Managing Adrenaline in Golf

Do you ever notice when you are over a shot and your heart is pounding out of your chest that you often hit a poor shot?  Here is some of the science behind the meltdowns and how to prevent them.

In many sports, such as football, athletes perform better with high levels of adrenaline.  Their muscles move faster, their reaction time is quicker and their bodies respond instinctively to particular situations.  The game is played quickly.  In golf, the opposite circumstances apply.  The ball is not moving, the hole is stationary and we have lots of time between shots to think about our next move.  However, we still may experience the same adrenaline rush as world class athletes in a fast moving sport.

So what can we do to manage our adrenaline levels in golf?  Science tells us that adrenaline is measured by our heart rate.  If the heart rate is over 120bpm we loose fine motor skill coordination and decision making ability.  (Yikes! Not good for a delicate chip shot).  Deep, diaphragmatic breathing is the quickest way to lower the heart rate and return adrenaline to it’s manageable levels.  Try practicing a deep breath in your pre-shot routine.  Take the inhale deep into the lower lungs.  Then allow the exhale to be longer than the inhale.

Include deep breathing before every shot to maintain full access to your golf skills and to play your best golf in every pressure packed situation.

Dodie teaches golf in Scottsdale, AZ and Santa Cruz, CA.


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