Almost everything we do contains a routine… How we wake up in the morning, go to work, eat our food, and even shave. We have become so routine that we are not even aware of it, hence routine. We implement these daily routines, because they make us comfortable and allow us to tune out our focus. However, we do recognize when we get out of our routine because we begin to think more and may even become anxious or nervous.
These daily routines don’t really matter too much though unless we are OCD. Although, they make ALL the difference in our performance. Performances could go wrong and routines make us comfortable during these pressure situations. Presentations, Surgery, Try-outs, Auditions, Competitions, Sales, Golfing, Free-throws, Bowling, Darts, Race-car driving to rattle off a few.
Unbelievably though, our performance routines have not become routine. We practice the skill way more than the execution of the routine. This is why under pressure, we don’t focus on the right things, become anxious, get nervous, or choke. Our routines have not become routine. There are a lot of variables in our performance, and since our routines are 100% under our control, the main variable is YOU! Routines need to be perfect in all areas of our performance.
Our research in Applied Sport Psychology showed that routines need to be individualized. The timing doesn’t matter much with an individuals routine, what matters is the behaviors, the patterns, and how deliberate someone is. If people varied from their actions, performance would decline.
Here are an examples of PERFECT ROUTINE by Jason Calliste of Oregon basketball. During two rounds of the NCAA tournament, he only shot 22/23 from the free-throw line…
Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology coach. DRB & Associates based in Indianapolis works with athletes, coaches, and teams building their Mental Toughness. His 2nd book titled The Hinge: The Importance of Mental Toughness was recently released. Follow on twitter @drrobbell or contact firstname.lastname@example.org