I have written down reminders in the past for big tournaments and it helped out immensely, so I'm glad I remembered to do this because it really is very helpful to calm my nerves and also to remind me of important things. Because as we all have experienced, during stressful times we don't always think straight. :/
Reminders are a huge part of my repertoire, and that's the main reason I started this blog, actually. I could read back at my learning experiences or reread about the tips I received. I thoroughly admit that I don't recall every aspect of the mental side to competing, so my blog was my checklist also.
When I played at the Oklahoma State Championships a few years ago, I played against a WBPA Pro Player. As we were about to compete, I noticed she was reading something. After she beat me decisively, lol, I asked her about the little sheet of paper.
She pulled it out and graciously showed it to me. It was her Pool Prayer. It was a mantra so-to-speak of reminders for her. As most competitors, she also struggled with the mental game and her Pool Prayer was a great way for her to remind herself of her strengths, why she plays, how to calm her nerves, reminders that she is a good player, and that God is her strength in all things.
I read it with fascination. I suppose all these years of having little notes around me was my little Pool Prayer, too! I especially liked how her Pool Prayer was not a "list" of reminders, but actual sentences and paragraphs that she wrote TO herself about why she is a good competitor, why she plays well, reminders for mental toughness, etc.
Anyway, while her Pool Prayer puts mine to shame, I thought I would share with you what I wrote down for my big Reno tournament, because these tips really did help me throughout the week:
- Nerves just mean it's important to me
- Embrace fear/pressure
- Compare pressure to other aspects of life
- I know how to play!
- I've played good before
- Be happy I can even play pool and I have this opportunity.
- Test my mental game!
- No one is the room but me
- Take my time
- Smooth stroke
- Get low on the ball
- Don't hit to hard
- Take advantage of their mistakes
- Goals: (1) 3-ball shape; (2) take my time, (3) enjoy!!