How to Mentally Prepare for “Those Moments”
“Those Moments” happen every round. They occur when our mind wanders from the present to the future and past. You know this is going to happen at some point. Stop kidding yourself that it will not. Everyone has a breaking point. At some point, you are going to reach your threshold where your thoughts start to wander and Fear creeps into your mind. Your goal is to get to the point that the scares/uncertainties/unfamiliarities that come from having a putt to win a junior event grow into winning a college event, and maybe even a US Open! The more prepared you are, the less harsh these six critical moments will be. There is less pressure in the moment as you are prepared to handle it mentally.
You can prepare to handle these moments ahead of time in your mind. I’m not saying you should imagine the whole day being a disaster, which it feels like when you are not prepared, but merely close your eyes and picture yourself in a less than desirable situation and go thru your routine. In your mind, pick your starting point and ending point for your golf ball, assess the situation and then feel yourself making a swing with the grip getting into your body and the face staying a bit open thru impact and see the ball get pulled up the third base line then fade back to center field. Breathe yourself thru the situation. Smile, pick up your bag and walk confidently to the next shot. Putting yourself in situations in your mind and having a solid outcome will help build a library of confidence and feelings to draw upon when you need them in a real situation. Remember, your brain does not know the difference between real and imagined. So, do some mental reps and get in some extra practice when you are not at the golf course! Your mental stamina (myelin layer- sheath that forms around nerves, including those in the brain and spinal cord) will grow and better results will occur!