The obvious answer is to let go of mistakes and focus on the next shot. Frustration is an emotion that results from failure to achieve what you want. It happens to all golfers because none of us is perfect. The difference between pros and amateurs is that the pros’ reaction time is shorter. By the time pros get to the next shot they are completely focused.
Five ways to deal with the frustration of failure are:
1. Be aware of perfectionist tendencies. Trying to live up to overly perfectionist standards probably stems from a childhood where failure was not tolerated. If you do not demand perfection from yourself, you will experience less frustration, be more flexible and more relaxed.
2. Set realistic goals. When you set high standards that aren’t readily attainable, you will constantly experience failure. It is important to acknowledge that you will hit bad shots. Blaming yourself and feeling badly only increases the chances that you will make even more mistakes because you will be on an emotional roller coaster.
3. Learn from missed shots. The more you replay your missed shots in your mind, the more you deplete your energies to play good shots. Use your missed shots as an opportunity to learn. You cannot change your missed shots, but you can change the thoughts that upset you.
4. Play your percentage shots. Choosing a low percentage shot when there are safer options can result in frustration when you fail to pull off the “miracle shot.” Also, be realistic about the distance you can hit your clubs and don’t expect to hit the maximum distance every time. Playing to the center of the greens will produce lower scores than shooting at the flag every time.
5. Physically release the emotion. When you feel frustration, take a deep breath and visually let go of the shot as you exhale forcibly. Take a practice swing with your club as hard and fast as you can to release the physical tension.
Life or a round of golf is very seldom all good or all bad.
Don’t make your missed golf shots the central theme of your day of golf.
Have the expectation that golf is a fun game to play regardless of the outcomes!
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