The “Zone” is the best mental space for an athlete to be when playing or competing. The physical benefits enhances performance on a biological level. Most coaches agree this is optimal for a successful outcome.
Scientist at Northwestern University studying the “Zone” or “flow networks” found that the best soccer players, the ones who were most valuable to their team overtime, we’re not the ones who were fastest or had the best kicks/shots, but those who had the best flow… or the ones that could get into the “Zone”.
Lionel Messi, one of the best soccer players in the world who is particularly known for his smooth and easy flow rated right at the top. Related study of the soccer players in the journal psychology of sport and exercise in 2011 found a similar correlation between success and flow.
Coaches who place an emphasis on mental training as part of their program are seen to have a better win percentage. More and more coaches have moved to incorporating mental training as the benefits have shown to be linked to success.