Bryson DeChambeau’s outside the box thinking: Better breathing can help his game
Take a deep breathe.
Bryson DeChambeau, whose off-the-charts IQ has earned him nicknames such as the Mad Scientist and Rainman, a moniker Tiger Woods dropped on him, is about to drop some knowledge about his approach for the upcoming season.
He’s sitting in the shade at the ultra-exclusive Floridian Golf Club on a sun-drenched, scorching Florida day, just a few weeks after he concluded his breakout season that included victories in The Memorial, the Northern Trust and the Dell Technologies Championship, and just a few minutes before concluding a day-long photo shoot for Cobra.
You know DeChambeau is a different kind of cat – heck, he reps Puma, so that fits. He measures his brain waves and is fascinated with physics. He’s always thought and worked outside of the box, and when he explains his manner, one has usually needed a dictionary to get through his interviews.
He’s Einstein with a single-length 9-iron, wearing a tam O’Shanter.
Still, just when you think you’ve heard it all from DeChambeau, he proves you wrong. As he began talking about his upcoming season that begins Thursday in the shadow of the Las Vegas Strip at the Shiners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin, he drops a head-shaker on you.
For in addition to gearing himself up for the new season by working on his game around the greens, working to be more consistent on the greens and concentrating on his accuracy with the driver, he adds that one of the more significant changes he wants to make going forward is something we all do.
“Breathing is a monster part of resting,” said DeChambeau, 25. “Breathing in a way that will help get your brain into a parasympathetic state instead of a sympathetic state. It’s to make it easy on yourself to get to a more of a sleep state rather than a stress state.
“You can breathe in a stressful way. Or you can breathe in a relaxed state. Breathing in the proper state gets you into a state where you digest food better and calms your brainwaves down.
“That helps you get into a state of recovery.”
DeChambeau knows he baffles people at times but he’s dead set on what he believes, whether it’s how to hit the golf ball or how to get ready to hit the golf ball. It’s worked so far, for he’s one of only five players to win an NCAA individual championship and U.S. Amateur in the same year, the others being Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ryan Moore.
He won on the Web.com Tour and has four victories on the PGA Tour. He moved into the top 10 in the official world golf rankings earlier this year and is presently No. 6. Yet he’s convinced better days are ahead of him.
“I think I’m pretty close to being elite,” DeChambeau said. “I’m on the cusp.”
Especially after a season in which he said he learned more from the challenging times he endured than from the successful times he enjoyed. Resilience and resolve are two words he often used to describe the 2017-18 season, perseverance being another.
“I learned I have the ability to win when I don’t have my A game,” he said.
Taking the next step, DeChambeau said, will require consistency on the golf course, especially on and around the greens. One way to achieve this will take place off the golf course and, well, back to his breathing.
“I’m training a lot more so I need to learn how to rest at the proper times and not overdo myself,” he said. “The more I can work and then take the necessary time off to recover properly so I can be my best the next day, that’s what I’m going to try and figure out and understand.
“This next year I will implement working out during tournaments. And now I know how to do that in a way that won’t hurt myself.”
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