The Effects of Anxiety in Sport

By Teresa Justine Kelly

Tension and anxiety play a big role in the outcome of your golf swing. If you experience any tension before you step up to the first tee, you will find your swing will be too fast, resulting in an errant shot.


Tension, anxiety and uncertainty will influence your tempo in your swing. Release all tension from your mind by taking deep breaths. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.


A positive attitude, deep breathing and good warm-up exercises will contribute to a solid shot. Warm-up exercises such as stretching from side to side and warming up the body can help relieve you of any tension or stress.


Consider only the task at hand. Focus on where you want your ball to land. Consider the layout of the hole, the wind direction, pick your primary and intermediate targets, and envision your line of flight.


If time constraints preclude you from going to the driving range before your round, spend the few minutes before your game in warm-up exercises to help release any tension.


Tension and anxiety can creep up throughout your game. If you find your swing pace is too fast, try deep breathing again. Commit to swinging the club at 50 percent for several shots until your rhythm, timing and tempo return.


Tension can result in a grip that is too tight. If you are unsure of the amount of pressure on your grip, squeeze the handle tightly, then release to a lighter grip. You want just enough pressure in your grip to hold the club without it slipping through your hands.

About The Author

Teresa Kelly graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. She was an editor for seven years for several magazines and publishing houses. Kelly is an avid golfer, a well-known children's book and golf author, and is currently the president of Highview Press/Golfing Lady that produces all occasion golf greeting cards.


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