View Full Version : Survey: What do you do to work on your mental game?

05-20-2009, 09:07 AM
Just curious to know what others do to mentally prepare for tournaments and such. Let's hear it!:)

05-20-2009, 09:07 AM


05-20-2009, 09:11 AM
I dont do anything special. Maybe thats why im not that good of a player :(

05-20-2009, 09:26 AM
uhm...drinking heavily probably kills the game, too! :thud:

05-20-2009, 09:33 AM

05-20-2009, 09:36 AM
Definitely what Neil said. To train for competition I will find and play the most annoying person I know of as much as possible. They have to be REALLY annoying and also REALLY good to be an ideal sparring partner. My game goes up a few balls after a couple weeks of this kind of training. It's really invaluable.

05-20-2009, 10:41 AM
uhm...drinking heavily probably kills the game, too! :thud:

Well... there is that Bell shaped curve ;-)
But for a game or three everything looks great!


05-20-2009, 10:47 AM
Meditation and certain other means I use to stay calm.

05-20-2009, 11:40 AM
Korova Milk bar, sharpens you up and gets you ready for a bit of the ol ultra-violence.

05-20-2009, 11:59 AM
alot of sleep. but when im playing for the money, tourny or gamble. i have a checklist in my head i kinda go through everytime i shoot. helps me keep focus and stay in stroke. if my stroke is exactly the same everytime i build confidence. it just helps me put more racks together. instead of the one or two pack.

05-20-2009, 12:21 PM
Maryjane and Jaegermeister. Can't miss...:eek:

05-20-2009, 12:27 PM
Concentrate on playing YOUR game. Let the chips fall where they will. If you worry about doing good in the tournament, or winning it, you will tense up and not play to your capabilities. Easier said than done, though. It takes some training.

I believe this is one great attribute that Chris Bartrum has. He just plays his game. And makes games accordingly. That is why he is pretty consistent in his play.I agree 100% you have to focus on YOUR game.I chant "break and run" to myself repeatedly.lol!! But it seems to work for me seriously!!I have found the only thing that recreates a tournament scenarios is playing for money.Brings out the focus!:thumbup:

05-20-2009, 01:13 PM
Concentrate on playing YOUR game. Let the chips fall where they will. If you worry about doing good in the tournament, or winning it, you will tense up and not play to your capabilities. Easier said than done, though. It takes some training.

Agreed, Neil, as long as concentrating on playing your game includes focusing on the maintnenance of a good pre-shot routine. Pool is a game of rhythm, and maintaining the right pre-shot routine is fundamental to being mentally prepared for any given shot.

05-20-2009, 01:21 PM
Hit a few balls... but only a few balls.. before the tournament.

And don't do anything goal-oriented like playing racks with a buddy (unless you beat them 90% of the time anyway) or drills. Because if you lose/fail it might get you a tiny bit negative on the way in, even if you try to force yourself to keep positive.

It's the one time I might say don't do a specific drill, just hit balls around. You just want to get familiar with the table, the speed of the cloth and rails.. and get ready to stroke the ball. You don't want to come into your first shot of the first match ice cold. At the same time you don't want to get TOO warmed up. I think the ability to focus and make good shots is like gas in a gas tank. It can be used up. Don't waste it on practice racks. Just get the car started.

05-20-2009, 01:23 PM
I watch Ralf Souquet play on DVD's, I try to copy his style and concentration. Works wonders for me :thumbup:. Don't take your eye off that table when your sitting down waiting, go through the patterns in your head.

05-20-2009, 02:31 PM
Meditation, stay calm, relax, good sleep, be rested, and remember that the competition is against yourself, doesn't matter who you play against, that person won't change the path of the balls when you hit them. This are things I think about while a pre-match/tourney. While playing, just concetrate in the strategy of the game, when to go for the run, when to play defense, this also have to do with analyzing your opponent style, is that person aggressive or defensive? Depending on this I adjust my approach to the game.

Here is also and article I liked about a similar question someone asked to Tony Robles which answer in my opinion is good:

Dear Tony: I get really nervous before matches. How do I stop that? — L. Azariant; Boise, Idaho

Stop fighting it. You are so focused on being nervous that you are not giving yourself a chance to let go. For example, I think I’m playing the best pool of my life right now. I’m playing with so much confidence. I can go a week without hitting a ball and I come back at the same speed. I finally got to the point where I can honestly say that I used to focus on feeling comfortable too much. When I didn’t feel comfortable, I would end up playing even worse because I kept waiting for it to happen, instead of just letting go and enjoying the game. When you are worried about feeling comfortable or not feeling nervous, it’s not going to happen, because that is what keeps you on edge. You aren’t focusing on the task in front of you.

My goal, when I play is to not think about what happened in the past or in the future. But if you are thinking that you know the future, and you have a mental picture of you missing a ball, you’re actually programming your brain to do. You end up hitting the ball exactly how you pictured it. I just focus on the spot on the object ball, and trust that it’s going to go in. I rehearse the shot before I shoot. So as soon as the shot comes up, I already know where I want to hit the cue ball, at what speed and where I want it to go. Once I make that decision, I throw everything else out the window. My only job is to make sure that I keep my eye on the ball and stay down as I strike the cue ball and the cue ball strikes the object ball. That’s all I’m focused on. If you try to make the result happen and think too much, your subconscious mind will take over and will try to steer the cue ball to the left or right.
There was a point in time when I was playing that I felt invincible. But that is how you always feel when you are in the zone. It doesn't matter who you are playing. It is just you and yourself. That is how I have always looked at it. It is really just a battle between you and yourself.

Hope this helps some of you. ;)

blah blah
05-20-2009, 03:03 PM
Korova Milk bar, sharpens you up and gets you ready for a bit of the ol ultra-violence.

nice clockwork reference!