1. Focus on your opponent
A key strategy to mentally prepare for matchplay is to focus on your opponent, rather than on yourself. This may seem counterintuitive, but by focusing on your opponent, you can better understand their strengths and weaknesses and use that information to your advantage. For example, if your opponent is known for being a strong putter, you may want to focus on hitting your approach shots closer to the hole in order to put pressure on them to make putts.
2. Maintain a positive attitude
Another important aspect of mental preparation for matchplay is maintaining a positive attitude. Golf is a game that can be mentally draining, especially in a matchplay setting. It is easy to get down on yourself if things are not going well, but it is important to remember that one bad hole or shot does not define your round. By maintaining a positive attitude, you can stay focused on the task at hand and not let a bad hole or shot affect your performance.
3. Set realistic goals
Maintain a positive attitude by setting realistic goals for yourself. For example, instead of focusing on winning the match, focus on hitting a certain number of fairways or greens. By setting small, achievable goals, you can stay motivated and focused throughout the round.
4. Stay present
Focus on the present moment, there is no better way to do that than with a pre-shot routine. A pre-shot routine is a set of steps that you take before hitting a shot. By having a pre-shot routine, you can better focus on the task at hand and not let outside distractions affect your performance. For example, your pre-shot routine may include taking a deep breath, aligning your body to the target, and visualizing the shot.