Is it Okay to get Nervous?

Is it Okay to get Nervous?

Why is it okay for professional golfers to admit they get nervous and junior golfers deny that they are nervous?  Is it because junior golfers are so on edge all of the time that they cannot feel the difference?  Or is it because junior golfers feel a sense of embarrassment and are afraid to ask for assistance?  I believe it is a combination.

My observations from years of playing, teaching and coaching…..

Junior golfers are so on edge they cannot feel or tell the difference between a little nervous and over-the-edge nervous.  The pressure of performing as a junior golfer and making a college decision are real!  And, Yes there is a sense of embarrassment when pressure hits and hiccups occur. We all feel it.  I still feel it. Nobody enjoys failure.  With maturity, you learn to “fail forward”.  So, both are true that it is difficult to decipher between a little nervous and a lot nervous and pressure is real for junior golfers.

Here are a couple of helpful hints to help alleviate the pressures and help with the decision making process:

  1. Start driving through college campuses (8th-9th grade) and having discussions with your junior to prod their thinking.  These are broad discussions:  What did you like or dislike about the look of that campus?  Can you see yourself in large classrooms or small classrooms?  Decisions are not needed at this point.  You are just presenting options for your junior.  Also, it is acceptable to ask for 10-15 minutes from a college coach, but please be respectful of their time.

(For more Helpful Hints on visiting a college, visit Ask Maggie and feel free to send me your questions.)

  1.  I believe the nervousness is attributed to lack of experience and preparation. There is nothing like “reps” to calm your nerves.  And even more powerful…”reps” under pressure. This occurs in pressured practice and competition.  

Try these helpful drills and articles:

Practice Hard, Play Easy

Sink More Putts

Proximity to the Hole

  1.  Get prepared physically and emotionally to handle the adventures of each day. Teach yourself to smile at adversity.  You can do this! Knowledge is power.  Become powerful by educating yourself about all levels of golf and education.