Pre-performance routines

Authored by: Ronnie Lidor

Routledge Handbook of Applied Sport Psychology

Print publication date:  October  2010
Online publication date:  October  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415484633
eBook ISBN: 9780203851043
Adobe ISBN: 9781136966675


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Skilled athletes who regularly perform sporting acts such as shooting free throws in basketball, swinging in golf, and serving in tennis or volleyball demonstrate a consistent use of behavioral routines prior to performance. It seems that they attempt to repeat the same patterns of behavior each time they perform; they don’t try to vary these routines, but perform them as fixed rituals. For example, when looking at mega-star athletes such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Kobe Bryant, or Serena Williams, one can observe that they all use some kind of well-established preparatory routine before performing their respective sporting acts – the 11-meter penalty kick in soccer, the free throw in basketball, and the serve in tennis. Scientific and anecdotal evidence suggests that preparatory routines can help performers attain better achievements, if they practise the routines consistently.

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