Tiger-Standard Operating Procedure
While many athletes bum out or quit sports because of pushy parents, others use the push for incredible short-and long-term motivation, Spock said.
The competitive sports jungle is full of fathers of tigers-men and women like Earl Woods. It was Earl Woodsplan to raise the greatest golfer who ever lived. A frustrated golfer himself, Earl didn’t wait for his son to take up the game. Before he could walk, Tiger was taken to the family garage, strapped into a high chair by his father and shown how to swing a golf club.
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A short time later, his father took him on the golf course. Before his fourth birthday, he shot 48 on a regulation nine-hole course. At age six, his father had him listening to subliminal tapes. What his dad tried to do, whenever possible, was cheat, distract, harass, and annoy him. When you spend 20 years in the military, train with the Green Berets, do two tours ofNam and one of Thailand, you learn a few things about psychological warfare. He’d drop a golf bag during the boy’s backswing, roll a ball across the boy’s line just before he putted. It was all a mission: to win, to withstand the pressure that lay ahead of him in tournaments. And it worked. Woods, named after his father’s Vietnam combat partner, said he began to like the pressure of ^ompetition.^^nike^hejieelingoft^ing^yhardestunderpessure.^utf^sojntense.^f^hardtode^^
Tiger conquered the pressure, and his opponents. In amateur events, he was best in the crunch: he won three USGA junior titles all in extra holes or on the final hole.
In the 1994 U.S. Amateur championship, he made the greatest comeback, overcoming a six-hole deficit to win. Then, in 1997, on his first full season on the PGA tour, Woods won the Masters handily and was the top money earner for the season.
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