Mental Prep for Tournaments

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Mental Prep for Tournaments

Postby Smyith » Tue Oct 18, 2005 7:35 pm

I have been playin for a few years now and i have played a few tournaments. so far i have totally lost it on the day of the tourney. i keep thinking that im just not consistent enough but then the next several times i go out liesurly i play like a champ. so i started thinking that maybe my problem is my mental game.

anybody have any tips or suggestions you could share?
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Postby Supermau » Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:42 pm

I've only played a couple of tournaments. I mostly play for fun and I think that's one of the keys to playing well in competition.. Have fun, relax, and do what you know how to do. The "pressure" is all in your head. Just have a good time and let it flow.
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Postby Blake_T » Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:06 pm

i generally spend very little time thinking about each throw, especially putts. once i commit to a line i will go through my mechanics check-list and let it run. i believe the #1 psyche out factor is over-thinking.

i also try not to let scores overly dictate my choice of actions. if i have absolute confidence in one line and very little in another (although it yields a better potential result), i will nearly always play the conservative and wait for other players to make mistakes.

it's never about playing perfect, it's more about minimizing blowups and taking birdies when you can get them. i've had a couple of tournaments where i've only had 1 bogey in a round by using this method.

if you have a sports background you probably have a method of clearing your mind, focusing not on what the shot means, but just on executing the shot. clutch isn't about making spectacular shots under pressure, it's about being able to treat pressure shots like they are routine.
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Postby alerik » Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:17 pm

I played in my first tournament about six weeks ago. My goal, since it was my first tournament, was to shot a personal record because we were playing on my home course 1 mile away. I played in the men's open rec. division and had no idea what kind of compitition I would be facing. So I kept my goal simple, shoot a PR, and have fun.

The first round I was relaxed and didn't have a care. I shot a 64 on 21 holes, a +1. My previous best had been 59 on 18 holes a +5. Without the extra three holes they added for the tourney, I shot a 56 on the 18 holes I normally play dropping my PR to a +2 on my home course. I was shocked to find out that I was in 3rd place after the first round 2 strokes out of first place. I thought Hey, I could win this thing.

Then everything went to hell fast. I blew up then next round that afternoon and dropped to 8th. Then next morning I saw that if I just kept my place, I could still win a couple of buck which suprised me as well. I blew up even worse and dropped to 13th. There were 15 people in my division. The only two people I beat were a guy who had never played the game before, and another guy who had been playing for about a month.

So I guess the only thing I can say from my personal experiance is relax, and have fun. This is a game first, and a sport second. Don't let the sport take the fun out of the game.

I'm sure that is what drew up to the game in the first place. We tried it, had fun playing, and returned for more.
If I can't beat you now, I will practice until I can.
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Postby daniebl2 » Tue Oct 25, 2005 10:50 pm

Here's some of my tricks - even a few dirty ones.
Sorry I can't give them all away, at least at once.

Most of the tricks will help to focus on the shot or refocus or mind onto something else. Some of these are contradictory, it really depends on what works for you. The other trick focus on the game and or shot tempo.

FOCUS
1)Pre Game warmup
When I was played my first couple tornaments, I always tried to play at least 4-5 holes before the tornament starts...besides getting rid of the jitters it also helps you warm up ,clear your mind, and focus on your game plan.

2) Have a game plan
Going into a tornament or any round you should know exactly how many and which holes you can birdie. Use this to calculate your absolutely best possible finish, but don't play for the perfect game, instead set a goal a few strokes higher. This way you won't start crumbling after the first or second miss.

This also lets you work a plan to achieve the goal, mini victories can give you confidence. It also will let you know which holes you really need to focus on and which holes you can afford to relax on. This is very important as the mind has a hard time maintianing continual focus.

3) Know your limitations...this kind of goes along with setting up the game plan...but it's more of a hole by hole reminder.
If a hole farther away than what your max distance, don't expect to suddely throw the extra 50ft. on the day of the tournament. Some holes are simply going to be out of your range, so their is no need to put everything you got into it. Take alittle bit off and make the safe consistant play. It's OK to play for par

4)Find something else to focus on....like annoying your opponent. I don't mean throwing things at them or yelling as their making a shot. The goal here is subtle. Remember their suffering their own demons too. Sometimes just a few minor things will send them over the edge.

One thing that really seems to work for me is trying to disrupt their game tempo. Taking a long time to set up for a shot or even walking to your disc-reapeatedly this can really bother some people.
The oppisite is also effective, some people don't play very well if they feel their constantly being rushed or pushed. Reaching their lie quickly and first while continually waiting on them can sometimes disrupt their game. It might sound a little underhanded or unsportman like but controlling the tempo will win you games.

5)Lastly, if the shot does't "feel" right, nobody is forcing you to shoot it. Step away, shake it off, and reset. - Also can be used to disrupt your oppenent.

6)Don't worry about the score, try to play as if your only one stroke down....this helps to maintain focus. But be carefull it's hard to maintain this type of focus for more than 9 holes.

TEMPO
7)Setting up a routine and rythm will help keep your mind off of the shot.
Alot of players will play with a different tempo during casual play versus a tournament round, this is why they have great games by themselves but suffer while playing in groups.
You need to focus on your shot tempo, count it out if you have too, just be consistant. This can help you identify if your rushing the shot or concentrating too much. Ideally, on the big shots you should just focus on just the shot temp and body motion. You need to be a little bit self aware here too, just to make sure someone isn't trying to mess with your game / shot tempo.

Sorry if this is a little jumbled,and incoherant -it's late for me. :oops:
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