Your pre-round preparation acts as a bridge from 1. training mode to 2. competition mode.

  1. Training mode: Increase overall skill and the pursuit of perfect movements
  2. Competition mode: Assess a situation → Analyze the situation → See what you want to do → See target and execute

How sturdy is your bridge?

3 steps to building your routine:

  1. Understand the overall purpose of pre-round preparation
    1. Warm up the body and get ready for the day.
      1. Give yourself time to stretch, eat, and hydrate to feel physically ready to perform.
    2. Create a mindset of confidence and freedom. Achieve this mindset by transitioning your focus from swing thoughts and control to targets and trust.
      1. Perfect practice shots are just that … perfect practice shots. Right before a tournament round it is time to trust all of the hard work you put in during the days prior. Accept how you are hitting the ball on that day and trust your training by not trying to control the swing. See the target, get lined up, and hit the shot.
      2. A more fluid motion will result in more consistent outcomes.
        *Not the time to practice new techniques or tinker with your swing.
      3. New techniques and tinkering with swings, grip, etc. will not translate into on course success for that day. When under stress the body will perform the more engrained movement.
  2. Know your game!
    1. Take time to understand where your strengths and weaknesses are.
      1. Knowing how you tend to play allows you to prepare better to play with your game, not the game you want or are training for.
        Ex. If you miss a lot of greens, make sure to hit extra chips. Spending more time trying to improve your iron play will only tire you out and waste time.
      2. Every athlete strives to better improve their technique. This is fantastic and what keeps athletes hungry! That being said, there is a time and place to focus on skill improvement; before a round is not the time. Great players understand that they do not need to hit the ball perfect to win; more so, they must understand how they are hitting the ball on that day and compete with that swing.
    2. Knowing the clubs and types of shots that you will see most in competition will not only allow you to save time and energy before a round, but also increase your confidence in your ability to perform.
      1. Focusing your attention on how you can score best is a lot more comforting compared to fixating on your weaknesses and knowing what you cannot do. Yes, know where you lack skill, but then shift your focus back to your strengths and where you can perform your best. By training your mind to focus on the opportunity to succeed will help you take advantage of the times you are playing really well and minimize damage when you are not playing so well.
  3. Create a pre-round checklist to make sure you are prepared on the course (food, water, rain gear, etc.)
    1. Having a pre-tournament checklist may sound silly but forgetting something or wasting time trying to remember everything is even more silly.
    2. Every decision you need to make takes up little bits of energy that add up over time. Save your energy to close out the round!
      1. Making a simple list, similar to packing before a trip, will make you more prepared and save you thinking energy. The best way to set-up the list would be to have the “every tournament” essentials (balls, tees, food, etc.) and the “tournament specific” items (extra jacket, extra balls, etc.). Having both types of items allows you to be prepared for every event and forces you to look a head to the event a little closer.
      2. The main goal for a pre-round checklist is to make sure you get to the course equipped and ready to go. Do all of the thinking for seemingly minor things before you begin your pre-round warm-up so you can fully focus on the warm-up and get ready for the event.