The mental side of golf - improving performance under pressure
Every golfer, regardless of their playing ability experiences some sort of pressure. Wether you just started and you're playing a match against your friends or you're already an experienced golfer playing on an international level.
In those situations it's often that little voice in your head the suddenly becomes louder, making you aware of all the things that could go wrong.
I've been playing golf for 17 years now and accumulated many top 10 finishes in international European golf tournaments. Which also means plenty of encounters with that little voice.
Over the years I've found ways to deal with that voice and improve my performance under pressure, which lead to winning one of these events in June 2023.
At the end of this blog I'm sharing 4 actions that helped me deal with pressure situations on the golf course.
On 10th June 2023 Ocean Meets Green officially became a winner’s brand!*
I walked away with the win on the first play-off hole. Sounds like a rollercoaster, right? It certainly was! If you’re interested in the full story or see some video snippets from this dramatic final day click here.
What it felt like being chased - a little insight into my golfing brain
I’m not going to lie. I was quite nervous during the first 2 holes. My heart was pumping, and my breathing was quick. I felt slightly dizzy over my first couple of putts and my hands were shaking.
But I didn’t come unprepared. Over the last 9 months I’ve been working on methods and processes to calm my nervous system in those stressful and unknown situations.
4 actions that help me deal with pressure situations:
1. Breathwork and learning to control my breathing
2. Focussing on the process not the outcome
4. Being kind to myself
Why I'm writing this:
Of course I also have days where I may feel more disappointed when I make bogeys than on other days.
Some days I feel completely zen and other days I’m on the edge quickly. I’ve experienced rounds where I tried all of those methods and none of them worked. And that’s okay. Being human means that emotions fluctuate, that’s what makes us human after all.
I’m writing all this to pass on what has worked for me. And if you are in a similar situation soon, whether that’s on the golf course or just life in general, you might find one of those tools helpful too.
(And if all else fails, just buy an outfit that makes you feel confident and like a winner no matter what!)
I'll be back soon with more insights into my tournament life and the little things that help me compete and perform under pressure.
*I like that claim! ;)