August 22, 2006

Go on, be a Tiger!

Filed under: Start-up First Aid — Administrator @ 11:16 am

This morning, as I was ripping through USAToday and wallowing in pain as reality set in that the dreaded Yankees whomped my beloved Red Sox in five straight games – I got to thinking, “why do some people/teams underperform and others overperform?”

Whether in sports, business or spelling bees, you’ve got to marvel at great competitors, especially those who, under tremendous pressure to replicate pristine performances, not only meet expectations but surpass them.

Coincidently, USAToday’s sport columnist, Jon Saraceno, wrote an article titled “Nobody better at the art of competition than Tiger” in today’s paper. For some of us who don’t enjoy playing golf but rather enjoy reading about it, Saraceno is a great journalist to follow and Tiger is the player to follow.

Tiger is coming off a win at this past weekend’s PGA Championship elevating him to a grand total of 12 major tour championships – just 6 behind the 18 major titles held by golf great Jack Nicklaus. Saraceno uses this opportunity to drill down Tiger’s winning characteristics in his article, ultimately surmising that it all comes down to roots.

I think entrepreneurs will find this an interesting read – below are some highlights:

I don’t know if Tiger is the quote-unquote “greatest athlete” of all time — Jim Thorpe and Bo Jackson are right up there — but there hasn’t been a more ferocious competitor. Smell blood? He goes for the jugular. In the cruelest game, Woods relies on the one thing he knows he can trust: himself. He has no teammates. No timeouts. Only his skill, resourcefulness and savvy. Tiger has every reason in the world to rest upon his numerous accomplishments, but somehow, someway, he retains the inner spirit to remain motivated despite all the millions, the major-trophy wife and the $40 million oceanfront estate. Do you know how many athletes get a sniff of money and fame and totally destroy their careers, if not themselves? Woods has good roots, and that cannot be underestimated. With whatever his late father Earl, and his mother Tida, watered their young offshoot, it provided the right mixture of self-discipline, self-awareness and confidence.

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