Coldplay frontman Chris Martin has ‘blown away’ England cricketer Ollie Robinson with advice about breathing.
Fast bowler Robinson has fought to improve his fitness levels, and Martin revealed he had suffered from the same performance problems when the England team went to see the band perform live in front of an audience of 80,000 at Wembley.
Backstage, Martin handed Robinson a breathing technique book before the gig, explaining how the advice had helped him with his temperament and fitness. He suggested the book might help Robinson in the same way.
England colleague James Anderton revealed the special moment in a podcast.
“It was such a lovely moment and Ollie Robinson was absolutely blown away. It was about breathing and how it helps with your fitness and temperament. He said: ‘I read it, it was amazing and I thought of you and thought it would be great for you.’ This lady came over with the book and handed it over and five minutes later, they were out on stage in front of 80,000 people.”
Now, Robinson is back in the squad and hoping he gets a chance to show England captain Ben Stokes how the gift has helped overcome his performance problems.
Robinson, 28, has struggled to maintain form at test level but has piled up an impressive 39 wickets in nine tests for an average of just over 21 runs.
His fitness has come under a microscope with doubts Robinson’s mind and body could cope with the exertions of a five-day test series. Selectors criticised his performance, particularly in the later stages of matches.
As a result, Robinson has a patchy England history but has won a place in the team under Stokes, replacing Matt Potts.
“I’m excited for him to be able to put the England shirt on again,” said Stokes. “It’s something that he’s worked hard for,, and he fully deserves it. It’s been a difficult time for Ollie because it wasn’t the fact that his form was letting him down. It was his body. I was honest and truthful with Robbo. I feel that’s something people deserve. Rather than just have a conversation to get through it easily, I’d rather let him know exactly where I stand.
“It enables him to go away and work on what has been asked of him, and I can say he’s done that to the absolute extreme. He’s worked hard behind the scenes, and all the feedback Robbo has got from me, the coach and the people who have helped him get where he is now has been nothing but positive.”
So what was the book that Martin has so much faith in?
It’s the 2015 bestseller The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown, an acknowledged expert on breathing and sleep.
McKeown believes poor breathing affects the way athletes sleep and impacts performance.
In his book, McKeown explains how to improve breathing patterns and how to stop breathing through the mouth while sleeping, which he says is at the root of performance problems for many athletes.
Are Breathing Techniques Good For You?
McKeown is one of many fitness gurus shouting from the rooftops about the benefits of breathing techniques – but is following a so-called expert’s advice good for you?
Hof put several celebrities through his fitness regime based on ice therapy, breathing and commitment to the cause with mixed results. Hof says his fitness habits should become part of everyone’s daily routine – then he is selling the books and courses.
The technique is promoted as scientifically proven to make blood less acidic by triggering hypoxia at a cellular level. This helps the body deal with negative stress.
Patrick McKeown is a self-billed ‘renowned breathing expert’. Suffering asthma from childhood, he treated the condition with prescribed drugs and inhalers until coming across the Buteyko Method for improved breathing, a technique promoted by a Russian professor. Following Butekyo’s teaching, the asthma cleared up and has never returned. Since discovering the Buteyko Method, McKeown has offered breathwork training and sports mindfulness coaching. He also provides breath-based certification to instructors worldwide.
Breathwork is improving the body and mind by learning to breathe properly.
McKeown does not claim to be a doctor, but has several fellowships and affiliations with professional bodies.
Ollie Robinson,28, is an all-rounder for England and Hampshire. He had one of his best-ever seasons in 2021-22, as one of the country’s leading fast bowlers.
Coldplay is a British band led by singer and frontman Chris Martin.