One of the most effective ways for tennis players to relax and concentrate is through Focused Breathing. Players spend a significant amount of time on physical training, Stroke production and court movement. It is also critical that we learn to breathe effectively. I recommend practicing a Focused Breathing Plan (FBP) to use before going on the court, during your warm up and in your match play.
Focused Breathing helps you place your attention on your breathing thus quieting your mind and releasing tension in your muscles. One efficient breathing method is to place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and inhale deeply down to your diaphragm.
Exhale through your mouth. Three deep belly breaths starts your oxygen flowing. Before going on court, a good Focused Breathing technique is to find a quiet place to focus on a tennis ball while pacing your breathing. Slowly inhale through your nose to a count of four and exhale through your mouth to a count of five. Once You have a breathing rhythm established, match your breathing to a mantra “only the ball” This will help You establish a first ball focus once you go on court.
During warm up and match play, inhale as you prepare for each shot. Inhale the ball from your opponent’s racket into your court. As you exhale, send your energy through the contact point toward your target. This helps your timing and increases the energy in your shots. Many Pro Players inhale as they prepare their shots and exhale during contact as an energy focusing technique.
A Focused Breathing Plan is a gift you give yourself to quiet your mind, relax your muscles and release your energy on and off the court!