Is Tiger Woods a Great Example of Mental Toughness?

tiger woods a great example of mental toughness


 Is Tiger Woods a Great Example of Mental Toughness?

“Mental toughness is more about what takes place off the field than on it.” — John Wooten

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was asked at the end of his Hall of Fame career, when he had his number retired, who was the best player he ever played against?

Considering he played against some pretty awesome NBA’ers, the answer should have been a good one.

Except, Kareem paused and then answered, “Well, it would have to be ‘The Goat.’” 

He was referring to Earl Manigault.

The Goat was a player who honed his talent on and off the streets of Harlem at the famous Rucker Park.His talent level was legendary as well, at 6’2″, he would jump and pick quarters off the top of the backboard, and once even won a $60 bet by reverse dunking 36 times in a row.

He was not cursed with lack of desire or commitment, because he would practice hundreds of shots every day, even practicing with ankle weights on. It was what took place OFF of the field that ultimately mattered more…

Earl often smoked marijuana and got kicked out of his high school for an infraction. He played basketball in college, destined for greatness, but he struggled with the coach and was released from the team.

When he was back on the streets of Harlem, he slowly faded and began using heroin and ended up serving jail-time. That is why everyone knows Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but no one knows Earl Manigault.


Is Tiger Woods a Great Example of Mental Toughness?  Look, NO ONE was better on the course than he was. Just google Tiger Woods and Mental Toughness and you’ll get pages and pages of examples from his playing days.

At his peak playing days in the early 2000’s, Tiger Woods was so dominate that the most under-rated golfer was Tiger. NO OTHER athlete has transcended a sport like Tiger Woods did golf. Tiger Woods a great example of mental toughness on the course, but off the course is a different story.

Just because people have it “all” doesn’t mean they don’t still battle with demons. The better we become, the more important mental toughness becomes outside of our office.

What is similar between Tiger and The Goat is that neither achieved their full potential on the field. Tiger was a lock to break Jack Nicklaus record in Major wins, but again, off the field issues derailed that.

However, The Goat did achieve his potential off of the court. He ended up changing lives because of his rededication to sobriety and later helping others in Harlem get ahead in life. I do believe that it is not about the setback, it is about the comeback, so time will tell if Tiger makes the leap to helping others off of the course through his experience. We have to hit rock-bottom before coming back up.

“You can’t build a great building on a weak foundation. You must have a solid foundation if you’re going to have a strong superstructure.” – Gordon B. Hinckley


Dr. Rob Bell

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books on Mental Toughness

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Dr. Rob Bell

Ahoy! I'm Dr. Rob Bell. Your Mental Toughness coach. Be The BEST at Getting BETTER. Will your Hinge connect?
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