Normally I’m a pretty chill and laid back dude but this year, especially in the fall, I experienced more stress than I ever had in my life. Not just from the rigors of playing in a lot of golf tournaments but also from school and everything else I had going on. It was overwhelming at times. The spring season was a walk in the park compared to the fall because I learned how to deal with this stress. I’m not going to lie the tournaments are still very intense and stressful but I learned how to manage it a lot better.
Here are some tips that really helped me when I was feeling stressed and overwhelmed:
1. Find an activity or hobby that helps you take your mind off of everything else. My suggestion, find a good book!
Early this spring I was getting really down on myself because I was playing so poorly. I think it was because I was thinking about the tournament non-stop while we were on the road. I would build it up so much in my mind and I wanted to play well so badly that I would psych myself out. Well right about the same time The Hunger Games movie came out we had a tournament down in Louisiana. I decided to read the first Hunger Games book on the trip even though I had read like one other book in the last year. I read it the whole flight down there and every night after we played our tournament rounds. I finished the book on the trip and I ended up having my best tournament of the spring that week. I got lost in the book and as a result I wasn’t as stressed out about the tournament. I still haven’t seen the movie yet though….
2. Remind yourself how lucky you are.
I have really realized over the last year how lucky I am to go to such an amazing university like the University of Michigan and also play golf here. There are thousands of kids who would give anything to come to such a great university. When I don’t have the motivation to study or practice I try to remind myself how many other kids would love to be in my position.
3. Find a study buddy or someone you can vent to
For me it’s always good to talk to someone when you’re feeling stressed because in reality it’s all going work out, it always does. Luckily, I have a great coach, mom, and girlfriend who I could talk to when things got crazy. It’s just always nice to hear reassurance from other people.
4. Take a deep breath and chill!
Sometimes when I’m on the course and playing terrible, I just take a deep breathe and take in my surroundings. I tell myself it’s just a game and in the end how I play one round doesn’t matter at all. When you’re freaking out about an exam or something just take a deep breath and realize it’s all good!
5. Make a schedule
I’ve already talked about this but I can’t stress (pun intended) how important it is to manage your time, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
6. Have a drink for Pete’s sake!
After a long day nothing tastes and eases the tension better than a cold beer or nice glass of wine.