When Tiger Woods is optimally focused "in the zone", he wins: Is it due to absorption, concentration, desensitization, flow, and/or optimal brain wave states

The Absorption that allows an athlete, a surgeon, an astronaut or a musician to get into the Zone, i.e., to block out all distractions unrelated to performance has been assessed by Tellegen, Csikszentmihalyi and others in self-report measures. It occurs relatively rarely at the very highest levels and is very elusive to achieve. Qualitatively speaking, it is the phenomena of being totally immersed in the activity with time moving slowly, senses being sharpened, but pain not recognized. Thoughts and images are clear and controllable while physical performance seems effortless and automatic. To measure this phenomenon accurately and completely is not possible in a dynamic state, but to shape it's appearance and to extend duration is essential in finite psychomotor skills like golf.

Physical preparation for performance is mentally grueling and fatiguing. If often results in trance-like, dis-associative and sometimes dissociative states where depersonalization is a valuable technique to block out the intense suffering and pain associated with running, swimming or bicycling. The difficulty in sport is being able to switch in and out of full alertness for some strategic tasks while remaining in the dissociative state for endurance. The experience of flow, absorption and being in the zone is to harness power and ultimately unleash explosive yet finely titrated effort.

Concentration is the umbrella concept that also encompasses EMDR. The process of actively shifting eye focus from left to right while striving to hold an image or statement of emotionality is exceedingly difficult and ultimately beyond control. The combination of EMDR with neurofeedback is an innovative intervention that holds potential for greater impact in removing negative images of failed effort or in solidifying the recall of a successful effort. The neurofeedback serves to reinforce the development of greater mental stamina toward intensively focus comparable to zooming in a camera lens thus blocking out distractions and irrelevant stimuli. Enhanced quality of visualization is the desired outcome for the performance enhancement sport psychology consultant and his/her client.

Charles McCormack, unit chief, Federal Bureau of Investigation Administrator, Employer Assistance Program

The FBI has found EMDR to be extremely effective when used on individuals exhibiting symptoms of post-traumatic stress which can be tied to a specific traumatic event. The bottom line as I see it is that it works.

Lewis Engel, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, private practice, San Francisco

EMDR is a powerful tool in the hands of a skillful therapist. I’ve found it extremely useful in the treatment of the painful aftermath of rape, assault, combat, drug addiction, and the death of a loved one. But I’ve also found it a real help in overcoming the wide variety of less dramatic issues that bring people into my office: overcoming jealousy, envy and the loss of relationships (including divorce), fear of taking a test, or fear of an intimidating boss, writer’s and artist’s block, sexual inhibition and a variety of self-sabotage.

Washington Post

EMDR therapy has emerged as a procedure to be reckoned with in psychology…Almost a million have been treated…research appears to support the remarkable claims made.

Hugh Downs, 20/20 ABC News

EMDR provides a way for people to free themselves from destructive memories and it seems to work, even in cases where years of conventional therapy have failed.

Herbert Fensterheim, Ph.D., Cornell University

EMDR is the most revolutionary, important method to emerge in psychotherapy in decades.

Lenore Walker, Ed.D. ABPP, Domestic Violence Institute

A lifesaving process for battered women…everyone who has experienced the psychological pain from abuse or knows someone who has should know about EMDR!