Staying Sharp: Getting and Staying in the Zone

Achieving peak performance depends on controlling the mind that controls your body

Elite athletes talk a lot about being in the zone, that magical place where mind and body work in perfect synch and movements seem to flow without conscious effort. Major-league pitchers, NBA stars, pro golfers and Olympic hopefuls dedicate their careers to the search for this elusive feeling, devoting hours of training to "listening" to their body and "reading" their muscles—trying to construct a bridge between mind and body sturdy enough to lead them straight to athletic nirvana.

But the truly great athletes, those with long careers and performances that fans talk about for generations, know that maintaining a competitive edge...

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