Yesterday I was working with one of the players on our college baseball team in the batting cage. He was working on an adjustment that would improve his consistency and effectiveness. As we were making adjustments (and I was seeing improved swings), I asked him how it felt.
His first response was a hesitant, “Yeah, it feels a little better.” Knowing that every player will say whatever it takes to appease his coach, I followed up by asking him if it really felt better. With a quizzical look he replied, “Well, yeah it does. It just feels like I’m not even putting any effort out.”
I told him what I tell every salesperson or business executive that I advise, “That’s how it’s supposed to feel.” I’ve always said, “If you feel like you’re selling, you’re doing something wrong.”
Talking with him reminded me of how, when we want something, we all press a little bit. The more we want it, the more we like to press, get tense and “try harder.”
What’s funny is that we also all get our best results when we’re not even trying. Athletes call it “the zone,” other call it “flow.” It occurs we our minds, bodies and actions are in complete alignment. We’re relaxed. We don’t have to think. We just act.
We you try too hard, you tense up. Your muscles – both physical and mental – contract. You get slow and you fall out of synch.
I think it’s important that we all remember that you don’t get into a state of flow by trying too hard. When the stakes are high, and the conditions are tough remember to go against your natural instinct of pressing, and instead relax and let it happen.