Concentrate During Your Preshot Routine
Do you lose focus during your preshot routine–for no apparent reason as if you are “going through the motions”?
I’ve written a lot about the importance of focusing on the right stuff while playing golf–especially during your preshot routine.
I’m sure you can think of times when you stood over a putt and were overwhelmed by a rush of distracting thoughts, “Don’t pull this one,” “I choked last tournament when I needed to sink a putt” or “If I miss this putt, I will lose my lead.”
You could feel your heart pounding and sweat poured from your skin…
You tried to focus on execution, but you could feel the tension build in your shoulders and you ended up pulling the putt anyway.
This happens to a lot of golfers I’ve worked with over the last 25 years.
Let’s talk focus and the elements of good concentration…
Attention or focus is an important element to your preshot routine.
Focusing in golf (especially putting) is unique and unlike most other sports because there are three distinct attentional requirements…
In putting, the ball is stationary until you stroke it, you have a plan for the putt, and you must have a target to hit to.
Kevin M. Fisher and Jennifer L Etnier studied different levels of focus in their research, “Examining the Time Course of Attention During Golf Putts Of Two Different Lengths in Experienced Golfers (Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 2014).”
They concluded that a task that is high in difficulty, such as long putts, requires greater attentional demand when compared with a task that is low in task difficulty, such as a short putt. (Of course unless you have the yips).
Fisher and Etnier state that, due to the lengthy amount of time between shots, golfers can benefit from having strategies to focus and refocus their attention, especially after a long pause or a poor shot.
Try these tips to optimally utilize your focus while golfing:
- Tip #1: Recognize when you are distracted or find yourself going through the motions during your preshot routine. Then restart your routine or refocus.
- Tip #2: When it comes to focus, less if better when you trigger your stroke. Be mindful not to overload yourself with verbal commands or instructions. Use one image to trigger your stroke, such as line or pace.
Stop yourself and refocus when you are not mentally ready to hit a good putt–that’s the advantage you have in golf.
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