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Being Present in Pool is a Gift.

If you ever listen to audio content, watch videos or read any books on Mindfulness at often times you will hear the writers talk about “being present”.  Being present is essentially focus, an awareness of the current moment.  When someone is completely lost in a film, video game or walking down the street with Drum & Bass blasting through their Beats headphones If you ever listen to any audio or read any books on Mindfulness at often times you will hear the writers talk about “being present”. 

This Presence is essentially focus, an awareness of the current moment.  When someone is completely lost in a film, video game or walking down the street with Drum & Bass blasting through their Beats headphones 🎧 (other brands available) – they are more oblivious than present. These examples are all escapism and in turn display a lack of self-awareness.  What I want for you is to go the other way and raise your level of awareness.  Here’s why:

Focus is without doubt one of the most important elements to produce consistency in your Pool game.  On many occasions I’ve witnessed players turning up late for matches, with rosy red cheeks, flustered due to rushing and stressing out about not arriving on time.  Their arrival is usually met with relief by both the player and that of their teammates. These cueists will often quickly produce their cues from inside their cases, connect their shaft and butt joints and instantly chalk up their tips ready to make up for lost time.

This process will more often than not be detrimental to the quality of the game you produce.  Due to influences such as family and work commitments, most of us have been in these situations many, many times.  

FOCUS ON GETTING INTO THE ZONE

I achieve my best pool when I’m in the right frame of mind (excuse the pun). This is what I often refer to as being “in the zone”.  When you’re in the zone you will be completely focused on the task at hand.  Shot by shot.  No outside distractions just complete and total inside focus.  When you’re fully in the zone you may experience a level of escapism.  This is more an active escapism whereas those listed earlier were all passive escapism. 

An example of being in the zone. I can recall playing in a pub one night (winner stays on). I was fortunate enough to win the coin toss 3 or 4 times in a row. Then, I consequently break dished without giving any one of my opponents a visit to the table.  The last black ball went down. I looked over to see no more money lined up for the next game.  That meant no more challengers. Nobody else wanted to play. 👎🏻 This realisation instantly stopped my flow, and spoiled my fun! 

It was at that exact moment that I was consciously back in the room. I couldn’t remember any of the shots I’d played or frames I’d just won – because I’d been in the zone.

Caveat: I feel that this level of flow is difficult to achieve in a more tactical battle. The more lengthy thought processes of this exchange, along with your opponent’s table time will stop you from getting down and consistently potting ball after ball on autopilot.

TAKE YOUR TIME TO FOCUS

By rushing around you’re not giving yourself the best conditions to produce your best Pool.  Whether you’re playing in a team or for yourself – it is YOUR responsibility to take a few seconds to prepare yourself mentally.   This can be as simple as taking a few seconds to compose yourself and your thoughts.  Think about what the outcome you desire, the aim of the game – to win.  Go into battle knowing you have the skills to be victorious – don’t lose the game before the break-off shot!

One of my clients in a similar situation recently, arrived for a team game late after playing in another competition on the same night.  This is a great lesson in taking your time and composing yourself. Immediately arriving in the demanding atmosphere of the match room. room where the match was being played, he instead chose to go into the opposite side of the pub. He ordered his drink and took a minute to wind down before entering the fray (pool room). This shielded him from the expectation of instantly playing upon arrival.  Little instances such as this are key to giving yourself the best environment to thrive. 

We live in a busy, face-paced world where everything moves at 100 miles per hour (including Self-driving Teslas on autopilot). Take stock, be responsible, don’t feel pressured into just “getting it done”.

We play for for many reasons, two of which are for enjoyment and to win.  Feeling forced or feeling obligated to rush will give you little enjoyment. It won’t help you achieve many winning frames on those scorecards either.

Being Present is the gift you can give to yourself.  Your teammates can’t play your games for you. They can’t help you attain your pool focus and deliver you into the zone.  This is your responsibility.  So give yourself the best chance to deliver the goods and be the best pool player you can be.

The next time yourself or a teammate is running late for the match- You know what to do..  Give yourself time! ⏱

I hope this helps you Raise Your Game. 🎱👍

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