Archives For Tiger Woods

Tiger Shanks it in the Woods

Ben Reed —  December 14, 2009 — 8 Comments

I recently wrote a sports editorial piece for a local paper here in middle Tennessee, the I-24 Exchange.  For your convenience, I thought I’d re-post it here on my blog, though you can also find it HERE.  Keep in mind…this was written last Thursday, before the news of Tiger’s indefinite leave from the game of golf.

Tiger Shanks it in the Woods

Tiger Woods

Unless you live in a hole, you’ve heard the news about “the greatest golfer of all time.”  Tiger Woods was taken to the hospital for an accident he had in his SUV just outside of his Ocoee, FL, home, at 2:25 AM on Friday, December 2nd (momma always said that nothing good happens after midnight).

It was suspected that Tiger was driving under the influence that night.  Rumors of marital troubles between he and his wife, Elin, only led to confirmation of years of infidelity on Tiger’s part. Elin, at this point seems to be sticking around…for the kids.  His sponsors are sticking with him (though who knows for how long).

Tiger’s life is spinning out of control.  To say that more accurately, Tiger’s life has already spun out of control.  He’s reaping the fruit of years of poor decisions.

Why are we as a society drawn to stories where people’s lives seem to be spiraling into an absolute dumpster fire?  Maybe it helps us to feel better about our own life. Maybe we see ourselves somewhere in the story.  Maybe it’s because we have a morbid fascination with the failure of others. Maybe we’re just thankful it’s not us.

Tiger messed up.  But so have I.  And so have you.  None of us have lived a life immune from bad decisions and moral failures.  Tiger, on his website, says, “I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect.”  You may, or may not, have cheated on your spouse, but you’re not perfect either.  I’d venture to guess that, at least one point in your life, you’ve been in need of someone’s forgiveness.  You were guilty, and there was no denying it.

There’s hardly a greater feeling in life than being forgiven.  To be granted a fresh start.  To have your slate wiped clean.   It’s as if a heavy, unbearable burden has been lifted off of you.

Is Tiger’s career over?  Is he going to be counted as “the greatest golfer of all time?”  Or has this exposure marred his fame and fortune forever?  Only time can tell.

But instead of our eyes and hearts that are quick to judge, and quick to thirst for more and more dirt, maybe we would be better off extending grace and forgiveness.  Tiger doesn’t deserve that.  But by very definition grace is not deserved.  It is not earned.  It’s granted by the one who has been wronged.

I vote to give him a second chance.  And I’m thankful that others have done the same for me.

 

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hank-haney1

With The Master’s PGA tournament going on, I thought it fitting to write about Tiger Woods, who, in my estimation, is the greatest golfer of all time. If asked who the greatest golfer in the world is right now, 99.99% of people would say, “Tiger Woods.” The other .001% of people don’t know what golf is. If asked who’s the greatest golfer in the world throughout history, most would still say, “Tiger Woods.” Part of that is that we oftentimes cannot look beyond the present, and forget that there were plenty of good golfers in the past, but the part that I would to look at today is that he is that good. When Tiger retires from golf, likely he will have blasted every golf record known to man, leaving past, present, and future golfers behind.

As good as Tiger is, he still needs a coach.

If Tiger played a round of golf with his swing coach, Hank Haney, Tiger would likely beat him every time. If you were to watch both of their swings on slow-motion video, you’d say that Tiger’s is better. Tiger’s got more money, more tournament wins, and more experience in the clutch moments. He can hit his drives further, his irons straighter, and his putts truer. Yet Tiger has elected to hire a coach. Not only that, Tiger has improved after having a coach. Why might the greatest golfer of all time need a coach? Can he not just coach himself? Does he really need to improve?

I began a team leader (coaching) structure last year for our small group leaders. One reason is that I cannot offer adequate care for our small groups, because I am only one person. Coaches extend my arms and hands to minister to more leaders. The second reason is that our small group leaders need coaching. They need somebody to come alongside them, encourage them, show them what they’re doing that needs improving, and help them to implement these changes. So what advantage does a coach offer?

1. Coaches notice things that you don’t notice. Tiger Woods can’t see his own golf swing. In fact, nobody can see their own golf swing. Tiger needs somebody else to watch the details of his swing. You, in your leadership position, need an outsider to coach you. By outsider, I mean that you need somebody who is not in your organization, in your circle of friends, in your small group, or one who reads the same books that you read. Those in your organization tend to be blinded, missing the same mistakes that you miss. Outsider coaches offer a different perspective than those on the inside.

2. Coaches offer advice that others may not offer. Coaches have your best interests at heart, not your best “feelings.” Coaches are not the ones who only tell you what you’re doing correctly. They’re not afraid to tell you that you’re falling flat on your face, because they want you to do your best.

3. You need to improve. If Tiger Woods, the best golfer in my generation, and possibly the best golfer in all of history, needs to improve, then so do you. Your leadership can improve. Your influence can increase. You can become more effective. You’re not going to get there by critiquing yourself. You are not perfect, and there is surely room for improvement in your leadership, organization, or ministry.

By surrounding yourself with coaches, you make the statement, “I don’t have everything figured out, and I need help improving.” Is that a suicidal statement in the leadership world? Just ask Tiger.

Do you have a coach? You need one. So do I.

You can also read this post here, on the site, Small Group Exchange.

 

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