MEMPHIS, Tenn. (March 27, 2006) — Top-ranked golfer Tiger Woods tells CBS’s 60 Minutes that it takes hard work and a competitive spirit to overcome childhood stuttering.
“The words got lost, you know, somewhere between the brain and the mouth. And it was very difficult, but I fought through it. I went to a school to try and get over that, and I just would work my tail off,” Woods told the news program.
“The parallels between speech performance and sports performance are striking,” said Jane Fraser, president of the nonprofit Stuttering Foundation, “and Tiger Woods is the latest example of how the many hours of practice and hard work to win in sports are no different from those long hours spent in therapy for stuttering.”
NBA Hall of Famer and sports commentator Bill Walton dealt with stuttering just like he did basketball. “I thought about the fundamentals of the game and how to start with the basics like the ability to mechanically duplicate moves on a basketball court. And then I just applied that to speaking.”
Chicago Bulls’ legend Bob Love notes that “countless hours of work taught me to manage moments of difficult speech.”
In a recent interview, Denver Nuggets’ star Kenyon Martin said of his stuttering, “How I got through it was just by working hard at it.”
U.S. Open golf champion Ken Venturi adds, “I have had to work through the years to overcome stuttering and to speak more easily and fluently.” Venturi compares moving smoothly through speech to moving gracefully through a golf stroke.
“Tiger Woods is the perfect role model for all school-age children who struggle with this complex disorder,” said Fraser. The Foundation offers free resources — online streaming videos, books, and a worldwide referral list — at www.stutteringhelp.org where Tiger joins a long list