The "ZONE": forget about rackets, strings, tensions etc.

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by asintu, May 26, 2007.

  1. asintu

    asintu Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Messages:
    973
    I'm sure most of you experienced "the zone" when you were out on the court sometime. What I mean is that feeling that everything is going well, confidence in your shots, 100% focus and that kind of stuff.
    My take on it is that when you're in "the zone", the type of racket, string, string tension, lead tape, grips etc. matter so little it's unbelievable.

    The idea is this: I was thinking of concentrating more on the factors that allow you to get into the zone than on the others mentioned above.

    So could you share your experiences of the so called "zone" and how you achieved it (in case you can trace back what caused it).
     
    #1
  2. TENNIS_IS_FUN

    TENNIS_IS_FUN Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Messages:
    960
    I find it hard to get into the "zone" without having MY raquet, strings, tension, no lead tape, and wilson pro overgrip kthxbye.
     
    #2
  3. boojay

    boojay Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,026
    Location:
    The Pillars of Creation
    if you build it, they will come
     
    #3
  4. lethalfang

    lethalfang Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    1,420
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Try to switch to a totally different racquet when you are in the zone, and you'll see how quickly you are chased out of the zone.
     
    #4
  5. Teh_pwnerer

    Teh_pwnerer Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    533
    omg jsut answer his question lol
     
    #5
  6. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,186
    Location:
    tennis courts
    thats so 90's. its not like that anymore.
     
    #6
  7. EliteNinja

    EliteNinja Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Messages:
    610
    They should just make a racquet called "The Zone":p
     
    #7
  8. EliteNinja

    EliteNinja Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Messages:
    610
    Then the advertising for it would be like:
    "You haven't really experienced tennis until you've been in 'The Zone'"

    and some random tennis player would be like:
    "I'm always in the zone when I use 'The Zone'!"

    "Go Zone or go home!"
     
    #8
  9. iplaybetter

    iplaybetter Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    3,441
    Location:
    behind you, but i have to be somewhere else by the
    my semi coach and neighbor has a 3-6 zone system for winner and defense angles, hight above the net, depth of court
     
    #9
  10. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    Messages:
    2,885
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    think of your racket as your hand, an extension of your arm rather than a tool.
     
    #10
  11. ShooterMcMarco

    ShooterMcMarco Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    3,017
    For me, getting in the zone is about relaxation and focus. The I way I got into it was by focusing (not just watching) the ball and not worrying about how I stroke the ball. Like Tim Gallwey says, just let it happen. The moment you try to get into the zone, you'll start to breakdown. Use relaxation techniques like deep belly breathing, visualization and taking time between points. Don't rush yourself, just work at a pace that is most comfortable to you.
     
    #11
  12. Chauvalito

    Chauvalito Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Messages:
    2,582
    A very good psychologist from the University of Chicago has written extensively on this subject.

    His name is impossible to pronounce...but his term for the zone is being in "Flow".
     
    #12
  13. zzzbrianxxx

    zzzbrianxxx Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    170
    .........................................................................


    In response to the person who started the thread:

    I found that if I can hit with somebody who is extremely consistent yet hits with decent pace, I can sometimes find myself in the zone. If the other guy is so good that he can get the ball in my strike zone every single time it'll not only help you play well that day, but it will also improve your game overall.

    When you play against somebody like that, you need to start off hitting well within yourself, hitting every ball with the utmost control and placement and then slowly start to hit out on the ball, going for more and more as the hitting session goes on.
     
    #13
  14. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,186
    Location:
    tennis courts
    i agree with this. i am much more in the zone when i am playing someone better than me even though i am losing. sucky players just mess up my zone so bad
     
    #14
  15. asintu

    asintu Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Messages:
    973
    do you have a link, book, article?
     
    #15
  16. asintu

    asintu Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Messages:
    973
    hmmm interesting, come to think about it almost every time I was in the zone it was when I was playing the type of player you described..so that's gotta be 1 of the big factors. thanx.
     
    #16
  17. Dink

    Dink Rookie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Messages:
    151
    Location:
    Slidell, LA
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2007
    #17
  18. Silent

    Silent Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Messages:
    799
    To me, by definition, trying to get in the zone or the stay in it will get you out of it or make it impossible for you to get in it.

    Free your mind, focus, and you'll get there, and once you tell yourself that you're in the zone, you're already out of it.
     
    #18
  19. lethalfang

    lethalfang Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    1,420
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Not necessarily.
    For most players, when you know you are in the zone, you become extremely confident, thus you stay in the zone. In fact, I would feel so good on a certain day that, I don't want the day to end. On such day, I will take riskier harder shots because I just know they will stay in court, because I'm in a friggin' zone!
     
