In previous articles you may have read on the subject the writers will have discussed relaxation techniques and these include the old faithful, have a good deep breath and exhale slowly.

Just how does doing this help you in times of stress?

The act of taking deep long breaths from the stomach causes a physical change in your body because the heart rate drops.

In addition the breathing process depresses the subconscious control.

This act is used in many sports just prior or during a given action to aid concentration before focusing on a target.

In effect the breathing process aids visualisation while giving the sense of cleansing or detoxifying the body making it pure and ready for action.

A number of years ago in Bulgaria a controlled breathing technique called ‘autogenics’ was developed as a mind calming process.

Essentially the technique involves a four-count process for counting your breathing in a one second per count.

Confused yet?

Basically the inhale stage involves you taking in equal amounts of air, each of four counts with the last breath fully filling the lungs.

The exhale stage involves you holding your breath for the four counts (approx 4 seconds) then releasing the air for fours counts and again the last exhale empties the lungs completely.

Does the process work?

This technique has been proven to work on all major golf tours BUT appears least effective if the player’s energy levels are totally out of control.

Therefore you should use this technique as you walk to the tee or the green not wait until you are over the tee shot or a critical putt.

The best time to use the autogenics technique is just prior to visualisation of the shot to be undertaken.

This technique can also be used in conjunction with proper tension control.

If you are to use your muscles effectively using proper energy levels is vital.

For example when putting you should grip the as firmly as possible in the address position for a few seconds and then lighten the pressure to that that you require.

This helps to reduce the tension directly in the muscles of action and should be incorporated with the deep breathing process.