Monday, April 15, 2019

"Never listen to other people's expectations. You should live your life and live up to your own expectation." Tiger Woods, 2019 Masters Champion

Something amazing happened this week at The Masters  -  the greatest comeback in sports history.  This win certainly did not happen by accident.  

Tiger Woods was a phenom since he first appeared on the Johnny Carson Show at the tender age of 2. If you haven't seen it, here is the link  This link also includes footage of Tiger in a tournament at age 5. As he matured, Tiger won in college and in amateur events - too many to mention here- and as a golf professional, he took the world by storm.  I coached girls, and the boys golf for 33 years, and Tiger was the greatest person to interest kids and adults in playing golf since the late Arnold Palmer. His work ethic, his confidence, and his skill drew audiences in, and I would guess that for a while, he was the most recognizable athlete on the planet. He won over 80 career wins in the span of several years, and for a while, it looked like his winning streak had no limits. 

Then came all the bad stuff. Tiger's very public shame about his private life was seared into the public's brain by tabloids, and then there were the women that came forward. An argument with his beautiful wife Elin was followed by speculation of her hitting him with a 9 iron. In the court of public opinion, Tiger's personal stock dropped faster than the 1929 market crash. He went from being loved to being loathed. If that wasn't enough, tabloids carried a dreadful picture of him, as he was arrested for impaired driving.  With his back problems causing more and more pain, Tiger endured several back surgeries, and most people, including me, thought he was washed up.  

I admit I made a mistake.  I forgot that Tiger has a superb work ethic, bequeathed to him by his late father. I forgot that Tiger loved both the hunt and the win, and that those things can be addictive.  I forgot that Tiger is a father who wanted to show his children who he really is - a champion.

Sunday at The Masters brought back the former great champion, with softer edges. Tiger's competitive spirit was still present, along with his decisive strategy and planning, but he showed the crowd just how grateful he was for the win with the sharing of his emotions. His hugs for Charlie and Sam made most of America cry, and the hug with his mother off 18 reminded the viewers that Earl Woods was not there for this momentous win in Tiger's life. In a post round interview, Tiger talked about how his mother was the one who was always there - driving him to far away tournaments as an 11 year old, leaving the house at 5 am and sacrificing many days so he could play in tournaments. He spoke about how Charlie wrote a wish at school that he could see his father win.  In his children's memories, has only caused pain for Tiger. 

I believe that Tiger Woods' victory at the 2019 Masters is the greatest comeback in sports history. Tiger is a man who had it all, lost it all, and worked for years to overcome physical and mental challenges.  He simply would not give up, and there, my friends, is the best lesson of all. He lived up to HIS personal expectation of what he could do, and Tiger is back.  What a performance! What a champion! What a great example for the world to follow! 

We know Tiger's expectations, but what are your expectations? 

Never give up! 

"Never listen to other people's expectations. You should live your life and live up to your own expectation."  Tiger Woods, 2019 Masters Champion 

NIKE ad posted immediately following Tiger's win

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 
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Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom.  GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone.Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.

Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out! 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at  The website now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
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