Friday, April 16, 2010


I go through my stages of confidence and nervousness. Lately I have had one match per tournament where nerves and/or negative thoughts paralyze me. It sucks. Big time. Two of those matches are recorded for your viewing pleasure on the OB Cues Ladies Streaming page. Yea, I wont even link you there. LMAO! I have other Ustream matches where I played well and didn't falter, so it's not all bad, lol, but I wont even watch those two matches right now.


"The sequence of events typically goes like this: when people get nervous about performing, they become self-conscious. They start to fixate on themselves, trying to make sure that they don't make any mistakes. This can be lethal for a performer. The bowler concentrates too much on his action and loses control of the ball. The footballer misses the penalty by a mile. In each instance, the natural fluidity of performance is lost; the grace of talent disappears."
-Jonah Lehrer,
How science can save you from choking

My fellow partner in crime, I mean, fellow blogger, Johnny, has a recent article up about choking. He links to several other articles he came across and basically he was taught like I was - focus on your fundamentals when you are under pressure. He has enlightened his readers (like me) to what he read in the other articles - to focus on a key word (holistic word) word instead of specific details about our fundamentals.

You can check his article out for yourself here:

It's just another way to focus on your fundamentals without a lot of W O R D S. Johnny captures the articles points:

"The bottom line that is most important is that pressure will naturally force us to focus on the small details during our performance, which in turn will degrade our performance. It's contradictory actually. One would think that focusing on the small details that make a perfect stroke (pool or golf) would enhance our performance. And in beginners, it does, but in advanced players, such detail-oriented thinking interrupts our own muscle memory and derails our body's now-natural performance; thereby causing a slice or miscue upon stroke delivery.

The answer: don't focus on mechanics, instead use a key word."

Johnny reminds us:

"Remember the movie Tin Cup? Kevin Costner's character actually did this. Just before his swing he said "Dolla Bills". That was his brain's keyword to start the muscle sequence he had ingrained into his body for all the years of his training. "

I love Johnny's blog entry that he shared and I'm going to take his advice that he is passing on to us. Sylver Ochoa stated once when he was commentating on a stream for the LoneStar Tour that a smooth stroke is one of the major keys to success on shots. I started to incorporate that in my thinking and it has really helped! I know for me, having a smooth stroke takes care of A LOT of the important aspects of my fundamentals:
  • stay down,
  • follow through,
  • don't whack at the ball,
  • take my time
Can you imagine doing any of these withOUT a smooth stoke? I can't believe it's taken me all these years to understand the importance of a smooth stroke!

I was thinking about what my key word should be. Since Sylver suggested it, I could use "Sylver" or "Ochoa," but I don't want his scruffy face in my head while I'm playing, lmao! My key word will be "Smoooooth."

I'm gonna try it this weekend - wish me luck! And, thank you, Johnny!

1 comment:

Johnny said...

You are most welcome!! I'm really happy my blog was able to spark something in your game - and I can't wait to hear about your results!

I've found them to be very helpful already, as noted in the very next entry "Marked Progress".

Along with all the excellent Pool Synergy posts yesterday, this is turning out to be a very informative month! :)