The Zone

The Zone


The Zone - a word that is used by many athletes who also wish it applied to them more often.  The Zone basically implies that you are performing at your peak in a competitive event.  One sports psychologist defines it as a mental state in which your thoughts and actions are occurring in complete synchronicity.  The bowlers I have talked to about experiencing The Zone discuss about how things are so effortless and everything seems as if it is in slow motion.  They are in complete control of all phases of the game.  These players are super focused, make proper decisions, are completely detached from the outside world and soar in their performance.  What is the cause of some bowlers experiencing The Zone more often than other players?  Let's look at two different goal seekers...


Two Scorecards


Players who struggle getting into The Zone put much of their energy and focus into the Results Scorecard.  These are the players who are focused only on the results and outcomes.   I ask my students to write out their goals for the coming season.  Many of these students goals are focused on tournament outcomes (wins, scores, results, championships, etc).  Have strictly result oriented goals are toxic to peak performance.  These are uncontrollable and lead to frustration, anxiety, burnout and inconsistent performance.  We will call this Results Scoreboard.


Elite players focus on process-oriented goals.  These goals are controllable and provide the steps that bring us closer to our desired outcomes.  This is a learned technique for most of my players.  Transitioning them from result oriented to process-driven goals.  The Zone seems to occur more frequently and consistently with players who have a process in their performance.  Confidence is elevated when working the process.  There is no pressure in trying to achieve an outcome that is basically uncontrollable.  You must have confidence and much of it is developed by focusing on the process.  There is no way of getting into The Zone without it.  We will call this the Process Scorecard.


Becoming process oriented in your goals builds confidence and provides bowlers to perform in The Zone! Now go Dominate the Day!