Take a Cleansing Breath
The three most important psychological elements of a pre-shot routine are having a trigger or signal mechanism to go into focus, finding and establishing an intermediate target on the ball flight line to your target and a good cleansing breath. The cleansing breath should be a diaphragmatic breath from deep within your diaphragm and not from your chest muscles. You should breathe in through your nose and exhale slowly from your mouth as you extend your diaphragm.
When to Take Your Breath
There are three logical places to get the cleansing breath during the pre-shot routine:
- One of these is behind the ball as you are lining up and establishing your intermediate target.
- You can also get one as you walk up to the ball.
- Or if you possibly can, it is best to get the cleansing breath just before you put your club in motion.
It is almost like free throw shooters in basketball. They dribble the ball, set it up towards their chest and then take their cleansing breath right before they shoot. So one of the things that you want to do is establish your cleansing breath as close to putting your club in motion as you possibly can. For some people that disrupts the flow of their total pre-shot routine so they get their cleansing breath walking up to the ball. If that does not work for you then get it while you are standing behind the ball. Keep practicing this, trying to find the place closest to when you put the club in motion that you can to get your cleansing breath. If you do this consistently then you will get rid of tension and if you rid your body of tension you will certainly improve the quality of golf shots you are able to hit.