“When I learned how to breathe, I learned how to win”…
…so said the great Tom Watson, champion of 8 majors and 39 PGA tour wins.
Learning how to breathe properly – that is, deeply, slowly and mindfully, can also help you to win more golf games, and here’s why:
It quietens the internal dialogue, and removes self-interference
It produces a ‘relaxation response’ in your nervous-system, which negates the disastrous effects of adrenaline and anxiety and instead helps you to relax and get ‘in the zone’
There are many ways to take mindfulness of breathing into your game.
Here are a few suggestions to help you get started.
Arrive at the club early for your practice time on the range, then just sit in your car or the locker room for 5-10 minutes and quietly notice your breathing. This will induce your ‘relaxation response’, keep your mental interference to a minimum and ensure you go through your practice routines with a quiet purpose and awareness.
Use this simple technique around the course; when walking to the first tee, going through your pre-shot routine, when standing at address, walking to the ball and so on. Just be aware of your breathing. You hardly need another mental game technique than this – it will calm your nervous-system, control your bio-chemistry, keep you neutral under pressure, stop your internal voice and allow you to take your natural swing around the course for a more relaxing and enjoyable game.