What coach has had the greatest impact on a client? The man with the strongest claim may be Earl Woods, whose famous client is his son, golfer Tiger Woods. How did Earl Woods become such a fantastic coach?
By studying, as I have, with the most important influence on executive coaching, Werner Erhard. Some of Earl Woods’s coaching wisdom is below, excerpted from the 1996 article in Sports Illustrated about Tiger being chosen Sportsman of the Year. It is all pure Werner Erhard.
“What I learned through est [created by Werner Erhard] was that by doing more for myself, I could do much more for others. Yes, be responsible, but love life, and give people the space to be in your life, and allow yourself room to give to others. That caring and sharing is what’s most important, not being responsible for everyone else.
“Which is where Tiger comes in. What I learned led me to give so much time to Tiger, and to give him the space to be himself, and not to smother him with dos and don’ts. I took out the authority aspect and turned it into companionship. I made myself vulnerable as a parent. When you have to earn respect from your child, rather than demanding it because it’s owed to you as the father, miracles happen.
“I realized that, through him, the giving could take a quantum leap. What I could do on a limited scale, he could do on a global scale.”
At last, the river is undammed, and Earl’s whole life makes sense.
“…live each day to the maximum, and not worry about the future. There’s only now. You must understand that time is just a linear measurement of successive increments of now. Anyplace you go on that line is now, and that’s how you have to live it.
“Allow yourself the freedom of emotion and feeling. Don’t try to control them and trap them. Acknowledge them and become the beneficiary of them. Let it all outflow.
“See, you don’t turn it into hatred. You turn it into something positive. So many athletes who reach the top now had things happen to them as children that created hostility, and they bring that hostility with them. But that hostility uses up energy. If you can do it without the chip on the shoulder, it frees up all that energy to create.”
failure, in the rare visits it pays [Tiger], is not failure. It’s just life pausing to teach him a lesson he needs in order to go where he’s inevitably going.