Tiger Woods is about to step back on to the golf course for the first time in three months next week. He’s doing so trying to overcome issues both physical — left knee and Achilles’ injuries — and psychological that have hampered him for more than a year.
Michael Jordan dealt with issues while he was playing — although for very different ones, for Jordan it was the death of his father in 1993. Jordan was able to overcome his issues and dominate (both before and after his baseball vacation). While the sports are different, Jordan is one of the few humans on the planet who can relate to Woods’ stature in the sports world and his dominance of the game.
Speaking to the Australian Herald Sun (because he will be the assistant captain of the U.S. team at November’s Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne), Jordan talked about Woods and offered some tips. (via CBSSports Eye on Basketball)
“The biggest thing is that I’ve always – and I’m pretty sure Tiger has, too – used sport as a therapeutic tool,” he said. “Once you’re inside the lines, you can focus on what your jobs are and what you’re doing on the court, or for him the course.
“The problem for him was that he wasn’t physically capable of getting inside those lines and doing those things. I think he’s been somewhat fragile mentally and physically.
“When I went through those issues, once I got on to the basketball court that became a therapeutic thing for me where I was able to forget all those other things. Once I finished playing basketball, I came out with a better understanding of the decisions I had to make.
He doesn’t have that now. Now he’s going through something that’s totally different, totally new for him and he’s now acknowledging that. He needs to get healthy, mentally and physically, before he can really attack that. And it is such a mental game, so he has to be right again in that sense and I believe he will get there again.”