Knock Out The First Tee Jitters

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Editor's Note: This is part 1 of a 4 part series addressing the mental game from tee to green. We will look at the first tee, approach shots, pitch/chip shots and the keys to great putting.
 
Comments by golfers just like you...
 
Sports psychologists (and Ive read many of their books and spent a lot of time working with some) tell you that you need to use your mind as effectively as you use your body to play the game. That may be great advice, but until I worked with David, I didnt know how to do it, much less how to direct my mind to play my best. David showed me how. My on-course fog has lifted'I hit crisp shots to a clearly defined target time after time'and Im more energized when Im done than when I began! Please dont wait to give David a call! - - Mr. Marion Lucas, 5 Hcp
 
Youve hit some balls at the driving range and feel pretty good about your golf swing. Then it happens! The first tee is coming up fast. Now what? Everything is different, right? Now it all counts. Everything you do matters even more now because the stakes just got higher. Will you hit the ball as well as you did on the range? With all your expectations and everyone watching will you start your round the way you want? You can feel your body tensing up just a little bit and you havent even gotten to the tee yet!
 
The first tee can be a nerve wracking place for some golfers. Just looking at it can cause stress and anxiety. After all; its the first shot of the day and its the first one that really sets the tone for your round of golf, right?
 
Ive witnessed golfers with good to very good swing mechanics at the driving range arrive at the first tee only to look like a completely different person! Where did their golf swing go, I wonder? Its the same person with the same equipment and yet its NOT the same golf swing!
 
Why does the first tee elicit so much doubt, fear and anxiety for some golfers?
 
If youve read any of my previous articles you know it all begins within. Here are some of the mindsets that can get you into trouble on the first tee. If you approach the first tee with these mindsets you will probably experience pressure, stress and muscle tension over the ball. The result: you may not be swinging the golf club in a way that honestly represents you talent level.
 
INEFFECTIVE MINDSETS:
 
THOUGHT: The first shot sets the tone for my entire round!
PROBLEM: Your WHOLE ROUND depends on how you hit it!
 
THOUGHT: I worry about what others are thinking.
PROBLEM: Your focus is on them rather than on preparing for your tee shot
 
THOUGHT: You think, now it really counts.
PROBLEM: This creates tension, fear and doubt over the golf ball because the this counts mindset takes the joy and excitement away from playing golf
 
EFFECTIVE MINDSETS:
 
Even the pros can get nervous on the first tee. Some show it and some do not but whats going on inside and how it is being handled is what is most important. You can be more effective at the first tee by following some of these guidelines:
 
1. Focus on what you can control
 
Most first tee jitters are caused by the mind wandering off into areas it has no control over (i.e. score, results, looking good in front of others, etc.). The more your mind goes there; the more anxious you can feel. Re-focus on what you have control over.
 
2. Focus on Preparation
 
This is where the importance of your routine comes into play. If your routine is a good one, it will help you prepare properly. I have found that most clients believe their routines to be ok but soon discover that its NOT as effective as it could be. This is something we clearly outline in the FlowZone Program.
 
3. Think Big Picture
 
Your first shot is not your round. To think it is; is an illusion. Does it make sense to hit one poor shot and somehow believe that your entire round is ruined? Stop it! Sure, its important to get off the first tee in good shape and the pros use this as a way to set the tone for their rounds. However, they make sure they do steps #1 and #2 to increase their opportunity for success. Even if the result of your first tee shot is not as expected it doesnt mean the round is ruined. This is simply not true.
 
4. Hit the Safe Shot to a Safe Target
 
If you have worries or doubts on the first tee, go for the safe play. You can still take your natural golf swing but pick a target that is in a safety zone for you. Dont go for too much and allow yourself to work your way into the round. This will build confidence and trust in your golf swing.
 
NOTE: We want to thank the 100s of you who signed up for the Free Consultation! Please continue to send your experiences and comments to us at: david@theflowzone.net.

FOR FlowZone Program Info:
You can take part in this unique approach because it doesnt matter where you live, work or play. I work with clients all over the country (and in other countries) because the FlowZone program is highly effective when done via telephone. Most clients admit they dont develop their mental game because, I dont know where to start or what it really is or Ive tried the tips and they dont last that long. The FlowZone approach is not about quick-tips. It is about powerful performance principles that never change and that you can always rely on. The principles ARE the answers! Dont let past failures or doubt hold you back!

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    Copyright 2006 All Rights Reserved. David Breslow is a Speaker/Author/Performance Coach who works with Athletes (PGA/LPGA) and businesses to help people move past limiting patterns to perform up to their potential. His approach is not business as usual and creates faster shifts in how people think, feel and perform every day. David appears on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio and speaks to both large and small corporations across the country. For more information or reach David call: 847.681.1698 or email: David@theflowzone.net or visit the web: www.theflowzone.net. To order, Wired To Win click here OR call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.