In basketball psychology the zone is the place in a player or a group of player’s game where they all seem to come together and gel. It’s the time when psychologically everything is falling into place and the player or players are almost playing effortlessly. When you see a player playing in the zone it truly is a beautiful site to see.
The zone is a symptom of true basketball mental toughness and preparation. It is the time when all the work the players have done all comes together to perform an effortless game of basketball. Of course they are playing which requires effort but to be in the zone means that they are reaping the benefits of mental toughness and physical talent; and that these two are gelling together perfectly.
When you witness a basketball player executing his or her game while in the zone, it is as if they can do no wrong. They make every shoot, they perform their defensive assignments perfectly and they do it all seemingly with little effort. It truly is the result of mental toughness and physical preparation.
Often times those close to the game of basketball will refer to being in the zone as a player that is playing with an edge. When all is said and done that edge is a mental toughness that has prepared them to be able to perform as such, in the zone. Having this edge is something that can be attained by all athletes with the right preparation being put into place as well as a commitment to continued practice and repetition of performing the skills that work.
In any game you watch whether on television or in person you can see usually a player or a group of players get into the zone. But one of the problems with playing within the zone that will become apparent as you watch is usually it is short lived. Rarely does a player or group of players go through an entire game playing in the zone. They may go through a hot streak but then all of a sudden it eludes them. Why is this?
When you witness or see a player that is playing in the zone; they are hitting every shot, stealing balls, making all free throws, etc…then all of a sudden they fall out of this rhythm and you wonder what happened. Quite simply, the awareness that got them into the zone left. Is there an explanation for this? Of course. It could be something a fan in the crowd yelled, something another player said that threw them off or any other number of things, but the important thing to remember is that it can be prevented through proper training and improving your mental game in basketball.
Next week post – How to get in the Zone
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