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Peak Performance: Sports and the Mind
Help YourSelf

Finding the Zone

On a roll, in the groove, runner's high, whatever you choose to call it, Sports psychology and the mind/body techniques used by professional athletes can help us all perform at our best, and stay in the zone. Peak performance is something that is not simply for elite athletes. You may play a killer game of racquetball, or run 10-K's for fun, but chances are just as likely that you have a big presentation coming up, a job interview to prepare for, or perhaps you simply want to be at your best for your kids this weekend. Sports psychology and the mind/body techniques used by professional athletes can help us all perform at our best, and stay in the zone.

Here are some tips:

  • Relax pep rallies are becoming a thing of the past. Practice mindful breathing exercises before engaging in your event, and concentrate on quieting your mind as well as your body. If you are not relaxed, everything you attempt will be a struggle.

  • Focus on the moment at hand. If your mind strays to past or future worries, or even to the dinner menu for tonight, gently bring it back to present task. All your concentration is on what's happening 'right now'. Keep your energy trained on whatever comes your way.

  • Stay open to all the possibilities. Invite success in, rather than pursuing it.

  • Visualize the perfect race or play. Run it in your mind like a movie. See yourself executing the moves with finesse, grace, and ease. You are in control and in charge. You can replay the same events multiple times, or try going through your strategy once a day for several days before the big game. Having a clear mental picture of what you are striving for is key to reaching the zone.

  • Have fun To be truly in the zone is to recapture the feeling of a child at play, completely immersed in their activity with little sense of time passing. Remember what got you involved in the first place, and what your sport gives back to you, that you can't get anywhere else.

  • Replay those times when it all comes together. By noting what worked best for you, you may find it easier to duplicate peak performance in the future.

Program Description
Hardwood Warriors
Craig Lambert
At Play in the Zone
Tell Me More
Help YourSelf

Body & Soul is currently airing Monday-Friday at 7:00pm and 8:30pm on PBS YOU.

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