An essential skill of Elite Performers In The Zone
For a complete presentation of this very important human performance skill, you can order the book at this link, just click here.
Additional clarification of the value of Power Breathing in The Position of Strength in Golf, can be found in Dr. Ray's sequel to In The zone, Teeing Off With the Masters: A Sport Psychology Novel which can be ordered at the link provided above.
Dr. Ray Mulry's Audio CD, Trust Your Swing: The Power of the Pendulum and Rhythmic Flow provides a unique training tool when learning how to develop a perfect, fluent golf swing. The CD can also be ordered at the link provided above.
The following is an excerpt from Dr.Ray Mulry's Sport Psychology book, In The Zone: Making Winning Moments Your Way of Life.
Power Breathing in Sports
Regular practice of the Position of Strength (balanced posture) coordinated with Exhaling Into The Exertion (Power Breathing) will help you form beneficial habits of correct, full-body movements. This self-training will prove useful in all your physical activities. If you want to improve your golf swing, your tennis game, batting average or your bowling score, you will always do better when you use Power Breathing in the Position of Strength.
Athletes and coaches often gain valuable insights that improve their performance by watching skilled specialists in other sports. You can use this cross training tool. For example, the chances are that you've never tried fencing, and don't intend to. But if you look at fencing technique, you can see a very pure example of the effective use of Power Breathing.
The lunge is one of the fundamental moves in fencing. In simple terms, it is a long step forward with the leading foot as the fencer attempts to reach an opponent with the point of the sword. It is by far the most rapid attack a fencer can make. When a lunge is performed, it is common to hear the fencer make a ki-ai like sound which is, once again, the coordination of breathing, full-body movement, and mental concentration.
Anyone who follows tennis knows of Jimmy Connors and how he often makes a ki-ai sound as his racket meets the ball. I don't happen to know how and why Connors began this practice, but it's clear that when you serve or return a tennis ball, coordination, timing, power and accuracy are increased as you Exhale Into The Exertion at the moment of impact.
As other tennis stars picked up this technique, it aroused a log of notice, not all of it favorable. In August of 1992, USA Today reported "Grunts gone, Seles loses in silence." Monica Seles was the number one woman professional in the world of tennis, winner of six grand slam titles and had gained a certain reputation for her so called "grunting." Because of media attention and complaints from other players, Seles cut back on her grunting and subsequently lost three consecutive finals. In fact, she lost to a player she had previously beaten ten consecutive times.
Seles had learned the breathing technique behind the grunt from Sport Psychologist, James Loehr, and claims it boosts her intensity and aggressiveness during competition. In defense of Seles, tennis great Chris Evert said, "You need to grunt, and most players do." Similarly, Brett Newman, ranked in the top five in the nation in table tennis, told me "the breathing technique is use, namely Power Breathing, helped me to develop an extremely powerful smash and forehand loop in Table Tennis."
During the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, sportscasters amused by the "screaming" observed during the during various competitive events, presented a mini-special on "Olympic Screamers". Power Breathing was observable in the Hammer Throw, Shot Put, Weight Lifting and many other events. "We've got to scream to produce," one Olympian joked. Winning athletes take advantage of any competitive edge.