The Zone – no it’s not where touchdowns are scored or a new night club or energy drink. The Zone is that space athletes and others find where their particular endeavor seems effortless and easy while producing excellent results. While the Zone is most commonly associated with sports, people can and do achieve the Zone in work, play, and other projects.
Unfortunately, people that find the Zone often do so by accident and do not achieve this optimal state on a regular basis. Dr. Michael Lardon, M.D has spent his life studying the Zone and states that the Zone is less about human physiology, and more about human determination and will. Think about a time when you ran your best race or the project you were working on at your job seemed effortless and time flew by. This is the Zone.
In his book Finding Your Zone, Dr. Lardon provides ten lessons to help anyone achieve the Zone in sports, work or any walk of life.
Dreams. Before going to bed, give yourself a nighttime suggestion on what you want to exceed at and first thing in the morning write down what you dreamt about, how you felt and what lead to that feeling.
Be Prepared To Overcome the Odds. Performing at the highest level in competition always involves thinking on your feet. Any component of your performance that can be practiced can be automated. Practice correctly and execute the same in competition.
Transform Desire Into Will. The drive to discover our limits, to push and maximize those limits, is embedded in the process of self-actualization. We must be dedicated to transform our desire into will to achieve the Zone. How Bad Do You Want It?
Trust Your Brain, Keep It Simple and Stay Positive. The human brain is incredibly smart. Our brain provides the innate ability we all possess to bring forth the possibility that maybe it is better in the midst of competition to simply trust our instincts and not over think a situation. Have a plan, practice that plan then execute to the plan in competition. Competition is not the time to re-think situations or change your strategy or tactics. Remember “those who think do not know, and those who know do not think.”
Stay In the Now and Be In the Process. Excelling in any sport or other performance-related activity mandates that you must resist distractions of the mind – whether these distractions come before, during, or after your performance. These distractions might be internal, such as psychological fears, anxiety, or pangs of self-doubt. Conversely, these distractions may be external such as weather or a chaotic environment. The key is learning to manage our anxiety most effectively and keep it from becoming overwhelming.
Next week we will look at the next five lessons to help you achieve the Zone.
HERE’S TO BEING FIT FOR LIFE! Chris is a Certified Personal Trainer, USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach, Group Exercise Instructor, exercise and endurance enthusiast. He competes yearly in numerous running races, marathons, ultra-marathons, triathlons and other endurance events. He is a member of the 2015 QT2 Systems Advanced Team.