Today’s guest is an author and former Major League shortstop for the Kansas City Royals who unintentionally dropped into the zone during the 1985 world series playing the best baseball of his life on the way to his team winning the fall classic. He played error-free defense in every game and was an integral part in seven run-scoring innings for the Royals, nearly winning the series MVP. Despite having found the holy grail of performance states when the lights were brightest, wanting the ball to come his way more and more, and being featured on the late show with David Letterman, he was forced to retire from baseball shortly after his magical run because he couldn’t step back into the zone. Since that moment he’s been on a quest to uncover what it takes to get athletes in the zone so they can play their best and perform effortlessly. Synthesizing his own experience and cutting-edge research into the neuroscience behind that state he has taught the zone to athletes in 10 professional and 25 amateur sports. It’s my pleasure to introduce to Omni Athlete, the founder of Zone Motion, Buddy Biancalana.
Today We’ll be Talking About:
The idea of distorting time (2:20).
“In sports, when we’re right in the moment what happens is all the muscles in the body start to work harmoniously; there’s no imbalance, and that’s what happened to me playing the World Series.”
Where and when the notion of time distortion came to Buddy (4:06).
The shift that needs to happen in athletic training from a focus on large muscle strength to subtle muscular coordination (5:59).
“It takes a holistic approach to anything to be the best we can be at whatever it is we’re doing.”
What was different for Buddy in the World Series that allowed him to achieve a flow state (9:04).
“Emotional freedom is an essential component for playing one’s best or consistently playing one’s best.”
Emotions manifesting as negative performance (13:30).
“When the brain starts to function the way it’s designed to function, it’s kind of like the floodgates open, and you start to see everything else that’s inhibiting that athlete from being at that peak level.”
The concept of DNA Goals vs. Surface Goals (14:50).
“It comes down to the power of detachment from the outcome. There is tremendous power in detaching from the outcome. When you’re attached to the outcome there’s a little fear involved, right? It may not be intense, and you may not even feel the fear, but there’s a subtle feeling of fear that will be there and inhibit your performance.”
The processes Buddy works athletes through in the framework of outcome detachment (17:59).
How being present in the moment can affect the identity of an athlete both on and off the field (19:03).
The power of sport as a vehicle for change in other areas of an athlete’s life (20:40).
What it was like for Buddy to transition away from professional baseball (22:37).
Bringing the idea of body intelligence to the world in his years since leaving the game (24:54).
Buddy’s perspective on love and fear (26:16).
“Love is incredibly powerful because the heart is so powerful. When we’re really in touch with the heart, fear completely dissipates. When fear is in the way, it has a profound effect on our whole physiology.”
How love shows up for athletes when they’re performing (27:15).
What it means to Buddy to be an Omni Athlete (28:52).
Where to find more from Buddy Biancalana