Playing Golf In the Zone: Is it real, is it mystical or merely sport mythology?
Playing golf in the zone
- We have all heard athletes speak of playing in the zone, yet what does this mean? What is the zone, really? Is it just some concept players use to explain how they played so well?
I can begin by stating it most certainly is not a myth. Although it is somewhat of a legend! In my opinion the word has been so misused that it has lost its power and has been reduced to a sporting cliche`. Many athletes don't even like to use the word as they almost feel embarassed using it.
This was one of the reasons I had resistance to using the term Zone. The
mental game program
goes into detail on this. Yet the term "zone" is familiar and universally understood so let's continue to use it.
In working with clients I educate them to look at
the zone as a series of performance enhancing states.
Not just one "zone" that you are either in or not. There are varying degrees of peak states, or zones, within us. While each of these may not, in and of themselves, be "the" ultimate peak performance state, they do have their own power and purpose.
The Zone - Doorway to your inner excellence
Looking at playing golf in the zone as simply one big state that has to be attained in order to play at your peak actually disempowers you.
What if it were possible to access various "sub"states, or mini zones, that provide you with an appropriate amount of inner resources for any given situation on the course?
Performance is contextual. What I mean by this is it isn't necessary to be in your deepest possible state at every moment of your round. You might require a more subdued version of the zone when standing on the first tee.
While you might love having massive horsepower in your engine because it lets you break land speed records, doing 85 miles an hour through a school zone might not display the most appropriate use of that power!
Perhaps being able to access a deeper more intense state would be appropriate when you are standing on the 16th tee within one stroke of the lead. Or when you're in a very competitive match and need to really bear down. Does this make sense so far?
Before we move into steps to playing golf in the zone, let's look at a couple of real world examples that illustrate why it is often overkill to be in a deep and intense state...
More on the Zone here
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Mental Game of Golf
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