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bluewolf
08-02-2003, 09:06 AM
I am going to describe a scenario and want to know what experienced pool players do to combat this, whether it is a matter of developing 'mental toughness', or does this just get better with experience in competition and 'time on the table'.

I lost my first three matches of the session. On each occasion, something in my life was bothering me so I was experiencing strong emotions. I went to league on each of these ocasions, could not focus, my game was in the toilet.Funny thing about those kind of things, in looking back, they were not as bad as my brain was blowing them up to be, but I had allowed them to devastate my play.

I got pretty mad at myself, thinking 'you have got to conquer this, upsetting things happen to everyone from time to time, you will never be consistent at any level of play until you defeat this demon'

So without knowing how or what I was doing, I set out to defeat this demon. One mental hurdle that needed to be defeated. Then I had easy weeks, no problem. Then upsets for two weeks, but with the resolution to 'play like ice', leave the crap at home and not bring it to the poolhall.

I just wonder if anyone has had these challenges, how successful they have been in defeating these kind of negative emotions in their game or does this type of 'mental toughness' come with experience.

Laura

Kato
08-02-2003, 09:25 AM
Pool is fun and should be treated as such. If you have problems in your life and you take them to work, the pool room, your karate class whatever, you will not be as effective as you normally would. It's not a pool thing, it's common sense. It's not a demon either. Handle your problems before you do anything because you can't play pool and think about your problems. You can't do anything and handle your problems.

Kato

Sid_Vicious
08-02-2003, 10:16 AM
BW...All I have to do to thwart inner personal "downers" is to remember the last cripple sitting in his wheel chair, or the last vision of a really physically challenged human being, and I almost instantly diminish my own petty little emotional swings. Seriously, there's so many worse cases to relate to, we got it good in comparison, even at our seemingly most worthlessness-endowing struggles in life. I know that I am very fortunate, we all are to some variance of degrees. Next time you see someone struggling to walk, or not even able to walk, remember that for when you get burried in your emotions. Hope this helps. Btw, SPetty has a sign on the pool room wall "Don't forget to remember how good you are." That's my most recent best tip for my game, something as simple as that sign...sid

Snyder1
08-02-2003, 11:08 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> BW...All I have to do to thwart inner personal "downers" is to remember the last cripple sitting in his wheel chair, or the last vision of a really physically challenged human being, and I almost instantly diminish my own petty little emotional swings.

WOrds to live by indeed ... thanks !!

JS

Rod
08-02-2003, 12:56 PM
I don't think this has anything to do with pool. You could be doing anything that required good concentration. You have to find a way of letting go of your built up emotions before you can do anything well. Sorry that's the best I've got.

Screaming into a pillow for a few mnutes will help put you at ease.

Rod

TheChump
08-02-2003, 01:14 PM
Never, ever, go to the pool room with something bothering you in the mind. Leave your work problems at work, you home problems at home. Set your mind to have a good time at the pool hall. If this still doesn't work, get a table for yourself, bang a few balls around and then try to focus a little on your own game, BY YOURSELF. Then, when you feel a little bit comfortable, play a little rotation, AGAIN BY YOURSELF. Throw 3 or 5 balls in the table, focus and shoot. This could take probably half an hour.

Once all your demons have gone away, then go to the competition table. Shoot some fun rounds with your friends. By that time, you should have your mind set up for the remaining night or day.

TheChump ~ Chumps do practice some times.....

smfsrca
08-02-2003, 01:17 PM
For the hour or 2 or 3 that you have decided to compete there is nothing you can do about your life as anything other than a pool player. You must become an actor and do whatever you must to be successful in your role as a pool player. You can return to your other life after you are done but while you are competing you must devote all of your physical and emotional energy into the game. Playing pool is what you are there for and you must commit yourself to that task with 100% of your body and soul. When you are playing this game you must make it the most important thing in your life. There is nothing else! This is it! This is what life is about! It doesn't get any better than this! Play pool! Make balls! Listen to that sound! Don't hear anything else! Can't you feel the energy! Man, I love this game!!!

dg-in-centralpa
08-02-2003, 02:40 PM
When I get in a slump, I will play someone who has a worse average than me and I concentrate on wiping his a$$ all over the table. Usually this will pick me up so I can play the better people and win. Turn the demons into your ally. Direct your anger at hyour opponent.