    #19
  20. ShooterMcMarco

    ShooterMcMarco Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    3,017
    Morpheus? Is that you?
     
    #20
  21. Thud and blunder

    Thud and blunder Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2006
    Messages:
    776
    His name (unpronouncable indeed) is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
    Google Csikszentmihalyi flow, or wikipedia flow (psychology)
     
    #21
  22. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    3,877
    Location:
    In a tent, along the Silk Road
    I found myself in the Zone on Saturday...for about two games. Really, I was just GROOVIN' winners and aces. Two games is what, about five minutes? That's pretty much my zone max.
     
    #22
  23. boojay

    boojay Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,026
    Location:
    The Pillars of Creation
    I played basketball all my life so I know what being in the zone is like.

    However, in tennis, I've experienced two zone-like episodes thus far. The first is one I would think more people are familiar with, where you play relaxed and have total control over your body and know exactly how to move as though you've been doing this your entire life and everything is just clicking.

    The second was a bit diff because I all of a sudden had an adrenaline surge and was almost playing out of anger; I began pouncing on everything, first serve, winner attempts, swinging volleys, etc. Literally every single shot I went for, I was trying for a winner, and about 90% of them went in and most of them WERE winners. It was intense! Unfortunately, it only lasted for about a set and a half, but it was so cool.

    That said, I would much rather have the "relaxed" zone experience because it lasts much longer, poses less risk for injury, and is more consistent.
     
    #23
  24. lethalfang

    lethalfang Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    1,420
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Exactly. When you are in a zone, you definitely know it consciously.
    Kobe Bryant, when he's in a zone, will display it by sticking out his index finger and thumb as if it's a pistol, and then blow it as if his gun is smoking. A pretty creative and cool gesture on the court.
     
    #24
  25. A.Davidson

    A.Davidson Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    617
    For me, I've always felt it's about getting a "Zone Spark". On a bad day, one awesome winner or killer serve can immediately put me in "the Zone", or render me "unbeatable" for a time. I think it's more about mentally realizing that you have the tools to accomplish the means than anything else.
     
    #25
  26. Purostaff

    Purostaff Banned

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Messages:
    754
    Location:
    Rotating round thing in an infinitely empty space
    It happens from time to time for me just when I'm about out of gas =/
     
    #26
  27. textbook strokes

    textbook strokes Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    446
    For me its related to footwork more than anything. You start to feel like if every ball just comes exactly to your confor zone, but in reality, it is you moving the right way.
     
    #27
  28. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Messages:
    2,034
    Outstanding...

    ...this is definitely my favorite TW post of all time...TW, you owe this guy a free racket, at least...
     
    #28
  29. Taxvictim

    Taxvictim Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Messages:
    506
    Location:
    Wake County, NC
    My wife read "Flow" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced Mih-high-ee Chick-sent-mih-high-ee) and she raved about it. Went on and on about how American writers are worthless and that guy's a genius. So I guess +1 (from my wife) to that idea.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2007
    #29
  30. Defcon

    Defcon Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2004
    Messages:
    3,741
    There is no racket.

    (or strings, or tape....)
     
    #30
  31. Dink

    Dink Rookie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Messages:
    151
    Location:
    Slidell, LA
    I thank you.
     
    #31
  32. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,186
    Location:
    tennis courts
    that post is pretty funny.
     
    #32
  33. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Messages:
    6,295
    Asintu, while people have been mocking your post, personally, I think it's one worthy of a lot of thought.

    I'm to unfocused to write what I want to write now, but i'll think on it and come back to the thread later today or tomorrow and write it then. I think it will centre on Patterns / Repeated behaviour, and sports-psych....
     
    #33
  34. A.Davidson

    A.Davidson Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    617
    Don't try to swing the racket - just accept the fact. There is no racket. Ha ha ha.
     
    #34
  35. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Messages:
    2,034
    #35
  36. Dink

    Dink Rookie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Messages:
    151
    Location:
    Slidell, LA
    Sorry, Asintu, I just couldn't resist!

    Seriously though, I think what zzzbrianxxx said is completely true.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2007
    #36
  37. rounick

    rounick Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Messages:
    495
    Being in the zone is one thing.

    Getting there is another..

    I used to to play in the zone all the time when I was a young teen.

    Then something happened..

    I discovered women.

    It's been a struggle from then on.I blame women for that.That and every other bad thing in my life.

    But I still love them.

    What a mess...
     
    #37
  38. FD3S

    FD3S Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,183
    And I must say Mr. Safin, I'm a huge fan of yours in spite of all that.
     
    #38

Share This Page