How to Gain a Psychological Edge in Golf
Breathing is one of the best kept secrets in golf and something that can potentially transform your game. It is as fundamental to human life as it is to the game of golf. To put it simply, a great swing is all about the right breathing. It is all about the timing of when and how you breathe that will help you to improve the rhythm of your golf swing considerably.
A lot of golf players stand over the golf ball, go through their routine, and then hold their breath as they swing. What they do not realize is that by holding their breath they are unable to swing the club naturally and are more likely to cause themselves an injury by freezing their rib cage. Breathing in a particular pattern will allow you to free up your rib cage and play through the ball rather than to it.
Golfers often tense during a hard shot only to release a breath as the ball travels in the undesired direction. Taking 2 or 3 exhales during practice swings and real shots can make a huge different to how you perform in pressure situations. Most stresses that golfers face during a golf swing affect their ability to hit the shot properly.
Take a few consistent breaths when striking the ball will allow you to function at full capacity, avoiding any of the negatives that creep into your mind during a shot.
The correct breathing technique will quickly relax your mind and allow your body to function better; it also allows your abdominals and core muscles to function more effectively. The worst thing possible for your core muscles is to hold a load of air in your stomach; this will make the contraction of vital abdominal muscles a lot harder and less effective because level of tension and depth of contraction is poor due to trapped air.
As you strike the ball, you should be looking for a synonymous contraction from your abs to add an element of power to your shot, if you’re breathing correctly, this will just happen naturally. Upon connecting with the golf ball, your abdominals will tighten to stabilize your body as you strike through the ball, but there cannot be any air in your body to hinder the process. If you’re breathing consistently you will enjoy the added power benefits generated by your abs.
There are two other benefits that proper breathing will add to your golf swing. Not only does it allow you to take your mind off the difficulty of the shot you are about to hit, but it also helps you to focus on something that should be consistent during every golf swing.
Before every golf swing you should go through the following routine:
1) Position yourself just behind the golf ball at a comfortable distance; approximately ten feet.
2) Look for your target line clearly and visualize your golf shot being executed perfectly.
3) Take a full and deep breath. Hold it for three seconds and then blow out through the mouth. Pursing your lips during the exhale will allow full exhalation.
4) After you have gone through this basic routine, you are then in the correct frame of mind to approach your golf ball.
By using this routine you are playing a small trick on the unconscious mind. Where the body was once filled with tension, the breathing is now full, allowing you to execute your shot in the perfect state of mind.
Add the correct breathing techniques to your golf game and you will be sure to see big improvements in your performance levels. Practicing your deep breathing at the golf range and on the golf course will foster excellent improvements in your golf game.
Photo Credit: TourProGolfClubs.com
This is a guest post by David Frederick; When David is not playing Golf at the Vale Golf Resort in Wales he enjoys sharing tips with other Golfers online.