Every athlete will tell you they are at their best when they are “in the zone”, but know that sometimes it can be difficult to get there. With the World Cup in the final few games of the tournament there have been plenty of examples of athletes being able to get and stay in the zone and those who have struggled with it. A prime example is during penalty kicks, when the pressure is high, this is when most athletes will struggle with staying in the zone, which will result in them performing poorly during the penalty kick. So the question becomes how do you get and stay in the zone. For each athlete it is different and that is where working with someone in the field of sport psychology can help, but there are a couple things that you can do to get started:
1. Believe you are in the zone:
Like anything the more you believe you can and are in the zone the more likely you are to be able to get into the zone. Belief goes a long way in anything in life and getting into the zone is no different.
2. Find the right balance between relaxed and excited:
This is very individual but if you begin to notice where you are on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being totally relaxed and 10 being very pumped up, figure out where you were in the past when you were in the zone, and then before each competition check in with yourself. If you are above the number you think you need to be at then do some relaxation techniques such as breathing. If you are below the number you think you should be at then do things that help to get you excited, like listening to pump up music. Give it a try and play around with what number you need to be at to be at your best!