"I have a big-picture outlook, I am willing to fall, and I understand it's ok to fall, but I am going to get back up, I may take a step back, but in the end, I am going to take a giant leap forward". Tiger Woods

DR. G’S COMMENTS - Once again we hear about one of the main reasons why great athletes are so great: FAILURE and their attitude towards it. Great athletes are not afraid to fail. They know that failure is a normal and inevitable part of playing competitive sports, much like breathing is a normal and necessary part of life. The very best use their failures as a springboard to success. In other words they know that after a setback or two they will eventually rebound and make even further gains. This is Woods’ “big picture” outlook. The main characteristic of this big picture outlook is to learn to view your failures as temporary. When you fall down and you look at this fall from a temporary frame of reference, i.e. “Boy, I just played badly today,” “My timing was way off in the second part of the match. I can work on and correct that the next time I practice,” “I just ran out of gas in that final 50,” then you are left feeling like the failure is both correctable and short-term. Using Woods’ view, your self-confidence and motivation will then remain high. However, when you fail and look at it from a “small picture” viewpoint, just focusing on how big that failure was and using a permanent frame of reference, that is, you zoom in on this one failure and explain it to yourself with language like, “I always choke,” “I can never seem to win the big matches,” “Whenever it counts, I always blow it,” then you are left feeling like your failure is non-correctable and a permanent part of who you are as an athlete. The end result of this is that you lose your confidence and your motivation wanes. Keep the “falls” which you will always have in the proper perspective. They are a normal and necessary part of the journey. They provide you with a toehold for your very next step forward. While it may be temporarily painful when you go down, these falls will ultimately get you to the top of the mountain.

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