I heard once that Tiger Woods' Dad used to make him play golf in the rain. Why you ask? Because at times in his professional golf life, he would be having to play golf in the rain. He was preparing his son for adverse conditions.
It's a pretty cool little thing actually. And I have written about this before that I would rather practice at the pool room than in the comfort of my home every.single.time.
I want to hear the music from the jukebox that I didn't play, I want to deal with distractions, I want to hear and feel the little bits of atmosphere of a pool room that I might have to deal with during a tournament. I think one of the worst things players can do is practice solely at home in their slippers and comfy clothes - i.e., clothes they wouldn't wear to a tournament.
You must put yourself in the same environment as those you will be competing in. This will give you great practice at dealing with distractions.
When I sparred with my friend Tina again the other day, our distraction was front and center! The cleaning lady comes in around 9-10am and cleans around the pool room, which is the same time we show up ironically.
Here are the cords to her vacuum cleaner, yep right next to our table:
Tina and I have to watch our step and carefully shoot our shots around the cords.
I even captured this photo, to show you how she vacuums right next to us, which is loud noise we deal with, also:
Now, granted these are extreme examples, but it shows that practicing in a pool room is actually a great experience.
You might be thinking, "How is this great?" It's great because we dealt with the cords and the vacuuming and we kept playing pool. We focused on our game and our shot selections on the table, not on what was going on around us.