A routine is not a routine if you have to think about it.-Davis Love Jr
I recently realized the truth of this statement and the wisdom of Mr. Davis Love Jr. because not only does it apply to the golf handicap and sport psychology, it applies vastly to life.
I’ve had a few people ask me what my golf swing pre-shot routine is and its actually really stopped me in my tracks because I realized that I don’t know my routine. I went back into my swing videos to discovered that I had a precise and consistent pre-shot and post-shot routine in my golf bag.
I would take one practice swing near the ball, step back to line up, close my left eye, tilt my head to the right, toss my pony tail over my right shoulder, step into the ball with my chest open to target, square up the club face to the target, take my golfing stance, look at the target while waggling and then swing the club. After the ball, I would watch the ball land, club twirl, shift my weight into my back leg and then look for my tee.
I guess that means that I truly have a golf routine, as its something I don’t have to think about anymore, which means it leaves room in my brain for other things.
It makes so much sense though, because if I think about my golf swing, perhaps I haven’t rehearsed it enough for it to be considered a routine as I still have to think about it sometimes. However, and I’m sure you would agree with me, the days when I can rip my drive 270 yds straight fairway without thinking is probably one of the best feelings in the world. The days I struggle are those days when I become too analytical with the club face, path and plane of the golf swing.
This can also be applied to real life as well, in all walks of life. For example, routine is huge in dancing. It’s hard to have fun and move to the rhythm when you’re thinking about the moves methodically.
This also applies to life, personally and professionally. Let me explain using my life as an example.
I went to this leadership/personal growth academy earlier this year and came back with one phrase I was supposed to repeat to myself daily. It was a contract to myself that I had dated and signed that meant I was to live and breathe it.
“I am an authentic, inspirational and powerful leader.” This hangs on my bedroom wall actually, so it’s the first thing I see when I wake up. I chose authentic because I struggled with being inauthentic to myself. I lived in denial sometimes, not wanting to admit truths of relationships that were damaging to me. Sometimes, I wouldn’t let myself feel my true emotions because I refused to bruise my ego. Anyways, this was my personal goal for the year, to learn to trust my gut, to understand myself better and always remain truthful. The other day, I got into a disagreement with a loved one where I was able to access and acknowledge my feelings on the spot that I couldn’t have done six months ago. This realization made me stop to pat myself on the back because I had it so much that I no longer had to say it anymore. Of course, we can always get better, but it shows major progression.
So I encourage you, whatever you would like to do or become, whether its scoring in golf, dancing, being bold, being authentic, picking out the best golf shoes, you’ll know progression has been made when you don’t have to say or think about it anymore.