Tiger Woods’ father, Earl Woods, credits est for his success as a father:

Tiger Woods:
The 1996 Sports Illustrated
Sportsman of the Year

In the 1996 Sports Illustrated article in which Tiger Woods is named the 1996 Sportsman of the Year, Earl Woods talks about the impact of the est training. He says that what he learned in est allowed him to devote himself to his son and his son’s development into the world’s most renowned athlete.

“Not long after Tiger’s birth, when Earl has left the military to become a purchaser for McDonnell Douglas, he finds himself in a long discussion with a woman he knows. She senses the power pooling inside him, the friction. “You have so much to give,” she tells him, “but you’re not giving it. You haven’t even scratched the surface of your potential.” She suggests he try est, Erhard Seminars Training, an intensive self-discovery and self-actualizing technique, and it hits Earl hard, direct mortar fire to the heart. What he learns is that his overmuscular sense of responsibility for others has choked his potential.

“To the point,” says Earl, “that I wouldn’t even buy a handkerchief for myself. It went all the way back to the day my father died, when I was 11, and my mother put her arm around me after the funeral and said, ‘You’re the man of the house now.’ I became the father that young, looking out for everyone else, and then she died two years later.

“What I learned through est 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. At last, he sees what he was searching for, a pattern. No more volunteering for missions — he has his. Not simply to be a great golfer’s father. To be destiny’s father. His son will change the world.”   From, “The Chosen One”, by Gary Smith, published in Sports Illustrated Magazine.  http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/features/1996/sportsman/1996.html

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