In the aftermath of Jordan Spieth’s meltdown at the Masters, former New York Rangers goalie Mike Richter, who knows pressure, had some encouraging words for the young golf star.
“It’s pressure you put on yourself, all great athletes do it and you have to accept that that is part of your job and you go through it,” Richter told the FOX Business Network’s Charles Payne.
Richter, who is known as one of the most successful American goaltenders, related playing in the Masters to his run for the Stanley Cup in 1994.
“All great athletes still go through these troubling times, you know, our 12th hole might have been game 5 here, we were expected to win, we thought we were going to win and we didn’t win, we didn’t deliver but you have to come back and he’ll come back,” said Ricther.
While mental focus is nearly as important as physical skill for all athletes, Richter noted golf is particularly demanding.
“One bad shot can lead to four other bad shots, that’s where experience, don’t forget how young he is, but that’s where experience and what made great players great. There’s Tiger Woods or ’86 Jack Nicklaus winning the Masters, you’re going to have those bad shots and how do you recover from them. He did that through the tournament, he had those shots and recovered but that one was a little bit late to have a really big meltdown and there is kind of a cascading effect. Anybody that has played that sport in particular can relate,” Richter said.
He also weighed in on the importance of overcoming adversity, whether in sports or life.
“You do not play sports you don’t get through life, you don’t play the game of golf without having, whether it’s a meltdown or just you know, you get your back side handed to you sometime. We didn’t make the playoffs in ’93, we won the Stanley Cup in ’94. So, you will go through adversity, that’s his,” said Richter.
During his post hockey career, Richter is working with The Great Cycling Challenge, to fight children’s cancer.
“This was an easy one, I was asked to represent The Great Cycling Challenge and really what you’re doing is not a single-day event like a marathon which are great things, but this is across the month of June, registration starts now. Whether you are on a bike outside, or in a spinning class inside, the miles that you produce, you get sponsored,” Richter continued, “And all this money goes to the Children’s Cancer Research Fund which is a big deal, last year $1.7 million raised, this year we’re trying to do $2.2 million.”
Richter, like many others else, is following the Presidential election. He sympathized with Hillary Clinton’s challenges trying to get through the turnstiles of the New York City subway.