Zap your brain into the zone: Fast track to pure focus

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by webbeing, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. webbeing

    webbeing Rookie

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  2. OTMPut

    OTMPut Hall of Fame

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    There was this famous book on the mental aspect of tennis. Farily old one i think. This talked about quieting the critical mind.

    I am sure some learnt scientist dismissed it as a quack psychology. For some reason i cannot but think of the army of scientists now dismissing diets by parroting cal in = cal out equation.
     
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  3. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Methink diets by that simple cal in, cal out equation should be dismissed. Say, would you want to get most of your daily calories from drinking cokes? :)
     
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  4. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    "He found that the most skilled players showed less activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is typically associated with higher cognitive processes such as working memory and verbalisation. That may seem counter-intuitive, but silencing self-critical thoughts might allow more automatic processes to take hold, which would in turn produce that effortless feeling of flow."

    This sounds a bit like "The Inner Game of Tennis."
     
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  5. OTMPut

    OTMPut Hall of Fame

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    Thats the book.
     
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  6. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    I think there is evidence supporting the idea that a "quiet mind" enables someone to play sports better. This is well known in the professional golf world. I believe it would work in tennis as well.
     
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  7. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    so now I have to wear red at all times and carry a little zapper attached to my head. got it. :)
     
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  8. neverstopplaying

    neverstopplaying Professional

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    I was hoping article would be about training methods to quickly develop this FLOW. 9v?

    I remember a section in "The inner game of tennis". How easy is it to return a ball that is out. Without thinking, it's possible to rip it with without any of the thinking of "having to keep the ball in play". This thinking is what we have to get rid of - once we are competent.

    The learning process:
    1. unconsciously incompetent
    2. consciously incompetent
    3. consciously competent
    4. unconsciously competent ( = FLOW)

    Maybe there are no shortcuts.
     
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  9. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    This passage is drawn from Dr. Michael Lardon's "Finding your Zone:"

    bolded seems to be the key-

    "When the thinking brain is quiet [cerebral cortex bypassed] it can react (or act) more efficiently, sampling increments of time is smaller intervals, which is why people who have experienced the Zone talk about feeling as is time passed slowly. . .the 100-mile-an-hour baseball comes in slow motion; the feeling is calm and the result is often beyond expectation."
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
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  10. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Don't forget your tin foil beenie, to block gamma rays from Alpha Centauri, of course.
     
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  11. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I'm sorry, but considering I study neuroscience every day, this is a load of garbage. It's not the research that's flawed, it's the conclusions that are preposterous. You cannot extrapolate objective findings to completely unpredictable situations. Let me just put it simply like this to illustrate how little we know about the brain: activation and deactivation of neurons appears as identical activity under imaging. The thought that the shock in a certain area will get you into a 100% subjective state of mind is ridiculous. Until you implant electrodes into an amateur athlete and see them all perform like professionals, let's keep the science in the lab.
     
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  12. spacediver

    spacediver Hall of Fame

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    From what I understood from the article (and I haven't read the primary papers yet), the technique is thought to depolarize the membranes (which, if you know how neurons work, actually brings the cells closer to firing threshold), rendering them more susceptible to inputs.

    I'm unclear on what you mean about activation and deactivation of neurons appearing as identical under imaging. What kind of imaging are you talking about? If fMRI, then the only way I can see that those two processes would show identical activity is if we're measuring BOLD responses caused by an excitatory population of cells and an inhibitory population of cells. But in both cases, we're measuring "positive" activity (although one will result in another population of cells being activated and the other will result in deactivation).

    And what, exactly, is a load of garbage? I never saw them claim that this will put them in a 100% subjective state (whatever that means), or that this technique can generalize to all people in all situations. Which conclusion/interpretation are you criticizing here? And who made these conclusions? Michael Weisend?

    Assuming the described study was well controlled, the results are fascinating, and offer unique insight into the mechanisms underlying the phenomenon of flow.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
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  13. rosewall4ever

    rosewall4ever Semi-Pro

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    great find!


    finally something scientific than the purely anacdotal mystery of "zen"

    "Golfers who focused on the swing of the club were about 20 per cent more accurate than those who focused on their own arms." - 20% is huge from a tennis perspective. It can be the key to whether a ball is in or out. It is a reminder of the old adage that a persons equipment is purely a extension of one appendage

    "These findings were borne out in later studies of expert and novice swimmers. Novices who concentrated on an external focus - the water's movement around their limbs - showed the same effortless grace as those with more experience, swimming faster and with a more efficient technique. Conversely, when the expert swimmers focused on their limbs, their performance declined "

    In other words to begin to define what it is truly meant by externalization....

    so then in a tennis standpoint would this mean to focus on the the path of the racquet during the swing in relation to the body. i.e use key markers around the body that racquet moves along, rather than focusing on the muscles to move a certain way
     
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  14. rosewall4ever

    rosewall4ever Semi-Pro

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