Monday, March 26, 2012

"Pure Joy" -- Tiger Woods is Definitely Back!!

Successful behavior creates true confidence. You can't truly and fully manufacture confidence. In the end, you have to demonstrate success. Tiger Woods struggled for 30 months to get his mojo back. He has finally done it by winning a golf tournament. It wasn't a major, but he proved he could win a tournament. He won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in convincing fashion and has shown he can be a major force again in professional golf. With the Masters coming up, his win could not have come at a better time. This was the last step in Tiger again being Tiger. He proved it to himself and he has now proven to his competitors as well as his critics.
"He was a man on a mission today. He was pretty jacked up. He was out there to prove himself."

--Joe LaCava, Tiger Woods' caddie, after Woods' win on Sunday.
"It's not like winning a major championship or anything," Woods said. "But it certainly feels really good."

"I've gotten better, and that's the main thing," Woods said. "I've been close for a number of tournaments now. And it was just a matter of staying the course and staying patient, keep working on fine-tuning what we're doing. And here we are."

Woods may downplay the significance, but this was a big win. The anticipation is palpable and his opponents should fear him again.

"I am excited, no doubt," Woods said. "I'm looking forward to the momentum I've built here."

"One win doesn't mean you're back, back," LaCava said. "He beat the field by 5 and played great obviously. Is he back? I'd say yes, he's back. Who knows what he is going to do down the road, win 10 tournaments, whatever. I think those days … it's pretty hard with the depth on tour. But he's definitely back."

Which, of course, leads to talk about the old days. Is it even fair to judge Woods by his past, to expect that level of greatness?

LaCava said "he thinks he's going to win every tournament," which has been the Woods mantra from day one.

Tiger Woods is back and ready to keep winning. How did he get his confidence back? By winning.

Excerpts from (March 26, 2012).  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lionel Messi Continues Hot Streak

"With me, you'll score three or four goals a game."
--Pep Guardiola, Barcelona coach, talking with Lionel Messi in their first ever meeting. 


"If he carries on like this he will set records that no one will ever break, ever again," Guardiola said. "And he doesn't just score goles, he scores golazos [huge goals]." 

“I am sorry for those who want to occupy his throne but this lad is simply the best,” said Guardiola. “Michael Jordan dominated his sport, Messi does the same in football. There’s nothing more to say.”

With a recent hat trick, Messi has 54 goals in 45 matches this season, one short of the Spanish season record, with 13 matches left in the season.  He has 234 goals in his Barcelona career. 


"If there is a player who plays with zero adornments, it is Leo," he said, "I've never seen a stepover from him, or a [pointless] flick: he is the ultimate in effectiveness."

"Don't write about him, don't try to describe him," Guardiola quite rightly said, "watch him."

 Excerpts from, and (March 21, 2012)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Nick Swisher Gets His Head and His Swing Straight

"I’m way more proud of the things I’ve been able to accomplish mentally this off-season than what I’ve done physically.”
--Nick Swisher, New York Yankees, who spent the off-season working out physically with other professional athletes, and mentally, with a sports psychologist.
Swisher was concerned about a slow start that morphed into a terrible slump last season.  He did not hit a home run until the end of April, and as June approached his batting average was barely above .200.
“You want to do so well, and in this game, I think, you get caught up in the numbers,” said Swisher, who finished the season with a .260 average, 23 homers and 85 runs batted in. “When I got out of the gate slow, it just ate me up. I wanted to pop out of the gate like a sprinter, and when it didn’t happen I started getting frustrated.
“Those are things I worked on. How do you deal with failure? How do you set your expectations to where you feel they’re obtainable and not a billion miles away? Because that’s where I’ve always kind of kept my goals. I do a lot of things now that are a lot more non-outcome-related — you know, the process of getting to a point.”
Excerpts from the (March 18, 2012).

Friday, March 09, 2012

Lindsay Vonn Wins Fourth World Cup Title

Source: via Luis on Pinterest

"This season, I've really found my rhythm in GS. It's been a great year," -- Lindsay Vonn, who won today's World Cup giant slalom title, her fourth.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Lionel Messi Scores Five Goals in One Match

"We'll never see a player like him again,"  "He is one of a kind."
--FC Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.

Messi helped defending champion FC Barcelona beat Bayer Leverkusen 7-1 to advance to the quarterfinals.

"Without Messi, Barca is the best team," Leverkusen coach Robin Dutt said. "And with him, they are in another galaxy."

The last time a player scored five goals in European soccer’s top club competition had been in 1979-80.

"Messi is a joke. For me the best ever," Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney wrote on Twitter.

He became the first player to score four goals twice in the Champions League — he accomplished the feat against Arsenal two years ago.  He has 48 goals for Barcelona this season, including 12 in the Champions League. 

"I can’t remember the last time I scored five goals, so I’m very happy," Messi said. "It’s nice to score five goals."

Messi has seven hat tricks this season.

"He’s the best. There is no other like him," Guardiola said. "The numbers speak for themselves. One day he’ll score six. We’re very fortunate to have Messi, so we have to take advantage of him."

"What was important was to win," Messi said. "That’s what we wanted to achieve, now we’re in the quarterfinals and we did it impressively."

Excerpts from,, and the Associated Press (March 7, 2012)

Monday, March 05, 2012

Performance Vertical Consulting - Mental Conditioning

Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo Plays Brilliantly

"I know we're all in this together, but it's great when he takes over like that.  He's the smartest point guard I've ever been around. He's a brilliant player like that."
--Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, after Rajon Rondo, recorded 18 points, 17 rebounds (career high) and 20 assists in a come-from-behind overtime win over the New York Knicks on Sunday.

This was Rondo's fourth triple-double this season and the 17th of his career. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last player to record a triple-double with at least 17 in each category was Magic Johnson, who had 24 points, 17 assists and 17 rebounds on April 18, 1989. The last player to exceed Rondo's performance in each category was Wilt Chamberlain, who had 22 points, 25 rebounds and 21 assists on Feb. 2, 1968.

"That's the Rondo we like to see, playing with all that energy," teammate Paul Pierce said. "He got the guys the ball in open spots; he did everything for us tonight. He rebounded, he passed, he got the clutch rebound there in overtime and got the layup. That's the Rondo I like to see."

Pierce also had a great game, scoring 34 points, including a 3-point basket with 4.9 seconds left in regulation.

Excerpts from (March 4, 2012).

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Josh Smith Carries Atlanta Hawks on his Back

"I was just real FOCUSED.  I wanted to be the guy to try to will us to win this game. I was able to find some cracks in their defense and put the ball in the hole.
"When they grabbed that lead,we knew we still were in the ballgame, we didn't want to hang our heads and have bad body language. We were able to come out and play a good basketball game tonight."
--Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks forward.

Smith has scored over 30 points in the past three games as the Hawks deal with a rash of injuries on their team.

Excerpts from USA 03.03.2012.