Every winner has his or her own unique technique and almost always, it is about how they handle a particularly vexing, stressful situation.
One such consistent winner is Serena Williams. They have been so many times when she is actually losing but somehow, she manages to emerge on top and victorious. How does she do it? She herself has said, “If you are behind in a game, it’s so important to relax, and that’s what I do–when I’m behind in a game, that’s when I become most relaxed. Just focus on one point at a time…just that sole point, and then the next one, and the next one.”
This is what is known as the “quiet eye.” It is an enhanced perception, the ability to take a keener, closer, longer look at whatever else requires focus, that leads to better results. In moments of stress, great athletes ignore distractions and plan carefully, as if an internal mechanism enables them to change the pace of play. Quiet eye may even initiate ‘flow state,’ a highly prized sense of total absorption and immersion during which time and space become irrelevant.
Quiet eye is dedicated observation where we are simply aware of the present and the only thing required to do is “look!”