PDA

View Full Version : Tournamnent Jitters...



MAC
06-13-2008, 01:15 PM
My team played in a qualifying tourney over the weekend for Vegas. It was my first time as well as most of my team in a environment with 400-500 people being around and always having several spectators. I was wondering if anyone could pass along some knowledge of getting the jitters out of your system. Every game I played was in comparison to being up to bat,runners in scoring position and two outs. I found myself making silly mistakes, one time I even accidentally tapped the cue ball causing a foul on a warm up stroke...oh the humility I was over come with was unbearable on top of losing the match. Any advice would be great as I have learned this site is bulging with info from great ppl. On the upside we obtained a 5th place finish out of 65 teams /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

dg-in-centralpa
06-13-2008, 01:40 PM
Congrats on your team placing. As for getting rid of jitters, I try to block out the surroundings and just focus completely on the pool table. Doesn't always work but....

DG

Rail Rat
06-13-2008, 01:51 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: MAC</div><div class="ubbcode-body">My team played in a qualifying tourney over the weekend for Vegas. It was my first time as well as most of my team in a environment with 400-500 people being around and always having several spectators. I was wondering if anyone could pass along some knowledge of getting the jitters out of your system. Every game I played was in comparison to being up to bat,runners in scoring position and two outs. I found myself making silly mistakes, one time I even accidentally tapped the cue ball causing a foul on a warm up stroke...oh the humility I was over come with was unbearable on top of losing the match. Any advice would be great as I have learned this site is bulging with info from great ppl. On the upside we obtained a 5th place finish out of 65 teams /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif </div></div>

I hear ya Mac. When first I joined a league I was shaky as hell. I was so up tight that one time I shot the wrong ball!

I found the best way for me was to pace myself.

If I first came to the table facing a tough shot I learned to walk around it for a while, then get down, feel the shot, then get back up and walk a bit more.

As you walk, focus on your "preshot mind" routine. Mine was too repeat these words in my head over and over: Slow back– hold– straight thru– head down. Concentrate hard on this and blot out everything else. Soon you will feel a calmness come over you and you can forgot about the crowd, then get in your stance and do it.

You probably have your own "mind routine" words, make them your mind chant when you get to the table.

Its hard but don't get down on that shot unsure of yourself, you will slash at it every time.

Deeman3
06-13-2008, 02:01 PM
Deep breaths! No seriouly, it is just a new experience and you have to acclimate yourslef to the atmosphere and the competition. I think it really takes a few trips before you oversome this completely.

Good Luck.

Eric.
06-13-2008, 02:33 PM
The answer isn't that simple.

The reason why champions are champions (well, not the only reason) is that they have the ability to force themselves to perform to the best of their abilities, under adverse conditions.

Here's something to try:

When youre practicing, shoot as if every game is hill hill. Concentrate on shooting every single shot as perfectly as possible. Narrow your focus to whats going on , on the pool table only. Maybe play a loud radio for a distraction. Block out everything but the shot in front of you.

Next time youre in a pressure situation, try to put your mind in that "practice" situation where you are concentrating on whats going on in front of you and blocking out the outside distractions.

Hope this helps.


Eric

MAC
06-13-2008, 02:42 PM
All very useful info guys I appreciate it. We were settled in and a little bit more on Sunday maybe becuase the crowd thinned out, ironically that was when we lost haha. My preshot routine currently consists of me either cussing myself or telling myself "you got this shot". I do catch myself sometimes not breathing at all so that is something I will have to work on. I'm somewhat of a natural in darts but find myself really having to put in work on the pool table which is unfortunate because I like pool better.

