Basketball Psychology

Sports Psychology for Basketball Players & Coaches

Let It Go – Staying in the Zone

Finding good strategies for staying in the zone when you are on the basketball court can be challenging. Part of building basketball mental toughness, is understanding the concept of being ‘in the zone’ and how you can build on that. In sports psychology for basketball terms, the concept of being ‘in the zone’ is often referred to as ‘the flow’.

Flow is a mental state that is achieved through focused motivation. This results in an athlete who is fully immersed in a state of energized focus while participating in a sporting activity. Sometimes even more challenging for an athlete, is the ability to stay in the zone, once they are there.

How do I achieve this?
The ability to get into and stay in the zone, is achieved by understanding the principles mental toughness, an important part of basketball psychology. Staying in the zone is accomplished by harnessing the emotions and energy of the game, becoming fully focused only on the game you are playing. One of the hardest skills for a player to learn is the ability to block all negative thoughts and distractions and stay fully focused on the task at hand. This also includes being able to block personal feelings and emotions, in order to stay in the zone, as any distractions mentally can break that focus. Finally taking all of these important components and focusing them in an energized and positive way, is what every athlete strives to achieve.

Any athlete will attest to the fact when you get into “the zone” you experience that full out, spontaneous, euphoria that can only come from the satisfaction of being fully immersed in an activity and being 100% on your mental game. Basketball players report when they are “in the zone” they are free of anxiety, stress, and performance anxiety. They are relaxed and find true joy and ecstasy from the activity they are focusing on.

Part of building that skill is learning to Let It Go Staying in the Zone. A player cannot allow agitation, anxiety, depression, fear or other negative emotions to get in the way of achieving that flow and from being in the zone. Those emotions interfere, essentially block, any chance for the brain to get into the zone, as these thoughts will interfere with the flow that a player needs to achieve optimum results. The concept of ‘let it go’ is vital.

The commonality to all of this is three simple steps, clearing your mind and body of all negative thoughts and aggravations, learning to let go, not worry or become concerned and lastly, making sure to dedicate training time to exercises that specifically target mental toughness traits like focusing and emotional control.

Updated: July 2, 2011 — 10:41 am


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  1. Getting into the zone is hard for me, but when i do, i can half court shots with ease, in regular shoo-ing form.

    1. This is something you must practice on a regular base. The more you practice the faster you can get in the zone and stay.

  2. Well for me, I don’t even realize it but I get into “The Zone”. Once I get into it I suddenly feel more intense than before, bigger, better, faster, and stronger.

  3. I almost get in the Zone but .. Emotions distracting me … -.-

    1. Stay consistent in trying. Practice is what’s going to help you get there a stay.

      All The Best!

  4. When I go and play at my local rec center My game is very fluid in all aspects and my shot is consistant .
    But once I put on a jersey and get ready to play in an actual game all my fluidness goes out the window and my shot is no where near as consistant
    I’ve been this way since I played in high school, I think I take the game way too serious and put too much pressure on myself any tips on how to change this ?

    1. Hi!

      Alot of athletes have problems relaxing when they play and if you are not relaxed you will make errors and the errors will cause you to
      be inconsistent. Learn to relax while playing and your game will become consistent.

      All the Best,

  5. i still cannot get it zone

    1. Being in the zone is total concentration. Learning to block out all distractions while playing and learning to focus will also help to get you there.

  6. What method do you use to get into the zone? I know quite a few such as visualization method but is there any other surefire way to prepare yourself before a game to get mentally ready? I always find myself playing well in a pickup game or during practice but once I stepped onto the court for a real game I always find myself struggling. Any tips on how to overcome this?

    1. Visualization is great. I like to pair it with relaxation and a good pre game routine. Go to the product page and download the Imagery and Relaxation download. That will help a lot. If you need help putting together a pregame routine let me know.

      All the best.

      1. Yes please help me with putting together a good pregame routine. That would be great 🙂 Appreciate it!

        1. Give me a call so we can set up a consultation. 704-201-2460

          1. Sorry, I’m not able to call you since I don’t live in the states. I play in overseas. Maybe you can send me an email?

          2. Hello there! Have you found a program that helps you get in the zone during your sports performance? email me at

          3. Hi,

            I tried to email you but it bounced back. Learning to relax and focus will help you get you in the zone. Try the Relaxation and Imagery program and that should help. Go to and click products. It will be there. All the Best!

  7. Everytime i played basketball i’ve been always happy ( my skills are not same with other players. I played with my own style like Formless dribling and formless shots.).
    i dont know if i have or i Entered the Zone.
    Actually i dont care about my game play in basketball they said i quit by playing basketball because im not serious player, im not ready and they always said that my skills are not accepted when we play basketball.. Everytime i think that should i quit playing basketball..

    I can do miracles shots, blind shots, one hand shots, back ring shots and other shots..
    Is this Zone?
    Plzzz reply me in my email

    1. No not quit. The zone in a nutshell is when everything is flowing together effortless.

  8. Does the ZONE needs a switch?

    1. I’m not sure what you are asking. Please explain.

  9. We were playing basketball and I shot a three pointer and block shots without knowing how I did it but I’m not to good at basketball but I like playing basketball so was I in the zone.

  10. We were playing basketball and I shot a three pointer and block shots without knowing how I did it but I’m not to good at basketball atleast that what I think but I like playing basketball so was I in the zone because it was really effortless and my teammates did the same thing I did.

    1. Hmmm its possible!!

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