I went into the Echo Zone for a bit while watching practice the other day. I hadn’t been in a while. It was nice to stop by.
I discovered what I would later name the Echo Zone during a particularly long morning practice during my junior year of college. I was on the sideline watching 5 guys do god knows what, probably rehashing zone rotations for the 10th time that day, when I felt a yawn coming on. Being careful to try to at least somewhat hide my fatigue and boredom, I put my hand over my mouth and started to let out a long, silent yawn. For a reason I can’t recall, I decided to sharply inhale through my nose mid-yawn. This created some sort of distortion bubble around my eardrums. Every noise sounded a little fuzzy and far off. I could understand what everyone was saying, it just became more tolerable to listen to. I thought this sensation was kind of neat.
It became my own little thing to do when someone was belaboring a point far past what I deemed necessary. Coach starts a film session with 20 minutes of rambling about togetherness and how this relates to what toughness REALLY means and why taking charges are akin to saving your own mother from a fire? Pop into the echo zone for a minute or two. Become distracted by how soft the words are landing, by the sense that maybe you won’t die of boredom if everything is sounding just off kilter enough to keep you interested.
You can even make a game of it by seeing how long you can stay in the Echo Zone off of one inhale. Once you swallow, the effect is lost. You don’t realize how much you swallow until you are battling every natural instinct in order to stop yourself from doing so. I implore you to try out the Echo Zone next time you are faced with a long boring talk. Let me know if it enhances the experience just a little.