Tiger Woods loses in the first round of the WGC Match Play Championship – so what’s new? The media claim he’s in a slump, and it’s kind of hard to argue that he isn’t. Is Tiger’s slump physical (swing change), mental (life style change), both, or neither? I just finished reading Breaking the Slump by Jimmy Roberts, a collection of interviews of golfing greats about how they broke out of their slumps. The list included Paul Azinger, Jack Nicklaus, David Duval, Greg Norman, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Steve Stricker, and others. Insights offered by each of these golfing legends were very interesting. Roberts states “A slump is a frightening thing, but as player after player told me: don’t panic.” Palmer’s advice: “Just slow down.” Love: “Try less hard.” Nicklaus: “The first thing you have to do when you’re having a problem is get away from it.” Duval: “At all costs, protect your confidence.” Stricker: “Your swing is a product of your mind. Keep a positive attitude.” Roberts sums it up: “Golf, like life, is just too sweet to spend time mired in what’s wrong, especially when you can do something to make it right. If you choose to play this game, Marley’s ghost will likely visit you from time to time. The trick is not letting those rattling chains scare you so much.” These interviews offer looks at champions in their most vulnerable times – we can all learn from them.
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