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How do I put a pre-performance routine together?

There is no perfect, right or ideal pre-performance routine. However there are some elements that constitute a better pre-performance routine:

  • It should begin with some cue that signals the athlete to begin.
  • An athlete might engage in a short imagery session where they imagine themselves doing the task.
  • At the completion of that short imagery session athletes should focus on the positive feeling of having performed well, as this is a useful positive self-reinforcement tool.
  • The athlete should have a checklist of activities to perform during the pre-performance routine similar to packing for a trip, for the purpose of helping the athlete to focus their attention on the task at hand
  • As athletes complete a checklist, attention should be focused fully on the appropriate cues for performing. This routine is individualized and depends on the athlete and the sport. It may take as little as 15 or 30 seconds or as long as five or 10 minutes.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.