A waning professional golf career, his (ex)wife, his kids, his mistress(es), his scandal. Am I missing anything? When the scandal about Tiger Woods and his mistress first broke last November the world was sell-shocked. Actually, shell-shocked would probably be an understatement. The story continued to unbelievably unfold in front of our eyes as more and more women seemed to come out of the woodwork and share their story about sexual escapades with Tiger. Arguably the most talented, most famous, and most admired professional golfer (if not athlete in general) was suddenly another one of “those” professional athletes.
However mundane or serious they are, professional athletes’ mistakes are likely to be made public and are available to be scrutinized be everyone. I’m not going to lie, like most people, I absolutely admired Tiger and his game. His impenetrable mental toughness was something I envied and tried to incorporate into my own training. I looked at Tiger as a classy, humble, and respectable role model. Needless to say, I was devastated when the news of the scandal broke. One of my athletic role models suddenly crumbled and lost most of my respect right in front of my eyes. I understand that everybody makes mistakes, but it’s NEVER ok to cheat on your wife. EVER. Much less with 10 women! I don’t care who you are, what marital problems you’re having, how famous you are, or how much money you have… It’s not ok.
After not being selected for the 2010 Ryder Cup Team, the multi-million dollar question remains: Will Tiger ever be able to come back from his shocking scandal? I hate to say it, but I’m not sure that he can ever get back to the dominant force that he once was. I would be less concerned with Tiger’s ability to work his way back to the top of the golfing world if his problems circulated around physical issues rather than emotional and mental issues. With some kind of injury there is a process of rest and rehabilitation that usually gives promise to a full return. Progress is consistently made and there is a feeling of a “light at the end of the tunnel.” Progress can be physically seen and felt providing continued motivation to keep fighting to come back. With a traumatic emotional experience there is no guarantee of recovery. It’s much more difficult to handle an emotional problem than a physical one. Tiger’s mental toughness was one of his natural strong suits and was a big part of what gave him the edge over his competitors. Since the scandal broke, that mental toughness and stability has taken a serious hit. Can he get it back?