Mental Toughness Training for Golfers: How to Conquer Pre-Game Jitters
The first tee shot can often make or break a round because it sets up your performance on the first hole, which can have a bearing on your attitude and score on the opening holes. Retief Goosen, who won the US Open, said that most good players get the first tee jitters and a good shot can settle you down quickly.
Goosen stated, "Well, you're always nervous on the first tee. Today with the way the wind was playing, you had to hit driver while the other three days I hit 2-iron off the tee. Those first tee nerves are always the hardest to get over, and it was nice to get off to a great tee shot and obviously making a birdie." Even the best players in the world get nervous, but they still can perform.
Players can experience two different types of jitters. The first is the friendly kind of butterflies characterized by excitement and anticipation. This is a good feeling of anticipation of the start of the round. You feel excited to play and ready to get going. The second kind of jitters is the type that makes you have a sinking feeling in the pit of your gut. Your mind races, heart rate accelerates, palms sweat, muscles tighten, blood pressure increases, and you get an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach. In addition, you worry about topping the first shot or hitting it in the woods.
Players of all levels experience pressure, even the pros when playing in the US Open. The pressure you feel to win a match is self-induced and can hurt or help your play depending on how you react to it. When Goosen was asked about the most pressure he felt trying to win the US Open, he replied that putting was the most difficult, but not unexpected. "When you stand over a putt you are nervous. You are shaking on the inside like any other player does, and Tiger does, too. It's just how you've learned to play under that sort of pressure, and in a way it sort of becomes natural in a way that you feel like I can only play my best golf when I'm really under pressure," Goosen said.
Now that's a different perspective about pressure-pressure is a natural part of sports and you need to feel it to play your best golf! How a player perceives the pressure determines if he will react well or poorly to it. Players who choke are afraid of the feelings that come with pressure, whereas golfers who win embrace the feelings that come with pressure. Pressure is only bad if you see it as harmful, but it can actually help you perform better if you use it to your advantage.
When you are under pressure, the physiological activation increases and you are in an excited state. Some of this is very positive as it can help you focus better when you need to. Champion golfers worry about not having enough intensity and focus to play their best. I know many golfers who can only get excited (and thus focused) when they are on the leader board or have a chance to win and if they are on the bottom of the field, they lose intensity and focus. Goosen states, "Sometimes when you're not under pressure, your focus is not there, and you might not make the putts. But when you're sort of under pressure, it's sort of a must thing; you must focus and you must make the putt, and that's what I feel when I stand over it."
One of your objectives when you begin to feel the pressure is to interpret it as a way of getting you focused and giving you the shot of adrenaline you need to perform well. Welcoming the nerves as a natural part of golf is how many pros deal with nerves when trying to win a golf tournament. Focusing too much on the uncomfortable feelings only heightens the tension. When you feel nervous, do not bring more attention to the knot in your stomach or a rapid heartbeat. Accept that your body is preparing you to perform your best in competition.
Dr. Patrick J. Cohn is a master mental game coach who works with athletes of all levels including amateur and professionals. Visit Peaksports.com to gain access to over 500 exclusive mental game articles, audio programs, and interviews with athletes and coaches to enhance your athletic potential: http://www.peaksports.com/membership/ or call 888-742-7225.
To become a mental game coaching professional, visit: http://www.mentalgamecoachingpro.com
Purpose Driven Golf
I want you to meditate on a couple points for a moment:
3 Easy Changes to Shave Strokes from Your Golf Game
Here are 3 easy golf tips that will immediately give you a better swing and improve your hitting! It did for me almost instantly once I got the feel of it.
Golf Exercise And Stretch Program For Total Golf Performance
Golf exercise and stretch. This is a combination I use in all of my golf fitness programs both online and with my personal golf clients. It's the ultimate combination to improve the golfers swing quickly and efficiently.
The Principle Golf Power Swing Tip Has Nothing To Do With Trying To Hit It With All Your Strength
Genuine golf power swing tips will have little or nothing to do with a golfer trying to hit the ball with all their strength. This is frequently attempted by some golfers with poor results and sometimes only leads to injury.
Golf Stretching Secrets to Improve Performance
The trend in larger and therefore heavier club heads in recent years has made golf stretching secrets even more important to acquire.
3 Simple Golf Tips To Quickly Improve Your Distance
Every golfer wants to know the secret golf tip to improve their distance. The secret, is there is NO secret. It's common sense, and treating golf like a sport. The golf swing is not for the weak and feeble anymore.
