Building a "Shot routine" Psych Home
A shooting routine acts like a preplanned sequence of cue actions. If you have a well-rehearsed shot routine, a) you're going to stay focussed on the right things more often and b) you're much less likely to go off beam if you lose concentration. Here's a simple approach to developing a shooting routine you can rely on.
Write down what you can recall Start by writing down every step you can recall of your own shot routine, from foot position check (if any!) to the end of the shot. [This bit is useful in that it starts you off on mental rehearsal - because that's what you did in recalling the shot!]. However, not many people get everything in the first time round, so...
Go and try it out Get down to the field and follow your own written instructions.
Correct the written sequence When I said 'not many people get everything in the first time round..', I should probably have said 'most people leave out nearly everything...' ;-) So, fill in any gaps, with very close attention to anything that you see as 'critical' to the shot.
Incidentally, this process often shows up gaps where you simply don't know what you should be doing ("where the hell is my elbow supposed to be going?"). That's useful too; make a note to check and improve that part of the sequence.
Rehearse Armed with your written sequence, practice it - mental cues and all - until it almost runs itself. If something keeps dropping out, insert a cue word to remind you, and write that into the sequence.
Summarise After a while, the shot can be boiled down to just a simple sequence of maybe four or five critical actions/cues which act as signposts for your entire shot. Learn that routemap and engrave it on your heart. That set of cues is the thing that you take into competition; it keeps you on the straight and narrow, shot after shot.
Rehearse and update Your shooting may change with time and practice, or to develop, so every so often you should go back to your shot routine and check it over, correct it and re-check your 'signosts'.
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