Webb Simpson finally gets his first PGA Tour victory at the 2011 Wyndham Championship after posting three second place finishes this year. Coming in to this tournament Webb was 12th on the FedEx points list, 15th in Greens In Regulation and 4th in scoring average. It was only a matter of time before Simpson would figure to break though.
What seemed to finally get Simpson over the top and claim his first tour victory? One element that really stands out was the execution of his routine. This is an area Webb had admittedly felt was a struggle for him late in tournaments. Under pressure, he would back off many shots which ultimately broke his rhythm of play. His rhythm and routine has been traditionally great for three rounds. Now he just had to do a better job of getting in to his shots when the pressure was more intense.
The experience from previous tournaments and being in contention helped tremendously. He learned more and more what he was doing wrong and how his routine was affected. In the end, Simpson became a better competitor by solving this rhythm problem.
Figure out your routine and what works for you. It should be something simple and executed with consistency. A good routine will allow you to focus on your task of execution instead of the outcome of what’s in front of you. The more you practice your routine and become familiar with it, the better prepared you will be for competition.
Knowing your routine, the steps and most importantly the rhythm of your execution will pay big dividends for you during a competitive round. You’ll know right away that pressure is getting to you as soon as your rhythm changes.
Usually one or two things will happen. You’ll get too fast or you’ll get to slow. If getting fast is your problem then anxiety has gotten the best of you. When that anxiety takes over things tend to happen much faster thus a quicker routine which can lead to a faster swing tempo. Take your time and relax. Use a breathing technique to slow down heart rate. Walk slower to your next shot. Smooth out your practice swings to establish a better flow before going to hit the ball.
On the other hand, if you get too slow then most likely you are trying to over execute and get too perfect to pull off a shot. Being too perfect can be a killer when it comes to having good rhythm. Things like over analyzing shots, double and triple checking to make sure you are lined up to your target and resetting multiple times to pull off one shot. These actions will cause you to loose your instincts and feel. It will take you much longer than normal to pull off a shot.
Trust all of your hard work and practice you’ve put in. Also, stay committed to your natural rhythm you have consistently worked on and executed. Doing this will allow you to handle pressure with confidence and help you become a much better competitor.
Sports Psychology/Mental Training from Mental Apex