Pre-shot routines are important, but in professional golf they are mandatory. You can use the pre-shot routine to help with nerves, calm you down after a bad shot, or keep a good round going. Many top players and amateurs alike have a pre-shot putting routine. They look at the putt from a few different angles, take a few practice strokes, and then stare at the hole and pull the trigger. After working with Dave Stockton, Rory McIlroy started a new routine with no practice strokes. Say what?! How could one of the top players in the world not take practice strokes? In Stockton’s camp, they believe that if you are a good-enough athlete, then you should be able to toss a ball to someone 20 feet away without a practice motion. To his point, in most sports you don’t have a chance to take a practice or rehearsal motion. A football quarterback doesn’t stop the play to take a practice throw, nor does a major league pitcher take a few practice windups prior to the pitch. These athletes look and react, plain and simple. By embracing this philosophy, you take the “thinking” out of the action and rely on your natural athleticism. Rory has now made his pre-shot putting routine simpler, just look and react. Could your students make their routine simpler? If they are struggling with too many thoughts, or too long of a process, possibly have them try Rory’s routine: look and react.
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