Open alchemist: Speith turns pressure to his advantage

We can learn a lot from 21-year-old Jordan Spieth as he considered the pressure he’d face today  in trying to make history and win Open Championship for his third straight major this season.

After his third round left him one back of the lead, Spieth showed in his post-round comments that he welcomes the enormous pressure and that, in fact, he uses it as fuel.

“I don’t look at it as a negative thing, I look at it almost as an advantage. Why should it add more pressure in a negative way? If it adds more pressure, it just makes me feel like this is something that’s a little more special… when you say added pressure, most people associate that with negativity or something that can hinder what’s comfortable. For me, I think it could be advantageous. You hit the ball a little bit further, you can really get your mind around a more specific target and block out other things.”

Golf Digest’s Shane Ryan, one of the more perceptive golf writers today, captured it nicely: “It’s an unbelievable bit of psychological alchemy. How do you do that? How do you take every obstacle that comes your way and view it not as a detriment, but as another weapon in your arsenal?

“…. everything he encounters is subsumed in his expanding field of light. He’s the architect of his own halo. If you’re any other golfer, how the hell do you beat a guy like that?

And if you’re looking for ways to handle pressure on the course and in your own life, consider how Spieth uses the increased energy, adrenalin and focus to enhance his performance rather than worry how it may sabotage him.

With every performance, we are learning that Spieth is an exceptionally bright and centered young man who is blessed with wisdom and perspective beyond his years.




About Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor is a golf coach, an award-winning writer, and speaker. Tim takes a holistic approach, coaching golfers in the physical and mental aspects of golf. He co-hosts the Swing Thoughts podcast with Howard Glassman, and is the author of The Feeling of Greatness: The Moe Norman Story. He plays bass in CID—a Guelph punk band!