Using Pressure To Your Advantage
What are the first thoughts that come to mine when you are faced with that must-make shot?
Is there is a resounding “woo-hoo” or a depressing “oh no“?
“Uh-oh” and “oh no” are the syllables uttered internally when impending doom is about to strike.
You know what I mean… Like when you step up to that two-foot putt to close out your best round or when you head into a playoff with your big rival.
“Oh no” is not the utterance of reassurance, confidence or excitement. “Uh-oh” is your response to pressure building to explosive amounts.
These little two-word phrases are a warning to you that everything is about to unravel.
Mary T. is an uh-oh kind of golfer.
During the last round Mary played at a recent collegiate tournament, Mary had a 1-stroke lead on the last hole.
Mary was playing outstanding and was on pace for her best round ever. The entire round seemed like a breeze.
When Mary stepped up to the last hole, she had that “uh-oh” feeling…
“Oh no, what if I drive the ball into a sand trap?… What if I bogey and loss the tournament?… What if I mess up again?”
Mary could feel the tension build inside of her… She didn’t want even want to play the last whole.
An overwhelming sense of anxiety and doom consumed her and wouldn’t you know, the ball landed exactly where she fear it would, in the sand!
The thing that separates champions from other golfers is that they want to be the one who has to putt for the tournament. Champion golfers thrive under pressure and prefer to be in the driver’s seat and determine their own fate.
John Rahm is only 22 years old and an excellent example of a golfer who rises to challenges.
Rahm recently won the 2017 Farmers Insurance Open and became the youngest winner at Torrey Pines.
The record setting win did not come easy for Rahm…
Nine different players held at least a share of the final round before Rahm seized control of the tournament with two eagles on the final six holes.
RAHM: “It was important to keep composure, keep it going, and I’m just so glad I was able to keep my mind on the game and I was able to think clearly.”
With the victory at Torrey Pines, Rahm has won his fifth start of the 2016-17 wraparound season in his 17th PGA Tour appearance.
Even veteran golfer Phil Mickelson has noticed how great Rahm plays when the pressure is on.
MICKELSON: “I think he’s one of the best players in the world. There’s an intangible that some guys have where they want to have the pressure, they want to be in that tough position, they want to have everything fall on their shoulders. And he has that.”
When you welcome the pressure, you allow the pressure to work for you.
Welcome The Pressure
You must understand that every challenge you face in golf has some degree of pressure within it.
Stop blaming yourself for feeling “pressure” and know that pressure can be helpful to your performance.
Relish challenges and accept the pressure.
View those internal feelings as excitement and tell yourself that the game of golf is just a game.
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