Insight 108 on 18 November, 2009
you may not have realised that the world’s best golfer was in Australia.
The Victorian Government took a deep breath and stumped up the $3
million appearance fee necessary to entice
Tiger Woods to add the
Australian Masters to his 2009 tournament schedule.
in front of sold-out crowds and huge television audiences, wowed the
fans and sponsors, played 72 holes of excellent golf and duly won the
event by 2 shots.
unbeatable, vastly better than his opponents, super-talented or in some
way a freak of nature. Easy … but wrong.
he loses far more tournaments than he wins .
‘only’ 24% of the tournaments he has entered. In 224 pro-tour events,
another player has taken home the trophy that Tiger was competing for.
in victory he is 1.38% better than his opponents
averaged 3.8 shots which means, on average, one shot better than
everyone else, each day of the tournament. Not huge but enough,
remembering that in 76% of tournaments he enters, another golfer does
better than Tiger across the 72 holes.
he trains incredibly hard
other golfer in the world because he works very hard at his fitness and
Tiger’s website states that he trains 6 days per week regardless of
whether he is playing in a tournament or not. Tiger’s typical
non-tournament day goes as follows:
Choice between endurance runs, sprints or biking.
7:30 a.m. – One hour of lower weight training. 60-70 percent of normal
lifting weight, high reps and multiple sets.
8:30 a.m. – High protein/low-fat breakfast. Typically includes egg-white
omelet with vegetables.
9:00 a.m. – Two hours on the golf course. Hit on the range and work on
11:00 a.m. – Practice putting for 30 minutes to an hour.
Noon – Play nine holes.
1:30 p.m. – High protein/low-fat lunch. Typically includes grilled
chicken or fish, salad and vegetables.
2:00 p.m. – Three-to-four hours on the golf course. Work on swing, short
game and occasionally play another nine holes.
6:30 p.m. – 30 minutes of upper weight training (high repetition).
he practises very specific aspects of his game
training he does, it’s the specific things he practises. As Geoff
Best of the www in InSight 87) writes ‘Tiger Woods has
been seen to drop golf balls into a sand trap then step on them, then
practice shots from that near-impossible lie. Great performers isolate
remarkably specific aspects of what they do and focus on just those
things until they are improved; then it’s on to the next aspect’
he is never satisfied with his current level of performance
person so accomplished at such a young age would be hungrier for more,
but he is – very hungry. ‘I’m always trying to improve, whether it’s
on the golf course or in the gym. So I ask myself: What do I need to do
today to be better than I was yesterday? What am I going to work on
tomorrow to be better than I was today? The key to improvement is to
commit to your goal and never quit’.
he knows change takes time to pay off
something different and if it doesn’t immediately pay off, they give up
– not Tiger. ‘When I try to change
something, whether it’s my swing or my physique, I know it’s going to
take a lot of patience. Sometimes, you don’t see immediate results, and
frustration can get you off your game if you let it. A great example of
that is my strength-training routine. I’ve been lifting weights for a
long time, but I didn’t see real changes until my mid-20s when I was
finally able to lay down muscle and keep it. It felt good to see all
that work paying off, but it took time because of my body type. Patience
kept me focused, and I eventually got the results I wanted’.
human being but when you look behind the hyperbole you will discover an
ordinary person with an extraordinary drive to become the best he can
possibly be – no excuses.
all quotes and statistics are taken from
wrote this post nearly five years ago. As I write this, the first round
of the British Open is underway. Tiger Woods hasn’t won any of golf’s
majors since 2008. The public fall from favour of Tiger Woods has been
so comprehensive (I am sure you don’t need any details of his marital
lying and cheating) as to motivate an article (Tiger
Woods’ star has long since shot into oblivion)
from Fairfax Media columnist Peter FitzSimons, that says in part:
committing infidelities on an industrial scale – involving private jets
and rosters – while selling to the world a public image as the family
man to beat them all.
remembers that when he was king, he did not rule well. It remembers that
when he was the youngest and most powerful king there ever was, and
seemed well on his way to being an emperor, he was still never a man of
the people like Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer; was a taker not a giver; and
instead of embracing the rest of the golfing world, the fans, the media,
his fellow golfers … he could only just tolerate them.’
Along with the full reality of
Lance Armstrong’s sustained years of lying, cheating and bullying
his way to the pinnacle of cycling fame and fortune, it’s a very
sobering reminder that success, to have any long term significance, must
be accompanied by humility, respect and integrity.
As The Economist rightly
editorialised last week, the victory of Germany in the recent FIFA
World Cup final was a heartening example that old-fashioned virtues can
still provide the foundation of success, even in the ultra-competitive
and ultra-money environment of world football (soccer).