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Respect & Fear

Posted 06-25-2012 at 07:21 PM by thailandcues


Are you No fear?

When you're faced with an unfamiliar situation, you shouldn’t be surprised when you react in an unfamiliar way. I’ve said before that one major mental roadblock to improvement is fear. For developing players in particular, one recurring problem arises when faced with a difficult shot. Instead rising to the challenge of whatever lies in front of you, the difficulty of a particular shot makes you tense up, which can lead to a whole host of problems that guarantee you won’t be successful.

In a similar way, players without a lot of experience in competition — whether it be leagues or weekly tournaments — can often fail to play at or near their best when they need to. Pro players learn to harness the energy associated with high-level competition. They can thrive on the biggest of stages because that type of environment sharpens their focus and brings the best out of them.

If you are struggling to show your best in competition, ask yourself what it is that you are so afraid of. Are you scared of losing? Well you’re only ensuring such an end result by dwelling on it. Are you scared of playing a better player? There’s no better way to improve than by minimizing your margin for error. When you know your opponent can punish you for every little mistake, what choice do you have besides not giving him an opportunity to do so?

It will take some experience before you can shed the anxiety associated with competition and harness your nerves. But just remind yourself that pool is — and always should be — something that’s enjoyable. It should be rewarding to improve over a period of time. This doesn’t mean you won’t struggle; the hard times make the successes that much better. So stick to your game. Know what you’re capable of doing. And go out there and play your best.

You just might notice your A game making an appearance when you need it most.

-BD House Pro
Tony Robles-


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