chapter  56
10 Pages

Pre-performance routines

ByRonnie Lidor

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.