A well-known expression in the sports world is that competition is 90% mental. Athletes definitely put the time and effort into the physical side, with long hours of training to reach peak performance leading up to a major tournament. As an athlete, you’re conditioned physically, but what about mentally? It’s important to remember positive mental prep before a tournament, and here are some of the best tips to do so.
Put yourself on a mental golf course
There is always some pressure associated with competing, and learning how to cope with this pressure is important. You can do this by prior mental prep to get used to performance pressure and how to turn it into a positive tool for performance success. Play some realistic games in a competition setting, against a friend. Use this practice time to develop your pre-shot routine. Repeat your swings during practice to get a comfortable rhythm down, and then implement your pre-shot routine during a golf tournament.
Before the tournament…
Get to the golf course ahead of schedule to warm up and stretch. Give yourself plenty of time on the practice tee before heading to the first tee, and visualize the first hole. Block out your surroundings, take a few deep breaths and use this serious time to get into the right mental state. Go through your pre-shot routine and build your confidence going from hole to hole in your mind, making that perfect shot every time.
Don’t forget to have fun
Being nervous before a golf tournament is normal. In fact, you should worry if you’re not nervous! The key is to think positively and be prepared beforehand to channel those nerves into a sharp performance on the course. Learn what works best to help psyche you up and not down. Whether breathing exercises help keep you loose, listening to your favorite pump up jam or stretching- keep in mind that you put in the hard work training day in and day out, and you’re fully prepared to go out there and win!