Getting into the zone - Sport Performance Member Article By Jo-Anne Kelleher
Posted 12/02/2021 in Category 1 by Jo-Anne Kelleher

Getting into the zone

Getting into the zone

Athletes develop the ability to zone into their performance and it is essential if they are to perform at their best.


If they do not build on their concentration skills, their performance will suffer.


Have you heard your child say that "I just couldn't concentrate" or "I lost focus" when they have had a bad performance?


These statements are false because:


The key to good concentration is the ability to be able to zone into the task that is important to the performance.


When we say that we have lost focus, it means that we shifted our focus onto something else (a distraction).


These distractions could be external ("it's raining" or "the water is too cold"), internal (I'm really tired" or "my muscles have tensed up" (this was mine when I did skating comps)) or a mixture of the 2 (It's raining and my competitor is better than me in the rain so I have no chance).


Another key to why people think they lack concentration is because their focus is on a future task.


I remember this when I was doing my grades at skating. I wasn't as flexible as other skaters and I dreaded the spiral (arabesque). My coach and I knew it was my weakness and it was right at the end of the test. I was really confident at the other tasks but I didn't perform as well as I could because my focus was on the spiral and not the task at hand. 


Optimal concentration means that you need to focus on the present and for a specific length of time.


It is important to learn how to shift your focus from 1 source to another.


I have attached a concentration grid for you and your child to have a go at.


It helps you practice your shift of focus and helps to stop distractions.


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