Coaching athletes for as long as I have, there’s one key technique that is utilized all the time to help people perform better under pressure. Not only now, but long-term development and part of the overall golf mental game performance. And that’s routine. Now, routines are kind of this boring thing of, hey, I’m doing the same thing over and over again. But think about what I just said. Doing the same things over and over again. If you’re very conscious of what those things are, they’re working for you, and you can now count on them when it matters most.
So, a few routines that I want you to kind of start to develop, and think, hmm, am I making the most of it, would be health routines first. You go, health? I thought this was about performance. It is. Your health had to be a priority, and health would be sleeping. Do you have a sleep routine when you go to bed at night? Do you get plenty of restful sleep, so when you wake up you’re ready to go? There’s a routine behind that, right? Am I staring at an iPad screen, or am I reading a book, and calming myself down, and meditating, and getting some restful sleep? So think about your health routines, sleep routines, exercise routines, eating routines, right?
And as a coach, I get into very detailed ideas of what that would look like for you. Well, the next one about performance long term is you have that energy because we have the health, but now we have focus. And in golf, we call it a pre-shot routine, right? I have clarity of where I want to go. I have my target. I’ve looked at the surroundings. I know what my obstacles are, and now I know, for me, the best way to move forward. Well, that’s a pre-shot routine about thinking ahead. Unfortunately, in our environment right now, people are reacting so much that they don’t actually, consciously, say, hey, this is what I want to happen. They’re … oh I gotta take that … So you need to have a pre-performance routine, right? Think before you do. Have clarity of target. Have a clarity of what is in your control that’s gonna move you forward. Understand the obstacles. Do you have strategies to deal with those obstacles? That’s a pre-performance routine.
One of the last ones is actually a post-performance routine, key to effective golf mental game. Yeah, it’s already happened. But are you learning from your results? A lot of people aren’t, and they’re making the same mistakes over and over again, they’re blaming other people and other circumstances, and other environments, instead of taking a step back and going, hmm, what just happened, there? Was that the result that I wanted? What was under my control? How did I show up? What could I do next time that’s gonna help me prepare better? Oh, I didn’t think about that thing that could’ve popped up. Boom, I’m gonna do that. A post-performance routine takes control back for you to know what I now need to work on? Athletes do this all the time.
In business, I think it happens way too late, after the quarter, or after the annual report, we go, oh … no, no, no, no, that’s too late. If you give a sales presentation and you don’t get the results you want, immediately you better be able to evaluate that. Again, evaluate what was in your control, your focus, your presence, your composure, and think about what could I do now in the future in my pre-performance routine to help you become ready.
Now, these are just a few routines. There’s health routines, performance routines, post-performance routines, but think about routines as developing habits, right, that you want to repeat no matter the situation. Because routines are used when we start to feel pressure and stress because we now have something to go to. We’re not just reacting to our environment. When you start to utilize routines you can not only perform for success now, but in the future.