How to Improve Concentration in Your Pre-Shot Routine

By Dr. Richard Coop

Pre-Shot Routine

There are three important aspects of any pre-shot routine. One is a good cleansing breath, another is to have an intermediate target to hit the ball over and the third one is to have a trigger or signal mechanism to come into focus before every shot. The tour players use a lot of different triggers or signals, they might open and close the Velcro on their gloves, they might twirl the club or thump the club on the ground, and they might hit their toe with the club, pull on their shirt or pull their pant leg up. Whatever the signal is once they do that they are coming totally into focus. They are setting themselves up to be totally in concentration when they hit their golf shot.

The Importance of Setting a Trigger

The signal usually comes after you get your intermediate target and it puts you in motion like you are signaling a rocket booster. 10, nine, eight…. You are getting ready to go, you are changing from being a chess master and making strategic decisions about club selection or other types of strategies and opportunities. You are going to be a natural athlete from the time you give your signal.

Clear Your Mind

The signal switches you over from being a chess master to being a athletic swinger of the golf club. So once you give your signal if anything happens to interrupt your flow you should go back and re-signal yourself back into focus so that you can go 10, nine, eight and go right off with that rocket and move right into your shot. By having this trigger or signal mechanism you increase the probability that you are totally concentrating on every golf shot. If you can do that your scores will come down almost immediately.


Category: Pre-Shot Routine
Sub Categories: Course Strategy, Psychology

About the Instructor

Dr. Richard Coop
Dr. Richard Coop
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Education
CB 3500 Peabody Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3500
Dr. Richard Coop is a mental instructor to countless PGA Tour professionals, including Payne Stewart, Ben Crenshaw, Mark O'Meara, and Nick Faldo. He is also the author of The New Golf Mind and Mind Over Golf.