Deeman3
06-13-2008, 03:05 PM
MAC,

If you really focus enough on the shot at hand, the background noise and excitement will fade away. As I say, it just take a few times to get used to it. IMO.

sack316
06-13-2008, 04:51 PM
for me it used to be a lot of jager and a few red bulls... but that didn't work out so well towards the end of the tournament days /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

But seriously, for me it's a few things. First is experience... any tournament is a whole different world from just playing a normal match on league night. Suddenly the realization hits that every match is for something, and you tend to start worrying about mistakes more often than you picture success. To me, the easiest way to alleviate that problem is simply tournament experience, and allowing yourself to grow comfortable in that environment. You can play weekly tournaments at local halls, regular APA tournies are fun and at the same time help you get used to it, anything you can use to soak in the feeling of looking down a bracket and still be able to play "your game" can be helpful.

Beyond that is just finding a way to keep your mind on the task at hand. I try to keep my focus on the table, and not much else if at all possible during any match a play. I watch my opponents shots, look at layouts, start making plans for "if he misses this way" or "if this cluster is there when I'm back up shooting", etc. Whatever you've gotta do to be in a "pool playing" state of mind, with your thoughts on the game and not on who's railing during your match.

Finally, I'd say do try to have fun. I know it's a tournament and it's for vegas, or money, or whatever... but more than likely you got there while having fun during normal week to week league play. You managed to get to the tournament that way, why should it be any different now? Your team did well, and gained an added reward for success... enjoy it and don't let it be a bad experience. Use the day (or weekend or whatever it winds up being) as a fun time with your team, use it to learn, and win or lose you have that added benefit for next time.

Sack

Rail Rat
06-13-2008, 09:17 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Deeman3</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Deep breaths! No seriouly, it is just a new experience and you have to acclimate yourslef to the atmosphere and the competition. I think it really takes a few trips before you oversome this completely.

Good Luck. </div></div>

The deep breathing exercises do work!

My wife is into yoga and she came with me on a crucial match. I went thru her yoga breathing execise routine and it helped me to focus. I would reccomend yoga workouts for anyone under stress and not just in pool.

JJFSTAR
06-14-2008, 12:26 PM
Mac I highly recommend reading the thread "Dead stroke" currently on page 4 of this board.

HALHOULE
06-16-2008, 03:37 PM
BEING ABLE TO POCKET BALLS ACCURATELY AND CONSISTENTLY IS PARAMOUNT.
WE USE AN AIMING SYSTEM THAT POCKETS BALLS ACCURATELY AND CONSISTENTLY.
THERE IS NO GUESS WORK.

MAC
06-16-2008, 03:43 PM
Yes pocketing balls always plays a factor obviously, as well as being able to aim properly.However my question was geared more toward how to deal with the type of atmoshphere and the tournament conditions with several people watching your every move like a hawk more so than aiming properly.

Fran Crimi
06-17-2008, 06:45 AM
I beieve your jitters are called 'performance anxiety'. It's a social phobia caused by being worried about what others might think of you. People may say that they don't care what others think of them, but when there's performance anxiety, it's not true. They do care.

There are several ways to deal with performance anxiety. One cure is to take the focus off of the fear and put it on to something else. Another way is to address the demon head-on. Teach yourself to really not care what others think. That's the harder one to do but if you can, you would be more consistently successful.

For some players, performance anxiety is so intense that they have to resort to taking drugs to relieve the anxiety.

Fran

Deeman3
06-17-2008, 08:14 AM
Fran,

At 56 I don't get as excited as I should anymore but have found a little nervous energy has always helped me focus. If I am dead calm, I shoot too quickly and don't pay quite enough attention to detail.

If I sweat and even sake a bit, I seem to keep better focus. At my age, it's nice to have somethng to get excited about.

Rail Rat
06-17-2008, 10:34 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Fran Crimi</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I beieve your jitters are called 'performance anxiety'. It's a social phobia caused by being worried about what others might think of you. People may say that they don't care what others think of them, but when there's performance anxiety, it's not true. They do care.

There are several ways to deal with performance anxiety. One cure is to take the focus off of the fear and put it on to something else. Another way is to address the demon head-on. Teach yourself to really not care what others think. That's the harder one to do but if you can, you would be more consistently successful.

For some players, performance anxiety is so intense that they have to resort to taking drugs to relieve the anxiety.

