Jun

17

Tiger, from Edward Talisse

June 17, 2008 |

T WTiger's accomplishments are truly remarkable. He is perhaps the closest illustration of professional perfection that we have witnessed in our lives. There are countless untold stories of achievement in many walks of life and of course, we can only admire and measure those we are familiar with. However its difficult for me to imagine such consistent and near perfect performance achieved under such highly visible pressure.Tiger frequently separates himself from the competition by his degree of mental toughness. I wonder how we can measure and learn that skill?

Like other readers of this web site, I try my best to be a role model for my four children. We are a tight knit family drilled in the arts of preparation, practice and discipline. Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are the best illustrations of what an individual can achieve. There is no shortage of good role models.


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7 Comments so far

  1. Steve Leslie on June 17, 2008 11:25 am

    I have followed Tiger's career closely for 15 years beginning when he won his first of three straight U.S. Amateur titles. There have been others who have contributed marvelous insights into Tiger, including Dr. Mark Goulston. Many are archived here.

    I equate Tiger Woods to Babe Ruth. He is doing things and accomplishing things that will stand for 100 years. I am highly confident that I have never seen nor studied another athlete in any sport that approaches Tiger Woods. He does it also with the highest level of grace and dignity.

  2. acetrader on June 17, 2008 1:25 pm

    That picture says it all! What a great game played by great men…you have a guy applauding when the guy he is trying to beat hits a good shot. No B.S., no sharpie’s, no taunting, no thuggery….

    What a wonderful experience it was to watch!

  3. Gregg Rainone on June 17, 2008 11:06 pm

    The other two comments on this post are very good.

    So, I’m not quite sure what to write…about whether or not Tiger Woods is arguably THE most dominant athlete in any sport ever, which has been on my mind now since about 1994, even if I didn’t actually realize it at that time.

    The Chairman here is a legitimate world class athlete in his own right, and I’m not, so it’s sort of an odd perspective to be writing from — sort of like being down a few key pieces in Chess against a better player, but still trying to play anyway, mathematically hopeless and rather foolish though the exercise may be. I guess I’m just an Antonio Salieri…wannabe.

    Some guy in Chicago wrote a piece in his newspaper today about how Tiger “isn’t even close” to Michael Jordan.

    I dunno. What about Michael Schumacher the car driver? Or who else is there? Let’s all respond and fill in the blanks, shall we, on who is the most dominant athlete/sportsman-woman of all time?

    Neither Nadal or Federer rank at preasent, imnho, since neither has won all the tennis majors on ALL surfaces…yet…though both are contributing to a really nice micro golden age for men’s pro tennis. Personally I think Nadal wins Wimbledon this year and MAY be the next man to win all the tennis majors on all surfaces if his body can take it, ironically eclipsing Federer as it may turn out in that all-important regard.

    As for myself, having concluded an actual “career” in pro alpine ski racing in the late 1980’s, I moved to Florida to play pro golf in 1991, thinking Greg Norman “beatable” and thus worth my time in so trying. Well, for a #1 world-ranked golfer, he was relatively beatable on many occaisions, but just not by…me. In fact, I never even qualified to play against him directly. In actual fact, as it turned out, I never even declared myself a professional in golf…and wisely so, I might add, as numerous scorecards and cancelled checks will attest.

    Despite my very best efforts prior to a testy back injury in 1997 (Go, Rocco, indeed! TRULY an inspiration and I’ll be looking into his Los Angeles therapy program asap) I got no farher than medalist in a PGA of America Playing Ability Test in 1996, along with some minor mini-tour and amateur tournament finishes. However, had Tiger been the #1 player in the world in 1991, I believe myself to be sufficiently intelligent such that I really would NOT have even made the effort.

    Tiger Woods is NOT beatable at golf.

    Certainly not be me (way, way, way beyond absurdly and laughably dilusional…to even instantaneously consider beating Tiger Woods at golf even in a singularly serruptitous Walter Mitty moment may actually be legal grounds for a one way ticket to the asylum), and not by…ANYONE, quite arguably, when he really wants to win, at present, and back 25 years thru his age levels.

    I just can’t quite think of many other situations in the history of sport (leave military DESPOTS out of it), save for maybe Mike Tyson in his prime assuming boxing is a “sport”, when one human has been able to so COMPLETELY impose his competitive will upon others as has Tiger, via his pure and comprehensively superior ability.

    And to do it in basketball, or on one surface in tennis….has been done over the ages, and the statistical math of so doing is VERY, very, very difficult…but not historically off the scale. But in golf, a game of lucky bounces, frankly, and “the rub of the green”, the mathematical probability of winning at the pace of Tiger Woods is…historicaly unprecedented by a notable margin.

    Golf Grand Slam winner Bob Jones said of Jack Nicklaus when he first set the tournament record at The Masters, “He plays a game with which I’m not familiar”. So, what does Tiger Woods play, then?

    Even Nicklaus was beaten directly in major competition head to head play by, among others, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, and…Brian Barnes!

    Said Nicklaus himself in 1997, the year of Tiger’s 12 shot victory over the field at Augusta National:

    “I’m going to tell you one thing. It’s a shame that Bob Jones isn’t here. He could have saved the words for me in 1963 for this young man because he’s playing a game we’re certainly not familiar with.”

    And that was 12 years ago, when the legend was only just beginning…

  4. pruhedge on June 18, 2008 8:31 am

    Another person that comes to mind with remarkable accomplishments, same professional perfection and mental toughness is the” TIGRESS” Lorena Ochoa.

  5. Russell Sears on June 18, 2008 10:58 am

    For those wanting someone that competes at a totally different level than the rest of the world, look at Gabe the 10k and marathon world record holder along with 25 others.

    http://tinyurl.com/4hxvk4

    He is so good he does not even have to compete in China, to prove it, and will not due to pollution would hurt him.

    His 10k time in 1998, 26:22, was demoralizing to me. The pace was unbelievable fast (4:14 per mile). And he almost breaking the 4:00 barrier for 2 miles 8:01. Most likely he would have if anyone could have been a sufficient rabbit for him. He is that good. It was clear that nobody is his equal in track.

    Perhaps Tiger’s equal, but in a minor sport.

  6. Jeff Watson on June 18, 2008 5:44 pm

    Although surfing is a minor sport, we have our own version of Tiger Woods. His name is Kelly Slater, and he’s dominated the sport since ‘92. Hailing from Cocoa Beach and born in the early 70’s, Kelly’s won 8 world championships, and is set to win another one this year. Although past the prime age for surf competition (36 years old), Slater wins whenever he wants to, and is unbeatable when he wants to be. Kelly has also been known to date women like Cameron Diaz and Pamela Anderson. He plays guitar with the likes of Ben Harper and Jack Johnson. Kelly also plays a scratch golf game. Not bad for a beach kid from Cocoa Beach, raised by a single mother.

  7. Joe Davis on June 19, 2008 1:17 am

    What a shame he plays golf and is not running for President.

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