Since then I have been wearing the mouthguard when riding freestyle terrain (i.e. park and pipe).
In another post I wrote about my written work entitled:Understanding How Stress Affects our Sport, I refer about being “in the zone”.
This “in the zone” I refer to is a state of calmness but at the same time being alert – not tense but strong, ready to react and respond in a heart beat. The way this state of mind and body is brought about can of course be different for many people, but I have found that when I slow my breathing down and focus on something I get to this stage quicker. This could simply be by feeling the straps of my bindings around my feet, tapping the side of my leg with my hand, clicking my fingers etc. (I’ll refer to this as a “focus point” but I’m sure it has a proper name!) Usually one or more of these “focus points” are used to get me focused and “in the zone”, before dropping in to the pipe / kicker or rail.
Since wearing the mouth piece, I have used it as my “focus point”, by having my mouth closed slightly (a bi product of clenching / biting down on the mouth piece very slightly). This helped me keep in contact with something, something that I could focus. At the same time I was encouraged to take slower breaths, due to the reduced airway intake space created by wearing the mouthguard.
Another point worth noting it that the mouth piece has a small hole at the front (used for the plug to go into so you can dip the mouth piece in hot water when modelling and not end up scolding your hands). Anyway, I have found it extremely difficult to NOT suck and breath through this tiny hole while thoughts rushed through my head about what trick I was about to do. (sitting here with it in right now and I’m telling you, it’s like having a sweet in your mouth and being told not to suck it… I just can resist..!
On page 7. of my written work I refer to relaxing the mind through ‘the art of breathing’. By taking longer and slower breaths and paying attention to the rise and fall of the abdomen, this helps set the mind at ease and in turn relaxes the body reducing anxiety, improving concentration / focus (see page 5 for benefits that come from reducing anxiety).
Many people like myself have probably seen a lot of products coming onto the sports market lately claiming to enhance performance ‘directly’ by wearing the product, without actually serving any other purpose.
BruxSport mouthguard however, does serve a purpose, which is protection.
Check out the product here www.bruxsport.co.uk