Information & Resources
San Diego Figure Skating Communications
Relationship of Flow and Peak Performance in Winning
Concentration of Focus Maximizes Results
Athletes and scholars can achieve unique states of consciousness as the result of their long hours of practice or studying in which they reach intense levels of concentration. There are reports of an altered sense of time and a feeling of effortless performance. The individual's self-consciousness becomes diminished, as the individual's involvement deepens.
Michael Csikszentmihalyi describes in his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (1990) the flow state as "one in which an athlete or other person performs at his or her best, seemingly without effort, but with total concentration, feeling totally in control without thinking about it. Self-consciousness recedes into the background as total focus is upon present activity."
The first sport psychologist to describe how athletes felt during their greatest moments was Ravizza in 1977. Interviews were conducted of 20 male and female athletes who played in 12 different sports yielded the following characteristics:
Playing in the zone first requires a level of physical skill that enables you to perform
without consciously thinking about it. In fact the body's reaction to a given stimulus
must occur at a speed that is faster than conscious thought.
When a beginner is
first learning and developing new skills, there is a state of "self
talk" in which the learner reminds him or herself of the check list of
things required to perform the task. For example, "Take your
time, take a deep breath, bend your
knees, and follow through."
This self-talk helps the
individual develop a mental process that
enables them to make needed adjustments and corrections during
learning process. It also serves as a reminder to practice the task the
same way each time until it
Self-talk should not occur
during a game or competition. At this point, you are attempting to use
are already developed. When you are in the zone, you shouldn't think
technical performance skills or tactics as this actual can become a
How to Achieve Peak Performance « Basil Vandegriend Aug. 15, 2006 ... Professional athletes in particular are very focused on achieving peak performance. They do not simply hope that they perform well and accept whatever level of performance they achieve each day, but instead have a system for ensuring they do their best.
Six Characteristics for Achieving Peak Performance We hear a lot today about being your best, taking care of business, achieving success, and performing at your peak. What we don't always hear is what it takes to sustain peak performance.
The Zone: An Empirical Study Evidence of a Universal Phenomenon for Athletes Across Sports .... were identified to reflect the ideal internal climate for performing optimally.
In the Zone, zoning in sports, peak performance, mental ... An athlete who is 'in the zone' experiences an unusual feeling of ... In fact, they often feel as if they weren't responsible for the performance at all.
to Reach Your Achievement Zone
by Drs. Shane M. Murphy and Annemarie
How Great Athletes Find "The Zone": Part I May 4, 2011 ... So what is this “zone”? How can athletes find it? ... movement: This element refers to the fact that the athlete is performing well but yet ...
the Zone: The Zen of Sports
by Andrew Cooper
Athletes in the Zone: Aug. 13, 2004 ... A new study shows that athletes who can get "in the zone" are better able to suppress or ignore negative thoughts,
What Is the Zone and How Do You Get Into It? (golf) by Patrick J. Cohn
and Golf (golf)
by Tom Ferraro, Ph.D.
Sports Psychology: For Athletes to Deal With Stress on ... Jan. 24, 2011 ... Unfortunately, stress is a common issue with which top athletes are... ... that keeps him or her in the 'zone' and playing in the zone.Resources:
The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:
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credit is given for the source of the materials.