The other day I was working with a youth golfer. "I get really nervous before I play. And I'm even more nervous when I'm standing over a short putt for par."
I asked, "When you feel that way, what do you do about it?" "Well, I just try not to think about it. I try and block it out."
I replied, "Does that work?"
"No. It seems to make it worse." Here's why: What you resist, persists. Our body can't talk to us with words so it uses feelings instead. And they are called feelings because we are supposed to FEEL them!
Mental Toughness is about FACING our FEELINGS. When we avoid them, not only does our body turn up the volume, but our emotional intelligence drops. How in the world are we supposed to stand on top of the podium when we avoid our feelings? How is our Greatest Self supposed to show up when we are hiding from how we feel? Instead of hiding and avoiding, try this instead:
NAME IT: Face the feeling by naming it. I feel ________ because ________. "I feel nervous about this tournament because there are some really good golfers here and I'm not sure how I'll do."
SHIFT IT: Shift to thoughts that normalizes the feeling and make you feel strong. "It's normal to feel nervous before a tournament. Everyone feels that way. But I've put in the work and I've been practicing hard. This is an opportunity to see how my game stands up under pressure."
CHOOSE IT: Choose to be courageous. "I'm going to compete as hard as I can. No matter my score, I'm going to commit to every shot."
If you want your game to rise, if you want to stand out from the crowd, FACE your FEELINGS. And if you want some help with that, I'm a 2x Olympian and Mental Toughness Coach. Check out the video I made called Tame Your Feelings. You get lifetime access for only $14.99. It's one of many videos in the Tiger Den. And while you're there, check out my other FREE videos.