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  • Writer's pictureAthletes In The Zone


Updated: Aug 11, 2021

We have always been interested in extraordinary moments in sport. For instance, we vividly remember staying up to the early hours of the morning to watch Jack Nicklaus win the Masters in 1986 with an astonishing back nine of 6 under par, and we all remember Andy Murray winning his first Wimbledon title in 2013.

The greatest athletes have the inexplicable ability to perform at their peak in the biggest sports events. Sports psychologists are aware that peak performances of this magnitude are the result of an altered state of consciousness called the zone or flow.

The key to the flow experience as suggested by Cslkszentmhalyi (1975) is the relationship between skill and challenge. When a balance occurs, there is flow. In contrast, when one perceives opportunities for action as mismatched by one's capabilities, then one experiences either boredom, worry, or anxiety depending upon the extent to which action opportunities (challenge) and action capabilities (skill) diverge. This relationship was represented in a model of the flow state initially developed by and Cslkszentmhalyi and Bennet (1971) and presented by Cslkszentmhalyi (1975).

The occurrence of a flow situation, however, clearly depends upon one's perception of what the challenges and one's skills are as opposed to the actual situation. It is possible, therefore, for different people to experience flow, anxiety, worry, and boredom under the same objective level of action opportunities.

The direct implication for this model is the performance of athletes depends on the intensity of flow experienced. Top athletes in all sports report flow experiences are synonymous with their best performances. Our consultancy gives you the knowledge and skills to optimise your performance and increase your flow experiences. We have designed a series of programs to develop these skills. Contact us today for a free consultation on how you can get into the zone.

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