Pre - shot flow routine

In golf the purpose of flow alignment is to ignore the score, move away from over-thinking shots, disengage pre-frontal cortex and get into the subconscious embodied processing as much as possible. The purpose of pre-shot routine is to automate the process and help you achieve the best rhythm.

To develop an effective routine, you must do the same thing every single time. Furthermore, you must do the same thing at the same rhythm every time. Automating your actions and rhythm increases your ability to get into flow.

Golf pre - shot routine (Developing a ritual)

Every golf shot includes the following sequence:
1. Shot selection
2. Addressing the ball
3. Fearless, decisive swing at precise target
4. Accepting results

1. Shot selection
A great preshot routine starts with standing behind the ball and seeing the shot that you want to make. Visualize the shot. Of outmost important is to be perfectly clear about the shot that you want to hit. Make one slow inhale through nose and long soft exhale through relaxed pursed lips. Relax ... lock your eyes on the target and see yourself making the shot. Then proceed to address the ball (see tutorial on Flow PLB breathing technique).


2. Addressing the ball
Your pre-shot routine is important, because it buffers you from the fluctuation and randomness of changing situations. The good routine fosters the quiet mind that is essential for generating flow.

While properly assuming position, there is a now a moment in which most of the mental part of the game takes place ... a state of mind in which you are taking the golf shot.

The purpose of flow alignment triggers & rituals is to put you into the right state of mind, a mind devoid of inner chatter, reducing the information by taking yourself into deep embodiment, where your subconscious super speed processing takes over.

As golf swing is an extremely fast and balistic action, we don’t have time to control it with our mind, since it is too slow, too ridled with information and to imprecise ... we are unable to rationaly comprehend the complexity of the swing and synthesize it into an action as a whole. It is just too much for the mind, so the mind must let go. Let it go and be one with the situation you are in, perfectly immersed into what is in front of you.

Here lies a perfect opportunity to couple Flow recall trigger with a pre-shot routine in order to quickly access the trained flow state response you have been practicing with other triggers. Moment before shot and the golf swing itself must be understood as a place of perfect calm, peace and trust, a safe setting that you need to create within your mind that will give you the ability to go through every golf shot fearlessly and without a shred of doubt.

It is in its essence a trained conditioned response. The flow recall trigger becomes a tool for self empowerment and one of the fundamental tools of flow. Once we are able to create a strong flow recall trigger, we are able to recall the flow when we want to and when we need to.

While you are standing over the ball allow yourself to drift into the calm, peaceful and patient general inner feeling that you feel with your whole body ... the flow feeling you can recall on demand. Use the flow recall trigger that guides you into deep feeeling of trusting light within your chest. This will in effect loosen up your whole body, making it fluid enough to produce a fluid swing.

A gradual withdrawal of conscious, particularly verbal thoughts about the golf swing now occurs as you slide into flow. Let it last for a few moments (any length you wish), so you feel you are in the right frame of mind & body. Consider it as a feeling of trust, focus & enjoyment. You are there now, ready to hit the shot in your optimal state.

3. Fearless / decisive swing
Then you need to be decisive about the swing itself. Going into a shot being indecisive, creates mental clutter and prevents you from hitting a good shot. You must be decisive about the shot you want to hit.

After you are aligned to flow, you should be on autopilot from here on. Give the same number of looks and make a commited, fearless swing to the target.

4. Accepting results
After the shot is over, accept the outcome and prepare the most important shot in any round of golf, THE NEXT ONE. Appreciate each hit and set out to improve. Avoid being hard on yourself and trust your efforts and the process.

What are the first words out of your mouth when you hit a bad shot? You probably can’t repeat those phrases around a younger audience if you are anything like the average golfer- but what does swearing, cursing or yelling really accomplish? Do you ever hit a better shot after saying something like, “Man! I couldn’t even buy a good shot today”?

Our subconscious minds are extremely good at picking up data from the environment around us. If you and your golf partners are constantly talking about how bad you are playing…guess what? Your body will listen to your subconscious mind and continue to make that bad play a reality.

Negative self talk doesn’t help your game, or the game of others around you. When you find yourself referencing your game or skills in a pessimistic tone, outloud or internally, stop yourself and try to rephrase your messaging. Instead of, “Wow, what a horrible shot” try, “That’s alright, next shot is mine.”

For helping you achieve acceptance of results, revert to cognitive mindset triggers that will guide you to more fluid perception of any situation, specially non-perfect shots.