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In 'the zone'

If you know a surfer or an avid golfer, it’s likely they speak about their sports with a special passion, their eyes widening as they talk about their last surf or game. They live and breathe it. And when they aren’t surfing or golfing, they are thinking about the next time they can.

You may recognise this influence if you’ve surfed, played golf - you will know that it’s ‘that wave’, ‘that shot’ that we keep coming back for.

It's a feeling, a reward, that we can’t achieve many other places.

And it's not just in the waves or on the fairways that it can be found…

‘That’ moment… ‘that’ great play when it all comes together… ‘that’ feeling in a workout, ‘that’ run, swim or ride…

So what is at the heart of this?

𝘞𝘩𝘺 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘴𝘰 𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵?

𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘥𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘥𝘥𝘪𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘢 𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘵𝘺?

𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘴 𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘴 𝘴𝘰 𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴?

and importantly - what things can we include in the design of our experiences, that will make this happen more often??

𝗚𝗲𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺 ‘𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘇𝗼𝗻𝗲’

Being "in the zone" is one of the most powerful experiences for any sports participant.

It's that moment when we are fully immersed in the activity – and it just feels great.

And while it often happens naturally, we can also intentionally design experiences to increase the likelihood it will occur.

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗴𝗻 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗻𝗴𝗲

Enabling this opportunity for participants is a valuable thing for us to do.

Whether it's grading a social league, scheduling a match, modifying the rules or environment of an all-abilities program, or adjusting the intensity of a training session, the goal is to provide the right level of challenge.

𝗪𝗲 𝘂𝘀𝗲 ‘𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗚𝗼𝗹𝗱𝗶𝗹𝗼𝗰𝗸𝘀 𝗥𝘂𝗹𝗲’

Getting into this place occurs when we make it challenging, but achievable. Stretching someone enough to be aspiring, but not so difficult it can never be done. But it shouldn't be too easy either, that’s just boring…

This is the essence of the 'Goldilocks rule'—not too much, not too little, but just right.

Although not every participant will get in the zone every time, even brief moments in this state create powerful experiences.

By helping more people reach that place, we get more people coming back, for more.

I’m helping sports get more people more involved for longer.

(re)designing sport with experiences we can all be proud of.

If you need some help with that, please do let me know

💻 Maybe check out our Pathways Projects - providing 'Journeys of Aspiration' in your sport.

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