DG - who's fought the demons(some self induced)

rackmup
08-02-2003, 03:18 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bluewolf:</font><hr> ...but with the resolution to 'play like ice'... <hr /></blockquote>

While having the thought of playing as "cold as ice" is good, for it to be effective and beneficial to your mental/actual game and intimidating to the game of your opponent, at your self-proclaimed skill level of an APA 2 or 3, it is nearly impossible to actually pull it off.

A person who can play without emotion is someone who wins more than he/she loses. Is this the case with you?

There are other players who can play with the coldness of Ivana Trump (McCready is one of them) but can also mix that up with a little "verbiage", if you know what I mean.

It allows him to be steely and intimidating at the same time. For a relative beginner to attempt pulling off the "Ice Queen" image, she had better have some game first.

You are probably right at the skill level your team needs you to be. Go any higher and you might find yourself sitting out some matches.

If you want to really improve your game, get away from using the APA as a gauge of your skills. Play in a non-handicapped league. Play in some tournaments. In those two scenarios you will not have the luxury of slopped-in object balls or the benefit of a handicap.

Everyone wants to get better but the truth of the matter is, it simply comes with time (and so does the ability to play like "ice.")

Regards,

Ken

bluewolf
08-02-2003, 05:43 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote rackmup:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote bluewolf:</font><hr> ...but with the resolution to 'play like ice'... <hr /></blockquote>

While having the thought of playing as "cold as ice" is good, for it to be effective and beneficial to your mental/actual game and intimidating to the game of your opponent, at your self-proclaimed skill level of an APA 2 or 3, it is nearly impossible to actually pull it off.

A person who can play without emotion is someone who wins more than he/she loses. Is this the case with you?

Regards,

Ken


<hr /></blockquote>

Heck, Ken, I do see what you mean, but I look at it like this. If I do play a much better opponent, even if I do not win, I play a much better match when superfocused and not having anxiety. It is not how much a person wins sometimes I think, but how well they play, especeially,it is a challenge to play super against a better opponent and know I was in control of myself, not choking, and gave them a run for their money.

I do appreciate what you say, though. Yeah my coach was kind of upset when I got bumped. But we have this other guy who went back down to 2. Problem is he is a choke king and you cannot tell how he will play. Poor guy, he actually is pretty talented, just folds as soon as the coin is flipped.

Laura

Irish
08-02-2003, 06:11 PM
Problems in a persons life that have nothing to do with pool will murder your game for a variety of reasons, this I know from experience. If you are short on cash then the money will put added pressure on you "I have to win this match, or I am broke". If you have to get up early the next day then a part of you will slack off since your subconsious will say "if I lose this match I can go home and get more sleep then if I win and have to keep playing". If you have bigger problems then that such as no job, family problems, health issues, ect... those problems may make the game irrelevant to you in which case you will shoot a little too loose as "it does not matter if I win or lose, life still sucks either way". It is hard to win if you dont care and the winning does not matter. These are hard problems to overcome and honestly at the extreme there are some times it would be best to do other things with your life then play pool if you are really down in the dumps.

Billy
08-03-2003, 11:54 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bluewolf:</font><hr> I am going to describe a scenario and want to know what experienced pool players do to combat this, whether it is a matter of developing 'mental toughness', or does this just get better with experience in competition and 'time on the table'.

I lost my first three matches of the session. On each occasion, something in my life was bothering me so I was experiencing strong emotions. I went to league on each of these ocasions, could not focus, my game was in the toilet.Funny thing about those kind of things, in looking back, they were not as bad as my brain was blowing them up to be, but I had allowed them to devastate my play.

I got pretty mad at myself, thinking 'you have got to conquer this, upsetting things happen to everyone from time to time, you will never be consistent at any level of play until you defeat this demon'

So without knowing how or what I was doing, I set out to defeat this demon. One mental hurdle that needed to be defeated. Then I had easy weeks, no problem. Then upsets for two weeks, but with the resolution to 'play like ice', leave the crap at home and not bring it to the poolhall.

I just wonder if anyone has had these challenges, how successful they have been in defeating these kind of negative emotions in their game or does this type of 'mental toughness' come with experience.

Laura <hr /></blockquote>

"I always feel for folks who come on here like you have, who are obviously good players. If you were hitting well in practice, that sounds good to me.

I would jettison those negative thoughts of never becoming what you were once. Just throw those thoughts out of the trash hatch on your 'pool vessel' which is you.

Sounds like you are a winner, and need to think of yourself that way.

Sorry if that sounds like giving advice, but it does sound to me like you are being too down on yourself".



just thought you may want a good piece of advice coming from an avid poster on the ccb

hope this helps /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif