Before I go into the details of focusing, I'd like you to review this video below. See if you can beat my score! You need to watch closely to see if you can count the correct number of times the ball is passed from the girls only in the white shirts.
If you can't view this video now, go ahead and come back later - it's the whole premise of the topic.
Ready to beat my score??
So, if this was your first time viewing this video clip, then you are JUST as shocked and surprised as I was.
Even weeks later after seeing it, I will walk down the hall and see the coworker who shared this with me and still say something to him because I simply can't believe it. And of course, as soon as he showed me, I just /knew/ it would be a blog topic!
Basically, the video is proof how well we can focus on pool, and be in the zone. It also proves that we can indeed focus on things and miss other things.
I could write prolly 10 topics just related to this video and focusing in matches, but let's only touch on a few:
1. Team Captain: This video shows why a team captain is important. Some players need to focus on their game and wont be cognizant of the dynamics of what is going on around them. And that's good! We want their best game. And so the Captain can be the person who sees the entire picture. As captain, it's their role to see who is playing well, how to change up the line-up, or maybe help someone who is dealing with high emotions (as an example). Letting the players focus on pool, allows the Captain to focus on the players.
2. Focus on the Table: This video kinda encapsulates why you can be in the zone and not notice anything else around you. It also PROVES that you can be THAT focused on one thing. And for us, that is the game at hand. If you are focusing solely on 3-balls-ahead-shape, I guarantee you nothing else will enter your mind. That's the type of focus you want. If you are struggling with focusing or you think you can't focus lately for some reason, think about how well you watched the balls from the girls in the white shirt and what you missed. Yep! See?
3. Multi-Tasking: What the video doesn't show but it attests to in documentation, is that if you were to see all three changes (curtain, the walk-on, and someone leaving), then you may not have counted the correct number of passes. The neurology of our brain to do calculations is resource intensive, so if we are doing too much, other things may slack off. That's why it's crucial to try and focus only on the game at hand when we are playing pool. That's why when we get distracted by something external, we don't play as well.
4. Practice versus Tourney Play: This video also explains why during practice we play so much better sometimes than in competition. In practice, we are not distracted, having fun, making all our shots. Here comes competition and we are worrying about our "status" in the event, who our opponent is, who is watching, why someone just said something crappy to us, etc. How can we possibly play our best being distracted? That's why it's important to let things go, focus on the table, and regroup quickly when something distracts you or throws you off.
Hope this helps prove you CAN focus well, and how important it is. :)