How many times have you felt as though you have practiced and prepared as much as you thought humanely possible, only to get to a new or unfamiliar environment and then become thrown off mentally by the unfamiliar territory? Or to have succumb to the internal or external chatter that has managed to thoroughly distract and throw you off your game? Developing some simple pre-game/pre-presentation routines and rituals could help prevent these mishaps and ensure you are at your best when it comes time to compete or perform.
In his article, 'Routines, Rituals and Performing Under Pressure', Sean McCann hits on 7 key points that highlight how sticking to a routine or ritual of some kind can increase consistency within your game which can ultimately end up making the difference between reaching your goals or falling short when under pressure or in a new or anxiety provoking environment .
7 key reasons why creating and sticking to routines/rituals are helpful:
1. A routine increases the sense of familiar in a new environment
2. A routine helps one to stay active and focused on useful behaviors
3. A routine enhances feelings of control and confidence
4. Routines help make useful behavior automatic
5. Routines increase the opportunity for the brain to focus on the proper things
6. Routines help reduce thinking and decision making (read more about why this can be helpful in the full article)
7. Routines help prevent dumb mistakes
Read more about these 7 factors and why routines and rituals are beneficial to mental focus in McCann's article 'Routines, Rituals and Performing Under Pressure.'