The Zone demo

The Zone demo

The Impactic Sport Program Home Page

What is “The Zone”?

“The Zone” is when you are so focused you perform at your best with little effort. Unfortunately, these moments might seem rare and random. However, there are some tricks you can use to enter your zone on demand.

TODAY’S EXERCISE: IDENTIFY YOUR ZONE MOMENTS

1. Think about times when you were engaged, motivated, focused, happy, and full of energy. For example:

  • A time when you were completely focused and absorbed in your exercise only to emerge an hour later and realize you just did some of your best training.

  • During a competition in which your mind quieted down and you were able to perform at a level you never knew you were capable of until that moment.

2. Make a clear list of these moments in the “Identify your zone moments” exercise on page 13 of your Athlete Workbook.

3. Later, we will discuss how you can learn to enter this state on demand.

ideal performance zone.png

More on the zone

Have you ever been completely focused and absorbed in your exercise only to emerge an hour later and realize you just did some of your best training? Or during a competition in which your mind quieted down and you were able to perform at a level you never knew you were capable of until that moment? 

“The Zone” is also known as the Ideal Performance State (IPS). When our activation is low, we lack motivation, interest and energy. When our activation is high, we are agitated, anxious, stressed or tense. But somewhere between these two activation states (either too activated or not activated enough) there lies the magical ideal performance state.

Unfortunately, these moments might seem rare and random. But “The Zone” is something you can achieve on demand.

The key is to build a picture of your ideal performance state so that you can trigger that state by acting like you did when you were in it. From there, the thoughts and feelings will follow. And if you get distracted and are acting in a way that isn’t optimal, take control. Make some changes. Breathe your way into it. Move differently, think differently, transition to a different emotional state.


The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your general health. It is intended to compliment your training plan and not instead of guidance from your coach. It should also not be used in place of advice from a doctor or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. By participating in this program you assume any risks, and that you release Impactic Sport from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

Welcome to the Program!

Welcome to the Program!

The Impactic Sport Program Home Page

Check out the introductory video below.


The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your general health. It is intended to compliment your training plan and not instead of guidance from your coach. It should also not be used in place of advice from a doctor or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. By participating in this program you assume any risks, and that you release Impactic Sport from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

      Optimizing Peak Performance     

 

   

     

       
       
        
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Welcome to Sleep for Peak Performance!

Welcome to Sleep for Peak Performance!

The Impactic Sport Program Home Page

Check out the introductory video below.


The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your general health. It is intended to compliment your training plan and not instead of guidance from your coach. It should also not be used in place of advice from a doctor or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. By participating in this program you assume any risks, and that you release Impactic Sport from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

How much sleep should I get?

How much sleep should I get?

The Impactic Sport Program Home Page

KEY POINTS:

1. You need good, sound sleep to lead a high-performance life, and sleep is particularly important if you're a high performance athlete.

2. Sleep helps your muscles repair and grow, helps to optimize brain structure, repairs damaged cells, and restores energy levels.

3. Teenagers between the ages of 14-17 need about 8-10 hours of sleep each night.

TODAY’S EXERCISE: Log your sleep

Fill in the “Log your Sleep” exercise on page 6 of your Athlete Workbook.

For the next week, log your sleep patterns. Write down what time you go to bed and what time you wake up. This will give you a good idea of how much sleep you normally get and if you go to bed and wake up around the same time every day.

GregWells 1% Tip (TRAINING WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED) PHONE-01.jpg

More on Sleep

Take a moment to calculate how many hours you sleep per night. Teenagers need about 9 hours – is that your number? If you sleep less than 9 hours per night, why should you care?

During the various stages of sleep, your heart slows down, your blood pressure drops, and your muscles relax. This provides you with some much needed rest so your cardiovascular system and muscles can repair and rebuild themselves. Sleeping is also when your immune system recovers and regenerates to fight off disease and illness. This is important for everyone - but especially as a high performance athlete if you want to perform at your best and reach your potential.

The bottom line: You can’t expect to perform well the next day if you don’t give your body the rest it needs in order to recover.

