Hopefully someone can give me a few pointers.
When i am at my local pool room around the guys i know i am fine playing my usual game. I can play pretty well on a good day for somone who really just started out. I find that as soon as there are people watching me that i DON'T know i get freaked out and start playing horrible!!! for instance at the SBE when noone was around i was running 12's 10's and even a 14...the minute i put my $$ down to enter the 14.1 challenge and realized how many people were around i choked only making 8 balls in 5 innings!!
Yesterday i was on a run of 11 when i realzied a guy i saw about 2 racks before was still sitting there watching me from like 10 feet away....
i missed the easiest shot i had the whole run, maybe cause i was trying so hard not to miss?
any pointers to get over this?
Thanks in advace!
Breathe deep and slow. Keep your mind in the present and don't mentally chat to yourself. I'm not saying don't think, you still need to survey the table and work out how to hit the shot at hand... just do it without any mental chattering. If any mental chatter should take place, it should be a deliberate positive affirmation and part of your routine.
I also use a breathing pattern on the shot itself to block out distractions. If you stop for a second and really try to listen, human nature will tell you to stop breathing. Most distractions are auditory and most people increase these distractions by holding their breath during their cue action.
My personal breathing pattern is an deep inhalation during the set-up and then during the practice strokes I just slowly let out the air (as opposed to pushing it out) allowing my lungs go back to their neutral state. I then breathe in on the backstroke and breathe out on the delivery. I try to match the strength of the breathing to the strength of the stroke.