Why Visualization Is Overrated
How do You Cope with Nerves? What do you or your athletes do when feeling nervous or scared before competition? Naturally, you want to relax so you can feel less nervous or tight, right?
You or your athletes might use breathing, stretching, and mental rehearsal to cope better with pressure moments in competition. But is this approach working for you?
Relaxation techniques or positive visualization might not be the answer. However, this is what most athletes do to cope with the nerves.
Using relaxation techniques and visualization is often a Band-Aid for the tension and anxiety–not a long-term solution.
Relaxation May Not Always Work
Here’s a recent example to highlight how relaxation training is not always the answer to anxiety. Michael wrote in to say:
“My whole life I’ve been regarded as having an excellent physical game, but in the big moments, a lot of the time I come up short mentally. I struggle with confidence in big tournaments. I use breathing techniques, visualization, and self-talk to try and consistently bring out the best in my game. Occasionally this works, but more often than not I see myself succumb to the pressure of big moments. What’s the best approach?”
Why are relaxation techniques not working for Michael? Two reasons. He lacks confidence and he’s afraid to lose or perform badly.
My Philosophy About Mental Toughness
If you are a regular reader of our mental game tips, you know my philosophy about improving mental toughness…
High confidence, focus, and composure help athletes develop mental toughness in sports.
Relaxation training is not a long-term solution. Michael needs to work on his confidence and understand why he struggles in pressure moments.
Michael, like with many athletes, has been competing most of his life. Why do many athletes lack confidence despite having great physical skills and 10 or more years of practice and experience in sport?
Michael under performs in completion and now sees himself as a choke. And his solution to the problem–relaxation and visualization–is not working for him.
If you can relate to Michael’s situation, what steps can you take improve confidence and cope better with pressure?
4 Tips for Competitive Confidence
1. Rely on your years of experience for confidence, not the last play or shot. Confidence is based on several years, not immediate performance.
2. Uncover what’s killing your confidence, what I call the confidence-killers, such as doubt, high expectations, self-critical thinking, etc. and over come them.
3. Take greater control of your confidence; don’t leave it to chance. Be proactive with your confidence instead of reactive: allowing your last shot or play affect confidence.
4. Understand that self-confidence comes from within and not other people, that’s why it’s called *SELF* confidence.
If you want to improve your mental game quickly, check out our sports psychology coaching programs for athletes.
Learn Proven Strategies to Perform with Confidence!
Do you suffer from fragile self-confidence after missed hits, playing with strict or high expectations that undermine confidence or the inability to play freely and relaxed on the course?
If you suffer from lack of focus, low self-confidence or other mental game obstacles on the course, you cant reach your true golf potential…
What are students saying?
“The mental side is everything in golf—the ability to see your shot or line and trust that you can hit that shot or putt. Dr. Cohn has helped me trust my game and putting stroke.”
~Frank Lickliter, PGA Tour, Nike Tour Winner
“My confidence level has never been higher! I can’t tell you how clearly I was able to think during all four rounds of tour-school. The simple game plan you gave me really focused me. My confidence level has never been higher during a tournament. No matter how much pressure was on, I was able to control my thoughts and execute. Thank you Dr. Cohn!”
~Patricia Baxter-Johnson, LPGA Tour
Learn Powerful Golf Confidence Strategies!
What are customers saying?
“Dr. Cohn, my golf game has improved since the very first time I landed on Peaksports.com! You gave me just enough information to improve immediately! After that, it was a mere no-brainer to become a Peaksports Subscriber! Thank you for helping me improve my game and enjoyment – even overnight! You are right on!”
Boost Your Self-Confidence And Focus With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our students saying?
“WOW!!! What a week I had. I was able to perform with a confidence that allowed my style to shine through–no more entering the arena with that “deer in the headlights” look or feeling. I stopped evaluating myself while I was performing, and I actually left the arena after my patterns feeling like I had experienced a lot of fun. Thank you so much.”
~Julia Dreyer, National Champion Equestrian