The end of March of course means that the Masters at Augusta National is just around the corner, it also means that North of the border golf must be one or two months away in Canada!!!!! Needless to say it is a great opportunity to talk about golf as many of us start look at building our game for the 2014 season.

One of the most important aspects that I would like to discuss is the pre performance routine and give some insight into developing this aspect and maintaining it, probably too many amateurs do not have a solidified routine that they can control on every shot.

Firstly what I like to discuss with individuals is an honest self-awareness of what aspect in their golf game is inconsistent as it relates to their efficiency. If we take a look at six performance indicators (fear of failure, relaxed, emotional control, focus, confidence, and consciousness) we can establish efficiency and build our pre performance routine. For example let’s say player A ratings (out of 10) are as follows:

Fear of Failure: 6
Relaxation: 7
Emotional Control: 9
Focus: 8
Confidence: 8
Consciousness: 9

These ratings give us a self-assessment of strengths and weaknesses. Moving forward and keeping in mind we may not be able to solve all inconsistencies we can start building their pre performance routine. Emotional control and consciousness is high, fear of failure and relaxations are the lowest. We can also bump up the focus and confidence. Therefore key constructs in their pre performance routine would be as follows:

1. 5 Second visualization of successful shot (to combat fear of failure)

2. 10 second deep breathing (to aid in “feeling loose”)

3. These first two step should vicariously increase focus on the present
moment and confidence to complete the task.

Keep in mind when establishing a pre-performance routine I ask individuals to incorporate the routine in their practice sessions as well (this seems to be the most difficult and requires a certain conscious effort).

Not one routine works for all individuals, we are all different and battle different inconsistencies. There are many routes to go in pre performance planning for each individual but the ultimate goal is to provide a structured plan to provide the necessary mental skills to excel. Pre performance routines have a purpose, they are a great example of a controllable vs uncontrollabe, when we have control it aids in our overall confidence.

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