Tiger Woods and Outstanding Performance

Tiger Woods won the US Open in dramatic fashion in a sudden death playoff on Monday.  He beat Rocco Mediate to do so.  I blogged about Rocco yesterday, but I have a few things to say about Tiger today.

I blog about the importance of outstanding performance on Wednesday.  By any account, Tiger Woods performed in an outstanding manner this past weekend.  He is still recovering from knee surgery, yet he was able to beat the best golfers in the world to win his 14th major.

I was struck by something he said after his round on Saturday.  When asked about a shot he hit, he responded by saying that he had “rehearsed” that shot several times on the practice tee before he began his round.  Did you hear this interview?  What did you think?  I was struck by Tiger’s use of the word “rehearse.”

Tiger anticipated the shots he was going to have to hit, and then he rehearsed hitting them.  Outstanding performers do this.  They prepare by taking the time to think through their tasks and plan what they are going to do. 

I always encourage my coaching clients to do a “potential problem analysis” once they have planned out their work.  I ask them to ask themselves a simple question, “What can go wrong when I put this plan to work?”   Do you do this?  I hope so; because if you do, you’ll be prepared for most, if not all, of the problems that will come up as you work your plan. 

And that’s the common sense point of today’s post.  If you want to become an outstanding performer, you must prepare.  You need to take the time to think through your tasks, and plan what you are going to do.  You also need to think through the problems that are likely to come up along the way, and plan for how you’re going to deal with them.  This way, when you encounter difficulties, you’ll know what to do because you’ve mentally rehearsed them.  Joe Paterno, Head Football Coach at Penn State, my alma mater says it well.  “The will to win is important.  The will to prepare is even more important.”

As always, I’m interested in your perspective on these thoughts.  I welcome and appreciate    your comments.  Thanks for reading.



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