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COMMENTARY

Tiger Woods was raised on a steady diet of self-fulfilling prophesies fed to him by his father, the late Earl Woods. Earl was a master of this technique, which can compliment our goals and help us grow into the person we want to be. With Tiger's father gone, Jack Nicklaus may just have picked up the baton at a very important time.Self-fulfilling prophesies work best when they are rooted in reality. For example, Earl Woods didn't predict major championships for Tiger when he was in the cradle. His first goal was to get his son off to a good start so he said things like, "You'll be better prepared for life than I was and I will always be there to support you."Then when young Tiger began displaying unusual talent, his father said, "I like the way you're swinging the club. It won't be long before you're hitting the ball a ton." We know that came to pass.As soon as it became obvious that his son was going to be very famous, Earl Woods made what was probably his greatest prediction of all. He said, "Tiger will take the game of golf to all nations of the world."It was a great statement because it allowed Tiger's wide range of developing abilities to find an outlet, which Tiger needed if he was going to keep growing. Of course, that's exactly what's happened.Earl Woods passed away in 2006, an event that possibly contributed to Tiger losing his moral compass. Who knows? However, last week Jack Nicklaus offered this simple statement about Tiger and the scandal surrounding him. "He'll figure it out."The beauty of those words is that they aren't advice. There's more than enough of that around."He'll figure it out," is a statement by a father figure who, in effect, is saying, "I believe you will fulfill your potential to be mature." If Tiger's radar picks up on Nicklaus's words he may come to believe them and sort out his life. Let's hope it happens.

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