The Americans led the competition 10-4 going into the final day before their opponents completed a remarkable comeback to defend their crown.
The Spaniard feels that the growing pressure on the USA got to them and that they couldn't finish the job.
"For us, I told the boys 'just go out there and play your best and we have nothing to lose'. It is a different approach and I think that might have been a difference coming down the stretch," said the 46-year-old.
"All of a sudden the United States team, from pretty much thinking the trophy was in their pocket, they found themselves thinking 'we have to win this match, we have to win this match' and that is different."
Olazabal has now won four Ryder Cup titles.