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Performing under Pressure: Mental Toughness in Golf

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15 minutes

Summary

Written by Professor Aidan Moran. Aidan is Director of the Psychology Research Laboratory in University College, Dublin. Aidan’s work for the last twenty years has included one to one coaching on mental toughness with top players including Major winners. Narrated by Sara Dylan

What does the word “pressure” mean to you? If you’re like most players, you associate it with feeling nervous or apprehensive about something, having negative thoughts, and experiencing a variety of unpleasant sensations like rapid breathing, a pounding heart, butterflies in your stomach and trembling hands. And that’s just on the first teebox! But joking apart, what do you really know about performing under pressure in golf?

Well, many players believe both that pressure is inevitable in golf and that there is very little you can do to overcome it. But both of these beliefs are wrong. Firstly, there is an important difference between pressure situations and pressure reactions. To clarify, although pressure situations – like facing a 6-foot downhill putt to halve a hole in matchplay - are inevitable in golf, your anxious response to them is not inevitable.

In this audio presentation, Sara is going to explain the secret of performing well under pressure - how to do our best when it matters most. In the first part, she will explore what anxiety or nervousness is, where it comes from, and how it affects your performance in golf. After that, she will provide some practical tips on how to control it so that you can perform well in pressure situations.

There are 10 audio recordings in this series including: Concentration, course management, developing mental toughness, enjoying your golf, first tee nerves, handling mistakes and setbacks, increasing your confidence, performing under pressure, pre-shot routines, and putting well.

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