Coach Samson Dubina US National Team Coach 4x USATT Coach of the Year

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Mental Strategies - Part 15

Learn to play "IN THE ZONE"

"Being in the zone" is when you're performing 100% in the subconscious mode. This is very difficult to do, unless you have 100% trust, the conscious mind will try to help. For an example, if you tried to perform 100% in the subconscious mode, trying alone engages the conscious mind, which eliminates the possibility of a 100% subconscious mode. In fact when your opponent is in the zone for a game you can get them out of the zone by asking a question, such as what changes have they made in their game? The question alone will cause them to engage the conscious mind in order to remember why they're doing so good. No great play or performance was ever done in the conscious mind. The conscious mind cannot think of more than one thing at a time, however once a skill is in the subconscious it can do several things at the same time. 
The conscious mind is the source of your thoughts, mental pictures and our 5 senses, (sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch). Since the conscious mind can only think or picture one thing at a time we should control our thoughts and limit them to positive thoughts, if you're picturing something positive in your mind, it's impossible to picture something negative at the same time. 
The subconscious mind is the source of all mental power. All great performances were performed in the subconscious mode. All skills are developed by repetition of a conscious thought or picture until it's automatically performed in the subconscious. The conscious mind is limited to one thing at a time and the subconscious can do many things at the same time. We train the subconscious by repetition of 1 conscious picture or thought at a time until the skill is automated in the subconscious mode. After the skill has been automated in the subconscious, trust it in competition. Our competition results can be measured by the percentage of trust we have in the subconscious. The least we trust, the more the conscious mind tries to help. No one can serve two masters. The conscious mind is limited to concentrating on one thing at a time and the subconscious can do many things at a time.
Trust your game and compete in the subconscious mode. 
Attitude: Your performance will not exceed your expectations, raise your expectations and your performance will rise to match expectations.
By Coach Carl Hardin