Effects of a Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention on the Preshot Routine and Performance in Golf

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 The University of Virginia
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The effects of a cognitive-behavioral intervention on adherence to preshot routines of elite collegiate golfers was evaluated using a multiple baseline (across subjects) design. Three male golfers served as subjects for the assessment of percent of mental and behavioral preshot routines completed for nine holes during baseline and treatment conditions. Players’ shots and putts were videotaped and the tapes were scored to determine the percent of behavioral routines completed. Mental routines were assessed after each round via interview format. In addition, the number of strokes, putts, fairways hit from tee, and greens hit in regulation play for nine holes were also counted. The intervention taught each golfer how to consistently align to the target, make a good decision on each shot, and be totally committed to each shot. It was effective in improving players’ adherence to both mental and behavioral preshot routines. Immediate improvements in performance did not occur. Post-treatment interviews showed that the golfers felt the intervention had a positive effect upon performance.

Patrick J. Cohn and Robert J. Rotella are with the Department of Health and Physical Education, Ruffner Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903-2495. John W. Lloyd is with the Department of Educational Studies.

The author acknowledges Drs. Linda Bunker and Steven Voutcher for their comments, which helped improve the quality of the manuscript.

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