A narrow range of arousal levels that produces the best performance in a particular activity. The zone of optimal arousal differs for different activities. Weight-lifters, for example, benefit from high levels of arousal so they can generate maximum power during the lift. Golfers about to make a putt, on the other hand, benefit from low levels so that they can perform controlled, delicate movements. The zone of optimal arousal may also differ for individuals performing the same activity. To emphasize the idiographic nature of the zone of optimal functioning, it is sometimes referred to as the individual zones of optimal functioning. See also catastrophe theory.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.