Mindsets to Help Athletes Perform in the Zone

Performing In the Zone

How to Perform in the Zone

How often do you or your athletes perform in the “the zone”? What is the zone?

The zone is simply a mental state of total focus in the present moment. We call this being “immersed” as it indicates you don’t worry about outcomes or are not distracted when you perform. You trust your skills and react without worry, doubt, or fear about results.

The important question is: How do athletes get into the zone?

One of our readers, Sydney, asked: “I’ve had some problems “getting into my zone” when I go from large, high pressure, competition to smaller events. How do I maintain my ability to get into my zone?”

The problem here is that you can’t force yourself in the ‘zone’ every time you compete. It’s an ideal state, but does not happen often for athletes.

As for Sydney, she likes the excitement of bigger competitions and struggles to get up for smaller events.

And if you are a regular reader of our mental game tips, we’ve helped you understand several roadblocks that prevent you or your athletes from getting into the zone.

You do want to understand what blocks you from getting into the zone, such as:

  • Fear of failure
  • Perfectionism
  • High expectations
  • Self-doubt or low confidence
  • Lack of focus
  • Trying too hard
  • Intimidation
  • Worry about what others think
  • Lack of intensity
  • and the list goes on.

The zone is not a zen-like or magical state. The zone is a state of being fully absorbed into the present – the here and now only.

If you can’t force yourself into the zone, what can you do? You can have the right mindset, or set the foundation, to help you find the zone…

Mindsets to Help Athletes Enter The Zone

  1. Be here, now. Pick out and focus on the right performance cues to help help you stay in moment.
  2. Stop worrying about the outcome of the competition.
  3. Let go of what others might think about your performance; stop trying to read others’ minds.
  4. Park distractions, from your life, that you might take into competition
  5. Perform functionally; the opposite of trying to be perfect
  6. Make it a goal to have fun, instead of being too serious
  7. Narrow your focus on one simple objective when you perform
  8. Keep it simple and avoid over thinking or analyzing that’s happening
  9. Stop judging how well you are doing on every play; get to the next play

Pick just one idea that will help you perform in the moment. If you can do this, you are closer to being in the zone!

If you enjoy this mental game tip, you will love our free mental training report.

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1 thought on “Mindsets to Help Athletes Perform in the Zone”

  1. Hi Patrick,

    Appreciate your insight.

    Have you applied your program to traders?

    I have an analytics company and use similar terms to explain how better facts improve awareness to enhance the ability to trade more intuitively and perform “in the zone”.

    Trading is done electronically so the traders “athletes” perform in a virtual competition against the market. Typically this environment for most traders is not clear and skewed by a subjective bias. My analytics provide a fact foundation or basis of presence as a benchmark to stay objective and remain in the moment..

    I feel that sports psychology can be a good way to grasp these concepts.

    Curious if you have had thoughts about this direction.


    John Slazas

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