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Don't play as well when competing?
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Johnboy73
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Don't play as well when competing? - 02-29-2016, 05:59 PM

When I play by myself I can run balls, and have OK control of cue ball etc. Once I start playing someone else, I don't play nowhere close to my best and lose control -- scratch a lot and snooker myself. We wont be gambling and I still can't play against someone as well as I can play when practicing.



Any help will be appreciated.



P.S. I have plateaued.
  
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02-29-2016, 06:07 PM

It's all in your head son, BTW, welcome to pool, that's where it's played.


Everyone Sees What I Appear To Be,
Few Experience What I Really Am...

You think that you're one thing, but understand that you're seen as another, so you suspect that maybe you are the other, but you don't know what that means... "Calhoun"
  
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02-29-2016, 07:05 PM

I figured it is a mental thing. I wish I knew a way to get past not playing as well as I can practice. I guess its the pressure I put on myself that breaks me down?
  
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03-01-2016, 03:04 PM

I suspect you may be thinking more about the outcome, and not thinking about your shots. Every time your bridge hand hits the table, your only focus should be on making the shot in front of you. Hopefully, you did your thinking and planning of the shot before you get down to shoot it It's almost impossible to think and shoot at the same time!
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03-01-2016, 03:46 PM

I'll play against someone and play bad, and as soon as the game is over I'll continue hitting balls and immediately start playing well. I just don't play very good against others. It seems the better the other player is, the worse I play. I sure do wish it was the other way around.
  
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03-01-2016, 04:43 PM

I hope you find your way out of it.

But there are athletes in every sport that look great in practice & just disappear in real games...

& then there are those that just do not look that good in practice but seem to always play well & come through in games...

they're called 'Gamers'.

I think you need to find something for which to play for besides yourself.

I play my best when I have a partner or team mates because I do NOT want to let them down.

When playing alone, I do not want to let my Dad, my Mom, or God down.

I would not be here if not for them & they gave me so much that they deserve my very best effort.

Anyway, just an idea.

I sincerely hope you find YOUR way out of that.

Best Wishes for You & Yours,
Rick

PS Have you seen the movie about the boxer James Braddick?
When fighting in 1935 during The Great Depression, when times were really bad & he was making a comeback after a series of hand injuries that forced him to work odd jobs & on the docks, a reporter asked him for what was he fighting for this time. He answered, 'Milk'. He had a wife & 3 children during those extremely hard & difficult times. He was fighting for his family. He won the World Light Heavyweight Title against the mauler Max Bear who had already killed a man in the ring.

Last edited by ENGLISH!; 03-01-2016 at 08:20 PM.
  
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03-01-2016, 08:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnboy73 View Post
When I play by myself I can run balls, and have OK control of cue ball etc. Once I start playing someone else, I don't play nowhere close to my best and lose control -- scratch a lot and snooker myself. We wont be gambling and I still can't play against someone as well as I can play when practicing.



Any help will be appreciated.



P.S. I have plateaued.

Did you know that most players lose 30% of their game when they're in competition? The pros know how to hang on to that 30% and not let it slip away from them. They do this by finding their rhythm as early in the match as possible.

Unfocused play = chaotic rhythm.

Find your rhythm as early as possible, and then stick to it.
  
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03-01-2016, 08:17 PM

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Originally Posted by Bank it View Post
It's all in your head son, BTW, welcome to pool, that's where it's played.
ohhhh not that i havent known this for years.....but i like how you worded your lines man!!!

hat tip,
-Gryghost
  
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Practice with pressure
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skipbales
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Practice with pressure - 03-03-2016, 06:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnboy73 View Post
When I play by myself I can run balls, and have OK control of cue ball etc. Once I start playing someone else, I don't play nowhere close to my best and lose control -- scratch a lot and snooker myself. We wont be gambling and I still can't play against someone as well as I can play when practicing.

Any help will be appreciated.

P.S. I have plateaued.
This is part of the "any help". Totally no professional but it works for me. I practice methods which put "game style" pressure on myself. One simple way is having to do something a certain number of "times in a row" vs. a total of 10 or something. If I just have to do it ten times with unlimited tries there is no pressure. But if I have to do it 10 in a row or start over the pressure builds as I get close to the 10th shot. It is the same kind of psycological pressure as wanting to win. No one wants to start all over again.

Another thing that really helped me was a message from one of my many cds and I can't remember who to credit, that nervousness can be a good thing. Accept you are nervous and use that to help you focus. What I am saying is don't "dread" being nervous, realize it is normal and use that to help you increase concentration.
  
