If you’ve ever watched, basketball, golf or other individual sports you have most likely seen an athlete practice their pre-shot routine before making the free throw, or driving the ball down the fairway. Golfers close their eyes and visualize the shot, basketball players dribble the ball the same number of times and go through the same motion before every free throw. That pre-shot routine does several things:
1 – It connects with the muscle memory and hours of practice of swishing the basketball into the net, or sending the golf ball to land right where they want it.
2 – It gives the sub-conscious brain instructions for what they want to happen.
3 – It puts their focus in the moment and blocks out other thoughts.
It’s a powerful technique that can be used not only in golf, but in life to create the scenario you want to see unfold. As I’ve shared many times, the sub-conscious mind acts on the images you hold in your head, and like little workers, it goes to work to bring you the image in your head. Think about that for a minute…what thought is in your mind right now?
The amateur golfer hits their shot in the water and says, “Man, I knew I was gonna do that!” The last visual they had before they took the shot and last swing thought most likely was “don’t go in the water!” (The subconscious takes two steps to process negatives (don’t think of pink elephants) so what it heard and saw was “go in the water.”)
Okay, so you’re not an athlete, let’s bring this into a practical use for daily life. How do you start your day? Do you have a pre-shot routine, do you visualize and affirm your day the way you want it to happen? Do you get grounded and focused before you start the day?
I start my day with meditation to get centered and grounded, then I list at least ten things I’m grateful for in my gratitude journal, next I visualize my goals as already achieved and feel how incredible it is to experience it. Now I’m ready to visualize the events in my day the way I want them to go:
- The new person who I’m meeting for a coaching session who enrolls to coach with me because of the powerful conversation we had and what happened in just one session.
- Meeting a person at a networking event that is looking for a keynote speaker for an event and I’m exactly what they’re looking for.
- Traffic flowing smoothly during rush hour so I reach my meeting on time.
If you want to be successful you need a pre-shot routine:
Prepare: Do the (daily) practice, take action
Visualize: Believe in yourself, see it done
Feel: Expect the outcome you want—how does it feel to have it?
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