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Health Fusion: Perform better with a pre-performance routine

Do you have any little rituals or routines you do before performing a task? Many athletes do. And research shows these routines may work. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams explores whether pre-performance routines help or are all hype.

The research about pre-performance routines (PPRs) from the University of Vienna supports the idea that taking a moment to stop and focus before you do a task, improves performance. It helps you not choke and perform better under pressure.

Basketball legend Michael Jordan had a systematic routine he'd do before a free throw. He would stand, spin the ball, bounce it three times and then spin it again while concentrating on the rim. Then he'd take the shot.

Lead author Dr. Peter Gropel says that these types of routines can strengthen concentration and help you get into an optimal state of mind for the task at hand.

But are pre-performance routines effective? And who benefits from them? The researchers looked at 15 different sports and 800 athletes and found the athletes who did practiced PPR outperformed their counterparts who were not using a routine.

They found that doing a routine, no matter if it's simple or complicated, improves performance. They say it can help all athletes at all levels and novices may benefit just as much as elite athletes.

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Does this trickle down to other tasks and performances in life? A quick online search reveals a lot of articles about how pre-performance routines may help with public speaking and performing on stage. And I know an singer who always relies on pre-performance actions before he steps on stage.

This study is published in the International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology

Follow the Health Fusion podcast on Apple , Spotify , and Google Podcasts.

For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at vwilliams@newsmd.com . Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

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