So whether you don’t get enough sleep because you study late at night, use social media, or have early morning practise, my hope is that, once we reach the end of this component, you will learn how to optimize your sleep habits so you can reach your potential.


The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your general health. It is intended to compliment your training plan and not instead of guidance from your coach. It should also not be used in place of advice from a doctor or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. By participating in this program you assume any risks, and that you release Impactic Sport from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

Sleep and athletic performance

Sleep and athletic performance

The Impactic Sport Program Home Page

KEY POINTS:

1. Sleep doesn’t just help your body repair itself from that day’s workout. A good night sleep also allows you to perform better the next day.

2. Human Growth Hormone promotes fat breakdown and increases muscle mass. That’s right, we build muscle in our sleep!

3. Make sure you get a good night sleep so you can perform at your best the next day.

TODAY’S EXERCISE: SLEEP DIARY

Fill in the “Sleep Diary” exercise on page 7 of your Athlete Workbook.

For the next week, keep a sleep diary. Log what you’re doing in the hours before you go to sleep and what your sleep is like that night (sleep duration, quality of sleep).

GregWells 1% Tip (TRAINING WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED)-01.jpg

More on sleep and athletic performance

There is a reciprocal relationship between sleep and exercise. If you exercise regularly, you will be able to sleep well, and if you sleep properly, you will probably perform well during your next workout. We call this ‘Training with your eyes closed’.

One important process that occurs while you are sleeping is the release of Human Growth Hormone (HGH). HGH promotes fat breakdown and increases in muscle mass, which allows the body to recover from the stresses that occur during training.

If you are sleep deprived and have less HGH in your system, not only will you restrict your body’s ability to recover while you are sleeping, but you will limit your ability to exercise the next day. So when you sleep your body repairs and heals itself and guess what – you’ll be able to exercise better the next day.


The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your general health. It is intended to compliment your training plan and not instead of guidance from your coach. It should also not be used in place of advice from a doctor or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. By participating in this program you assume any risks, and that you release Impactic Sport from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

Optimize your Naps

Optimize your Naps

The Impactic Sport Program Home Page

KEY POINTS:

1. Naps have been shown to improve exercise performance. However, there is a right way to nap, and a wrong way to nap.

2. Sleep cycles are approximately 90 minutes long. We're naturally designed to wake up during the end of our sleep cycle (during REM sleep). Waking up during one of the deeper stages of sleep will make you feel groggy.

3. Therefore, if you want to have a quick power nap, sleep for 20 minutes. If you want to sleep for longer, make sure you complete the 90-minute cycle

Optimize your naps

It is fabled that Leonardo da Vinci used to take multiple 20-minute naps throughout the day to charge his creativity. Brainiac Albert Einstein was also a napper. It’s taken hundreds of years, but recent research seems to back up this approach. Naps have been shown to improve energy, productivity, cognitive functioning, and of course athletic performance. In a study at Stanford University, tennis players improved their serve accuracy following 5 weeks of "nap training." That's the kind of training I'd like to do more of! 

But there is a right way to nap and a wrong way to nap. During the night, we cycle through 90-minute sleep cycles. In 90 minutes, we pass through Rapid Eye Movement stage (REM), stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, stage 4, then back through stage 3, 2, 1 and REM again. Stages 3 and 4 are when we are in our deepest sleep. This is when we recover our energy levels, when our nervous system recovers and regenerates, and when our muscles and tissues are repaired.

The problem is if you sleep between 30 and 60 minutes, you’re waking up in a deeper stage of sleep and you’ll probably feel worse than you did before the nap!

So if you want to have a rejuvenating nap, go for a short 20 minute power nap so that you wake up before falling into the deeper levels of sleep. Or alternately, allow yourself the full 90 minutes to complete all the sleep cycles. This is the option you’ll probably want to choose on a competition day or if you have multiple workouts in one day.


