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What is one thing you can change immediately that will have the biggest effect on your performance? Take a deep breath and by the end of your exhale you will have the answer.  

When looking at athletic performance many areas need to be addressed. Mobility, strength through range, power output, and sport specific movements are a few. All of these however start with one thing, a breath. 

Breathing is something we do every day. The average person takes between 17,280 and 23, 040 breaths per day. This means that by 80 yers old you will have taken over 500 million breaths. That’s 500 million opportunities to improve your performance. Imagine how much of an impact a few small changes in your breathing pattern now will have over the course of your life. Talk about compounding your investment!

High performance is multifactorial with many different contributors. Breathing however, will affect them all. Your breath will affect your nervous system as a whole. It changes your flexibility, mobility and emotional well-being, including mental toughness which has a big influence on stress and anxiety.  

always wins.”

Jessica DeMars
Physiotherapist, BradCliff Practitioner

When asked about breathing and performance, Jessica DeMars, a physiotherapist and my go to person for all questions breathing said “breathing always wins”. She went on to explain how once our breathing is under stress, the body actually restricts blood away from peripheral muscles in order to support the respiratory system. While this will keep you alive, it can have detrimental effects on performance. 

Sport performance is such a multifactorial beast with many moving parts. Breaking things down into smaller components makes it easier to create a solid foundation. The reality is that your performance will only be as good as how well you breathe. Every breath is an opportunity to improve the way you move so why not start right… *pause for dramatic anticipation* now.


Written by Mike Azzopardi

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