As featured in The Harmonizer.
Your next great performance awaits
Performers and athletes share a common interest to discover how to perform consistently: when it counts. Sports Psychology calls this the Performance ZONE. The ZONE is where you perform at your best. As a performer you may have had those magic moments where everything came together. You rang the snot out of those chords; the ballad made everybody cry and they jumped to their feet. Remember? You were in the ZONE. But, how do you get back there? The good news is we all have a Performance ZONE, in there...somewhere. If you were there once, it’s in there!
Coaches have told athletes forever “Don’t Think, React!” It’s as concise and accurate a statement as you can get. In order to perform at your best, you can’t be in the thinking part of the brain; you need to be in the automatic part of the brain. Visualization is one key to getting in touch with your Performance ZONE. Much like the “Think System,” you imagine yourself performing at your best. It’s the perfect way to program the automatic part of the brain how you want to perform on game day. See your performance in your mind, including walking on, taking the pitch, having a fantastic performance, and walking off stage. However, visualization by itself isn’t enough. You can build up your Performance ZONE by choosing to tap into your senses.
FEEL is the summation of all your senses without any of the technical information. Stop and feel the roses! FEEL is usually the dominant sense to help you get into your ZONE. Capture that feeling and it will help you to duplicate it in the future, even under pressure. When we ring that chord, nail that phrase or deliver that package like we never did before, pause and drink in that FEELING. If you want to keep it simple, ask yourself “how did it feel?” right after these successful moments. The more familiar you are with the automatic “feeling” part of your brain, the better your chance to slip back into this ZONE during performances.
The best athletes and singers have said when they are in their ZONE, it feels effortless. This isn’t about performing beyond your capabilities; it’s about
discovering the key that opens the door to YOUR personal best. Feel it and sing better!
– Paul S. Palmer is a Mental Skills Coach, Certified Hypnotherapist
and director of the Sports Motivation Clinic, Midlothian IL. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.sportsmotivationclinic.com