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Jobe Watson (cetnter), captain of the Bombers runs with his teammates along the beach during an Essendon Bombers AFL recovery session at St Kilda Sea Baths on May 12, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. Scott Barbour/Getty Images


  • The "flow state" is not as complicated as most people believe it is
  • An orthopedic surgeon explained how important mental health is to an athlete's success
  • His advice is for athletes to always remember why they started playing in the first place

The top athletes and coaches around the world would regularly be asked the question of how they felt about the game, with the players almost always saying something along the lines of "being in the zone" or "things just felt good,"

This phenomenon, more commonly known as the "flow state," also applies to the everyday person as they go through the doldrums of everyday life, usually finding themselves being able to knock off their goals with ease without fully knowing what happened other than "it just did."

In order to better understand what the flow state is and how it occurs, the International Business Times was able to speak with an affiliate of Asia's fastest growing health media platform in Medical Channel Asia (MCA).

Dr. Sean Leo, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in knee and lower limb surgery and sports surgery, mentioned that the flow state is based on one's mentality to perform a certain task and noted how the stress of being a surgeon is relatively comparable to that of a professional athlete.

"I think the mental aspect of performance is very, very important for everybody; not just for athletes. It is important for me as well because when our patients undergo surgery, there's a lot of stress involved. It's the same kind of stress that a professional athlete would be feeling if they are playing in a high-level game and it's up to them to score the game-winning basket," he said.

As for how he reaches that state, he explained that his passion for helping athletes recover from injury somewhat kickstarts his brain to zero in on the task at hand and later revealed that athletes do the exact same thing for their respective sports.

However, the opposite can also happen–not being able to get in that zone to perform a certain task like shooting a basketball or a fighter failing to implement his game plan.

"If you are looking too much into things such as the form of your jump shot, then you get the feeling that you are jammed because it doesn't flow properly. You get issues like you cannot perform at the highest level," Leo declared.

"You just have to do it and you know that you're doing it because you're trying to get better at it. It all flows naturally. You're more relaxed when you're doing it and most of the time, in the stress of the situation, people tend to forget why they are doing the things that they are doing."

His advice for athletes is to remember why they started becoming invested in their sport–essentially channeling their own origin stories.

Also present during the interview was MCA CEO and co-founder Jason Lim who explained he wanted to give the Asian market a platform that they can fully relate to.

"One of the issues that medical specialists were facing is that people would read all this stuff online and they will come in with information that is not contextualized to Asians," Lim stated.

"The Asian body type and where we live, the climate, food we eat, culture is different. Same goes for our medical histories... It's completely different from those among living on the other side of the world."

To get a better grasp of Lim's vision for Asians, interested readers can check out

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