Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

My nine-year-old daughter, McKenna, has been playing travel soccer for a few years. Like her mom and dad, she’s always the smallest one on the field. That’s a nice way of saying her size isn’t one of her strengths. However (like all of us), she has many strengths. Luckily for her, she’s naturally coordinated and has strong foot skills.

Over the winter, her coaches held a contest to encourage the girls to practice more at home. An interesting but unsurprising thing happened. The more she practiced the better she got. On average, she touched the ball about 30 minutes a day. On the field, that translated to more confidence, ability and creativity. There was a noticeable shift in her play.

After one game where she had a number of great runs, my husband asked her, “What’s going on in your head?”

She said, “I don’t know! I don’t remember thinking about the moves, it’s like I black out.” She was in a state of flow – in “the zone.”

In her research, Angela Duckworth, psychologist and author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, discovered that gritty people do more deliberate practice and experience more “flow.” As she stated, “deliberate practice is a behavior and flow is an experience.”

McKenna was able to reach a state of flow because of her practice. She ended up coming in first place in the practice competition (she practiced over 2,500 minutes at home over three months).