Losing Your Rag!

One thing that separates the best from the rest in 8 ball pool, in fact in any sport and in all competition is mentality. Have you got the head to get ahead?

Let’s take a look. We’ve all been here before…

The Game:

You are locked in a battle against your opponent playing the latest edition of FIFA. 🎮

You’re fighting hard to pick up a win. A win for yourself, A win for your team, A win for your ego. The game is currently goalless, it’s neck and neck and deep into injury time. The margins are fine, there really is nothing to it. Then suddenly, your opponent’s striker glides past your last man. With all the grace of Billy Elliot he is one-on-one with your goalkeeper. It’s now out of your hands as the goalkeeper is AI – controlled by the computer. You watch on helplessly as your opponent hits a weak shot straight at your keeper but somehow it still ends up in the back of the net! ⚽

In an uncontrollable, furious rage you throw your controller across the room. GAME OVER!

But it’s best of 3…

It’s now 1-0 to your opponent. The deficit isn’t the only problem facing your comeback – you’ve just given your rival another BIG advantage by losing your composure. You’ve showed him that you’ve lost your cool, you’re not in control, your mental game is weak. All of this has increased his confidence and really given him the self-belief that you’re there for the taking. All of this whilst you’re still reeling from the computerised goalkeeper glitch that lost you the first game. Before you know it, you’re 2-0 down, best of 3 is over. Your mate is happy and smiley whilst you’re still reeling with only 2 losses and a lack of dignity to show for your efforts. 🤣

The best way to deal with the situation would have been to take responsibility. Remember that goal-den opportunity you missed in the first half that would’ve put you in the driving seat? What could you have done better with that? Forget blaming the computer or other people. Focus on yourself, take stock of those missed opportunities between games and try to improve. Composed Discipline.

The Law of Opponent’s Advantage in 8 Ball Pool:

People will always remember that they can get under your skin and make you lose your head, your focus and your skills. You’re showing them your weakness when you need to be showcasing your strengths. That opponent will always enjoy playing you in the future, they’ll thrive off your weakness and they’ll watch for subtle signs that you’re cracking so that they can go in for the kill. You’ll probably find playing against them becomes more difficult because beating them will become a psychological challenge. You may call them your bogeyman and blame all your losses on bad luck. Keep your head and stop giving your rivals easy wins on a plate!

I’ve had opposition players say things to me just before we’ve been due to play one another, things that reveal their mental weaknesses – effectively handing me the victory in a game of pool before a shot has even been played. When these weaknesses are displayed there is usually one outcome – the script written beforehand normally plays out to be true with a predictable end result. Comments, gestures or mannerisms usually become self-fulfilling prophecies.  

Margins between winning and losing a game of pool, or any other sport are often fine so don’t give your opponents the advantage. Competing mentally will give you the best chance of winning physically.

This is why you should take responsibility for yourself. If you’re the person that always looks to blame other people, the weather or other outside influences for everything – it’s time to take a look in the mirror and start asking new questions of yourself.

  • “Do you want to be a Blamer and Complainer?”


  • “Do you want to Improve and be a Better Version of yourself?”

If you need somewhere to start developing your winning mentality then try reading the post on ‘Composure’.

The next time things don’t go your way on the pool table, I want you to think about the opponent’s advantage law before you react.

Signs that you’re winning the mental battle in Pool

If your opposite pool player displays signs of any of following, take advantage!

  • Blaming the table, more often than not – player error is responsible for most of the poor shots in a pool match.
  • Complains about someone in the crowd when they miss a ball or play a bad shot. Don’t take the shot if you’re not ready.
  • Blames a kick, completely unacceptable now you can get magic talk that prevents kicks. 🙈
  • Complaining about the temperature of the room. Yes, temperature can alter how a table plays but it’s not a valid excuse to appease a player’s ego.
  • Smacking their fist on the table following a visit.
  • Throwing a piece of chalk across the room or worse still, using a cue as a javelin. Flying objects could cause harm to someone else in the room.
  • Huffing, Puffing and blowing the house down like the big bad wolf. Swearing and chuntering.
  • The snapping of a cue! What’s more wasteful than missed opportunities on the table? Answer: The Cue Snap!

If you recognise any of the above as traits of your game, please try to cut them out. If you can’t control yourself, you can’t control your game.

As always, I hope this helps to raise your self-awareness and bring up some new things for you to consider. I’d love to hear examples of you losing your rag or someone else really losing their temper and thowing a tantrum 🤣  – send me a message!

Until next time, use your head to get ahead.


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