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How to play in the ZONE?

I played a tough tournament recently and faced with formidable opponents. I struggled and stayed with my opponents every step of the way for hours. In stead of throwing in the towel, I dug deeper and got in the Zone in critical moments. It was an unbelievable experience. My shots were much more powerful, much deeper and zeroed in wherever I was aiming. My reaction time became quicker and movement on the court was also impeccable. It was like "auto-pilot", like "natural reaction".  Playing in the ZONE enables you to defeat player one to two levels above you. 
I want to record this experience so I could share with you. Let me write down the two critical requirements on "play in the Zone".

1. Total focus is a must. No interference from your emotions and the surrounding: fear, expectations, scores, self-doubt, look good or bad, noise, homework, exams, time........etc.
2. Believe in yourself and never give up. Engage in positive self-talk and encouragement only or totally block the self-talk.  

If you succeed, you would be in the "ZONE" state. You hear nothing, see nothing except the BALL in your main vision and your OPPONENT'S COURT POSITION in your peripheral vision. Your shot selection is perfect. You move flawlessly. The shots go to where you are aiming. This requires a lot of discipline. But sooner or later you will experience this. The more discipline you are, the longer you can stay in the ZONE. Good luck! 

Michael Yeh
USPTA 1997




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