Have you ever been in a game and for some reason you can’t seem to get a grip on your actions and thoughts? You are making one mistake after another, even though you’ve done these skills a thousand times. You start to go into a negative spiral with your thoughts, and can’t snap out of it? You want a reset button, but the whistle keeps blowing and you can’t stop the game. 

We’ve all been there. With rally scoring, the score can quickly shift from having a 5 point lead to being 5 points behind in a matter of minutes. Gaining control of our thoughts and actions, could directly affect the outcome of the game.

Here’s how you can gain control of your thoughts and actions through Breathwork:

Breathwork is a super power tool for athletes to use at any time. Just one deep breath with a long exhale can immediately down-regulate your nervous system, so you are in a better state emotionally and physically. Whether it’s during a time-out, substitution, or before the next serve, you can try breathwork. So, the secret’s out, down-regulating your nervous system with breathwork can help you find control over your thoughts and actions. 

Practicing breathwork off the court is the best way to get started, so your body naturally knows what to do when you get to your breaking point. It allows us to shift from out of control to in control. It helps us to become present in the here and now, so we can actually focus on what’s going on around us and not focus on what just happened in the past few minutes. Volleyball is a game of mistakes, and you are trying to make less mistakes than your opponent. So, as soon as we accept the fact that we will make mistakes while playing, the better off we will be. And as soon as we learn how to recover from these mistakes, it makes us true champions of our sport. With little time to recover from a mistake, a simple breathing practice will help us get there faster. 

Try out this video of down-regulation breathing to help you gain better control on the court: 

Check out YAX Online for volleyball specific, performance breathwork videos.  Click HERE to get started. Use code JVA30 at checkout for 30% off monthly, 6 month or yearly options!

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About the Author

Kalynn Evans (B.S., NASM-CPT, E-RYT 200, FMSC, XPT Coach) is the Owner of Yoga Athletex, LLC alongside her sister Patricia Bomar. She grew up playing volleyball; her mom and coach was a former college volleyball player at University of Houston and then a member of the US national team, so volleyball was instilled in her from a young age. Kalynn played club volleyball for 7 years at Club Texas in Houston. She played D1 college volleyball at SE Louisiana where she graduated with an accounting degree. Having some back and hip injuries throughout her volleyball career led Kalynn to practice yoga, and want to offer yoga to youth and adult athletes to prevent and rehabilitate injury. She completed her 200 RYT in 2013, completed Yin and Restorative Trainings in 2015 and 2016, FMS Cert 2016, and NASM-CPT in 2017 and XPT coaching certificate in 2018.

Kalynn’s Instagram: @kalynnevans
YAX Online Instagram: @yaxonline
Yoga Athletex: @yogaathletex