Snooker mental training – How to be more consistent in Snooker (or Pool) by improving your mental side of the game
Snooker is an immensely enjoyable and rewarding sport yet it requires concentration and lets face it can be down right frustrating at times!
Sports psychology has become a big part of the top snooker players preparation and they even use different mental techniques during matches. OK you or I may not be winning the Masters anytime soon but you will benefit from learning a mental trick or two to make those high pressure shots.
Don’t dismiss this side of the game lightly, even if you aren’t playing competitively in a snooker league you will know there are times simply playing with friends that you are under pressure to make a frame winning shot or just need to focus! This article will give you a few methods that anyone can use to improve.
How to deal with high pressure shots
If you need to make a shot to win a frame or the match you will know that pressure feeling. No matter if you are a professional or amateur, everyone gets tense and nervous when there’s something at stake.
It’s human nature and your ability to control these feelings will decide if you are at a disadvantage or not.
One thing to consider is that when you get tense so does your body and this will affect your cueing. One of the things you should try not to do is criticize yourself as negative thinking leads to anxiety. If you play a silly shot or miss a sitter – let it go, no really, let.it.go. When you are about to approach the table try to clear your mind and concentrate on the task at hand as thinking about that easy black you missed 4 shots ago means you aren’t thinking about positioning or your next shot! If you learn this one thing and allow yourself to play automatically you will have an advantage over the person who analyses every missed shot during game play. Listen to your opponent next time you play. Are they annoyed and self criticizing? If so you know you are at an immediate advantage.
Learn to relax and then adapt it to when you are playing a match. By this I mean by doing a little research, you can learn breathing and other relaxation techniques to relax your body (your doctor can advise on the many resources on this subject). Once you have learned these methods you can practice taking shots by yourself and apply these methods. The thinking is you can then apply this during match play and a relaxed player is a successful one.
In any pressure situation, awareness of your thoughts and body’s reactions to anxiety can give you a major advantage over a competitor so its worth exploring this subject further.
However, remember at the end of the day its a game as well so don’t put too much pressure on yourself and make sure you enjoy it!