How Fear Holds Back Golfers
Fear of failure is what prevents golfers from bringing their learned skills to the golf course.
Golfers who fear failure have more trouble playing in bigger tournaments, being paired with rival golfers, or having a lead late in a round.
I’m sure you have experienced your own personal triggers for fear of failure…
In our golf survey, one golfer highlighted his difficulty with the fear of failure:
“For me, I have a fear of failure, especially because I practice so much. How can I beat that fear of failure?”
This experience with the fear of failure is common for the golfers we work with.
First, you would think that more practice would lead to better preparation and more confidence, both of which should equate to lower scores in a round of golf.
“Should” is the important word in that sentence. In your case, “should” is raising the expectation bar. What you are saying to yourself is, “Since I work so hard, I should and fully expect to shoot lower scores every time I step onto the course.” In this scenario, there is much more riding on your performance.
You upped the ante for your game so to speak. You want the payoff from all the practice.
Since you raised expectations, you also raised the pressure to perform. Fear of failure is born out of high expectations and increased pressure and that is the reason you are having difficulty on the golf course.
Challenges for Golfers with Fear of Failure:
Fear of failure cripples your trust and freedom on the golf course. Fear of failure poses mental, physical and technical challenges to your game.
- Ruminating Thoughts – Past thoughts of inaccurate shots, bad breaks, and missed opportunities play over and over in your head taking your focus away from the current shot.
- ‘What If’ Statements – Worst case scenarios bombard your thinking with thoughts such as “What if I triple-bogey this hole”. These ‘what if’ statements further advance your sense of fear.
- Overwhelming Anxiety – Fear that spirals out of control affects you physically in a number of ways: your heart rate increases, your palms get sweaty, your muscles become tight, your breathing becomes shallow, etc. And you worry about outcomes.
- Technical Fallout – As your body experiences changes in your physiology, alterations occur in your technique; tighter grip on the club, uneasiness in your stance, quicker swings, hesitation before striking the ball, and possible yipping during your swing.
Learning effective strategies to deal with the fear of failure can get you back on track mentally and help you take the hard to the course in tournaments.
Dealing with the Fear of Failure
The first step in squelching the fear of failure is to make sure you’re not focusing on negative outcomes.
In addition, what is your underlying fear? When you know your underlying fear, you can face it head on. In this case, it’s the fear of putting in all the hard work and not getting the “payoff.” What I call the “payoff syndrome.”
Instead of focusing on scores or finishes, you have to focus on the process or one shot a a time. With less fear, you free up your swing and stroke to perform better on the course.
Learn Proven Strategies to Perform with Confidence!
Do you suffer from fragile self-confidence after missed hits, playing with strict or high expectations that undermine confidence or the inability to play freely and relaxed on the course?
If you suffer from lack of focus, low self-confidence or other mental game obstacles on the course, you cant reach your true golf potential…
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The Golfer’s Mental Edge program includes the top 8 mental training sessions I do with my personal students to help them boost their mental game and improve consistency on the course.
The Golfer’s Mental Edge program includes 8 confidence-boosting CDs, MP3 audio recordings and an 8-session golfer’s mental edge workbook.