Thursday, April 23, 2009

Think about it

A simple analogy for the "Zone" and a starting point for high performance

Think of your brain as a camera that can take 40 pictures a second.
Say under normal conditions, your camera brain takes an equal number of pictures in each of the concentration areas.
Now, think of a shot on goal in soccer that takes one second to travel from the foot of the kicker to the goal. The goalie’s perception of how quickly the ball gets to him, will depend
upon the number of pictures the brain takes of the ball.

  • If, under normal conditions the camera is focused internally on the goalies thoughts and feelings for half of the time, then 20 pictures will be taken of the ball.
  • If the athlete stops all internal processing the camera brain takes 40 pictures of the ball. With twice as many pictures to look at, the ball seems to come to the athlete much more slowly.

The thing to remember from this is that:
The perception of the passage of time is dependent upon the direction of your focus of concentration. The more internal the focus, the faster time seems to pass. The more external the focus, the slower it passes and the more time you feel you have to react.

Once you are capable of performing and of making adjustments without having to consciously think about it, you are ready to begin work on learning to control distractions or those thoughts and feelings that interfere with performance in the actual competition

For us bridge players, imagine how many external cues our internal camera is missing when we focus on our bad play, our bridge partner defensive mistake or any other random topics unrelated to the present game.

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