If Youve Hit Your Golf Driver Perfectly Once, You Can Do It Every Time
Picture yourself standing on the tee box of your favorite short 4 par. You've got your driver in hand. This hole is designed with risk-reward written all over it. If you hit it long and straight, you can get very near or maybe on the green with your driver to set up for an easy birdie. If you mis-hit it, you are looking at hazards or o/b and a balloon score.
Can a Stability Ball Help You Strengthen Your Core For Golf?
Some call it a Swiss Ball, some call it a fitness ball, others use the more modern term 'stability ball.' Whatever you call it, the stability ball has been used in exercise and rehabilitation for years and has recently been adopted by personal trainers and fitness instructors for use in strength training and muscle development, especially when it comes to exercises designed to strengthen the core muscles.
How Better Course Management Can Lower Your Golf Score
Whether you are just starting to learn golf, or you have been golfing for many years and you're just looking to refine your game, this will provide a good direction of focus for this season.
Golf Humor Examines Golf Emotions:- Are We Just A Bunch Of Cry Babies?
Let's examine an aspect of the game that I find par- ticularly fascinating:- The strong emotions associated with this game of golf.
How to Know What Defines the Best Golf Drivers
Why is it considered the most electrifying club in your golf bag? Why is it the first club anyone talks about when equipment is brought up? Why is it what everyone wants?
How to Unleash Your True Golf Potential - Part 2
In (Part 1) of this article I discussed how muscle imbalance can often keep a golfer from achieving his or her true playing potential. Even though these imbalances are quite common they often go untreated due to the fact that the golfer is focusing on the symptom and not the cause. The symptom in this case is the inaccuracy and loss of power in their swing. The cause is the muscle imbalance.
The Perfect Golf Swing Is Within Your Reach
The perfect golf swing IS achievable for any senior golfer!
The Most Underrated Golfer in History... Buffalo Bill! Huh??
Buffalo Bill was introduced to golf by his father at age 5 and started his PGA Tour career in 1955 at the age of 24, which could be considered a late start compared to today's standards. Even with this late start he ended up with 51 wins on the PGA Tour, 6th on the all time win list. Included in those 51 victories are two U.S Opens and one Masters. He also has won nine Senior Tour Championships including two Senior Majors, one of them the USGA Senior Open in 1983.
Preparing Your Body For Golf While You Travel
We all know the temptations of traveling? grabbing a slice of pizza while running to your gate at the airport, an elaborate steak dinner with a client, and being so tired at day's end that all you want to do is fall into bed. Traveling can often create havoc on regular exercise and golf conditioning. Fitness and good nutrition while on the road can help keep you on top of your game. With a bit of planning and creative strategy you can help keep your body ready to hit the golf course.
Core Exercise For Golf Will Improve Your Driving Distance The Quickest
Core exercise for golf. You've probably heard this phrase mentioned on the television a time or to. This is the area that Vijay works on the most with his golf trainer and it seems to be working for him. He's driving it longer and straighter and winning tournaments.
Golf Information Overload?
You've come home from work dead tired. You grab the mail on your way in and notice your new copy of your favorite golfing magazine is in the pile. It puts a slight smile on your face as a picture of you on a couch with an adult beverage suddenly pops into your mind. After getting into your evening uniform (sweats and slippers) you make your way to your favorite reclining device with that drink and a snack in hand to make that vision on the couch a reality. You get all settled with the TV on for background and you finally enter the "Jell Zone" to enjoy that golf magazine and your well-deserved relaxation period.
A Golf Exercise Program Will Leave Your Playing Partners In Envy
It's no secret that a golf exercise program can put you heads and tails above your playing partners and competitors. Why do you think all the Pro's are doing it?
What Makes A Golf Training Book Effective
A golf training book needs to be 'user-friendly' and 'plug-and-play'. What I mean by that is a golfer should be able to have a clear idea on what he should do immediately to improve his/her game. And it should be easy to apply. No figuring out what to do next. No sense of confusion or frustration at information overload.
History of Golf- How it all Started
Since before the time Mary Queen of Scots was disciplined for playing golf two Sundays after the murder of her husband Lord Dernley in 1567. Golf is known to have been played at St. Andrews before the founding of the university in 1411. It is a safe bet to say that golf was played in some form or another as much as a century before this.
|home | site map|