MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – She’s one of the best high school golfers in the state and she has a very unorthodox approach.

There might be no game like golf, where a deep breath can make such a difference.

That is not the approach Roseville’s Olivia Salonek takes.

“I don’t know why, but the nerves just like help me,” Salonek says.

Yes, she’s a golfer who loves to get nervous.

“Yeah, like, actually, when I’m nervous, I want to do well, so when I’m nervous, usually it motivates me to do well,” Salonek said. “Like, if I play in a tournament and I’m not nervous, it just doesn’t go as well.”

Last year, the state tournament qualified as playing in a big tournament and Salonek was only a 7th grader.

“I was very, very nervous at state last year,” Salonek said.

Which makes sense because she did really well.

“I can’t explain it. It was probably the most nervous I’ve ever been for a tournament,” Salonek said.

Which actually might explain it because it is possibly the best she’s ever done in a tournament. Salonek finished tied for 16th.

“I definitely surprised myself because I definitely did not think I would do that well, but I was very nervous because it was like a brand-new thing,” Salonek says. “I didn’t know what to expect at all, so I kind of just played it hole by hole and just hoped for the best.”

Now an 8th grader with a full season of high school golf under her belt, the question now is how does she keep playing well as she gets more experience, more comfortable and less nervous?

“Um, I haven’t quite figured that out yet, but I definitely know if I think about it, if I think about where I’m playing and how well I wanna do at the course, it usually makes me a little more nervous,” Salonek said.

So there you go. Break every rule you’ve ever heard about sports psychology, scare yourself silly, get the jitters and stress your way to success.

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