5 min read

Stop Catastrophizing!

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Catastrophizing is a common problem for athletes. It's when we blow things out of proportion and make them seem much worse than they actually are. For example, if we miss a putt, we might think "I'm never going to make another putt again." Or, if we have a bad game, we might think "I'm never going to be good at this sport." These thoughts can lead to anxiety and performance problems.

Tip #1: Recognize when you're catastrophizing.

The first step to stopping catastrophizing is to recognize when you're doing it. Pay attention to your thoughts and notice when you're making things seem worse than they are.

Tip #2: Challenge your catastrophic thoughts.

Once you've recognized that you're catastrophizing, you can challenge your thoughts. Ask yourself if your thoughts are really true. Are you really never going to make another putt? Are you really not good at the sport? Chances are, your answer will be no.

Tip #3: Put things into perspective.

It can also help to put things into perspective. If you miss a putt, remind yourself that it's just one putt and that there are many more holes to play. If you have a bad game, remind yourself that it's just one game and that there are many more games to play.

Tip #4: Focus on the process, not the outcome.

One of the best ways to stop catastrophizing is to focus on the process, not the outcome. When we focus on the outcome, we're more likely to get caught up in our thoughts and worry about what could go wrong. But when we focus on the process—the steps we need to take to achieve our goal—we're more likely to stay calm and focused.

Tip #5: Take action instead of worrying.

Finally, remember that worrying doesn't help—taking action does. So instead of sitting around worrying about what could go wrong, take action to make sure it doesn't go wrong. For example, if you're worried about missing a putt, practice your putting before your round. Or if you're worried about having a bad game, review your game plan before the game starts.


Worrying about catastrophe is common among athletes—but it doesn't have to be! By following these five tips—recognizing when you're catastrophizing, challenging your thoughts, putting things into perspective, focusing on the process, and taking action—you can overcome catastrophic thinking and perform your best under pressure.