Before I explain what this is, I should explain how this idea came about. I was watching Sport Center with my good friend and writing coach, Ben. The talking heads on the screen were talking about Tiger not making the cut in the U.S. Open. So Ben, who also trains with me, asks “could you help Tiger be dominant again?” I smiled and explained why I thought I could if the circumstances were right. He gave me his whimsical smile and we moved on to the next topic.
A couple of days later we were meeting for a writing session and Ben says that he has an assignment for me. I’m to write a letter to Tiger Woods and explain how I could help him. We talk about the parameters of the assignment, he gave me six weeks to complete it because by then Tiger would have missed the cut in the British Open and missed the PGA championships (leaving him with plenty of spare time), and we moved on to the next topic.
Here’s the letter. If anyone reading this has access to Tiger or his people, please forward it on. I stand by my premise and feel strongly that I could truly help.
An open letter to Tiger Woods
It’s good to be the king! Tiger, when you were dominating the golf world you were truly the “king.” You were the most dominant player the world has ever seen. You strutted around the golf course like a young god daring those around you to defy your right to rule, while enjoying the spoils of success in a manner only those born to rule can. Now, I’m not here to judge, success has a way of enticing even the best into temptation. I’m sure all the great golfers of their day enjoyed the spoils of success. But they lived in a different time and almost a different place. Back then, there was a thing called privacy. Your private life was private. Now, not so much.
The way you walked the world and took what was yours by right, created a confluence of power, control, and grace. It was a marriage of energy, passion and complete physical dominance that changed the landscape of golf. You truly changed the game for ever. No longer is golf the play thing of the rich and privileged. We all like to play now.
Today, I watched Jason Day win his first Major with Jordan Spieth hot on his heels. After missing the cut in your third straight major, you were in Florida watching from your new business interest. That kind of sounds like another ‘has been’ moving on to the next phase of life. I can only hope it’s not so.
It’s not that I have anything against the young golfers who are dominating the scene right now. They are very talented and deserving of the praise they are receiving. It’s just they’re like golf used to be. But, if the king is dead – “long live the King.”
Somehow, I don’t think you’re quite done yet. You keep retooling your swing and putting yourself under the harsh scrutiny of society. The talent is still there. You are still one of the greatest athletes ever to play the game.
Your swing isn’t the problem. You can change it a thousand times and things still will not be right. You still won’t win.
When you look at the combination of social pressure, injury rehabilitation, and trying to redefine yourself as a man, a golfer and a father, it’s not a mystery why you haven’t succeeded.
There is an energetic balance that goes with success. When I watch you play, I don’t see a golfer struggling with his swing. I see an athlete out of balance. That state of balance and grace under pressure was once yours. It can be again.
We should talk. I can help.
Jerry Siravo CSCS
Founder of A Way of Life Fitness Consulting.
The writing process led to some interesting questions and ideas. For example, what separates us average people from the truly great athletes? Are they born gifted with more potential than the rest of us? Or do they just achieve that potential to a higher degree? Whatever it is, we agreed that most of us live lives of unfulfilled potential. We could do more and be more. We all have our reasons, excuses, and stories for why we haven’t achieved our potential. I’ll even go so far as to accept that often our reasons are legitimate. Whatever the reason, we haven’t been able to rise up and overcome our limitations and maximize our potential.
The simple idea that we could all do and be more led Ben and myself to this idea.
We are going to develop a training program that helps people achieve to their highest potential.
We will share this process with you both here and on my site at http://awayoflifefitness.com/blog/. I will be posting my views and insights on the process most Mondays and Ben will follow with his on Fridays. Our goal is to make this process as interactive as possible. We would love to hear your opinions and will gladly answer questions during this process.