It happens to every athlete: You are locked in! Every time you walk to the plate or step on the mound, you feel invincible! You can’t wait for the next opportunity because you know you are going to dominate!
Most of us call this being “in the zone” or “locked in!”. Whatever you call it, it is a beautiful thing.
There are keys to feeling like this as you perform. If you understand how you “get In the zone” in the first place, you can increase the likelihood of it happening again.
1. Have fun! Simple right, but not the fun you have after you have performed well, that is easy. Have fun with the battle, have fun with the struggle, have fun working to be your very best. The performance is where the fun is, not the outcome.
2. Believe in Yourself! Of course you are supposed to believe in yourself. Self confidence comes from knowing you have done the work. Self confidence comes from knowing you have overcome adversity in your training. Self confidence comes from the long hours you have spent developing your game. When you have done the work, you deserve to believe in yourself. You know you can overcome whatever the game throws at you.
3. Concentrate! Focus on the process of playing your best. You can’t control the outcome so expending energy on the outcome will only hurt your performance. Keep your focus on what is right before you, on the game as it unfolds. Keep your eye on the immediate moment and you are going to play the game the right way!
4. Bounce Back! You can’t change what has happened but you can impact what will happen next. What is really important is the next play, period. Energy wasted on what has happened will get you nowhere, invest your thoughts into what will happen next.
5. Face the Challenge! You are on a mission and you must rise to face the challenges that this mission will present to you. You have to love the challenge and be willing to rise up to the challenges. Train your mind to see opportunities!
6. Let it Happen! You have to trust your training, trust the work that you have done. Then you let it roll. You stop thinking and start doing!!
7. R-E-L-A-X! Aaron Rogers said it best. You have done the work! You should be loose and relaxed. this feeling of relaxation allows you to perform your best. Reflexes are better, vision seems clearer, muscles feel more powerful. Play the game!
Once you have played a game “In The Zone” you know it is a special place. Think about how you got there and you might get there again!
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.