When your career starts going south as an athlete, what should you do? If you’re Tiger Woods you do the noble thing and fire your coach. It was reported yesterday that Tiger Woods has released Sean Foley as his swing coach, since it’s obvious that Foley is the reason for Tiger’s golf career plummet since his marital transgressions a few years back.
So Tiger Woods, a guy who has been playing golf since he was 3, now cant find his swing? Ironically, the last thing Woods really needs coaching on his his swing – in fact, his swing is so deeply engrained in his muscle memory that it’s really the least of his worries. Tiger’s real problem is two-fold: After his transgressions he lost his confidence (mental toughness) while at the same time an entire generation of talented golfers came up and basically asked “Who is Tiger Woods?” No longer did Tiger Woods have tournaments won before they even started, as the field had forgotten about the old Tiger and instead played all-out to beat him (which they have done at every Major tournament since).
Now as Woods approaches 40, a new variable has entered the mix and that is his aging body and the physical breakdowns he regularly reports. Tiger’s real problems are loss of confidence + more players confident playing against him + (now) a body breaking down. Nope, no need to add “swing coach” to this equation.
Remember back when Tiger Woods was on top of the golf world, and he used to do that little golf ball juggling thing and then whack the ball out of mid air? That was the old, confident Tiger Woods who didn’t need a swing coach to micro-analyze his every move (after all, he knew he was not only going to win, but dominate). That window has closed on Woods in 2008, but as he scrambles to try and become the all-time Major wins leader it appears that anyone and anything is fair game to pin excuses upon. Today it is Sean Foley, but tomorrow it will likely be his putter, his chiropractor, or maybe his Nike game day garb he wears for tournaments.