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I want to delve into a topic that resonates with many of us: handling frustration when things in sport aren’t going your way. Frustration can be a formidable opponent, capable of undermining our confidence and progress. However, it’s important to remember that even the most accomplished athletes face moments of adversity. 

So, I’m going to share a personal story with you, my own recent experience with frustration in the sport we all love to hate: golf.

Recently, I went to the driving range to work on my shot, get outside, and blow off some steam. Despite making significant progress on the course in previous outings and feeling the joy of the game, my visit to the driving range left me bewildered. Nothing seemed to work, and my swings became increasingly erratic.

Frustrated and determined to regain my form, I relied on various mental skills tools that had helped me in the past. I stepped back and watched a video of myself in an effort to find where the breakdown was. I took some deep breaths to center myself and reset. However, despite my efforts, each swing seemed to bring me further from my desired outcome. As I reflect on that experience, I realize that frustration had clouded my focus and left me going through the motions without true engagement. I also realized I lost sight of why I was there in the first place; to simply work on my swing and enjoy the nice weather.

Finding Clarity in the Midst of Frustration

In moments like these, it’s crucial to step back and reassess our approach. Instead of fixating solely on the technical aspects of our performance, it becomes important to reconnect with our passion and regain our mental clarity. Here are a few strategies that can help in such situations:

  1. Embrace the learning opportunity: Frustration can provide valuable insights into our strengths and weaknesses. Embrace it as an opportunity to analyze your game objectively and identify areas for improvement.
  2. Take a mental break: Sometimes, the best way to overcome frustration is to take a step back and give yourself some space. Engage in activities outside of your sport to recharge your mind and regain perspective.
  3. Reframe your mindset: Instead of dwelling on the negative aspects of your performance, reframe your mindset to focus on the process rather than the outcome. Celebrate small victories and find joy in the journey.
  4. Seek support: Reach out to your support system, whether it’s your coach, teammates, or mentors. They can provide guidance, encouragement, and fresh perspectives that may help you navigate through frustrating times.
  5. Focus on the process: If you’re finding it hard to let go of feelings of anger or frustration, it’s likely because you’re stuck on the outcome you want, or rather, the outcome you’re failing to achieve. The details that lead to success are in the process, not the outcome. Let go of the outcome and return your focus to the process.

Remember, frustration is a part of the journey towards excellence. It’s how we respond to these challenges that truly defines our character and fuels our growth. By embracing the lessons hidden within frustration, we can emerge stronger and more determined than ever before.


Lauren Williams | High-Performance Coach 

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