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.
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Stay tuned for more Tony Tuesdays coming soon!
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