Fran

</div></div>

Hi Fran, very good reply here.

I have anxiety attacks, which I 've had all my life. I may get it when in a tight moment in a tournament, or just practicing with one of my friends.

Sevearal years ago it got so bad I went to a councilor and he put me on medication. None of it worked and I tried them all, including a drug that slows down your heart. Also there was the addiction factor and it took me months to get off some of them.

I finally came to the realization that any mind altering must come from within. I practiced deep breathing, and thought control. I began to blot out everything and think of what I must do, I mentioned in an earlier post that I learned to make my body dead except my arm. When concentrating on doing this I could forget outside inflences and reach a sort of calmness.

I have'nt perfected it, and I probably never will, it's a constant battle everytime I step up to play.

I can say to others who face this problem whether mild or extreme, that there is no crutch, you have to tap the power within you to do it.
-Brad

JoeW
06-17-2008, 12:02 PM
This some what lengthy article about how to deal with competitive anxiety may be of help. I wrote it several years ago for Cues and News, a local pool players' newspaper that is no longer published. It is three articles in a series that were combined. One of these days I will edit it so that it reads a little better.

Competitive Anxiety (http://www.sunburstselect.com/PBReview/Competitive_Anxiety.htm)

MAC
06-17-2008, 01:47 PM
I never even thought of it being anxiety related, but that makes sense. One of the biggest things I worried about was making a fool of myself and when I did do something silly it just played over and over in my head through out my matches. Just so happens those are the matches that I ended up losing.....imagine that.

Rail Rat
06-17-2008, 02:12 PM
looks like I what I've tried is pretty much what you talk about Joe, only it took me years to discover it on my own, and of course your thoughts are much more articulate.

I was thinking about your question, what is the reason you play pool? I think if you asked most people in this forum, pro or beginner, they would say its the pure love of the game. I think it can be summed up best by a line James Coburn said in the movie Hard Times....

"There's only one thing worse than losing, and thats to have never played at all."


When ever I'm down I always remember that line. Looking forward to your other artiicles. -Brad

MAC
06-17-2008, 04:03 PM
Great article Joe and a good read. Hopefully this will help, I will try and use it to my advantage the next night we have league play.

Fran Crimi
06-17-2008, 07:46 PM
Hi Brad,

Sorry to hear of your anxiety attacks but it sounds like you're winning the battle. Good for you. I remember many years ago I went to see an exhibition by Minnesotta Fats. I was nearly the only girl there with about two hundred or so men. When Fats asked for challengers, the guy with me stuck up my hand and Fats picked me. I was so nervous that when I got to the table to shoot, I picked the shots that kept my arm out of view of the audience because it was shaking so badly.

I could hear people whispering that I was picking the wrong shot (in 8 Ball). They were right of course, but I figured I was better off shooting impossible shots than letting them see my arm shaking like crazy. When I made a tough shot by pure luck, Fats did a double-take and the crowd went wild. I was more shocked then all of them because I closed my eyes when I hit the cue ball. I think Fats let me win the game, and the next night I was a heroine in my local pool room for beating him. They complimented me on my strategy of shooting the tough shots first. Ha! Sure. That was my strategy.

Fran

HALHOULE
06-18-2008, 05:30 AM
MAC, CALL ME AT 484 623 4144
HAL HOULE

AnitoKid
06-18-2008, 07:53 AM
I sometimes experience some type of anxiety, particularly
at pool halls and tournaments that I am new at.

What I do is I try to arrive at the venue about 2-3 hours before
the actual competition starts; look around the place; and
play some racks by myself.

By the time the competition starts, my anxiety has already leveled off.

/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

DickLeonard
06-18-2008, 08:05 AM
Fran I heard a fleeting bit that the PGA might be testing the Golfers for illegal use of beta blockers. It cuts down the shakes, could you imagine putting for 1 million dollars.####

Deeman3
06-18-2008, 08:45 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: DickLeonard</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Fran I heard a fleeting bit that the PGA might be testing the Golfers for illegal use of beta blockers. It cuts down the shakes, could you imagine putting for 1 million dollars.#### </div></div>

Dick,

Tiger must be loaded up with them. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

What a player? I don't think he has nerves.

