While flow state is the ideal place to be mentally during a game, it’s not something you can muster at will. All players should aim to perform their best regardless and treat flow state as a bonus if achieved. Still, we can create an environment that will foster and encourage this state of mind.
Achieving flow state is unique to all, so it’s best to look at what best to avoid when attempting to get in the zone. The limited factors of flow state are as follows:
- Being too aware of things around you. Focus on you and the moment instead. Be present.
- Inner speech is key. Keep it positive and trust yourself to be in your comfort zone. Give yourself permission to jump into and enjoy the moment.
- Having too many emotions like disappointment, happiness or anger, or worrying too much about specific feelings and not thinking rationally will restrict you.
- Stay focused. This skill can be practised and improved, for example, by visualising what will happen at a given event. By doing this you train the brain to stay focused on one thing.
Essentially, working towards a flow state is all about eliminating the things that are keeping you from achieving it. Research says that to reach flow state, you must eliminate all external and internal distractions and focus with undivided attention for 10–15 minutes. Protecting yourself from disruptions is what will allow you to enter this hyper focused state.