Friday 13 April 2012

Pre Shot Routine Tip

Pre Shot Routine Advice 

Over the last ten years we have all seen more and more of Golf Psychology in golf magazines, on tv and used in and around the sport at all levels.

We all want to be more consistent, but this is not only about your swing but also about how well you think and how confident you are are executing your game on the golf course and in competitions.

One of the biggest elements of the "mind game" is the role of the Pre Shot Routine, what does this mean? how do I create one? How will it help me?  these are all great questions and below I hope to help answer them with some logic that I worked hard on whilst playing tournament golf and now pass on to my clients.  I have also added a video of myself following my personal routine:

What is a Pre Shot Routine?  How will it help me?

Your shield from pressure, your comfort blanket. Your pre-shot routine helps you to deal with difficult situations and allows you to play on auto-pilot. As the name suggests it is a routine and by definition that is something that you do consistently.

So you need to create a pre-shot routine that is efficient, effective and easily repeated.

You'll notice that when you watch the pros on TV each pro has certain mannerisms that they go through before each shot, and typically they perform these mannerisms identically for each shot. They are going through their pre-shot routine. 

I believe that we should have two mindsets for golf, one that is a "Trusting" and one that is a "Training" mindset, why two?  simple, we need to have a mindset for technical areas of the game, this can apply to drills, lessons and practice sessions and also one for the golf course/target practice.

Training Mindset - When we work on our games we have to be consciously thinking about mechanics, we are learning and attempting to recreate these new these times we cannot also be focusing on the result i.e the shot.  Our sole purpose here is to develop and reinforce.

Trusting Mindset - We have to practice aiming at targets and learn to trust our mechanics, easier said than done for sure but there's  no place for thinking about "how will I make a swing that will get the ball there" it has to be more instinctive, "look and react a little more".  Pick a precise target and give up trying to control the ball there, learn to trust your mechanics more, of course this doesn't mean you will hit it perfect all the time but you will become more and more committed to every shot and far less tentative.

Think about a scenario where someone is walking around you in a circle (about 10 feet away) and you are holding a ball, imagine throwing them the ball gently...I would suggest that most of the time you would manage to throw the ball successfully for the other person to catch it.  Now imagine the same scenario but this time you have to think about all the specific movements involved in throwing the ball, judging the distance and direction, sounds difficult doesn't it? Yet in the first scenario we didn't think about the "how" we "just did it".  This can definitely be applied to your game.

How do I create one?

This is the fun bit!
A routine is to simply following a sequence of events time and time again, it can allow you to focus more exclusively on the shot at hand. Why? Because executing a pre-shot routine requires the focus of conscious attention on relevant tasks, thereby eliminating or at least reducing any extra time to attend to irrelevant or unwanted things.

You will need to think about a routine that best suits you as a person, for example if you are a very fast golf and personality then your routine should match this rhythm alternatively you may be a slow paced golfer/person, if so then you should consider a more methodical based routine.  What is your speed? Fast, Slow or Medium.

I hope you have found this useful, as you can see in the above video, I have a routine that I follow on all shots and it is part of my game permanently.

Explore designing a routine for your game, if you would like some help on this then you can contact me directly to discuss

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The North London Golf Academy
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Some great references for the "Mind Game"

Bob Rotella - Multiple titles inc "golf is not a game of perfect" & "golf is a game of confidence"

Dr Parent "ZEN GOLF: Mastering the Mental Game"

Tim Gallwey "The Inner Game of Golf"

Karl Morris - The Mind Factor

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