Top 10 Tips for Competition - Part 2 (6-10)
Let’s be honest, playing good pool takes a lot of focus & most pool environments are full of distractions! Loud people, lots of people, empty stands, noises, silence, phones, smells, music, no music and whatever your personal pet peeves are. Maybe it’s the outfit of the opponent next to you that sets you off or the shoes you are wearing. Perhaps you dislike or like your opponent which could make you too eager or not eager enough to beat them. I’ve been distracted by all of the above! We all know deep down, distraction is in our head & it’s critical to take responsibility for the way we feel & perform. More importantly we should remember pool is still a game that is meant to be enjoyed. Yes winning feels better than losing, but it’s the big picture that counts the most, which is to learn & steadily improve. *Disclaimer- if you are the type of pool player that routinely competes hungover or drinks during the competition & doesn’t really care about performing well consistently, this article is probably not for you, which is all good...you do you!
6.) Expect Your Focus to Go in & Out
As a competitor I feel like focus is naturally full of ups & downs. Some tournaments I feel dialed in & other events I feel completely off, but usually it is a combination of both. Personally the first match of a tournament is the most unpredictable & often an emotional rollercoaster because it’s sensory overload. If you’re like me, you were excited the night before waiting for the competition & here it is! You are adjusting to the adrenaline, the environment, the equipment, & everything else. The name of the game is to get comfortable as quickly as possible & it starts before you walk in the door.
Do everything in your power to get comfortable before the event. Try to practice at the same pool hall, bar or on the same equipment. Play the same format & the same rules leading up to the event. Figure out if you feel more cold or hot in the competition space & dress for the environment. Drive there at least once before the event so you are more comfortable on the way to the actual competition, which will help you avoid getting lost or being stressed when it counts.
7.) Create a Solid Pre-Competition Routine