"Hey man I was in the Zone "
I'd like to think at least all of us at one time or another have had the good fortune to experience this feeling while playing a game of Tennis. I know I have and I've witnessed others that seem to have. So how does this occur?
When your entire World is no larger than 78' x 27' and nothing outside of those dimensions exist. Sometimes you can sustain this for a game or two. There are those occasions where you can sustain this for an entire Set and God Bless those who can sustain this for an entire Match.
How do you know when you're in the Zone? The beauty of being in the Zone is not knowing. And to be quite frank, you don't want to know.
[TS] = true story:
About three years ago, I was playing Men's Doubles during a local Round Robin Event. This is a social activity that some people put together for enjoyment purpose only. There are no prises awarded only bragging rights however the Partner you start with is the partner you stay with throughout. So I was having a very good night of serving. It seemed my 1st Serve was in the groove as they say. During one game, I served out the entire game in Aces.
Then when it was my turn to serve again, I started that game with an Ace and our Opponents started standing as far back as they could, which was a mistake but I'll talk about that another time. Anyway, when I was preparing to serve to the Ad-Court Side, my partner of all people leaned to me and said, "I bet you can't serve an Ace again" and after consecutively serving aces in a roll, I missed my first serve. I put down my Racquet and walked over to him and said these words, "After this game is over, you and I are going to have a talk" and I'm guessing by the look on my face, he became very worried. I didn't serve another Ace in that game and subsequently we did have that talk. I basically asked him why in the World would he say something like that to his own partner? I suppose you can guess my actual comments were not G-Rated. I was floored that my own partner disrupted my concentration by making such a comment like that.
Concentration = Focus and all good things follow. If you can get yourself in a position where you are no longer aware of your surroundings outside of that 78' by 27' perimeter and your entire focus is on the task at hand, you are giving yourself an opportunity to be in the Zone. When the Cars, Barking Dogs, Games on adjacent Courts, Wind etc. are not allowed to be a distraction, you are completely focused on the Game and when you are focused on the game, your concentration is at its' peak and when your concentration is at its' peak, you unknowingly will find yourself watching the ball, paying attention to your movement(s) and what your Opponent is doing as well.
These attributes will give you the best opportunity to be competitive and I assure you, whatever level you are at, you will play your best game. It doesn't mean you will win it only means you will play your best game.
to be cont.