Christopher Smith, Part 2: Tiger’s Comeback, Smart Practice, and Learning From Failure

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There is a little chit chat about Tiger Woods and his amazing comeback and legacy. Enough with the tabloid drama, if this dude is able to bag another major, it will go down as one of the greatest comebacks in sports history!

Remember, it’s been 10 years since Tiger won his last major title. Ben Hogan had a great comeback after a life-threatening car accident in the 50s. Speaking of Ben, he was one of the best “practicers” ever in sports. Ben used to practice intently for 20 minutes in total solitude, then take a short break to reflect and absorb the neuro-muscular experience into his brain. Six decades later, the latest greatest brain research validates that we can only focus intently on a peak cognitive task for about 20 minutes before we require a break. Yes, you can bang out emails for longer than that, but your peak focus falters without these recharge periods.

Again we cover numerous concepts calling for deep reflection. “Humans are designed to solve problems.” This is when we feel most alive and fulfilled. Today as we pursue and avail ourselves to more and more comfort, we forget this truth and end up feeling unfulfilled. We speculate that Tiger in his prime had mastered the game and dominated the competition to such a great extent that he became bored and pursued the off-course distractions to his downfall. Now he has a daunting goal to try and return from layoffs and serious medical issues, so watch out!

More good stuff: “Failure is an opportunity to grow,” “emotions and subconscious are running the show”; The “10,000 hour rule,” popularized by Malcolm Gladwell but first conceived of by Christopher’s friend K. Anders Ericksson, has been misinterpreted and overhyped. Excellence and mastery are more about deliberate, context-specific, challenging practice. Yes, that could mean lots of hours are required, but we also have genetic considerations when we are in competitive environments. Do the best you can, get over yourself and have fun out there at whatever level you perform at, and train to trust! Whew, what a killer show and time for a break to go pick berries in Eugene.

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