Immersion, incubation, insight - the keys to creativity and optimal performance

Creativity sits at the heart of the Everyball philosophy alongside 3 other core values, commitment, courage and curiosity:


We are committed to fight for everyball, to run down everyball and to play everyball with courageous purpose.

We see everyball as an opportunity to explore our potential (our 'becoming selves') with curiosity and creativity.

We know that everyball extends beyond our sport as we learn the fundamental life skills (Respect, Responsibility, Resilience, Reflection) that enable us to thrive in an every-changing world.


We (at Everyball Tennis/HaltonUK) define creativity as our ability to identify, mobilise and gather all our resources to go as far as we can and the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (yes really, he's a PhD, researcher and pioneer in the field of positive psychology known for his ideas on happiness, meaning, and optimal performance) defines a clear 3 step process that fosters creativity, breakthrough ideas and discoveries as well as improvements in performance whilst preventing burnout and fatigue:

1.  Immersion - total engagement in your work/training with deep, unremitting focus

2.  Incubation - a period of rest and recovery when you are not thinking about your work/training/sport at all

3.  Insight - the ocurence of 'aha' or 'eureka' moments - the emergence of new ideas and growth in your thinking/performance.

For me, the key and most left-out and ignored part of this process is 'incubation' or as I like to put it, world-class rest!  

How much rest do you get in your day, your week, your month, your year?  If you're anything like me, not enough is the answer and maybe it's time to get into some new habits around this area?  When we see rest as an active part of the equation to open up greater creativity and improved performance it might just move us on from our dominant western cultural mindset of 'if I'm not working I'm failing!'

(Reference 'Peak Performance' by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness)