Flow or being in the zone is a mental state when an athlete becomes completely absorbed in the activity they are performing and performs at a high level. When an athlete experiences flow or is in the zone, they are totally immersed in what they are doing, they feel calm, confident and in control of things, they perform in a fluid and intuitive manner, and they tend to lose track of time.

Flow tends to happen in sporting situations where an athlete faces a challenge that they consider is stretching but manageable and where they lose self-consciousness, enjoy performing, and experience a sense of mastery. The experience of flow while competing which is the result of hard work and repetitive practice makes performance satisfying, worthwhile, and enjoyable, and motivates an athlete to want to continually improve their skills and seek new challenges.

Flow Tips
1 During training and competition, focus on the task in hand and eliminate possible distractions from what is going on around you.
2 Trust and act on your instincts and intuition. Be prepared to let go and take calculated risks.
3 When you are competing, try to stay in the present and immerse yourself in what you are doing.
4 View training as a challenge to improve your skills and train with intensity and commitment.
5 Get yourself feeling positive and confident before performing by, for example, recreating past positive experiences and visualizing yourself performing in the zone.
6 Rehearse beforehand how you see yourself performing and focus on enjoying competing and performing.

What experts say

The zone is a state of mind which is marked by a sense of calmness. In addition, there is a heightened sense of awareness and focus. Actions seem effortless and there is an increased belief that your dreams or goals can become achievable and real. In addition, there is also a sense of deep enjoyment when the person is in this unique, special, and magical state of being.

Jay Granat Sports Psychologist

It’s just having done something that’s totally pure and having experienced the perfect emotion, and I’m always sad that I can’t communicate that feeling right at the moment it’s happening.

Billie Jean King Tennis Player

Do the SPQ20 and find out how skilled you are at getting in the zone