| By Dr. Tom Ferraro

“The Zone” is that mythical place where one can do no wrong. When you are in the zone, you play with ease and with confidence. The zone consists of five elements:

►Confidence
►Focus
►Pleasure
►Relaxation
►Excitement

When I prepare one of my players for a tennis tournament, we get them into the zone about a week before the opening round. Here is what we do:

1. About 10 days before the tournament, we get them to clear away all social, family and work obligations as much as possible. We want them to be stress-free and undistracted.

2. We then ask them to taper off practice and to make no swing or equipment changes. Swing changes at this point are usually counterproductive.

3. I remind them of all their accomplishments to build confidence.

4. I give them a quick course game strategy.

5. We establish realistic expectations.

6. We keep the tournament in perspective and do not exaggerate its importance.

Try this and you too will find “The Zone.”

Dr. Tom Ferraro

For consultations, treatment or on-site visits, contact Dr. Tom Ferraro Ph.D., Sport Psychologist, by phone at (516) 248-7189, e-mail DrTFerraro@aol.com or visit DrTomFerraro.com.