I don’t mean to sound sexist here. Rather, I’m talking about facts. I have always noticed that female golfers have more trouble with self-belief in terms of trusting their alignment or their reads of the putting green. Women golfers also seem to suffer more from tournament pressure.
I have in the past concluded that this was somehow one result of our evolutionary development; that the female brain is not as adapted to “fight to win” as is that of a man. This I still think is almost certainly true. The male and female brain are different in not so subtle ways as a result of which traits proved to be the most adaptive depending upon the gender specific roles that individuals of necessity played.
The female golfers brain does not naturally have quite the same “killer instinct” as that of the male golfer due to these evolutionary influences. In addition to this, the different ways in which the female brain and the male brain respond to anxiety triggers also has a major impact upon the way in which we play golf and perform in tournaments.
Medical research has shown that women are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety and that they have far more stress triggers than do men. This is a fact. As I say, I’m not being sexist; it’s how it is. Women appear to have on average four times more anxiety triggers than men.
Whenever one of these triggers is encountered the brain automatically responds with the symptoms of anxiety and fear. Research shows that females are not as able to suppress these feelings of anxiety as are men.
Thus women have more anxiety triggers than men and they are less able to suppress these feelings than are men. We play golf from the platform us ourselves as individuals and the ways in which our brains are wired will inevitably influence our golf.
The way in which our female brains have adapted their behavior to deal with anxiety therefore has to be taken into account by the golfer. If you as a female golfer know that you get a little anxious in certain situations it is imperative to your golfing success that you do something about it.
You can learn ways in which to suppress these anxiety triggers. The male brain has evolved to do this more naturally. But women can learn to do this too, with a little bit of effort. Just because the female brain is hard-wired to respond in a particular way does not mean that you cannot adapt your instinctive behavior to suit your golfing needs.
You are no doubt familiar with the old nature versus nurture argument. How we live our lives is not dependent upon one at the cost of the other. Both nature and nurture interact to make us who we are. Our female brains are naturally hard wired to be more anxious than our male counterparts, but we can nurture them so that they adapt to become “of sterner stuff” upon the golf course.
You will also no doubt have heard that most professional golfers (both male and female) agree that 90% of good golf is played in your mind. It seems obvious to me that if male golfers recognize the importance of working upon their golf mind, then women golfers should be doubly aware of this necessity. We female golfers have to learn to use our minds to control our anxiety and focus upon what is important in golf.
Roseanna Leaton, avid golfer and specialist in golf hypnosis mp3s and author of the GolferWithin golf mind training system.
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