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Thursday, May 7, 2015

THE VALUE OF HAVING A ROUTINE

The following comes from "The Compound Effect" written by Darren Hardy and reminds me of the importance routines in sports.  Whether it's a free throw shooter, a batter stepping into the batter's box or kicker lining up for a field goal attempt, the best take what they do seriously enough to leave nothing chance:

Golfer Jack Nicklaus was famous for his pre-shot routine. He was religious about the “dance” he would do before every shot, a series of routine mental and physical steps that got him fully focused and ready for the shot. Jack would start out between the ball and the target. As he walked around and approached the ball, the first thing he would do is line up his clubface to his intermediate target. He wouldn’t put his feet into position until he felt he had his clubface properly squared up. Then he would take his stance. From there, he would waggle the club and look out to his target, then back to his intermediate target and back to the golf club, with a repeat of the view. Then, and only then, would he strike the ball.
During one of the important Majors, a psychologist times Nicklaus from the moment he pulled the club out of the bag until the moment he hit the ball, and guess what? In each shot, from the first tee to the eighteenth green, the timing of Jack’s routine supposedly never varied more than one second. That is amazing! The same psychologist measured Greg Norman during his unfortunate collapse at the 1996 Masters. Lo and behold, his pre-shot routine got faster and faster as the round progressed. Varying his routine stunted his rhythm and consistency; he was never able to catch momentum. The moment Norman changed his routine, his performance became unpredictable and his results erratic.