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Biography of a Significant Sports Figure.docx

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Nick Cipriano

Biography of a Significant Sports Figure: Tiger Woods Marie-Claude Leroux 1047215 Nick Cipriano Kin 3M03 November 28 , 2012 “Golf for me has always been the labor of love and pleasure, although sometimes impatience got the better of me.” This is a quote taken from Tiger’s father’s book called, Training a Tiger (Woods, 1997, p. XI). This quote does a really good job at introducing this essay because it really incorporates Tiger Woods’ love for the sport and how he was able to overcome numerous obstacles throughout his career. From an early age, Woods accomplished spectacular endeavors and at Woods’ lowest point in his golfing career he was able to come back and excel. Tiger Woods, if a professional golf player that was born in Cyprus, California th on December 30 , 1975 (Tiger Woods, 2012). His birth name is Eldrick Tonto Woods but his father, Earl Woods, began calling Woods “Tiger” as a nickname in honor of a missing South Vietnamese solider. Earl said that, instinctively, he knew his son was going to become famous and that maybe someday the missing soldier that Woods was nicknamed after would see him on some sort of media and seek them out (Callahan, 2003, pg. 2). Earl himself had done very well in the sport industry, making it as a college baseball player (Woods, 1997, p. XIII). Interestingly enough, Woods never became an exceptional baseball player but a golfer instead. In Earl’s guide to Training a Tiger, he talks about how he was introduced to the game of golf at the age of 42 and he had become addicted to the game fairly quickly. Earl mentions how before he even had Tiger, he had decided that if he ever had another child, he was going to introduce his new child to the game of golf earlier than he had been introduced to it (Woods, 1997, p. XVII). Earl did just what he intended to do and introduced the game of gold to Woods at a very young age. In Earl’s guide to Training a Tiger, he shows a picture of Woods playing with his first golf club, five 2 days before his first birthday (Woods, 1997, p. 10). Earl became his teacher and mentor and by the age of eight, Woods had already displayed incredible ability at the game of golf. He was already generating attention by being televised on shows such as Good Morning America (Tiger Woods, 2012). Woods went on to dominate the sport making a name for himself in the sport of golf. Tiger Woods is definitely worthy of being studied from a coaching perspective. He has displayed strength in his sport by managing his skills and overcoming many obstacles in his private life. I’ve always found that the most difficult part of any sport is separating your thoughts and your feelings of failure away from the game you play. I believe this is true no matter what sport someone plays, whether it is hockey, baseball, basketball, or golf. On November 27 , in 2009, two days after the world first heard rumors about Tiger’s private life, he crashed his Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant at 2:30 a.m.. This was the start of a rough part of his career and it lead to some questions over how his then wife, Elin, had been involved with the crash. People said that she had done anything from smashing his window out with a golf club to help Woods or actually attacking Woods and knocking out teeth. Not long after the crash, more news came out about Woods’ numerous affairs and with that Woods lost several sponsors starting with Accenture being the first big sponsor to drop Tiger as a representative (Bacon, 2008). Before the news about these affairs broke out Woods was a big role model for his admirers and his sponsors portrayed him as someone people could look up to. He was then forced to take time off from the game to try to repair his marriage as he announced on December 14 , 2009. By April 8 , 2010, Woods is back on the golf course (Bacon, 3 2008). He started off a little shaky but in 2012; Woods was back. He won the 2012 AT&T National, making him the second-leading golfer for PGA wins. This win made Woods take Jack Nichlaus’ long-held spot (Tiger Woods, 2012). I’ve watched Woods on the sports channel a few times with my father since he came back to the game. Every time he plays there is someone that screams something in the crowd about his personal life to distract him. For Woods to be able to focus during these times is incredible “mental toughness” as Woods’ father Earl would have called it. Something that I believe subconsciously prepared him for the tough times he had in the media is the training that Woods’ father did in preparation for mental distraction. In Earl’s guide to Training a Tiger, he mentions that, “he had pulled every nasty, dirty, rambunctious, obnoxious trick on his sun week after week,” (Woods, 1997, p. 149). He did things like dropping a bag of clubs at the impact of Tiger’s swing and imitating a crow’s voice while he was stroking a putt. Earl’s logic for pulling things like this on his son was that no opponent would be as “mentally tough” as he, ever (Woods, 1997, p. 150). Through his dad’s early training, Woods was able to prepare for the future and I think this is incredible. Earl was certainly a critical part of Woods’ coaching system. Not everyone can put away their subconscious and fully focus on the task at hand. It doesn’t take the biggest sports fanatic to know who Tiger Woods is or to know that he is very good at the game he plays. Just to summarize some of his greatest accomplishments, it’s important to start with his first notable one that really jumpstarted his pro golfing career. Woods won the U.S. Masters Augusta in 1997 with a
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