View Full Version : Getting Mentally Prepared?
I just wanted to ask your opinions on getting prepared mentally for a tournament. I am playing in a big 9-ball tourny this weekend with some really great players in it, your opinions and advice on mental preperation would be very appreciated. Thank you.
Sean, it took me a lifetime to figure this out...ok, I'll share. One shot at a time, one game at a time, one set at a time. The past and the future do not exist. Stay in the present and keep your blinders on at all times, even when you're hanging around and not playing. Stick to the plan, no matter what happens.
Knock 'em dead.
04-16-2002, 05:42 AM
My coach has taught me that the only opponent I need to be concerned with on the table is myself. Play your game and worry not about who your opponent is in the match. Stay focused and Kick Butt!!!
Hi Shawn, I'll give you my hunble opinion on the mental part while in the game. Like Fran said take it one shot at a time, but don't let the simplicity of that statement fool you. I think most games are lost due to missing that easy shot. If you ever watched a hole being burned into a piece of steel, you would see the fire touch the metal, then you would see it turn red and then you would see the hole ( this is my way of trying to explain the importance of aiming true and not just half heartitly). So when I play I try to burn a hole on the spot on the cueball where I want to hit it, the second part of my routine is to burn a hole on the spot I am aiming at. This routine I find, keeps me from taking those easy shots too lightly, and improves my consistancy. Good Luck, Terry
04-16-2002, 08:31 AM
If you are an above average player, you might already know this, 9 ball is 9 ball. Anything can and will happen. The best players can get all the bad rolls and the worst players miss shots that find a way for the 9 ball to slop in.. Be prepared to say to yourself.. "that's 9ball, anything can happen on any shot" YOU will enjoy the tournament a lot better.. Good luck and may you get all the rolls.
04-16-2002, 08:54 AM
Post deleted by Q-guy
04-16-2002, 09:16 AM
Fran touched on something that I totally agree with. One shot at a time and don't think about what opponent you may, or may not, have next. Stay in the NOW. Not too sure where I heard it but I think about it before every tournament and maybe it will help you. "If you stand with one foot in the future and the other foot in the past all you can do with the present is **ss on it". Good luck and have fun!
04-16-2002, 09:40 AM
Something else that has been proven to work in nearly all fields is positive reinforcement. It works like this:
Before the tournament day starts, while you are driving to the tournament, when you are grooming, etc.. Keep repeating a well designed mantra OUT LOUD, don't just think it or whisper it, say it with conviction. Convince yourself that it's true.
Talk to any professional athlete in any field and they will tell you they do it. Talk to anyone who is at the top of their field, they all do it. You see it in the movies that are somewhat realistic. In "Any Given Sunday" they show the wide receiver doing it, staring in the mirror in the locker room saying "I am the best receiver that ever lived" over and over until he believes it and says "yeah, that's it".
Mine is something like this:
"I am the best player ever to walk to the table. I make every shot I aim at. My strategies are perfect. My safeties are untouchable. My break is the strongest, most accurate EVER. I WILL WIN."
Kinda long, but it works for me. I am realistic enough (with no tournament today) to know that those things aren't really true at the moment, but if I can say that with conviction and make myself believe them before the tournament, I WILL shoot at the top of my game.
One thing to bear in mind when you do your own is to use only positive language. Note that I don't say "I cannot be beaten." The brain doesn't think in terms of negatives and trying to force it to do so will result in a negative result.
If you don't force yourself to believe what you are saying, it won't work. You have to know it's true in your heart.
OK, everyone is looking at the screen now saying "huh??!!" don't knock it, it works, try it.
04-16-2002, 11:01 AM
Last year at the BCA Nationals, after losing my 1st match, I showed up for my 2nd and was allowing everything to distract me. There were people neither my opponent or I knew sitting at our table, and I was letting that and everything else get to me. I missed a couple of easy shots it the 1st rack; but as I sat there in the chair watching my opponent almost run out, I was able to calm down, take some deep breaths and RELAX!!!!
When I got to the table the next time, I was like a different person. I was completley focused and ran out. I saw every shot going in BEFORE I shot it. I went to the bathroom before the next game and talked to myself. I said over and over, "You are THAT girl! the one that just ran the rack!!!"
I got back and JOKED with the strangers at our table, I was relaxed but focused. I won 4-0 and went through the day reminding myself I was "That girl". I lost only 2 GAMES(out of 4 matches) the entire day!
I think the keys to this are acceptance (as any good 12 stepper knows/ccboard/images/icons/wink.gif) is key, to your circumstance and relax so you can focus. I also believe positive re-enforcment, and visualizing yourself as a confidant, able player.
Negative thinking, just breeds negative play, no 2 ways about it. I often say to outloud to myself, 'nice try' when I miss...
I wish I could say I went on to do very well, but I forgot all this the next day in my first match, but this year watch out!!!
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