Described is a preperformance cognitive-behavioral routine that was developed for the University of Nebraska football team. The routine is based on the premise that to perform effectively, football players must focus on one play at a time by exhibiting self-control and taking responsibility for optimal performance. The resulting 3-step “ready, respond, and refocus” routine emphasized that the play begins with the “ready” signal in the huddle, is followed by the play or “respond” component, and ends with a whistle. The time period from the end of one play to the beginning of the next is the athlete’s time to “refocus,” process, and mentally let go of the previous play. Examples of the “ready, respond, and refocus” routine are given and ways of implementing and teaching it are discussed.
Kenneth Ravizza is with the Department of HPER, California State University at Fullerton, Fullerton, CA 92634. Thomas Osborne is with the Department of Athletics, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588-0324.