- in The zone
Many athletes are familiar with the zone, that is because many athletes have experienced this. The zone is when you feel like your performance is absolutely perfect. When you feel that no one can stop you. Being in the zone means that you are currently dominating a game with ease. Usually athletes only experience this once a season if they’re lucky. The reason for this, is that most athletes don’t understand the gateways to the zone. There are specific things that a person can do, that will drive an individual to play better consistently.
I train athletes how to get into the flow state consistently. Flow is a peak performance state where you feel your best and perform your best. Flow is quite different than being the zone. Being in the state of flow allows you to access the zone. Being in flow is when you’re experiencing all the feelings associated with being in the zone. But there is not any statistical evidence of being in the zone. It is when you feel confident, focused, and primed to play, but you haven’t done anything positive yet in the game.
The problem with most athletes is that they only allow themselves to relax after they have done something well. They wait until they do something good before they allow themselves to FEEL good. Well what if you what if you don’t do so well at the beginning of the game? How are you going to gain confidence?
Through experience I learned that an athlete must be ready to play at any given time. If you are a high school athlete, your coach may only give you 2 minutes to prove yourself. In college, you have even a smaller window to prove yourself. As a result its important for an athlete to be ready to perform at all times.
One of the easiest ways to develop flow is to use your imagination during your mental practice. The goal is to completely focus on attaining the thing you desire rather than the process of achieving it. Imagine your desired outcome! Allow yourself to enjoy the experience of achieving your goal. This allows an athlete to experience attaining their goal without second guessing. As a result, you will increase the good feelings you experience. And help ingrain more positive beliefs, to make success come more effortlessly.
Practicing using your imagination, creates experiences that allows flow to develop during competition. Flow is the mental state in which a person is 100 % immersed in an activity. When an athlete is in a state of flow their emotions tend to be more focused, and positive. When a person is in a based emotional state their thoughts, feelings, and emotions are not channeled. They may second guess themselves, play hesitant, or worry about who’s in the crowd. When you’re in flow, you have singular a focus. Your thoughts and feelings also resonate at a vibration and expectation of victory!
All the athletes in the mind academy learn techniques that they can easily incorporate into their mental practice. This propels them to bring their “A” game even against the toughest competition.
Mental Toughness Trainer,
Richard Gunn M.A.