I was fortunate enough to attend the Derby City Classic 2015 for a day. Going on a five hour drive just to see some of the greatest players—one would think this is not one of the smartest undertakings.
Plans were set and Chris (my boss) and myself hit the road for a day of networking with a few vendors and watching some good matches.
Walking into the Horseshoe casino you get a sense of how big, or just how small being a pool player can make you feel. All of the vendors are set up and talking to anyone that is willing to hear a pitch or ask questions. Most of the Filipino players are being carted back and forth from their rooms to the tournament floor. Announcements of matches on the intercom, or through players who set up games for after-hours action lets you know just how deep players are going.
After spending the day seeing what all these players could do with a cue ball, I was pumped! I was ready to play. I had not felt like that in over a year because, lets face it, life happens. Everyone has something going on that causes stress or puts their mind in other places. You just can’t focus on what you need to do on a pool table.
What does all of this have to do with the mental side of billiards, and your game?
Humans are creatures of emotions, sights, and sounds. If you are not feeling well or at 100% you are not going to play your game at 100%. Its a reality that every single pool player faces. You can’t win every game, or make every shot.
The mental aspect of the game is just as important as the ability to pocket a given ball. The above story is a prime of example of this. When I returned from the Derby I just wanted to play. The following days my game was on point. I won league matches, picked apart racks of one-pocket like I play the game every day (those who know me, know this is the farthest from the truth). I was in a great mood because I was winning.