Be mindful of your breathing at all times. Maintain a deliberate, relaxed cadence of breath.
We all like to think that the mind leads the body, but in reality the mind and body are very closely intertwined. Sometimes the body can actually lead the mind. For instance, it's been shown that smiling actually makes you happier. Similarly, controlled breathing helps keep you relaxed and conserve your energy.
Controlled breathing is especially important against a larger or more experienced opponent. Besides helping conserve your energy, controlled breathing helps keep you calm. Calmness is critical to prevent panicking when you're seriously being challenged.
Experienced opponents will also be able to sense panic in your breathing patterns. Uncontrolled breath can telegraph your panic to your opponent, prompting them to initiate blitz attacks and increase the tempo.
Controlling your breath regulates the flow of oxygen to your muscles. This is crucial for managing your heart rate and avoiding over-exhaustion. This will help you retain more gas in the tank and reduce energy consumption.
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