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Posted at 6:30 AM ET, 09/ 4/2009

The List: How to Beat Tiger Woods

By Valerie Strauss

Friday is List Day on The Answer Sheet. Email ideas for lists--and your own school-related lists. The Sheet will publish the most enlightening and entertaining.

Top athletes and large corporations pay big bucks for advice on how to succeed from Gio Valiante, but here, for free, the education and psychology professor gives you tips on how to help your kids soar in and out of school.

Valiante’s methods--which Jack Nicklaus said helped him out of a two-year slump, which Heath Slocum credited for his recent victory over Tiger Woods--were created and tested within the education world and then applied to golf and other sports.

The individual “psychologies” that the Rollins College professor employs are nothing that you haven't heard before. The trick, he said, is utilizing them together to create a new mindset and "master the mental game." And, as with much in life, follow-through is essential.

Valiante teaches in Florida on Tuesdays and Thursdays but spends much of his time traveling with the PGA Tour. He asks for fees about 30 percent of the time but said he funnels the money to favorite causes. He is the author of “Fearless Golf” which, not surprisingly, helps golfers learn to be fearless in the pursuit of excellence.

Here’s "The List." Share it with your kids.

Be clear on your goals.-Golfers want low scores; students want high ones.

Failing is important.
--Successful people have all failed but picked themselves up and carried on.

Take ownership of your own learning.
--Discover the behaviors that are self-destructive by looking at the “BECAUSE” clause in a sentence. If your kid says, “I flunked because the teacher hates me,” point out that perhaps his lack of studying was the cause. Behavior won’t change if people refuse to admit their own part in their failures.

Foster an interest.
--Doing things because you have a genuine interest will keep your child challenged and engaged. Doing it for “ego”--money or fame--wears thin.

Don’t expect success because you “feel good” about yourself.
--That’s what the self-esteem movement of the 1970s and ‘80s promoted--and it was nonsense. There is no evidence linking self-esteem to performance, he said.

Learn to under-react to criticism.
--Kids have a tendency to overreact when criticized. Learning to stay calm prevents young people from getting paralyzed and afraid to keep pursuing excellence.

The two most important resources are time and energy.
--That means get up at 5 a.m. and work until 8 a.m.--the period when most people’s minds are least cluttered. (Take a nap after school if necessary.) Tiger Woods gets up at 5 a.m. So did Benjamin Franklin.

Good luck persuading your kids to get up at 5 a.m. when they don’t have to!

By Valerie Strauss  | September 4, 2009; 6:30 AM ET
Tags:  Gio Valiante, High Achievement, Success  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Is Your Kid 'Sexting'?
Next: Kids Should Listen to the U.S. President


The only practical advice here is "get up at five"

But many people work best late at night.

You can hear better advice at a bar.

Posted by: observer100 | September 4, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

As the parent of a serious high school athlete, I can say that this advice actually makes a great deal of sense. Watching my son, I have learned how much of his athletic success depends upon his thinking--not just how many miles he puts in every week (he's a long-distance runner) but how he defines what success will mean to him, how he's learned from a tough race or a tough season. I've also seen the lessons learned in cross-country help him in his school work and in life in general. I'd like to hear more from Valiente at some point.

Posted by: exkidspost | September 4, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

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