Pool is a fun
game. One of the most important mental outlooks you can have is realizing
this before playing.
If you go into a game with the intent of having fun,
you'll do a lot better in stressful situations. Concentration in pool is
crucial to good playing. Like any game or life situation, there is a need
to recognize how to achieve your goal. Keeping the thought "PURE" is a
great way to achieving your goal. If you are shooting a pool shot and are
thinking "I wonder if..." you've made a mistake... Most people claim to
keep their thoughts clear, but like anything, it usually takes a little
time and training to really increase the skill. I constantly see people checking there phones during matches - this is a prime example of how not to focus on your match. I'm sure you've heard the
saying "be the ball"; this is a very true statement when it comes to your
success in the game of pool. First, keep your mind clear of all thoughts
(this is not easy for most people)! Second, be the ball. Three basic ways
that I've found over time to help increase my mental game were basic
drills such as...
Thinking of nothing for as long as you can. (use a
watch with a second hand) - most people will probably be surprised
that it's quite challenging to keep your head clear for even 30
seconds (meaning no other thoughts arise). This is also a great
exercise to help reduce stress. This is how you should feel when
approaching the table, until you begin to analyze the lay out of the
table and what you wish to do with it. Think of nothing else!
When I'm shooting, I'm happy and hungry to perform. I have a chance to
play and I enjoy it... even if I'm in a tournament, playing for cash,
or practicing. If I'm not happy, I probably won't perform my best game
of pool. Bottom line - Your mental state is most crucial to your
higher level of success in competition.
Practice, Practice, Practice. There are some small drills you can do daily (even without a pool table) that
can increase your basic stroking fundamentals (bottle drill practice) or overall mental
ability to play. Figure out what drills suit your needs and just do it
- daily! You can increase your game with less than 30 minutes a day of
proper drill practice on a consistent basis. .
Pool for me is something I treasure. I look forward to my next
challenge. I love knowing what needs improvement in my game. Most
importantly, by relaxing - when I make a mistake - I can usually reflect
on what went wrong (whether it was a mechanical error or a mental error).
It's usually one or the other...Realizing this, rather than become
frustrated or angry after missing a shot, will help you grow a lot faster.
Don't waste emotions that are not relevant to you achieving your goal. An
example is a person who easily gets angry in a pool match (this is my
favorite type of opponent). My advice is just enjoy what you are doing,
whatever it may be, and throw yourself into it; in this case - be the