The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your general health. It is intended to compliment your training plan and not instead of guidance from your coach. It should also not be used in place of advice from a doctor or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. By participating in this program you assume any risks, and that you release Impactic Sport from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

Keep your bedroom dark

Keep your bedroom dark

The Impactic Sport Program Home Page

KEY POINTS:

1. Melatonin is the hormone that makes you sleepy, and it is released at night when it’s dark.

2. Light reduces your melatonin levels, which can lead to disrupted sleep. Even light from your alarm clock is enough to wake you up.

3. Make sure your bedroom is really dark in order to set yourself up for a good night sleep.

GregWells Sleep TIps-04.png

I want you to have a place in your home that is your place to rest and recover. Think of it as a peaceful place where you go to crash out after rocking the world all day. This will be your sleep cave – formerly known as your bedroom.

Melatonin (a hormone that helps regulate sleep) is produced by your pineal gland, which is located deep inside your brain and is very sensitive to light, including light from screens. Therefore, you have to ensure that you are in a dark space while you sleep. Really dark. Even the light from your alarm clock is enough to reduce your melatonin levels. Little things like covering up your alarm clock lights or getting dark curtains for your windows will help!

This also means getting rid of your screens if you have them in the bedroom. Television, tablets, mobile phones all compromise your ability to fall asleep. I realize this can be a huge change for you but having a massive light that flashes at you at 240 frames per second is a sure fire way to make sure you don't fall asleep.


The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your general health. It is intended to compliment your training plan and not instead of guidance from your coach. It should also not be used in place of advice from a doctor or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. By participating in this program you assume any risks, and that you release Impactic Sport from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

Defend your last hour

Defend your last hour

The Impactic Sport Program Home Page

KEY POINTS:

1. Calming down in the hours before you want to fall asleep is crucial.

2. The blue light from electronic devices affects the release of melatonin, the sleepy hormone.

3. If you’re on your devices late at night, this will affect your ability to fall asleep and your sleep quality.

GregWells Sleep TIps-06.png

More on defending your last hour

A recent study looked at the sleeping habits of NBA basketball players over several years. They found that when players tweeted late at night (when they should have been sleeping!), they didn’t perform as well the next day. They actually had a lower shooting percentage compared to the games when they weren’t up late the night before tweeting.

Remember how we discussed keeping your bedroom dark in order to get a good night sleep? Keeping your bedroom dark is great - but you also have to consider what you do BEFORE you’re trying to fall asleep.

This is because melatonin (the sleepy hormone) is affected by all kinds of light - especially the light that comes from screens. This means if you are up late on your computer, on your phone, or watching TV, you’re stopping melatonin from being released. It’s no wonder you can’t fall asleep after that.


The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your general health. It is intended to compliment your training plan and not instead of guidance from your coach. It should also not be used in place of advice from a doctor or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. By participating in this program you assume any risks, and that you release Impactic Sport from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

Craft your Bedtime Routine

Craft your Bedtime Routine

The Impactic Sport Program Home Page

Today’s Exercise: Craft your Bedtime Routine

It’s time to craft your ultimate bedtime routine!

Once your bedtime alarm goes off and you’ve put away your devices for the night, you need to start calming yourself down for bed. This might mean reading fiction in bed, doing a short yoga or meditation practice, or just prepping your food for the next day. Whatever your body needs to wind down after a long day and start preparing it for sleep.

Fill in the “Craft your Bedtime Routine” exercise on page 8 of your Athlete Workbook.


The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your general health. It is intended to compliment your training plan and not instead of guidance from your coach. It should also not be used in place of advice from a doctor or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. By participating in this program you assume any risks, and that you release Impactic Sport from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

Welcome to Mental Strategies for Peak Performance!

Welcome to Mental Strategies for Peak Performance!

The Impactic Sport Program Home Page

Check out the introductory video below.


The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your general health. It is intended to compliment your training plan and not instead of guidance from your coach. It should also not be used in place of advice from a doctor or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. By participating in this program you assume any risks, and that you release Impactic Sport from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

Managing Stress

Managing Stress

The Impactic Sport Program Home Page

KEY POINTS:

1. Short bursts of stress allow you to function at a high level, both mentally and physically. This is great before a race or big game.

