What can we learn from the new U.S. Open champion, Brooks Koepka? Here is one important lesson: Go slow when you are under pressure.

If you watched Brooks during the final round of the U.S. Open, he never walked fast. In fact, the TV commentators on a few occasions commented that he was walking slower than usual. How did this help Koepka win the Open? And how can it help you play better under pressure?

We tend to get anxious in competition. When we are anxious, we typically do everything a little faster. We walk faster, talk faster and even think faster. This nervousness also increases the speed of our swing rhythm. This increased speed in our actions is in response to a release of hormones from our brain. When we are anxious, our mind releases such hormones as epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormones act as a stimulant and increase our blood flow, heart rate and countless other changes throughout our body. Walking slower counterbalances this increase in speed so that your game will not be thrown off.

But this principle is not only about golf, but about every sport. When you are nervous, your speed in your game will increase, and as a result, your rhythm and timing will be thrown off.

Copy Brooks Koepka and go slow. You may be slowing down, but you are actually speeding up your success.

By Dr. Gregg Steinberg, USGTF Sports’ Psychologist

(Articles like this can be found in www.TheMentalGameAcademy.com. The Mental Game Academy was created by Dr. Gregg Steinberg, whom Golf Digest ranked as one of the world’s greatest sport psychologists. He has worked with many PGA Tour players, including Brandt Snedeker, Brian Gay and Chris Couch, as well as Vanderbilt men’s golf and the University of Florida’s men’s golf team. Please go to the website for your free mental game e-book, as well as some free videos and articles. The Mental Game Academy is running a special for its online course at half price, $199. To get this special deal, use the promo code iggy199.)
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