For me, the number one key thing for me to play at my absolute best is to GET SLEEP.
It just helps me so much to be rested and feel refreshed. It helps me physically (of course) feel better and it also helps me mentally. Getting a good nights' rest has been proven to help our decision-making processes. And hey! That's what's important in pool, right?
I haven't slept well in YEARS. At least, not consistently.
I either wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep for a couple of hours, or can't fall asleep right away and toss and turn for hours.
When I had league several times a week, this would really cause me anxiety. My teams needed me to show up with 100% dedication and be ready to play well. But if I was tired, I didn't perform my absolute best. And, I didn't feel excited to be there because I was exhausted (and thinking about how I needed sleep for work).
So, not getting good rest for a few nights in a row, I was already worried I wouldn't perform up to par for the team. Actually, I did still play well, but I could have played BETTER and been in a better mood, more smiling, having more fun, playing stronger, etc. Instead, I would be tired. And we all know when we are tired to get a little grumpy, too.
And not getting a good nights' rest even with league once a week, say just Thursday, was still getting to me because I knew it was a domino effect. By the time Thursday came, I'd be exhausted.
Now, though, I have no worries since I don't play any leagues! If I don't sleep, I just get it the next night. I don't fret over it at all, and I just kinda accept it when I can't go to sleep or can't go back to sleep.
I actually now have a feeling of relief when I don't get enough sleep. Sounds silly, I know, but because I know there's no pressure anymore, it's all just acceptance with no worry. And, normally I had no choice but to go to league tired. Now if I'm tired, I just, well, come home after work to rest instead of being out til midnight.
There is benefits to not playing league. This is a big one for me because of my bad sleep habits.