2. However, constant stress (from school, a busy schedule, a sick family member, etc.) can decrease your ability to perform.

3. The STOP Practice is a technique you can use whenever you feel overwhelmed by a stressful situation or situations.

Today’s Exercise: The STOP Practice

You can use this technique anytime you feel suffocated by the pressure of a situation:

STOP whatever you’re doing.

TAKE a breath or two.

OBSERVE your body and scan it for any tensions.

PROCEED. Carry on with life.

GregWells Think TIps-03.png

More on Managing Stress

Short bursts of stress are essential for helping us to perform at a higher level, such as that adrenal rush you get right before a big race or game. You know the feeling. Your heart feels like it’s going to pound out of your chest. You feel like you’re buzzing and you're ready to rock. 

The benefit of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol is that they increase our capacity to function at a high level, both mentally and physically. This is a good thing in short bursts. But elevated stress over long periods of time can cause problems. 

Without a break from stressful situations, your brain and body get run down. It’s really hard to perform at your potential when you are constantly stressed.

If you are experiencing ongoing stress, try techniques such as the STOP practice to help you relieve it.


The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your general health. It is intended to compliment your training plan and not instead of guidance from your coach. It should also not be used in place of advice from a doctor or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. By participating in this program you assume any risks, and that you release Impactic Sport from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

Self-Talk

Self-Talk

The Impactic Sport Program Home Page

Key points:

1. Every athlete feels self-doubt and negativity at some point during training and/or competition.

2. However, elite athletes are able to change these negative thoughts into positive ones through a technique called self-talk.

3. Elite athletes draw on past successes to give them the confidence they need for their current practice, performance, or competition.

Today’s Exercise: Positive Self-Talk

Fill out the “Positive Self-Talk” exercise on page 10 of your Athlete Workbook.

Think back to some times when you have felt successful and competent in sport and then use these past experiences to create self-talk cues you can use whenever you’re doubting yourself.

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More on Self-Talk

Finding the right words, in your own mind and the ones you say out loud, have a real and significant impact on how you feel about yourself and how you perform. As a high performance athlete, you know that you must be disciplined in your self-talk, and hence in your thoughts, if you want to be your best.

So, do you know how you speak to yourself? Are you usually optimistic and positive about the events and circumstances of your day? Ideally, and in order for you to perform your best, it is important for you to notice when you are having negative self-talk and work to replace negative thinking with positive and constructive thoughts.

Those positive thoughts must be both realistic and authentic – you must believe them! So, for example, if you are feeling tired at practice, rather than “I’m so tired. I can’t finish this set.” You can replace it with “I’ve managed difficult practices before, I can make it through this one too.”

The key is to remember times when you’ve been successful in the past and then build a roster of self-talk cues that will shift your thoughts from negative to positive.


The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your general health. It is intended to compliment your training plan and not instead of guidance from your coach. It should also not be used in place of advice from a doctor or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. By participating in this program you assume any risks, and that you release Impactic Sport from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

Power Words

Power Words

The Impactic Sport Program Home Page

KEY POINTS:

1. Power Words remind you of who you are and what you should be doing in a challenging situation.

2. Think about what you need to do to have a great performance and then see if you can describe those actions in one or two words.

3. Then say those words to yourself right before the performance begins to remind yourself of what you need to do to be successful.

Today’s Exercise: Power Words

Fill out the “Power Words” exercise on page 12 of your Athlete Workbook.

skiier.jpeg

More on Power Words

At the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Skier Alexandre Bilodeau used a specific sports psychology technique to help him win a gold medal.

As Alexandre stood looking down on the moguls run, the potential for distraction was massive, including 10,000 cheering fans. So he focused on the two things that he and his coach had decided were key to victory: letting his knees go forward over the bumps and being soft and relaxed during his second air.

To do so, he stood in the starting gates and said softly to himself “forward” and “soft” – pre-arranged “Power Words” he used to focus on the most important elements of his run. The result? Pure gold.

You can come up with your own set of Power Words at peak performance moments. Figure yours out and use them to power through tough challenges.


