Friday, September 25, 2009

Why Is Tiger Woods So Good?

I was watching Tiger play in the tour championship yesterday. Although I don’t really play that much golf I enjoy watching Tiger play. Never has an individual so undeniably dominated a sport.

I have a friend who is a very good golfer. He actually tried to make it on the pro tour for a couple of years. But as good as he is those guys playing on tour are consistently playing on an even higher level. And then you look at Tiger Woods and he exceeds them all.

Tiger Woods wins about 1 in every 3 tournaments. This year he won 6 tournaments. For many pro golfers 6 may be a lifetime goal.

How does Tiger do it?

Tiger is a master of staying in the Now—of staying in the present moment.

Tiger does not let his thoughts stray to the future or dwell in the past. He keeps his mind centered in the present and the task at hand. Under the pressure of performing in a golf tournament with millions of fans watching your every move, staying as present as Tiger does is nothing less than amazing.

Staying in the present moment brings clarity and focus. Not concentrating on the shadowy phantoms of the future lets you know what needs to be done now.

Tiger is not worried about what the millions of fans are thinking about him. Tiger is not projecting himself into the future concerned with whether or not he is going to win the tournament. Tiger isn’t concentrating on the money he is going to be winning. (Actually, I’m sure money isn’t even a factor for Tiger any more. Which is a definite plus for staying focused.)

Tiger is in the Now. He is taking each step one at a time. Walking from fairway to the green, each blade of grass is crisply in view. He is aware of each footstep. The sound of the fairway turf crushing beneath his Nike golf shoes echos in his ears. Tiger Woods is alive.

With our imperfect, ego addicted minds it is impossible for anyone to constantly stay in the Now and Tiger is no exception. We have seen Tiger have off days. We have seen Tiger scramble around the golf course and miss putts that normally he could have sunk if the hole was twice as small. In those moments Tiger is no longer in the Now. His mind has taken over. The past and future are dominating.

But more times than not Tiger can calm and silence his mind-- a necessary step for entering the Now.

In most tournaments a new golfer rises to challenge Tiger. Another golfer has entered the Now and is capable of challenging Tiger. Sometimes they succeed. But how many times do you see them leave the Now? When Tiger is trailing in a golf tournament how many times do you see Tiger’s competitors make mistakes and their golf score plummet. They have left the Now.

Tiger has the ability to go into the Now and stay better than any golfer that has ever lived. Tiger can immerse himself so completely into the Now as to seem to make magic happen. When Tiger is fully in the Now, is when he runs away with tournaments. That is when no other golfer in the world even has a chance at beating him.

Tiger Woods is so good, because Tiger Woods is in the NOW.

Paradigm Shift Today

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