I just had the great fortune to talk to NHL star Patrick Sharp of the Dallas Stars. I’ve been fascinated by one core idea for my whole working career. The idea – ‘When you ‘enter the zone’ you boost your performance exponentially. I’ve always wanted to talk to a professional athlete and ask them what its like to be in the zone.
Here are some highlights of what Patrick had to say.
‘Every athlete strives to enter the zone. For me, the game becomes easy, I’m not influenced by the coach or the other players, that doesn’t mean I’m defiant, it means I am on auto-pilot, I’m not thinking, my mind is clear.
For me it’s a frame of mind. If you clock how fast I’m skating, it’s the same, if you clock how fast the puck is going, its the same. It’s a feeling and only I know how I’m doing. I can tell when a hot streak is coming on, I get a few lucky breaks and then it just snowballs from there.
I don’t overthink it or dwell on the bad results. When I have a lot of goals, I replay them over and over again in my mind. I watch the video, I watch the highlights, I specifically what I was doing, I do this so I get the same good feeling I had when I scored the goal. I don’t watch videos of when I missed the net or hit the boards because that focuses me on bad feelings and why would I do that. Bad feelings make me feel bad!’
Patrick, thank you for taking the time and sharing your perspective. Having the opportunity to listen to an athlete describe peak performance puts me in the zone every time.