Channel your first tee nerves into unconscious golf resources for better golfBy
There’s a danger we treat fear completely as a bad thing in golf psychology. Now I know this goes against a lot of what I’ve been saying, but I’m talking hear about the thin end of fear – nervousness. For many people, nervousness is the buzz of competition, whether we’re competing with other people, ourselves or the golf course we happen to be playing.
For many people the buzz is part of the enjoyment. Perhaps that’s what Mark Twain was referring to when he wrote that "Golf is a good walk spoiled" and HRH Princess Anne meant when she said “Golf seems to be an arduous way to go for a walk. I prefer to take the dogs out."
Personally, I feel that if I’m not nervously shaking when I get near the end of a seriously good scoring round or close game of match play then I might as well give up golf and go and do something else that excites and inspires me. Jack Nicklaus knew that if you didn’t feel nervous at the end of a tournament you’re trying to win then there’s something wrong with you – he thrived on it. It’s said that he stopped winning golf tournaments when he no longer got so nervous in competition. And you don’t have to be winning to get that feeling, just competing hard in some way. If you watched the duel between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson during the last round of the 2009 Masters, you’ll know just what mean.
The important thing to remember is to channel that nervous energy into an enhanced state of focus using self hypnosis with deep breathing is one of the best ways I know for doing just that. Alternatively, you could follow the instructions in my earlier post entitled Balance your golf mind and body for better golf – focus on your Hara. Now anchor that feeling and add it to your unconscious golfing resources. Now you can access the great feeling, that Jack Nicklaus loves so much, whenever you want it or need it.
Like so many of the things I have learned as a golf psychologist, I do so wish I’d known about all this wonderful NLP and golf hypnosis a long time ago when I got so nervous at Hexham, playing with Tony Jacklin at Brookmans Park and whenever I seemed to be on the first tee anywhere!