When I first started to think about this topic, I thought that I stumbled upon something unique. As it turns out, I am not at the front of the line, however this topic is very important to my golf game because it has helped me understand that controlling my breathe helps lower my golf scores. There is more science to this topic than I originally thought. As I examined my game, I realized that I use several control breathing techniques every round.
I am fairly certain that most athletes understand the importance of controlling their breathe during high pressure moments. During golf, it is that one shot (usually during competition) that needs to be successful to ensure your team or your individual score is not affected. In these instances, we can observe many players calming themselves by taking deep breathes. This technique helps golfers focus and narrow the plethora of stressors into a few manageable segments. This is really nothing knew and the video below explains why:
I want to take this topic just a bit further. I use version of the above breathing technique on almost every shot. The last action during my pre-shot routine is to take a slightly larger breath and exhaling the moment before I walk to my ball to set up my shot.
Standing behind the ball I focus on my aim point, visual success and finally commit to the shot. Once I have made my decision, I take a calming or focusing breath and move to the ball. This technique works very well for my game. Using this breathing technique when I am not stressed helps ensure that when the pressure is elevated, I have a tool to keep my equilibrium. I do not play golf well when I mentally cannot control my thoughts. Breathing definitely helps in this area.
I am continually amazed at the number of golf topics that do not have anything to do with the actual mechanics of a golf swing. As an athlete, I understand the value of breathing because it is something I have used since I started playing sports. Yet, I never really focused on the value of breathing during normal shots until I decided to ingrain coping techniques before I needed them. Now, controlling my breathing is second nature and definitely worth developing if you not done so already. For me, it helps me stay mentally focused which has direct impact on my golf scores.
Do you control your breathing when playing golf?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!