This is a terrific resource for anyone interested in the transcendent experience of sports, that place in athleticism where time slows and everything becomes effortless. If you have the slightest interest in transcendence through action, buy this book now!
The purpose of this book is not to provide practical how-to advice on getting into the zone in your sports endeavor, so if that's what you are looking for you will be disappointed. (See Flow in Sports: The keys to optimal experiences and performances for this.) The purpose of this book is to catalog the varieties of "flow" that numerous athletes have experienced, and at this it succeeds marvelously. I am fascinated with the phenomenon, and this book features tons of quotes, excellent grouping of the documented experiences by characteristic, and solid organization and writing to tie it all together. I had already done quite a bit of research on the concepts of flow and play before coming across this book, and I found it an excellent supplement due to the inclusion of so many first-person accounts as well as the documentation of so many other qualities of the experience that I had never considered before. As a bonus, it provides an extensive bibliography for those who are researching the topic, which I am. Really, there is no other book that puts such an extensive collection together; for more analysis and interpretation you will of course want to look elsewhere, but this is certainly the best place to get a strong sense of how (and how diverse!) the experience feels to its participants.
A brief thank you for the authors for what seems like painstaking work in collecting and organizing all of these experiences. Excellent job!
I purchased "In The Zone ..." seeking practical and applicable information to help me understand *how* to achieve zone athletic performance. I found this book disappointing and found little, if any, practical application.
Zone coaching or application is overwhelmed by endless annotated footnotes documenting scientific papers and athletes' personal testimony attesting to the Zone's existence.
While this may be a useful research compendium, it is not - in my view - a worthwhile read for those seeking their own path to Zone performance.