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Hi Team Titleist. I am going to try out for my high school golf team. I know I can make it, but I get nervous when I play with people I don't know. Because of that my game can go bad. Is there any way to help get over these nerves?
I played on my high school team as well (a long time ago :)). What I used to do is on the practice green or range, I would talk to fellow players just to get comfortable with them and get a feel for who likes to talk and who doesn't. Once on the first tee, I shake hands with my fellow competitor and say good luck ... then get into the zone! Block out everyone and become one with yourself and the course. Remember, its you against the course ... you can only control what YOU do, not what they do. So don't let them get to you. Don't worry, if you don't want to talk to them, you don't have to. It's not rude if you just want to have small talk and thats it. If you are confident about your game, let your game do the talking for you. They will learn to back off and not pester you if they know they have to concentrate more on their game to beat you. They couldn't possibly be beaten by an incoming freshman .. no way!
Bottom line is ... block them out and concentrate on your game! Just think of it as your going to play with a few people you met on the course ... you don't know them from Adam but you can still play with them. Its you against the course .... stop and enjoy the outdoors, the weather, the birds ... anything! And the nerves will go away, I can promise you.
Enjoy it and I am sure you will make the team. Be determined and it will happen. When you do, you won't regret it!
Another thing to try it to while you are practicing envision yourself on the first hole of your try out round. Try to recreate the nerves and deal with it while you are by yourself on the practice range. Play the whole round during your practice sessions(Each shot of the 18 holes). once off the driving range do the same thing on the putting greens. Imagine the pressure on your putts. As you are lining up a twelve footer, for instance , imagine this it the putt you need to make to make the team. If you do this each time you practice by the time you get to the first tee you will own the moment because you have dealt with it many many times before. You will also be very confident because you have succeeded many times before while practicing. Good Luck on making the team. Just relax and play your game.
Can't say it any better then Chris did. I too had the same feeling my freshmen year in high school. But those nerves quickly went away after the first couple of matches that I played. Just play your own game and don't worry about what their scores are and remember, you are playing on a team and not just for yourself. Best of luck to You in your High School career and I truly hope you finish your career like I did, Team MVP. What a feeling it was to receive that reward in front of everyone. 31 years later, I still have it.
Chris above said it perfectly...
I also played on my high school golf team and I had a problem with my folks watching believe it or not. I could shoot fairly well just going to matches, whenever my folks were able to show up, I was trying so hard to impress them my game suffered.
Be yourself, find out what you have to do to block out your surroundings and concentrate on your game. Might be as easy as finding a tune to get stuck in your head, sunflower seeds or a blowing bubbles with your favorite gum. I just relax take a deep breath and smile before I hit these days, works for me. Find out what works for you! Good luck and keep em in the fairway!