Flow and Peak Performance in Sports
For young athletes, finding flow is critical for their enjoyment and peak performance in sports…
When kids experience being “in the zone,” they are focused, confident, and fearless.
Athletes in a flow state perform on “autopilot,” feeling as though performance is almost effortless.
In fact, this focused state of concentration or “total focus” may be a prerequisite to entering the zone.
Mihaly Csikszentmihaly, a psychologist at the University of Chicago, has studied the phenomenon of “Flow” throughout his career.
Dr. C. studied a variety of athletes—basketball players, dancers, rock climbers, chess players, factory workers and other performers—to understand why people enjoy activities.
He learned that when people become fully absorbed into an activity, they reach a state people described as flow.
In his book “Flow in Sports,” Dr. C. offers nine qualities that describe the mindset of an athlete in the flow state:
- Challenge-Skills balance
- Merging of action and awareness
- Clear goals present
- Unambiguous feedback
- Concentration on the task at hand
- Sense of control
- Loss of self-consciousness
- Transformation of time
- Autotelic experience (intrinsic)
What Dr. C. concluded was that when these elements are present, an “order in consciousness” occurs, which allows people to “merge with the activity.”
In addition, flow states help athletes have fun (His research originally focused on how people have fun and enjoy their lives without extrinsic rewards). Just being in flow is enjoyable.
We certainly know that all four elements of concentration are present in sports…
First, sports are challenging by definition.
Second, sports usually match the skills of individuals or teams in a competitive environment.
Third, the goals of sports are clear—to hit a jump shot or to sink a ten foot putt.
Lastly, athletes get instant feedback related to their performance—whether or not they miss the basket or sink the putt.
What is the takeaway from his work on flow? When athletes become immersed in the task of performing and have confidence to meet the challenge, they perform well.
You help athletes to become immersed by defining what’s important to focus on and what’s just a distraction.
Help Your Young Athletes Improve Focus In Sports!
Are your young athletes easily distracted by people shouting on the sidelines? Do they obsess over their mistakes? Do they worry about what people think of them?
These issues will cause their concentration and performance to suffer!
The Focused Sports Kid helps kids overcome distractions that can hurt their performance in sports.
This is a 7-day program for sports parents and kids to discover secrets to helping young athletes improve focus and concentration!
The Focused Sports Kid program is actually two programs: one for sports parents/coaches that provides mental game tips especially designed for parents and coaches, and for young athletes, ages 8 to 12, that will walk them through 7 simple lessons in mental focus in sports.
What are parents and coaches saying?
“I read your report and prepared a one-page summary for my team. I asked the team to attend a 10am training session on Saturday before the final on Sunday. (I told parents) they must obtain the one-page summary handout from me and ask a parent to read it to them until they understood what it meant…My boys succeeded! We beat a team that no one could beat during the year, that was coached by a former professional player that had sons of former Professional players in the team and as a result of believing in themselves, they won. In my humble opinion , I look beyond the game and hope the kids have learned a lesson in life that you really can do almost anything if you put your mind to it. We salute you and the wonderful work you do.”
~Anthony (Tony) Costa, coach
“The resources that you have available on your website have been wonderful. I am slowly learning [and hopefully] in time that a sound mental game may be more important then the actual physical part of the sport that your child plays. Yes you have to have the talent but the mental game is what sets apart as a very good athlete compared to an elite athlete. As a parent, you need to find the time to teach yourself and help your child understand the Psychology of sport. All the hard work on the ice/field could eventually pay off and not just in sport but in every day life. Thanks again.”
~Darren, Sports Dad
“We just completed the first ten tips, it has helped tremendously for (our daughter) and us. We’ve learned to keep our behavior and comments in check. She’s letting mistakes happen and not worrying about them, she’s now just moves on to the next play with the same attitude as before the mistakes. She’s playing more aggressively all game. Her coach even mentioned that whatever we are doing, keep doing because it’s working.”
~Scott, Sports Dad
Boost Your Self-Confidence With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
Expert mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help your sports kids overcome their sports mental game issues with personal coaching.
You can work with Dr. Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our mental coaching students saying?
“Ashley wanted me to let you know that she placed very well at her competition this past weekend, thanks to you! She won the short, won the long, and had her personal best. She now looks at her competitions like ice shows and has fun. It is really nice to see her thoroughly enjoying the skate. She is very focused and very confident. We definitely attribute this to you.”
~Brenda Glassco, Skating Parent
“I wanted to say that your program was one of the contributing factors that has helped Michelle improve her hitting. Last week she had the most relaxed, confident games at bat ever! The mental exercises have started to make things click. The mental program is something she can practice in other facets of life. I am pleased that we decided to invest in your program, the results are showing.”
~Jim Ellis, Michelle’s father
“Dr. Cohn’s mental coaching has really helped our son Justin gain confidence in his riding and teach us how improve teamwork on and off the track.”
~Stephanie Starling, Justin’s Mother
*Testimonials found on this site are examples of what we have done for other clients, and what some of our clients have said about us. However, we cannot guarantee the results in any case. Your results may vary and every situation is different. No compensation was provided for these testimonials.