In Sports Psychology, mental arousal relates to an athlete’s excitement levels (ranging from very calm and quiet through to very excitable and pumped up).
You might expect a golfer to perform better if he or she is very calm and very relaxed during their entire round. But that’s not necessarily the case…
Being too laid back can lead to lethargy and indifference – making it a struggle to really commit to full shots.
There are some simple techniques you can use to alter your level of mental arousal out on the golf course. They will help you get pumped up enough to hit booming drives off the tee and calm enough to sink those testing 3 footers.
Mental Arousal Video Summary
- Arousal is often sport specific: an American football player will typically have high levels of arousal or excitement to engage in a high-energy, explosive sport. A target shooter has a much lower level of arousal, as their sport demands a low heart beat and breathing pattern, which promotes a more passive, focused frame of mind.
- Golf is unique in that it combines both explosive activities and calmer, more focused activities. As a golfer you’ll benefit from higher arousal levels when hitting a drive as you physically explode through the ball. During a putt however, especially on a fast green, you need to be relaxed, with gentle and controlled motions.
- It’s important to consciously control your level of arousal when you’re out on the golf course. For example, you can move more quickly with more exaggerated motions on the tee. You’ll see some professionals, rip off their driver’s head cover aggressively or smack the clubhead into the ground a few times.
- On the putting green, deliberately move more slowly – almost stalk the putt taking your time. Consciously slow your breathing down. When you’re stood with your head down over your putt, move your head slowly as you turn to look back and forth at the hole.