While watching the top professional disc golfers, you will notice aside from their jaw dropping shots they throw, they all follow a staunch routine. You see the putter flips, the hip waggles, and toe digging. What you can’t see is what is going through their heads. This is the most important part of your pre shot routine for disc golfers of all levels.
On the Tee
While gearing up to grip and rip, you need to consider your options. This includes disc selection, disc flight, and situation. It is good to have a game plan, but there are times when you may need to deviate from it. So prior to stepping on the tee, you must make your disc and route selection. Do not second guess yourself once you have made these decisions. Having a seed of doubt in your head can really hurt your chances for success.
Once you’ve made those initial decisions, your focus needs to turn to visualization. See the exact shot and flight that you want to throw. Engrain that perfect flight in your mind. This part of your routine shouldn’t change, always see the flight before throwing it. If a bad thought such as throwing out of bounds or hitting a tree creeps in, you should step off the tee. Reset yourself and jump back in to your routine.
Whether you think you can, or you think you can't—you're right. - Henry Ford
On the Green
You’ve got yourself in position for a putt. Whether birdie or bogey, you want to drain that putt. Much like your routine on the tee, you want to visualize yourself successfully making the putt. It cannot be emphasized enough that your routine needs to include you seeing yourself making the putt.
Many players also find that having a putting mantra can help make putts. A mantra is a statement or slogan repeated frequently. This could be as simple as saying to yourself, “relax” prior to making your putt.
What should you be thinking about between holes on the disc golf course? This is definitely something you need to consider. This is a deeply personal thing and something that you need to figure out for yourself. You may find that listening to music, talking with card mates, or simply remaining silent can help keep you in the zone or relaxed. Between holes is not the time to beat yourself up or think about missed shots.
You don’t want to mentally drain yourself, so turning your brain off between holes or shots is a good way to conserve that mental energy. Alternatively, if you want to keep the focus on disc golf, keep it on what is to come, especially the next hole. Keep your thoughts positive, because thoughts have the tendency to become things.
A big part of our daily life has become centered around the use of our phones. Personally, I prefer to keep the phone away during disc golf, unless utilizing an app like UDisc for scoring. This is going to be a personal thing, if you need to bust out the phone during disc golf, that is on you. It’s good to get out of your head for a few minutes, but the extra screen time during disc golf competition might not be beneficial.
18 Chances to Improve
It is easy to let one bad shot on one hole ruin an entire round. You get into your head and it is all downhill from there. We’ve all been there when we missed one routine putt and now we can’t hit another putt for the rest of the round. You can’t change what happened so shift your focus to what you can control and that is the very next shot.
Learn from your past, but keep it in the past. Even disc golf world champions record bogeys. Do you think they let their errors stick around in their head? Not a chance. They learn from them and look to make themselves better on the next hole.
In the end, it doesn’t matter if you can throw 200 feet or 500 feet. If you are letting your mind take control and overshadow your round, you’ll never reach your disc golf goals.
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