Mental Fishing – Prep for the Big Event – Part Two Getting in the Zone

Bucks Skeeter Yamaha

MentalBlogOnce you have step one out of the way and you know that “success” is working the process you have created to the best of your ability, then we can move on to the next piece of puzzle.

Step Two: Getting in the Zone

That sounds mystical and scary for most of us but it is no different than delivering a killer presentation (life we talked about preparing for in step one). The Zone is simply a state of high awareness and functioning. If we try too hard, the Zone doesn’t occur. If we don’t have a purpose and a plan, the Zone can’t be found. When we are not consciously thinking about the outcome and we get wrapped up in the process of fishing and we are working according to plan, the Zone is likely to occur.

Not finding fish, missing bites, dealing with distractions all present challenges to the Zoning affect. Having a plan to deal with each of those situations allows you to stay on task and sustain your motivation and energy. Great anglers are like other great athletes in this one way: Successes build their confidence, and distractions and failures build their confidence as well.

You say, “What?!”

That is right, failures and distractions build their confidence. The longer you go not finding fish, the closer you are to finding them. Missing fish or losing fish means you are on the fish. Engine problems give you a chance to demonstrate your skills at a higher level – it just increases the challenge before, and you love challenges.

The simple and natural thing to do is give away your sense of control over the situation and become a victim of the fish or a victim of the circumstances. I have had clients in BASS events go most of the day with little or no success and yet they remained on point and in the Zone. Ultimately, they had a break through where in the past they would have given up emotionally and mentally and never have given themselves a chance to succeed their last few hours on the water.

One key to finding and staying in the Zone on the water is “valuing every cast.” Fish each and every cast with excellence. It is not only a key to Zoning but it builds a sense of respect and integrity about what you are doing. I used a work example last time and I think it applies again. Ask yourself how often you are sloppy and unprofessional in your work setting? Not at any time, I pray!

Fish with that same sense of professionalism and respect you show your job. It will be amazing, I promise you.

Some of the pros act like they won the lottery when they catch a four-pounder. Others simply land the fish, put it in the live well, and go back to the task at hand. Some of the celebrations are for the fans and some guys use it to pump themselves up and keep the Zone going on and some don’t need to do anything. You have to figure out your own way with that stuff.

A brain surgeon friend of mine told me about a twelve-hour surgery he did recently. I said, “Twelve hours! How can you stand there that long?”
He replied, “When it is done it seemed like it had been thirty minutes. Only when I looked at the clock did I realize just how long it had been.”

He had been in the Zone! He was working the steps, handling the distractions, maintaining his energy and motivation, and time passed quickly. The same will happen on the water for you when you practice getting in the Zone every time you go fishing.

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