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Eruptflail t1_j7h2gny wrote

The other thing is that flow states are very hard to achieve in competition against others or very unpredictable things. If you're a top athlete competing against top athletes, you're going to have a very hard time entering flow states because they're challenging you constantly. Even then, entering a flow state then may cause you to commit major errors because you're not using metacognition. You're only reacting.


buffer_overflown t1_j7hjvb3 wrote

This is anecdotally false. I've hit flow on parkour (noncompetitive), fencing (competitive), and archery (both).

It's not at all about exclusively reacting and asserting that it is misses the point.

Backing up your first point, flow state in competition was most common when my competitor and I were performing at similar levels. Getting stomped, or stomping, did not induce flow.

It's easier in archery because you are not directly reacting to someone else, so even with a lineup of competitors you're still hyperfocusing on the act of the release.

And in all three, you better be paying attention and making decisions. Parkour was probably the best example as I -- or students, to broaden the sample size slightly -- needed to make risk assessments while in the moment.

But it is not at all purely reactionary.

Edit: In order to soften my disagreement slightly, my point is that analysis and flow are not mutually exclusive and being able to integrate decision-making into the mental state is crucial, because it creates an environment where you are able to react intuitively where options are culled to those with the greatest opportunity for success.