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The Power of the Post-Shot Routine
By Dr. Dan Vosgerichian on January 11, 2015

The way you react following a shot is as important as how you prepare and execute for a shot.

Mental trainers and sport psychologists often talk about the importance of pre-shot routines and execution routines, but sometimes neglect to mention the importance of the post-shot routine. Which is why our mental training staff and coaches at the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy (GGGA) focus on pre-shot routines, execution routines, and post-shot routines.

The post-shot routine helps golfers learn, build confidence, and move positively forward after each golf shot.

A golfer’s post-shot routines will vary based on their initial feeling following a shot.  If a golfer is deflated, they must use strategies to maintain and increase their confidence. If a golfer is excited and eager following a shot, they must use strategies to maintain their intensity or calm down.

Since each post-shot routine will differ slightly based on the thoughts and feelings a golfer is experiencing, it is important for golfers to have a good understanding of their emotions and tendencies.  We use several different strategies with our students at GGGA to increase our students’ self-awareness. Among these tools are: pre-tournament preparation planning, post-tournament evaluations, goal mapping, and personality surveys. Despite all of these techniques we use, you don’t have to be a student at GGGA to begin to benefit from self-awareness exercises.

One simple way you can gain an understanding of your tendencies without directly working with us is by journaling. Following each round, take ten minutes to sit down and make notes about what you felt, what you can learn, and how you can react more appropriately in the future. This simple exercise will greatly help you to continue to learn and grow. You will gain an understanding of how certain reactions help you on the course, while others detract from your performance.

Once you identify some of your tendencies, it will be easier to react appropriately with a positive post-shot routine in the future. If you notice that you get down on yourself and talk negative to yourself following a shot, you will want to improve the way to talk to yourself. Following every shot in your post-shot routine, you can focus on talking to yourself more positively and being your own best friend.

If you notice that you hit a lot of great shots, but never give yourself credit. You will want to recognize and celebrate the positive shots you hit. You can focus on emotionalizing positive shots in your post-shot routine and “patting yourself on the back.

If you notice that you think a lot about your swing during the round, you can focus on keeping your swing simple and rehearsing a positive rehearsal swing as part of your post-shot routine.

The strategies and methods you use to manage your thoughts and emotions in your post-shot routine are endless.  However, it doesn’t take a laundry list of strategies to manage your thoughts and feelings. When you know what your golfing tendencies are, a couple of great mental strategies in your post-shot routine will be more than enough to get you to your golfing dreams.

For more information about the mental game, please email us at mentaltraining@ggga.com

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