View Full Version : Tournament Preperation?
I have a problem, I play very well but get to a tournament and tighten up. I dont get nervous, but I stay tight enough that I dont let my stroke out like I would If I were just playing. Any advise on letting my stroke out during a tourny when I really need it. I seem to get beat by players that I am always suppose to beat just because I dont let my stroke out. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated since I'm playing in a tournament this weekend. Thank you very much in advance.
09-17-2002, 07:44 PM
try to get there extra early. acclimate yourself to the surroundings. practice with some of your opponents.if they serve wine. have a glass to loosen up. Don't get drunk. Just one. Before your 1st match. go to the mens room. Do what you have to do. Wash your face and try to relax....mike
Check my thread from today titled "Know a good pool head doctor?". I think you will find that many of the replies will be quite helpful to your situation.
09-18-2002, 01:38 AM
Shawn...Without seeing you play, it is hard to make a judgement call. However, if I had to guess, I would say that you are probably gripping the cue tighter than you normally do, when you are relaxed. The stroke is just like an American military salute, except it is underhand. No muscle, just a throwing motion, that initiates from the elbow. Lighten your grip and followthrough on your stroke (try putting a tad more weight on your bridge hand)...you should come right back into normal play. Hope this helps.
This guy once made me do a shot of tequilla before a big tournament, I was so dizzy and mad and thought how stupid it was of me, then I ended up winning the tournament. It was a 64 player field about 3 years ago and had strong players including Jeff Beckly, Louis Ulrich, and Sam Manole. I'd try a shot of tequilla, just don't make it a habbit.
09-18-2002, 03:32 AM
I have to disagree with the alcohol solution. Yes it may loosen you up a bit, but it's a temp fix. The real issue is getting into the right mindset. Acclimating yourself to the tournament area is a good idea. But once the tourney starts or right before, getting in the zone is the best solution.
I found recently that the best I ever play is when I stop telling myself,"You have to win this match" and just tell myself,"play your best." I know it sounds redundant and hokey, but if you play your best, then you'll win...or you'll lose, because the other guy is just better than you or because the ball didn't roll right or because a million different things. But you have to control the things you can control. If you play your best, then you've done everything you can do, and the opponent you should have beaten will be the one you DID beat. You won't have any regrets about playing and you won't have any excuses either. You've already done the hard part: practice. All you have to do now is show what you've learned.
If you drink alcohol to loosen up, you're giving up the choice of taking control over yourself and your game. It's as if you need something outside of yourself to do well in the game. You don't.
Do you think Bustamante or Strickland drink before playing the big match? They've formed the habits of getting into tournament mode. I'm guessing you have more than one tournament in your future. Would you rather get into the habit of drinking every time before a tournament?
I think it's redundant to point out that even a small amount of alcohol affects your decision-making, slows down your body's processes, and, yes, reduces your overall playing ability.
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Sounds like you're suffering from "Tournament Perspiration" /webbbs/images/icons/laugh.gif
You brought up a great point. "Play Your Best" If the majority of players would concentrate on playing their best, and not concerning themselves with winning or losing, they will always play better.
I tell myself before a match to play my very best and if someone beats my very best they deserve to win. I dispise the negative comments made by players after they lose a match. Very rarely do you find players that get beat and give credit to the winner for playing well. These players are the champions (and future world beaters) because they believe in themselves and carry themselves with a positive attitude.
Everyone has an Excuse, few have compliments.
As for preparing for a tourny, I like to get on a table and practice alone for at least 20 minutes. I have a selection of "warm-up" shots to get me feeling the stroke and striking cue ball pure.
Hi Shawn, The hardest matches to win are the ones you already played. I remember a fellow complaining to the TD that he was meeting me in the first round three tournaments in a row, infact it was the second. The second time he had me beat but he was playing two matches at the same time, the result was he lost the match on the table. Now I know I got a really good grip on this guy but he's the one doing the squeezing. Your opponent has no face and no name, but he/she can shoot. Good Luck, Terry
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