Rail Rat
06-18-2008, 09:29 AM
Hi Fran, great story about your encounter with Fats. We'll never know if Fats threw that game, but if you would have played him again my money would be have been on you.

Incidently, beta blockers don't work either, you just don't have a headache when you lose.

-brad

DickLeonard
06-18-2008, 11:32 AM
Deeman I think Rocco Mediate won the US Open. Tigers miracle basketball shot chip in and two extra long putts for eagles and Roccos the Winner. That is the first time anyone shot back at Tiger on the Final Round.

That fact was also noted by Jack Nicklaus who came in second thirty times. ####

Rail Rat
06-18-2008, 12:19 PM
Tiger excels in miracle shots when he senses he can win. When it came down to "make the shot or go home" Tiger came through everytime.

Tiger has made so many clutch putts to win or survive in crucial situations its uncanny. Remember Bob May's run at Tiger in the PGA. It was almost a repeat of Roccos loss.

Deeman3
06-18-2008, 12:29 PM
It is simply amazing to this old country boy that one human can have so many "good" breaks. I nkow you make your good breaks but throwing them in on a bounce form off the green and as Dick said, two or more impossible putts!

Maybe he sold his soul to the devil. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif Of course, if he did, he didn't get short changed on the money. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Rail Rat
06-18-2008, 12:55 PM
How bout that circle putt he made on 17 at the masters!... If he has sold out to devil, I'm ready to sign up? /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Fran Crimi
06-18-2008, 04:07 PM
Dick, I think Rocco should have won just by his name alone. Is that not a great name? Rocco Mediate!

Rocco did himself proud.

If they're looking to do drug testing then that must mean they're looking at an Olympic bid in the near future. They usually go hand-in-hand.

I doubt Tiger takes Beta Blockers. I bet Johnny Miller wished they existed when he developed the yips way back in the 80's.

Fran

DickLeonard
06-19-2008, 08:06 AM
Rail Rat if you have watched the Masters enuff that circle putt has been executed many times. So any player that does his homework is well aware that break.

A player whose name escapes hit his shot to the green it went up the left side the green almost to the back of the green then it started to curve to the right and got in that groove that led to the cup. Needless to say he didn't have to putt just take the ball out of the cup.####

Rival Crown
06-19-2008, 09:43 AM
To get rid of the jitters, I usually find it helps to down a 4th of whisky............................................ ............................ and I'm totally joking here. I have the same issue on a higher pressure game. I'm on a journey to find out what's blocking me mentally. Maybe it's excitement, maybe it's performance anxiety.

MAC
06-19-2008, 10:34 AM
After reading Joes article I am sure its competive anxiety. I had a dart tournament Tuesday night I had a triple 16 and need two bullseyes to seal the deal to advance to the final match and choked majorly. I'am currently trying to incorporate the breathing excercises that were discussed to see if that helps at all, I'll let you know if it helps.

Rail Rat
06-19-2008, 11:02 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: DickLeonard</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Rail Rat if you have watched the Masters enuff that circle putt has been executed many times. So any player that does his homework is well aware that break.

A player whose name escapes hit his shot to the green it went up the left side the green almost to the back of the green then it started to curve to the right and got in that groove that led to the cup. Needless to say he didn't have to putt just take the ball out of the cup.#### </div></div>

I'm aware of the hill side roll to the cup on 17, it's usually tried on the tee shot. But Tiger went straight to the pin... missed, and bounced far left and off the green. He chipped it to the top of the hill and rolled it back to the cup from the left!!! I doubt if there is a groove on the hill, but the bank does funnel it to the bottom.

From where he was though, it was hard enough... and to do it with the tournment on the line was encredible... Plus it stopped right on the lip...Samantha wiggled her nose, and it went in!!!