silly ? to get over " stage fright"


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
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.

jalapus logan

be all. and supports it to
Silver Member
You aren't EFREN, you are going to screw up. Accept it. But learn from your mistakes. Utilize the practice table as much as you can while paying attention to details. That's how you learn, progress, and gain self confidence.

Great advice all around. But since Efren was brought up, it is worth noting how he deals with the inevitability of screw ups (we all seem amazed to see him do it, but it happens all the time). Essentially, when he BUTCHERS a shot (which admitedly is less often than most), he allows a big sheepish grin to emerge. He then typically scratches the top of his head in a comic style. But the result is that he remains relaxed and can focus on the next thought. In other words, it helps to be able to laugh at yourself.

Now, this has not been brought up in this thread yet, but it is sage advice. You must develop a SELECTIVE SHORT TERM MEMORY. Forget ALL PAST MISSES, ESPECIALLY THE ONE THAT OCCURRED LAST. They are as irrelevant as the opinions of others. I once saw an interview with Earl Strickland (who had just eviscerated his opponent) where the interviewer mentioned a specific missed shot that Earl shot in the set. He had ABSOLUTELY NO RECOLLECTION of the shot and went on there to win the set in a lopsided fashion.

Oh yeah, one more thing: have fun. You will not enter "The Zone" unless you are having fun. One must love one's work...


"Lock Doctor"
Silver Member
This is, of course, great advice. One other thing is that you might use an MP3 player/IPOD and headphones to "block out" some things. That way you might not be so 'conscious' of others watching, since you'll be 'listening' to your music.

Scott Lee

Not to take serious issue with Scott's suggestion but if you're a league or tournament player be aware that in some leagues particularly higher level tournaments and some non league tournaments they may not allow you to wear earphones. I know our local APA league doesn't allow them.

In my opinion you as a player don't want to become dependent on having to listen to music to keep your focus. It would be a band-aid solution that could come back to bite you if you're not allowed to use it when you really need your focus.

Better to develop that inner calm with out the aid of a mechanical/electronic device. What if the batteries ran out? :)

Just my 2 cents.