I was watching a golf tournament on TV the other day and a golfer missed a put by just inches. Still, he marked his ball position, lined up a line on the ball with the hole, and basically went through his entire routine for making a putt. The announcers mockingly commented on the fact that the golfer “had” to go through his entire routine, when he could have just whacked the ball home and moved to the next hole.
They should know better.
Archers know why.
To make a shot, we go through our entire shot sequence. If we let down a shot, we go back through our entire shot sequence. Basically we do this because we do not practice making partial shots. We only make full shots and we only practice making full shots.
Golfers go through their entire putting sequence for the same reasons. It is what they do to “make a putt.” In addition, when one makes exceptions to doing the full routine, it gets easier and easier to make exceptions, so they are loathe to skip their routine.
Now, golfers are not stupid. If a putt fails to go in, but is hanging on the edge of the hole, most professional golfers will tap it in without going through their entire routine. Some do this quite casually and occasionally some miss the cup in doing so . . . and walk away from the hole doing repeated face palms.
Basically, the advantages of following one’s routine are far, far greater than the effort saved by inventing a shot on the spot is. It is what was practiced. It feels comfortable and so is calming routine.
So, when you see a golfer going through his/her full putting routine for a one foot putt, realize that is how they make a putt. They rarely improvise because if they do, some bad things can happen.
And, as the putting routine anchors the putter, an archer’s shot routine anchors the archer. The familiarity of it calms the archer’s nerves, and gives him/her confidence. This is why we coaches emphasize the value of such a routine and urge our archers to write it down and refine it and then practice it until it is second nature.