I have seen bad rolls really get to a player. To the point they get so mad and frustrated at bad rolls, that they are no longer playing pool.
They are too pissed to play pool with a clear mind.
I find it funny - not laughing funny - but funny in the sense people take it PERSONAL that an inanimate object rolled a little bit more than it should behind a ball. Or scratched b/c it rolled too much. It's a little ball! And yet people get irate over rolls.
The ball did nothing personal to you; it's not even possible! Yet, people fume and let the "bad rolls" interfere with what could be a great match ahead of them; most likely a winning match!
The key to any match is to not pass judgement on anything. Try as hard as you can to smile, sit up straight, and breathe, breathe, breathe. Bad rolls
happen, it's part of the game. If you let it get to you, then you aren't 100% ready for the shot you are about to take.
You need to be 100% ready to shoot again.
If things upset you, that takes oxygen away from the brain, which makes you think foggy, instead of clear.
There's a thing I read in a book once that said even actors that 'act' upset have lower levels of oxygen going to the brain. This means you can trick your mind into thinking clearly, too! Just remain calm. Accept the shots as is - be thankful you get a shot! Not upset you are hooked. Don't place a label on a good roll or bad roll. It's just a roll. Life goes on. Life is short.
Fill yourself up with the immense, wonderful feeling of being able
to play the sport you love. Breathe the air in as you smile upon
yourself as you realize you are so blessed to be able to play this game
you love. Some people sit at home, with disease, depression, health
issues, family issues, etc., and aren't even able to get out of the house, aren't even
able to walk. How blessed we are to get hooked! Plus, every roll someone gets while playing usually means you will get a roll later. It all evens out. Breathe. Smile. Focus on the air going in. Focus on letting it out.
Have you ever seen Belinda Beardon Campos play? If someone shits
in the 9-ball against her, she never, ever makes a face about it.
Never. She gets up, and racks. You would never know it just happened
to her. Because it didn't! It didn't happen to her - it happened on
the table. The ball didn't know it did that 'against' you - it's an
inanimate thing doing something - not to you personally - it doesn't
even know you are there.
It reminds me of roulette. If you see ten odd
numbers come up, people think to bet on even. The little ball doesn't
know that though. It's still a 50-50 chance to get odd or even. It
doesn't have any outside, human influences. Just like a roll
or hook - the ball didn't do it to you personally. It just happened
because of physics - the ball causes friction, there was speed involved,
they hit it too hard/soft and there was a hole to go in or a ball to stop
behind. It doesn't know it was your turn to shoot.
Know your ability. Trust it. Practice it. 'Feel'
your calmness and stroke and ability. Literally feel deep inside you
the way it makes you feel to be playing good. Take that feeling with
you to your matches. Enjoy being able to play. Enjoy the experience. You know how it feels inside you to be playing like you are on air, no
one can stop you, everything is going in, nothing is bothering you...
now, if something distracts you (a hook, slop shot, miscue, etc.) it's
not directed at you personally and don't give it a bad or good label -
remember, a slop shot doesn't know a human is even involved - don't get
upset about a little ball that doesn't have the ability to make it's own
decisions. Don't pass judgement and also don't take them personal.
It's how you react to these instances and how you accept or not accept hiccups in matches that will make you a champion.
Practice more in your mind, if you can't get to the table. Do something, anything - read the forums, watch videos, read books, learn. Practicing and confidence aren't about getting to the table and putting in hours, it's also about running out a game of 9-ball in your head once a week to keep you on your toes. Remembering the key matches you have had.
You can't change the future, don't worry about expectations. The
only expectations you should have are your own - set your goal each
tournament, reach for them. Don't let things bother you - only you can
control what bothers you.