How do you control your golf nerves? First find out why they are making you play nervous golf swings, shots, competitions, friendly matches or anything else. These feelings are just not great are they? What would it be like to feel and play free of those nerves?
When I do seminars on the mental game I always ask golfers what one internal thing, if they could master it in this program, would make a huge difference to the way they perform on the golf course and give them more enjoyment.
One of the most common answers is; “by Controlling Your Nerves When Golfing!” This is not surprising really as nervous control in any walk of life seems to be a primary concern for many people. Calming nerves in sports, any sport not just golf, will most certainly improve the performance of the athlete at any level, whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned professional.
With improved performance comes improved results and that equals more enjoyment and when it all boils down to it, we are just trying to have fun. Out of control nerves in golf are going to seriously inhibit your ability to perform both physically and mentally so you are absolutely right to focus on developing skills and techniques which will allow you to master your nerves.
Lets be clear about what golf nerves are from your mind and body perspective. They are a message from your unconscious – nervous system – that you need to pay attention. Your body is warning you that there is a possible threat of some kind to the mind or body or both.
If you are asked to do something physically dangerous then the threat to physical harm is pretty obvious to you when you think about it and so your body sending you nervous signals is normal and understandable and even desirable. After all you want a warning of possible harm don’t you? I know I do, so I thank my nerves for sending me these signals even if they are a little misguided at times, like on the first tee of an important competition.
When the threat is to the mind more than the body, then it is sometimes less obvious to the nervous golfer. Lets take one of the biggest fears of all. Fear of humiliation. In golf, you hit a bad shot and feel embarrassed in front of an audience. Are you one of those golfers who is nervous about being called through the group in front, because your game is then on show for strangers to watch and comment on? (Without you knowing what they are saying about you?!)
It could be another giant in the mental game, “Fear of Failure” that causes your nerves to spring into action just when you need to be cool, calm and collected to play that crucial 3ft putt on the 18th to win.
Considering that our golf nerves are not caused by a threat to our physical body (normally) then understanding what aspect of your mental well-being is under threat will go a long way to helping you to come to terms with your nerves so they work with you in a positive manner.
Why are your golfing nerves shouting at you? Is it fear of humiliation on the golf course, or is it fear of failure (which is humiliating) or is it something else. It is not for me to explain links between various aspects of your psychology, but rather encourage you to decide what it is for you so that you can rationalise it, and get your nerves under control.
So answer this question first and you will be well on the road to conquer your golf nerves.
“If my mind was sending me a message by making me feel these golf nerves, what would that message be?” Ask yourself this question many times over the coming days and write down every unique answer you come up with.
When you come up with the top answers, start to rationalise them and you may well find they really begin calming down now.