Alright so here is the follow up to my mental training plan that I implemented on myself in preparation for the women’s city amateur golf tournament! (please read my previous blog for details of the plan!) I have broken the posts up into a 5-part mini-series that I will be releasing weekly. Each section highlights a key moment in my competition that tested the mental training plan! If you have any questions or comments please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
So I returned from Winnipeg after coaching the Vikes women’s team at the Canadian Nationals on the Saturday and the tournament was the Monday/Tuesday. Sunday was a write-off due to unpacking, laundry, work commitments and numerous errands. So I officially had not touched a club in well over three weeks.
Monday morning I had to go into work early to get some things done before the round and only had enough time for about a 20 minute warm up (I usually like to have about an hour to go through everything.) Nevertheless I felt ready to go. I had a few first tee jitters which I was excited to have as I knew this meant I was engaged and excited to play.
Tester of mental training plan #1: The first tee shot
Throughout my mental training plan I had practiced reframing every situation to work in my favour and visualized how I wanted to see myself respond. I specifically practiced for this moment as I have in the past tensed up on the first tee. I practiced what I would say to myself to believe that nerves are a good thing and will help me hit a straight drive. I had practiced focusing on long slow inhales and exhales to calm myself down and I had visualized each night seeing the first tee shot soar through the air and land softly on the fairway.
As soon as I stepped up onto the tee box I felt a sense of comfort as my pre-shot routine took over. I had my swing feels: good turn, aggressive hips through the ball. These are the swing-feels that I know if I do, I can hit a straight shot at my target. I reminded myself of all of the great drives I have hit while feeling a few jitters. The first hole at Colwood, although fairly straightforward, requires an accurate first drive to set yourself up for your second shot. I’ve many a times fallen victim to the trees on the right and been blocked out for trying to reach the green on my second shot. When the time came for me to step up and hit the first shot of the tournament, automaticity took over on the tee box and I hit a great first drive out onto the fairway! Phew! And off we went. I hit a decent second shot into the green but came up just a bit short. I made a good chip and had a 4 foot slippery left to right putt to save par.
Check back for next week’s post on whether the mental training plan helps the putting hold up under pressure!