The lovely Samm Vidal (previously known as Samm Diep) is this month's PoolSynergy host! If I had to give her a title, it would be "THE nicest person in pool." She's a talented, amazing woman and a good, true friend. The only problem is her topic this month is tough! Argh!
She wants us pool bloggers of Pool Synergy to list ten things related to pool, and those ten things have to relate to each other. For example, your 10 favorite ???, 10 reasons why you ???, 10 tips on ???, 10 random pool thoughts???, a list of 10 anything pool-related.
WTHeck, Samm! Give us something easy next time. Sheesh.
You think it's easy?? Try it. I dare you.
I struggled with what ten, relate-able things to share. Well, here it goes:
Top Ten things I Wish I Knew 10-15 Years Ago:
(in random order)
1. Always think three balls ahead. Always. Every shot. I learned this from my friend Shayla Neris who learned this from her coach. I am SO glad she passed this on to me so many years ago!
2. Look at the object ball last.
3. Play straight pool. Your love of pool will go up exponentially.
4. In order to do well in tournaments, you must play in as many as you can. Please hear these words. You cannot learn to handle pressure or learn mental toughness with only a few tournaments a year. You need conditioning over and over in a tournament environment to give yourself the best chance to gain experience.
5. It's okay to take lessons. No one will judge you and your game will improve faster. ;-)
6. Follow through with a smooth stroke and keep your head still. I.e. Condition your pre shot routine! Repeat after me: Condition your pre shot routine. Repeat after me again: Condition your pre shot routine.
7. You WILL get frustrated with this game. You will want to quit numerous times. You wont understand why you can practice so well but not compete in tournaments. It takes experience!
8. Play in tough-a$$ tournaments when you can. Advice from my friend Cristina Dela Garza, Get out of your comfort zone - playing against tougher players in different/bigger/tougher environments makes you tougher and gives you amazing experiences for when you play in your other regular tournaments or leagues.
9. If you focus entirely on your pre shot routine, then that helps your brain from thinking about other things it shouldn't. Try it, you'll like it; I promise. :) This was the best mental advice I ever received for overcoming jitters, pressure, embarrassment, un-confidence, and thinking too much while at the table. Author and friend Phil Capelle taught me this.
10. Play Your Best. If you play your best, you give your best effort, then you should not be upset at yourself if you lose. I learned from Mental Toughness Training for Sports that if I played lazy or didn't give 100%, then I accepted I didn't play my best and this helped me from getting frustrated or depressed about my play.
Well, I hope some of this helps you (or resonates with you), as it helped me all these years become a seasoned, overall good player. Good luck!