Today we’re going to discuss five tips to overcome performance anxiety. Experiencing performance anxiety to some degree is common while golfing.
Overcoming Performance Anxiety
The best golfers push through. But a lot of good golfers are crippled by their anxiety. While he or she might play well during a casual round, they fall apart in tournaments or money games.
Self-doubt and low self-esteem are problems caused by this type of anxiety.
The KEY difference between Great Golfers & the BEST!
Golfers like Tiger Woods seem to thrive from anxiety.
Others let the pressure of the moment destroy their psyche. Regardless of competing in a tournament, or playing with friends, golfers deal with a level of anxiety before each shot.
How a Golf Course Causes Anxiety
Anxiety can cause the golfer to focus on a previous bad shot. An upcoming obstacle can create a negative mental obsession:
- The white stakes on the right side of the fairway
- The par 3 with a lake to hit over
- The sand traps guarding the green
But overcoming on-course performance anxiety is possible with practice.
Tip #1 Practicing with Purpose
A lot of amateur golfers spend very little time working on their game. Arriving at the course minutes before the tee time is common.
If they do “practice” it’s nothing more than buying a large bucket of range balls and aimlessly pounding away.
Creating a practice routine that creates confidence is crucial. The idea is to develop a swing that is not only effortless but can be done without thought. Standing over the ball not worrying about minor swing details is the first part of reducing anxiety.
Develop a Practice Routine Here
Tip #2 Create Inner Peace
Taking a long deep breath can help reduce stress in the body and mind. Focusing on the breath calms the brain. This allows the golfer to stop wasting energy on a future outcome that is undesirable. Work on the breath along with other anxiety-relieving techniques such as mindful distractions or grounding to free your mind.
Tip #3 Anticipate the Next Golf Shot
Performance anxiety happens when a golfer dwells on all the made-up outcomes that have not yet happened.
Focusing on a desirable future outcome helps switch anxiety into anticipation.
The golfer then focuses on a positive thought process like cutting the corner to shorten a long par 5. Imagine working the ball in different ways for a single shot. This increases creativity while giving the golfer an objective to focus on.
Tip #4 Forget Perfection.
Many golfers think a perfect swing is needed. He or she fears every little swing path deviation. Dwelling on perfection spikes anxiety before the shot ever happens.
Instead of anticipating the next shot, the golfer is over-analyzing what not to do in the upcoming swing. Ironically, this causes the mind to focus on executing the negative thoughts. Understanding that not even PGA pros can perform a perfect swing helps create realistic expectations.
A good golf shot does not require a perfect swing. Therefore, golfers should consistently remember to stop chasing perfection.
Tip #5 Limit On-Course Stimulants
Stimulants provoke anxiety. Reducing the consumption of stimulants can help overcome performance anxiety. A golfer should access his or her diet and see if stimulants could be an underlying cause.
Proper food consumption should still take place before playing for performance reasons.
Obviously, there is no single anxiety treatment. Overcoming performance anxiety is best done with a combination of effective treatments that reduce this emotional roller coaster.
First, start by recognizing when anxiety hits the hardest while playing. Being aware is the first step. Then start practicing and applying the tips listed above.