One of the hardest things to do during a long day on the golf course or in any sport is to stay in the zone. Staying focused on the current moment is the most important mental aspect of any sport. As soon as you get distracted mistakes occur and your competitive edge is lost. So how can you keep from thinking about other things going on in or outside of the game?
For thousands of years people have used the human ability to focus on and control their own breath to bring themselves to the present moment. Each breath only takes a few seconds. So you have to be focused on the here and now if you try to feel one. You can use this just as effectively in your sport. You don’t have to do some fancy extreme practice. All you really need to do is focus on your breathing in a way that works for you. This will pull you back into the game and the moment.
The easiest way to do this is by using Equal Breathing. This simply means breathing in and out for the same amount of time. Between your holes or plays try breathing in while you count to three and breathing out while you count to three. If you are taking strides or walking you can just as easily time your inhales and exhales to your steps. Inhale, three steps…exhale, three steps.
I like this method because it’s also going to make you slightly more calm. Staying a little more relaxed in the moment is going to help you play better as well. Experiment with this type of breathing during your next competition and see what length and what style fits you.