The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your general health. It is intended to compliment your training plan and not instead of guidance from your coach. It should also not be used in place of advice from a doctor or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. By participating in this program you assume any risks, and that you release Impactic Sport from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

Getting in the Zone

Getting in the Zone

The Impactic Sport Program Home Page

Key points:

1. When athletes get into “The Zone” they are in a state where they are energized, motivated, focused, happy, and able to perform at their best.

2. You can learn to enter your own Zone on command if you take some time to understand your peak performance state.

3. The goal is to develop systems, routines, and skills that make your Zone available to you whenever you need it.

ideal performance zone.png

More on the zone

Have you ever been completely focused and absorbed in your exercise only to emerge an hour later and realize you just did some of your best training? Or during a competition in which your mind quieted down and you were able to perform at a level you never knew you were capable of until that moment? 

“The Zone” is also known as the Ideal Performance State (IPS). When our activation is low, we lack motivation, interest and energy. When our activation is high, we are agitated, anxious, stressed or tense. But somewhere between these two activation states (either too activated or not activated enough) there lies the magical ideal performance state.

Unfortunately, these moments might seem rare and random. But “The Zone” is something you can achieve on demand.

The key is to build a picture of your ideal performance state so that you can trigger that state by acting like you did when you were in it. From there, the thoughts and feelings will follow. And if you get distracted and are acting in a way that isn’t optimal, take control. Make some changes. Breathe your way into it. Move differently, think differently, transition to a different emotional state.


The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your general health. It is intended to compliment your training plan and not instead of guidance from your coach. It should also not be used in place of advice from a doctor or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. By participating in this program you assume any risks, and that you release Impactic Sport from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

Staying in the Zone

Staying in the Zone

The Impactic Sport Program Home Page

KEY POINTS:

1. Stress and anxiety are the biggest threats to your Zone.

2. Deep, controlled breathing to calm anxiety or stress is called Combat Breathing. You can do it anytime you feel that you are out of your Zone.

3. If you practice combat breathing every day, this exercise will become automatic on the day of your race, game, or performance.

Today’s Exercise: Practice Combat Breathing

1) Get into good posture by aligning your spine and stretching yourself upward. You can be lying down, sitting in a chair or standing. Then relax your muscles.

2) Do a scan for tension in your body and then focus on that area while you take a slow deep breath. Think about “letting go” of the tension as you exhale. (It might take a few breaths to get an area like your shoulders or forehead to release and relax).

3) When you feel you have addressed the tense areas, start taking controlled breaths. (inhale for 4 seconds, hold it for 2 seconds, and then exhale for 6 seconds).

GregWells Think TIps-06.png

More on Combat Breathing

Now that you have a sense of what your Zone is, you need to learn how to return to your ideal performance state when going gets tough. When tension creeps into your relaxed, high-energy, high-output state, your effort increases but your performance drops.

You can use a technique called Combat Breathing when stress or tension prevent you from being in your Zone.

The key is to realize you are stressed and take slow deep breaths when you are trying to get in the Zone for a performance or competition.

The reason breathing is so effective is that the centres of your brain that control breathing are closely linked to the area that controls stress. If you can calm the electrical activity in the breathing centre, then you have a good chance of calming the stress. That’s why yoga and meditation work.

Take a moment to practice relaxation breathing at least once per day, ideally during a moment when you're feeling tense or stressed. If you practice it enough the relaxation response will become almost automatic whenever you're feeling anxious.


The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your general health. It is intended to compliment your training plan and not instead of guidance from your coach. It should also not be used in place of advice from a doctor or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. By participating in this program you assume any risks, and that you release Impactic Sport from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

The Keys to a Great Taper

The Keys to a Great Taper

The Impactic Sport Program Home Page

Did you know that only about 20% of Olympians achieve a lifetime best performance at the Games? Check out this article on tapering and how you can be one of the few athletes who is able to reach their potential on the big day.


The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your general health. It is intended to compliment your training plan and not instead of guidance from your coach. It should also not be used in place of advice from a doctor or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. By participating in this program you assume any risks, and that you release Impactic Sport from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.