Mind Over Sports

Posts Tagged ‘The Masters

Most people don’t realize it but Danny Willett (and his wife Nicole) had a secret weapon that helped him win the Masters. The secret weapon’s name is Zachariah, Willett’s new baby son who arrived a week before the first round. How did he help? Simply by being himself. You see, over the years I’ve found there’s a high correlation between how happy an athlete is and how much his or her life is in harmony and his or her level of performance. Athletes who are happy and whose lives are in harmony perform close to their sill levels on a consistent basis. This not only applies to male golfers, but to female golfers as well. Watch what happens when a female golfer takes a break and has a baby, then returns to the tour and starts winning tournaments. If you want to check out my theory, ask Julie Inkster.

If my theory is correct, that athletes perform close to their skill levels when they are happy and have powerful positive beliefs, then Adam Scott should win the 2015 Masters. He’s newly married and became a father in February; he has a new caddie; and he’s going back to a broomstick putter which he used when winning in 2013   All of this, of course, is predicated on the assumption that he has the talent to win, which he does since he’s won the Masters before. How will Tiger do? It depends on whether or not he’s straightened out his problems with his ex-wife. I should point out that the assumption he’s having problems with his ex-wife is strictly an assumption on my part. But one good sign is that Tiger’s significant other, Lindsey Vonn, won the World Cup Downhill title last month so that’s an indication she and Tiger are getting along well. Because if Tiger is having problems with his ex, it would more than likely affect their relationship and show up in her performance. POST MASTERS COMMENT: Sorry, I goofed.  There must be something going on in Adam’s personal life that I’m unaware of…

I believe in order for any golfer to win the Masters he must first and foremost have the skill level to win. But once he has the skill level, there are other factors (especially mental factors) that can affect performance. Here are just two of them that, from my perspective, were responsible for Bubba Watson taking home that green jacket:

Number one, he was happy and his life was in harmony. In the field of golf, it’s not uncommon for members of the LPGA to take a maternity break, have a baby, and when they return they find their golf game has risen to a new level and they suddenly begin winning tournaments. (Just ask Juli Inkster and I’m sure she will confirm this.) In Bubba’s case, just two weeks before the Masters he and his wife Angie adopted a one month old baby boy and named him Caleb. “It’s a blessing. To go home to my new son will be a lot of fun,” Watson said. “Golf isn’t everything for me. If I would have lost today, it wouldn’t have been the end of the world. To win is awesome, but I’ll go back to real life next week. I still haven’t changed a diaper.”

And number two, he was “excelling for a higher order.” Bubba was helped by the memory of his late father, Gerry, who died of throat cancer on October 15, 2010. According to USA Today: “Watson has thrown himself into the cause of finding a cure for cancer, which is why one of the biggest hitters on the PGA Tour uses a pink driver with a pink shaft. He also wore pink trim on the all-whites he wore every day of the Masters.”  When you help others less fortunate than yourself, you enhance your feelings of self-worth, thereby enhancing your performance.  As the poet John Bright wrote: “Find yourself a cause, not a resting place.  You may not do much for the cause, but the cause will do much for you.”

Combining the adoption of a new son with the memory of his late father had a powerful positive effect on his performance.

Post Masters Entry: Tiger didn’t win and from my perspective it’s a sure sign that he has yet to make up with his wife, Elin.  In fact, according to some reports, Tiger and Elin will soon be filing for divorce, which, if true, will be good for Tiger and his game, assuming he is awarded liberal visiting privileges with his children.

Original Entry:

Will Tiger Woods win the Masters?  This is not such an easy question to answer since there are many factors to consider.  First, based on past history, those athletes who have undergone extensive psychotherapy have elevated their game to a new level. For example, NFL quarterback Vinny Testaverde was ordered to undergo counseling therapy by the judge as part of his divorce settlement when he first signed with Tampa Bay right out of college, and it did wonders for his game.  Second, if Tiger has definitely made up with his wife, and their lives are in harmony, he will win big.  But if he and his wife have not made up, it’s still possible he will win since he has such a huge reservoir of talent.  A good example is Mickey Mantle.  After he retired and just prior to his death, Mantle observed that had he known he was going to live as long as he did, he would have taken better care of himself.  We can only imagine what levels his game would have reached had he had a physical training program similar to Tigers.  And so, the question is: Will Tiger win the Masters?  I think there’s a good possibility he will.  I believe he will start slowly but will pick up steam and be in a position to win come Sunday.  But if he doesn’t win and plays poorly, that’s a sure sign that his life is still in disharmony and that even though he’s undergone therapy, until he makes up with his wife and his life is in harmony, he will not perform well.  And if he continues to not perform well on the course, a divorce settlement with liberal visiting privileges for him with his children can’t be far behind.  And that’s when his game should definitely take a turn for the better because what takes place off the golf course affects what takes place on the golf course.


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