The Eye of the Tiger

Posted on January 30, 2009 @ 2:04 am
by Lynn Pierce

Remember the theme song from the Rocky movie, “The Eye of the Tiger”?

When Rocky fought his opponent he had the focus of ‘the eye of the tiger’. When that song was written they couldn’t have had any idea the significance it would take on when a new Tiger took the world stage and changed sports forever.

I don’t care if you are a golf fan or a sports fan or if you think there is too much hype over this one particular athlete-yes golfers are athletes.

Tiger Woods is a force to be reckoned with. I could write a book about not only his accomplishments in the sports world, but also his accomplishments as a human being, but many books have already been written. In fact I wrote about Tiger in my book, “Breakthrough to Success.”

Look at what Tiger does in terms of how you live your life. Could you stand up to the level of excellence that Tiger requires of himself? If you raised your expectations, do you think you would be performing head and shoulders above your competition?

I’ve always been a huge fan of his because not only is he a consummate professional, he has such intense focus that you can see it on his face when you watch him on TV. I have also had the pleasure of standing just a few feet from him on more than one occasion and watching that focus in person.

Over and over again I heard the announcers at the tournament talking about how nobody would believe this if it was a movie. It would just be too much of a fantasy and the whoever wrote a screenplay that played out like this would be laughed out of a movie mogul’s office. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a movie or a sporting event with this many interesting characters and twists and turns.

Tiger is larger than life and his life is richer, more nuanced, and more interesting than any movie script. And this weekend he was Rocky, but he wasn’t fighting an opponent, he was doing what his dad had taught him. He was playing full out because that’s the only way to do it.

There were so many amazing shots from this one tournament. You can probably find them all on Youtube. But it’s not about the shots. It’s about the measure of the man. During the tournament some of his fellow golfers, who should feel really ashamed of themselves right now, wondered out loud through their pettiness and jealousy how hurt Tiger really was.

Tiger on the other hand downplayed his injury to not take the focus off the Open while he played through incredible pain that would have made almost any other player call it quits, especially when he was so far back that it didn’t look like he had any chance at all of winning.

And yet, Tiger not only didn’t quit, he forced a playoff and played another 19 holes on Monday. And then he made the impossible inevitable by winning…again!

Watching him play in the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines for 4 days instead of the usual 3 was a treat and at the same time painful. My heart ached every time I saw him wince when he hit the ball or when his caddy pulled him up by the arm when he couldn’t get up by himself or when the pain of taking another stroke had him almost doubled over in pain.

And I wondered how he could keep going, where did he find the inner strength to focus enough to pull it out day after day?

Ironically during the tournament there was a commercial running with audio of his dad talking about how Tiger would never meet anyone else as mentally tough as him in his entire life.

He certainly proved his dad right that weekend. I’m sorry I won’t be seeing him play the rest of the summer, but I know he’ll be back next year better than ever because striving for excellence is just his natural way of being.

The question is, is it yours?

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