Featured Tip: How To to Calm Down or Ramp Up
Don’t let the brevity of this tip fool you. It may be one of the most important tips you’ll ever read.
I recently read an article on breathing training research that applies directly to golf and almost any other sport or situation where you may find yourself either too hyper, or too lethargic.
TOO HYPER – CALM DOWN
Imagine that you just missed a three footer for par, or that you just hit your drive out of bounds. Or – for all of my poker playing friends – that you just got rivered in a big poker hand.
Either of those situations can make you come unglued (go on tilt) pretty easily if you don’t do something fast.
Here’s how to calm down: do one minute of slow breathing – three seconds in – then seven seconds out. It’s a critical skill for when you become “too hyper”, or your mind becomes scattered and you can’t concentrate, such as when under high stress.
The study demonstrated that learning to breath at about six breaths per minute improves cardio-respiratory synchrony and helps to calm the mind. Breathing should come from the diaphragm (stomach moves out as you inhale) with the shoulders and chest muscles staying down and relaxed. You count in for three seconds as the air is coming in, let go and let the air come out as you count for six or seven seconds. Focus on gentle and effortless exhalation.
TOO LETHARGIC – RAMP UP
There is another extreme that also can occur if your arousal is too low and your mind starts drifting. Such as during long practices or other somewhat monotonous situations that can occur in golf or in life.
Here’s how to ramp up: activate.
If you have no asthma, epilepsy or lung disorders, you could breath quickly (puppy pant) for only 10- 15 seconds
Warning: Stop immediately if you become dizzy.
If the area where this is occurring allows for a physical activation, ten or fifteen quick jumping lacks – jumping up and down and doing short quick arm movements – will help to elevate your heart rate and you can then more easily “lock on” to the task.
If your find yourself in a hyper state of mind, or if you feel stale mentally, try either of these “calm down” or “ramp up” techniques and whatever task is at hand will be better served.
Love your practice, own your swing, own your health,
Bonus Tip: Stop “Trying” To Hit It Far
The last time I played in Florida, a few months back, I hadn’t played for quite awhile and was a bit nervous.
So I decided to swing within myself instead of trying to crush the ball with every tee shot.
To help me accomplish this type of swing, I approached every tee shot on par 5’s and 4’s as if it were a layup shot. I picked a target out on the fairway that was well within reach, and it really reduced the impulse to swing tool hard. I was actually hitting the ball my normal distance or maybe even further, and I hit the fairway regularly with one exception.
That was on a reachable par five, where I lost my layup swing frame of mind and hooked the tee shot into the left rough, where I had to lay up and settle for a routine par.
You’ll be surprised how many times that relaxed swing will send the ball at least as far as your “normal” swing would.
Tom Tucker’s Bio
I conduct lessons at The Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
there’s a link for Plum Creek info here: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/
Lessons are available for all ages and skill levels, please contact
me – Tom Tucker – at (716) 474 3005 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information.
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