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03-03-2016, 07:32 AM

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Originally Posted by skipbales View Post
This is part of the "any help". Totally no professional but it works for me. I practice methods which put "game style" pressure on myself. One simple way is having to do something a certain number of "times in a row" vs. a total of 10 or something. If I just have to do it ten times with unlimited tries there is no pressure. But if I have to do it 10 in a row or start over the pressure builds as I get close to the 10th shot. It is the same kind of psycological pressure as wanting to win. No one wants to start all over again.

Another thing that really helped me was a message from one of my many cds and I can't remember who to credit, that nervousness can be a good thing. Accept you are nervous and use that to help you focus. What I am saying is don't "dread" being nervous, realize it is normal and use that to help you increase concentration.
Nervousness can be a good thing opposed to going numb and shutting down. But the best place to be is calm and relaxed and alert.
  
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03-03-2016, 07:42 AM

There are some techniques that you can use that will help you get past this.

First thing is you are putting unwanted pressure on yourself when you are playing someone else because of your competitiveness. Nobody wants to lose, so this causes us to become focused on the "Outcome" of the match!

learn to become "Process" focus and not "Outcome" focused. Process focused is following your PSR from Step 1 to Step 10 on every shot. When you do this the "Outcome" will happen. The better the "Process" the better the "Outcome"

Don't assign meaning to a shot I.E. hard or easy, good or bad, if you miss just evaluate did I follow my process if you did then great if you didn't then try to make the next one better. There is only 2 reasons a person should miss a ball and the is you "Aimed wrong" or you Aligned up" on the shot wrong providing you execute a great stroke with perfect speed and you don't hit chunks of chalk on the table surface.

Practice with the same intensity that you play the game. This will cause you to always play seriously and not practice incorrectly. Throwing ball on the table and running them off is not "Practice" that is playing, Practicing is setting up drills that will enhance your skills I.E Drawing a ball, Jumping, Breaking, Position play, ETC. each practice session should be only 20 minutes or less per drill before you take a break and move on to something else, this will keep you from becoming fatigues and bored which may cause bad habits to creep in.

Try this and see if this helps. play in the moment and enjoy the moment ATTITUDE is key! Good luck


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03-05-2016, 04:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnboy73 View Post
When I play by myself I can run balls, and have OK control of cue ball etc. Once I start playing someone else, I don't play nowhere close to my best and lose control -- scratch a lot and snooker myself. We wont be gambling and I still can't play against someone as well as I can play when practicing.



Any help will be appreciated.



P.S. I have plateaued.
You are not alone. Keep playing. It'll get easier. Stick with it.
I play in a senior 9ball doubles league. I consider myself one of the stronger shooters. Warm up time I'm fine. As soon as the game starts I tense up miss easy shots, get frustrated and I'm done until that passes. Match ends I'm right on target. I was putting way too much pressure on myself to perform. I'm starting to overcome that. I was getting reluctant to compete. I do not gamble. Might play for coffee or time.
Relax and believe in yourself. Confidence is everything. You know you have the skills. Tell yourself that.





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Instructional source: "One Pocket...A Game of Controlled Aggression" by Tom Wirth. This book is a players best friend.
1P Instructor: Tom Wirth
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I need more cues like a snail needs airbrakes
  
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2nd thought
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2nd thought - 03-05-2016, 05:17 AM

I just remembered another concept that helps me not tense up or punish myself.

No one is 100% on any shot, no matter how simple. For each shot we miss one out of every so many. So let's say you are shooting a shot you are actually 80% on. Instead of thinking of it as an "easy shot" understand sometimes, even in practice you do miss this shot. Accepting that helps you realize when you miss it in a game it is a normal event that happens in practice too and that is part of your 20% miss rate. It doesn't mean anything "special" that you missed.

People don't count their misses in practice because there is no consequence. Therefor they have a false impression of their play. It is the same thing in golf. "I hit perfectly on the driving range". No they don't. They just don't pay any attention to the misses so it seems like they play perfect on the driving range. Getting up off the chair and hitting your first ball correctly is harder than hitting a shot multiple times until you get it right. Gary Player is famous for saying about golf "any fool can do it the second time."

One last thought I have become more aware of as I compete more. The other guy gets nervous too. The other player will make more mistakes in competition, just like you do. It will even out and the best overall player will ultimately score better over time. If you stop "thinking" about choking up as something unique to you, you will put less emphasis on it and less pressure on yourself.
  
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03-05-2016, 05:24 AM

Play more tournaments. You just might need seasoning. Always always always try to match up with players better than you. I find when I begin to go south it is one of two things. Either it is because I have moved away from my PSR or I've stopped trusting my stroke. In the first case I have to consciously go through my PSR and in the second case I concentrate on my elbow, wrist, and hitting through whitey. PSR removes doubt.


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03-05-2016, 12:59 PM

I got past my mental game by putting side bets on matched I played. Got used to having something on the line and then it makes you nervous, then you learn to control that. Then when you play other people for fun or money you have that under control. Good luck
  
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