Tiger Woods dominated the PGA Tour in 2013, and was named the player of the year despite coming up short in his quest for another major championship victory. Woods added five tour titles to his illustrious record, and as if that wasn't impressive enough, just wait: Tiger is predicting big things in 2014.
Just this week, he said, "I'm looking forward to the four venues. I like them and I've obviously played well on them." Not too long ago, Woods was also quoted as saying his goal is to "win each and every event he tees it up in next season."
Does Tiger really believe he can win each and every event he tees it up in? It's a pretty bold statement from a bold guy, but here's the thing: if anyone else made that statement it would be hard to believe, but coming from Tiger Woods not only does he believe it, it's very possible.
One of the critical factors separating the world's top performers from everyone else is responsibility. World-class performers like Tiger Woods have a thought process, philosophy and habit all rolled into one that overshadows the rest: I am responsible. He understands that he is completely responsible for his success or failure. He's bold, confident and not afraid to go after the highest level of success. While some people might say Woods is cocky and arrogant, the truth is he's confident.
World-class performers like Tiger Woods know the power of programming. While it's very possible to change the substandard bulk of mental programming that most of us received from an early age, we know Tiger Woods grew up with a bit of an unfair advantage in this area. His father, the late Earl Woods, was a U.S. Army infantry officer who served two tours of duty in Vietnam, and instilled a world-class level of mental programming in his son like most people have never experienced. Middle-class performers scoff at things like reprogramming and tend to hold on to what they were taught.
Another reason Tiger Woods can make these kinds of brave statements is because he's aware of his limitless potential. Most of us inherited and learned our beliefs from well-intentioned amateurs, and we are convinced we can only go so far in life. Champions like Woods know this to be a colossal myth that has held millions of people in a mental prison. By the time most people figure out they've been sold a bill of goods, their lives are nearly over. Champions understand that their possibilities and potentials are almost limitless.
Finally, champions like Tiger Woods are products of their own imaginations. While average performers think of imagination as child's play, the world-class relies on it as a mental preview of things to come. Before champions make a move, they have lived out the scenario through imagination. Champions combine the power of imagination with their penchant for action, and the results are the stuff of which dreams are made. While I haven't coached Tiger personally, I've studied him extensively and coached many professional athletes, and I can tell you he is a master at this. So when the man hints that he's excited and looking forward to the four majors next year, a few scenes are playing out in his head: he's wearing the green jacket, walking away with the U.S. Open trophy, holding the Claret Jug or is on the cover of a magazine with the Wanamaker Trophy.
In all of professional sports, it's very rare to encounter a talent like Tiger Woods. You could even say in many ways that he's a freak of nature. Sure there are many great athletes who play at the professional level, but there are very few who exhibit the physical and mental greatness of Tiger Woods. On the physical plain he has perseverance, on the mental plane he has toughness and on the spiritual plane he has artistry like no one else who has played the game. 2014 will probably be the year of the Tiger again, and the year that he moves that much closer to overthrowing Jack Nicklaus' record of all time major championship victories.