The Zoning zone

mxmx

Hall of Fame
This will be hard to put into words properly...but I will try:

My "peak" or "zone" level seems to be very high...but my "average level" is very average, low or inconsistent. It's like I have certain zoning and sucking days...more so than most people I know.

There are times I really hold my own and perform against much better players than me, or I would (when it's a zoning day) destroy players my level, especially in doubles. In doubles I have more confidence and often play a much higher level than my rating/ranking (which I do not want to elaborate on). But with the highs, I have my lows.

How does one play so well at times and "zone" and then play so average on other days? How can one maintain or get closer to ones zoning potential?
 

Curious

Legend
Sounds like a mental thing with lots of factors involved.
Tiredness
Lack of sleep
Aggressive attitude
Work the next day ( I always play better on Friday evenings )
Pain/injuries
Level of enjoyment

Others...
 

mxmx

Hall of Fame
Sounds like a mental thing with lots of factors involved.
Tiredness
Lack of sleep
Aggressive attitude
Work the next day ( I always play better on Friday evenings )
Pain/injuries
Level of enjoyment

Others...
Thanks for the reply :)

Interesting take. Quite a few on your list that could be related. I think some injuries can make one negative...I also have a severe problem sleeping well, especially before important matches. I have noticed that when I feel fresh and light, I am normally in a good mood to play, and then play better.

There was however this one instance that took me by surprise and was out of the ordinary to my regular habits(mixed doubles):

- I didn't have confidence to beat the good players due to their reputation. Felt like we had no chance. (In honesty, we didn't).
- We sucked in the match just before.
- I wasn't in that much of a mood to play.
- had to play with a partner of another team (which added pressure to perform and not disappoint).
- I ran into some old friends and their club where I helped to coach...in my mind they were checking if my game improved or gone backward.

In the end I played one of my best matches I've ever played. I zoned bigtime...even my shoulder didn't have pain with serves. We ended up winning only one set. But in reality, they should never lose a set against us.

There was a similar match where I zoned in the same way. We lost, but the one player was a top national level player when he was younger and is a full time coach. Not to mention that he's probably 10 years younger than me. I was his equal in that match, but his partner was stronger than mine.

I don't know...it's as if my game is improving on all levels (aside from injury issues) even though I'm getting older.

I'm hoping my zoning becomes more frequent if in fact it was zoning and not just me having improved.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
A good night of quality sleep is #1 on my hit list for "getting into the zone". In psychology circles the Zone is known as the Flow State. Meditation & various breathing patterns help to achieve Flow. A moving meditation, like Tai Chi, can also promote the Flow State.

Prior to going to hitting on the tennis court, I would often perform 10-15 minutes of cardio. This helped me to achieve a "runners high" -- my brain would be releasing endorphins / endocannabinoids.

More on the Zone:
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
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