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TaylorMadeFan15

Ways to battle nerves?

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What are some ways to battle nerves? I'm trying out for my highschool golf team and I'm nervous about it. I play good when I'm just playing for fun, but when I'm under pressure I crack. Any tips are appreciated! Thanks!
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Stop playing "for fun". You need to find some way to put pressure on yourself. Play in local tournaments. Play your buddies for something significant enough that you REALLY don't want to lose. Play against people other than your normal buddies....if you can find someone you really don't like, so much the better. ;-) The best way to learn to handle pressure, is to play under pressure as often as you can.
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Stop playing "for fun". You need to find some way to put pressure on yourself. Play in local tournaments. Play your buddies for something significant enough that you REALLY don't want to lose. Play against people other than your normal buddies....if you can find someone you really don't like, so much the better. ;-) The best way to learn to handle pressure, is to play under pressure as often as you can.

Totally agree with this. Has helped my game tremendously. I play with a group of guys on Sat and Sun and it's for a good bit of money. There's a thread on here about this, and it's advice is to enjoy the pressure. Hype yourself up when there is a tough shot. Helped me.

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You're in high school, so big money games are probably not a good idea.

Play for cokes or a burger, but play for something over 18 holes.

Another game is to get in the pitching and chipping area of your range with some buds, and have a contest -- name that shot -- flop, chip, pitch, etc.

Putting contests.

But find a way to thrive and enjoy being in a pressure game where you want to shine. Sort of a gambler's mentality ... find it.

___

Get over nerves.

Breathe, relax your arms before a shot, stay positive, no negative talk, be confident in your process of taking a shot, be confident, laugh, have fun between shots, then focus for the minute of a shot.

It may help to know the course like the back of your hand -- it will add to your confidence if you know where to land the ball when a mistake occurs.

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You're in high school, so big money games are probably not a good idea. Play for cokes or a burger, but play for something over 18 holes. Another game is to get in the pitching and chipping area of your range with some buds, and have a contest -- name that shot -- flop, chip, pitch, etc. Putting contests. But find a way to thrive and enjoy being in a pressure game where you want to shine. Sort of a gambler's mentality ... find it. ___ Get over nerves. Breathe, relax your arms before a shot, stay positive, no negative talk, be confident in your process of taking a shot, be confident, laugh, have fun between shots, then focus for the minute of a shot. It may help to know the course like the back of your hand -- it will add to your confidence if you know where to land the ball when a mistake occurs.

To be clear, Mr D is right, it doesn't have to be money......but it DOES have to be important to you. Maybe the loser washes the winner's car, or something similar. You really have to care.

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Update: First day started decent, but my putting cost me strokes. Ended up shooting a 99. Should have been around 93 if I didn't have bad putts.
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It is all about the process.  If you practice enough and know that you can make shots and make putts then you can feel confident when you are dealing with that situation when you are under pressure...  The pressure really doesn't matter as much if you are already prepared for it.

In league I had my partner say, "Don't be nervous, buy you need to make this putt."  I said back to him, "You're more nervous than I am."  That sounds cocky but it was what I was thinking.  I mean, what is the worst thing that can happen, you miss the putt?  That is really not that bad.  People miss putts all the time.  But there is no reason for you to think of the negative option when you are standing above the ball and about to hit the shot.  Feel like you are going to make it...  If you go about the process the right way then the results will come.

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Establish a pre shot routine that works, that makes you feel comfortable, and stick with it no matter what. Do this with every shot, drives, approaches, chips, putts and stick to it when you practice as well. Soon, you'll be able to tell yourself mentally that this drive/chip/putt is just like the one I practice, no big deal.

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Update: I played really good the last 2 days and shot a 90 and 93. After all said and done I made the team! Thanks for the advice!
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