Let’s get a better handle on golf anxiety so that you can perform better and feel better.
So why do you have anxiety?
Anxiety or nervousness is a very common feeling on the golf course.
Most golfers experience, a bit of nervousness at some point while playing golf.
It helps to understand where your anxiety is coming from.
Most golfers, believe that anxiety comes from a specific situation on the golf course. You may have people watching a short pot to win a match, a hundred yard shot over water or a tournament. None of these is the reason you are nervous or anxious. Situations never create our emotions.
When we believe that, then we give away so much power and control on the golf course. That would mean that every time you have a tournament or a short putt, You’re nervous. This is how we can feel out of control on the course.In between the situation and the feeling is a thought. It is always what you choose to think about the situation that creates the emotion.
In this case, anxiety. This is good news from the standpoint that you could just side what to think. Thoughts are optional. You were just choosing perhaps unbeknownst to you a thought that creates anxiety.
For instance, a short putt, you may be thinking I have to make it to win the tournament. This will be embarrassing if I miss I’ll ruin my round if I go in the water. It often is tied to worrying about the results or the consequences of the shot.
It is natural to be a bit nervous over certain shots, nothing has gone wrong. But the first step to take back a bit of control over your anxiety or nerves is to notice the thoughts you are saying to yourself when you are nervous.
Then ask yourself, “Are they true? And, can you think of something else?”
The more you are aware of when you produce anxiety and what you were thinking in that situation and knowing that you get to think whatever you want, you will start to minimize your nerves and feel more in control on the golf course.
3 Tactics to Help You Manage Anxiety
Okay, so you notice you have a bit of anxiety or nerves, and hopefully you can identify the thought that is creating the anxiety. It is important to point out that you can still make good swings when you are nervous or anxious. And this is good to remind yourself.
We typically do not want to play a bunch of shots from this feeling because it affects our ability to focus and make good decisions and relax so we can make our best wings.
Let me share three tactics to help you minimize the anxiety or the nerves. Number one. Shift your thought. I encourage you to have a handful of powerful thoughts to use in situations just like this.
Think of a couple of phrases that you might say to a friend or a partner:
“Put a good swing on it.”
“Go through your routine”
“You got this”
Likely, what you pick are phrases that resonate with you. Say them to yourself over the ball. Your brain will act on the last thing it hears.
Number two. Breathe in slowly, count up to five and then exhale, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, the act of counting slowly and counting out loud in your head helps you get present and calms your nerves.
Number three. Focus on your routine. This is part of why we have routines, to help calm our brain and to connect with something that we have done over and over again, saying the steps of your routine out loud in your head is a useful tactic for crowding out those noisy negative thoughts.
Remember this, even if you are anxious over a shot, you can still make a good swing. Resist making it a big deal…that there’s a problem, as this will only make the feeling grow.
All right, you got this.
Golf Anxiety Guide
Below is also a guide on 10 areas where golf anxiety can interfere with your round and steps to take to start shifting to something more useful.