Mind Over Sports

BEING IN THE ZONE IN SPORTS

Posted on: December 30, 2013

I’ve been doing some research related to what happens in an athlete’s life that precedes their entering “the zone.”  I once had the experience myself while playing handball when, during the game (I was playing against a much better player than I) everything suddenly shifted into slow motion.  Those of you who have ever played handball will understand the following:  For ten consecutive points I would serve, my opponent would return the serve, and I would fly kill the ball to end the point.  This happened ten straight times and then suddenly, it left me as quickly as it had arrived.  I often thought that because of that feeling I had actually elevated my game to a new level since after that game, I noticed my skill as a handball player improved considerably.  When trying to determine exactly what caused it, the only thing I could trace it to was that for the previous two nights I had gotten very little sleep.

I once read in a book about sports performance that some athletes related being in the zone immediately after a time in their personal lives when everything was in a state of disarray as a result of their having experienced some type of issue or trauma or emotional upheaval.  This was similar to my experience, but not exactly.  No trauma.  I’d be interested to know if anyone reading this has ever performed “in the zone” and what they believe may have triggered it.  Please send your comments to marv@mindoversports.com.  I’d love to hear from you.  And I promise not to use your quote or mention your name in my column without your permission.

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