If I had to sum up the experience of being “in the zone” in one word, I would go with “numbness.” The sensation and rare experience of being “in the zone” is truly unique. Not everyone is lucky enough to experience the feeling, so if you have then you are truly fortunate.
Trying to express this phenomenal experience is not an easy task, but I can try: time seems to slow way down and everything around seems to be barely moving, similar to those slow motion scenes in movies. Feeling this way is like being on another level of consciousness.
When you’re “in the zone” during a game, you do not consciously make decisions and playing the game becomes truly instinctive. You are aware of your surroundings, but you feel that nothing around you matters.
There is a feeling you get that nothing can go wrong, which feels rather good. We all have heard the phrase “failure is not an option” … well this seems extra true when your in the zone. You are so concentrated on the game that it feels like you are not even concentrating; sounds weird right?
For those that are saying to yourself, “Have I ever been in the zone?” Nope. You haven’t, simple as that. The experience feels “out of body”, and you would know if you’ve felt it.
An adrenaline rush is not the same thing either. Adrenaline definitely plays a part in the experience, but there is no “fight or flight” when you’re in the zone; only “flight.” Unlike a fight or flight adrenaline rush, there is no fear or stress.
If you are struggling getting a grasp on this concept, maybe some videos will help. Here, watch Tracy McGrady single-handedly beat the San Antonio Spurs and Reggie Miller defeat the Knicks. Both are good examples of a player’s being “in the zone.”
Watching these videos will not allow you to fully understand the sensation, but at least you can get an idea. This phenomenal feeling is one of the beauties of sports. You can’t get this feeling by sitting at your desk or playing video games.
If you have been in the zone before and you think I left anything thing out then let’s hear it in the Smack Talk forum.
Written by Hollen O’Kelley
Edited by Andrea Herman
Image Source: otrsportsonline.com