1. Visualize success
Your inner vision is really important before any round of golf. Let’s reinforce the image of success on the course and see yourself as a winner! This is good for your self-belief and getting your mind ready. When you visualize, you start influencing your subconscious mind, which is actually responsible for most of the actions you make. Your subconscious mind is going to play a big role in how successful you are, so you have to influence it in the right way – by consciously feeding it the images you want to happen in reality.
In the few days prior to your round, spend a 5-10 minutes per day (in a quiet relaxed environment) closing your eyes and visualizing yourself hitting great shots and birdie-ing every hole.
2. Stop practicing technique
In the few days leading up to your big round, you’ll want to move from practice to trust mode. If you’ve been working hard on the technical aspects of your game, it’s time to put that aside and simply start trusting what you have. We don’t want you taking a technical mind-set into the tournament. Your swing is good enough!
Keeping calm and relaxing is more important than worrying and becoming overly concerned about the outcome of the tournament. If you notice your mind drifting into the future about the tournament (unless you’re actively spending time visualizing a successful round), make sure you bring yourself back to the present. You can do this by focusing on your breathing, which is also a good relaxation technique. Distract yourself with other activities – stay busy and take your mind off the tournament.
4. Figure out your strategy
Be sure to get a practice round in and know your strategy. Using Google Earth is a great way to find out exactly how much room you have to and between hazards. If you know your shot dispersion with each club, you can work out where your targets need to be and which clubs to use. Knowing this is going to increase your confidence ahead of being on the course during your tournament round.
5. Be prepared
Many of my students have a pre-tournament checklist, which they go through the evening before. This could include everything you’ll need in your bag, yardage book, your clothes, snacks and drinks etc.
6. Eat and drink right
If you don’t already have a healthy diet, in the few days before a big round, you’ll need to make sure you do. What you eat and drink affects your mood and your mental energy, so you want to make sure that what you’re putting in your body isn’t going to make you feel sluggish or down. Eliminate fast food and lower sugar and fat. Instead, eat lean and healthy and hydrate plenty!
7. Figure out your process goals
We don’t want additional pressure from telling ourselves the importance of shooting a good score. The morning of the tournament, remind yourself of your “process goals” – those controllable goals (your score is not 100% within your control) and get your mental game scorecard ready.
8. Your pre round warm up
Do you have an effective mental and physical pre-round warm-up routine? From the moment you wake up in the morning you’ll need to make sure you’re getting yourself in the mood for success and then getting your body warmed up. In my next email, I’ll show you the steps my players take to get mentally and physically warmed up before a round.
Need help with a pre round warm up routine? To get you feeling as confident as possible on the morning of your big round, I’ve put together a series of audios (30 mins in total) which serves as the perfect “Pre-round Confidence Booster”.
Photo courtesy of Marcus Spiske