Mounting a Comeback

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

Back in 1990, I watched Nick Varner’s hot seat match with Mike Sigel at the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships. Varner was down 9-2 and corner hooked against arguably the best player in the world. Instead of giving up or throwing in the towel, Varner staged one of the greatest come-from-behind tournament victories ever witnessed.

By now, I am sure that you are aware that there are two games going on inside of every match. There’s the more obvious physical game, which consists of mechanics, shooting, and safety play. Then there’s also the less visible, mental game, which is comprised of handling pressure, dealing with misfortune, and being able to mount an unbelievable comeback.


Professional pool players know that winning the mental side of a match also a key part of winning the physical one. In fact, a mentally tough competitor who thinks positively will almost certainly outlast a more talented less mentally prepared opponent. Nowhere is this more visible than when a player makes a come-from-behind victory.