View Full Version : Keeping Expectations in Check?

03-05-2002, 09:30 PM
I have noticed a big jump in my game lately, and have quite a few tournamnets coming up. I know if I play like I have been in practice I should do very well. I just want to 'skate a clean program' and not get ahead of myself. It is hard not to get my expectations built up when I am playing even with B's and and winning!
Any advice or ideas?

03-05-2002, 11:10 PM
Hi Cuechick,
A positive attitude, and confidence in one's performance is a big part of this game. What I want to know is why you haven't tried the Drill I posted about yet? Too good for it? /ccboard/images/icons/laugh.gif

03-06-2002, 12:22 AM
Well, improvements sometimes do lead to new, higher expectations. For some people, myself, for instance, expectations are equal to demands. In other words, one comes to believe that, 'if I can play very well, then I must play very well.' Consequently, improvements in one's game should bolster one's confidence but can, in some cases, intensify the pressure one feels in competition.

My antidote: Play the game I am actually playing and stop thinking about the game I want to play or believe I ought to play. Sometimes the antidote works, sometimes it fails.


03-06-2002, 01:07 AM
cuechick, it sounds like your practice is paying off. Maybe you have jumped to the next level of play. That always makes the game more fun. Just keep up your same program. Expectations is one of those mind games that can set you down hard, when hopes are to high. Just go play your game and let the chips fall where they may. I'd say try to keep your game in the present tense, and forget about expectations. You win a game or set 1 ball at a time. Your concentration, execution, and confidence in your game must be improved, so take that with you and play. Playing well is nothing more than being prepared, and that wins games, not your expectation. JMO of course.

Chris Cass
03-06-2002, 03:27 AM
Put it in a bottle and cap it. Then sell some to me. Don't look into your jump in preformance, let others. Just concentrate on being as consistant as possible. By the way, nice job. If you told the news to Efren, he'd say Purrrr.....


03-06-2002, 04:09 AM
Hey girl,
Dont talk to anyone, find a mantra to say during play, play like you love the game, focus on controlling your cue and how good that will feel and take every opportunity to knock that player out! Practicing is a different atmosphere-you do not have a crowd watching, so zone out of the crowd-good luck!

03-06-2002, 09:27 AM

It is imperative that you have a "goal" at whatever you do. Expectations are very real and could be considered a "goal".
I would suggest reading two books that might assist you in your goal/expectations. "The Inner Game of Tennis" and "Golf is Not a Game of Perfect". Both of these books deal with the mental side of competition and how to control your "Expectations".. Good luck

03-06-2002, 09:38 AM
Thanks for all the great words of wisdom from everyone. I will check out those books. I have read Smart Tennis which may be the same author...'staying in the moment" and setting realistic goals I think are key..../ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

03-06-2002, 10:10 AM
I think you should always feel you can win no matter what the circumstances are. It has to be a part of you. I am sure that even in recent years when Jack Nicholas would tee off in a tournament somewhere inside he felt he could win, even if every reality says he can't. I remember a few years ago in an old timers baseball an outfielder, (I forget his name) had a long fly ball hit his way and he went after it. In an interview after the game he was asked about the play. He said he saw the ball hit and took off after it. He was certain he could catch the ball. It hit the ground some 40 feet from him. He said it was the strangest feeling. Everything in him told him he would get the ball, but in his 60 year old body it wouldn't happen. Winning is such a part of these people I don't think they ever lose it. My advice is if you go there to play, go there to win. I don't like your comment 'skate a clean program.' That implies you just don't want to embassies yourself. Your goals have to be greater then that. Give it your best, even if you screw up. You will come with something that will help you the next time out. You gain something every time you compete.

03-06-2002, 10:23 AM
I remember a quote from a book I read several years back "argue for your limitations and sure enough..you got'em".

The opposite is equally true.

Regards, JimS ~ got to BELIEVE!

03-06-2002, 12:44 PM
After thinking about it bit longer, I would say that it's a matter of trust as opposed to having an expectation. One should learn to trust one's skills in a realistic way. By trust I mean believing one can execute certain shots without actually having to think much about the shot because, well, because one trusts one's skills.


03-06-2002, 02:51 PM
I know most sport psychology preaches the total positive attitude thing but in a sport like pool you spend so much time in the worst case scenario mode that at some point the player has to start using negitive situations and win with them. If your looking ahead toward tournament matches against stronger players or players with better track records than yourself try this while playing practice matches with friends. It is hard to explain and maybe it's just me but what is wrong with avoiding the first error in a match as a benchmark. Early in a match is where most mistakes are made. Avoid making the first mistake and carry that advantage to the end for the win.Subtle tactical action used to manipulate or influence another is psychological warfare it should be use early and often. Sorry if this makes no sence; I've got a really bad cold and have lots of meds in me. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

03-06-2002, 06:02 PM
Since books have been recommended, every one of you needs to read "Point The Way" by the Monk. It is a book on pool and having the right mental attitude for the game.

(I need to buy another copy myself)