Mental Preparation: How to Focus Your Mind Before a Major Tournament
Despite what you may be led to believe, even pro golfers get nervous before a big event. That said, no matter your skill level, mental preparation is essential part of success in a major golf tournament.
Never mind being under the spotlight of a jam-packed stadium, simply playing a regional event with your friends can be a nerve-racking experience. Whether you’re planning to play at a local qualifier or gearing up for the MSOP Championship, our tips will help you get in the zone and mentally prepare to play your best.
Mental preparation involves visualization
One of the most effective mental preparation techniques used by world-class athletes is visualization. This technique involves mentally rehearsing the process of successfully landing your putt until it becomes ingrained in your subconscious.
You can think of visualization as a mental warm-up designed to instinctively guide your reflexes when the actual tournament rolls around. Moreover, many studies have shown that visualization techniques can be quite beneficial to sports performance.
Sound body, sound mind
If you have been having a fair bit of trouble maintaining your mental focus, it might be time to take a good hard look at your diet and physical activity. The benefits of a healthy diet and regular exercise on your mental health are absolutely undeniable.
It should be common sense that your body needs fuel to perform but the type of fuel you need is often woefully neglected. Stick to healthy foods that provide a good amount of physical and mental energy (nuts, seeds, yogurt, fresh fish, fruits and veggies, etc.) and make sure you get a good mix of weightlifting and cardio in your workouts.
If you want the razor-sharp focus of a Buddhist monk or master guru, it would be wise to start practicing the art of mindfulness. There is perhaps no better mental preparation technique for getting rid of distractions and outperforming the competition, especially if you have to play multiple games on a putting tour.
Anxiety and nervousness can be performance killers on the green and mindfulness will help minimize or even eliminate these issues. Here are five quick tips to get you started:
- Practice breathing techniques
- Sit comfortably still and try to clear your mind
- Take the time to observe your natural environment
- Follow a guided meditation once a day
- Find something to be positive and thankful for every day
Develop a pre-shot routine
Another great way to ease your mind before any tournament is to develop a pre-shot routine. A pre-shot routine will keep your mind occupied leading up to your putt which will enable you to tune out any worries and anxieties you may have.
Mental preparation is key if you want to come home victorious at your next big golf tournament. Golf is as much a physical game as it is psychological and boosting your mental performance will inevitably improve your shots as well.