What are a few keys for stepping to the first tee feeling confident?
First Tee Jitters
Carl from Minnesota sent me a question regarding feeling nervous on the first tee...
Well Carl, that's a concern of many golfers! There are a few things you can do.
I'll assume you haven't taken my mental game training program and provide as thorough a response as possible. First let me share with you my perception on developing a strong mental game.
I believe the best and most lasting way to make the changes you want, including stepping to the first tee with confidence, is to practice some form of mental imagery before going to sleep.
Although I will definitely give you some "conscious mind" tips to help you today, it is your unconscious that requires attention. When you practice in your mind the same way your practice at the range or at the course you pre-empt many of the psycho-emotional challenges that arise in golf.
So by habituating a strong consistent inner game, your outer game begins to reflect the calm, cool, clarity of your inner game. Make sense? This approach will make the deepest and most noticeable changes in every area of your game.
End those first tee jitters
For now you can do the following:
Spend a few moments to yourself - sit alone for a few moments and go inside. Still your mind through taking a few deep breaths.
Imagine a time when you felt completely relaxed - this can be anytime you experienced feeling very relaxed and confident. Either on the course or off.
Take these feelings of confidence - and visualize yourself stepping to the tee.
Go through your pre-shot routine - see and feel yourself finish a smooth, focused pre-shot routine and then make the swing you want to make.
Anchor this feeling - Ok, this one is a little too involved to detail here. Yet for now simply make the swing you want, in your mind's eye, and take a really deep breath as you see the ball land where you want it to.
This process takes just a couple minutes. If you have four or five minutes then that's preferable as you can settle into things a bit more. This can be done in your car as you drive to the course or at any time just before you tee off.
There are 6 mental game audio sessions that accompany exercises like these. (In the Minding Your Game Training Course)
The important thing is to get centered within yourself and step into a feeling of confidence prior to teeing off. With just a bit of practice you will find this becomes a habit. The first tee will be an exciting place for you!
There's nothing quite like piping the opening tee shot with the crowd watching, right!? Tee it high and let it fly, Carl!
All the best.
Keeping you on target!
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