourth, no matter how good you are there will be times when you lose your touch and that’s when you must take a close look at what you’re doing and have the guts to make changes if you want to return to your best.

  1. Ric Payne
    September 30th, 2008 at 19:00 | #1

    I sure do Ron.

  2. September 30th, 2008 at 18:59 | #2

    Well said, Ric. I forget the exact year, but sometime in the last ten years Tiger actually re-engineered his entire golf swing from the ground up. As any golfer knows, this is an incredible accomplishment. If I remember right, it wasn’t because he was losing on the Tour; he was actually having a great year. But he said something to the effect that what made you successful won’t keep you there, and he wasn’t happy with his ball-striking. I remember all the sports writers saying it was crazy, risky, etc.

    Don’t you wish more businesses had this attitude?

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