Tony Tuesdays: Being in the Zone

Tony Azevedo is a 4-time Olympic water polo player, graduate of Stanford, and the current captain of the US National Men’s Water Polo Team.  Tony Tuesdays is his conversation with the water polo community courtesy of HARDCOREPOLO.

Today I want to talk about:

Being In The Zone

One of questions I am asked most often is how to best prepare for important games, and knowing how to get in the zone is essential. For me, “being in the zone” is playing consistently well, doing whatever it takes to win, and playing selflessly for the team. It is losing yourself in the game—not knowing or even paying attention to specific details because you are so involved in the moment.

But getting into the zone is not about waiting until an important game and then adopting a certain mindset. Instead, it is about training at the highest level every single day to develop a mental stability that will lead you under moments of intense pressure. If you train your hardest during every moment of what can often seem like boring day-to-day- practices, you will be fully prepared when you get to an important match—all the tools will already be there and you just need to get into your rhythm.

The biggest setbacks in important games come from doubting your own preparation and abilities. I like to refer to my favorite quote: “the biggest barrier to success is the fear of failure”. If you enter a big game second -guessing yourself, being afraid of missing a shot and the resulting consequences, you will never get in the zone and you are setting yourself up for failure. So ultimately, just like most things in life, the day-to-day hard work and dedication is what will mentally prepare you to play consistently well, no matter what the circumstances.

Follow Tony Azevedo on Twitter here.

Follow HARDCOREPOLO on Twitter here. 

Stay tuned for more Tony Tuesdays coming soon!


Tony Azevedo, Olympic Water Polo Player (courtesy of Mike Lewis,

Tony Azevedo, Olympic Water Polo Player (courtesy of Mike Lewis,

Founded on the pool decks of Southern California by serious swimmers who know what it means to train at intense levels on a daily basis HARDCOREPOLO is here. HARDCOREPOLO is the first brand to truly examine and explore the ethos of the hardcore polo player. HARDCOREPOLO is an authentic and innovative designer, marketer and distributor of premium quality young mens and young womens swimsuits, training gear, clothing, accessories and related products under the HARDCOREPOLO name. Our true, authentic, athlete driven, innovative, iconoclastic, and creative style differentiates us from the bland competitive swim suit industry and gives us reason to be. Start to finish, design, cutting, sewing, everything we produce is made in our native Southern California, something we are very proud of.

HardCorePolo, Azevedo (image courtesy of HardCorePolo)HardcorePolo is a SwimSwam Partner.


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About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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