Keep Calm & Play Pool. ~ Keith Diaz

While playing in the first Gotham City Classic 9 Ball tournament, I’ve noticed intense emotions running at high altitudes.

Players letting the complexity of the mind get in the way of their game. Now for myself, I definitely have a temper and love to call it being a passionate player. But I can’t always lie to myself.

Sometimes anger will get the best of me and my abilities on the pool table. Those are the times we players have to absolutely admit that we are taking ourselves out of the zone.

With anger being the culprit, a player has to practice letting go of their mistakes, or the unlucky rolls he/she might get from opponents. We all have to learn and follow those annoying British T-shirts that say, Keep Calm, and Carry On.

The first thing a player must do is admit that there is a problem with his/her temperment. I’m not trying to tell you guys to submit yourself to alcohol and substance abuse meetings, but this does pertain to abusing your game when falling into a state of anger. This is especially important if you ever want to excel above the amateur level and into the world of professional pool.

“I had trouble with my temper all the way through the minor leagues.”  ~ Cal Ripken, Jr.

Who’s going to argue with that man?

If you fall into this emotional roller-coaster, take a moment or two before attempting your next shot. I’m not telling you to go off into a corner and practice your downward-facing-dog pose. Just take some time to pace around the table, while chalking your cue. Remember that doing this enables you to also think about your run and the pattern you’re looking to execute.