And truthfully, it's the most used sentence when I send texts to friends who are playing in tournaments, "Don't forget to have fun."
(going with my theme to shorten my blog posts, I will not go into all the fine details I could share about this and try and make this short and sweet.)
Imagine yourself having fun, smiling, enjoying the game we love to play, while you are competing in a match. Can you add pressure and then still be smiling and having fun? Nope. The two don't go together like milk and cookies.
It's really difficult to have fun when you feel pressure. But if your goal is to have fun, the pressure is not as strong. And, having fun helps lower tension, and feelings of negativity, which can get in the way of playing our best.
This resonated when The Cueist described to me a key match on a Sunday morning of a big tournament he was playing in. His description explains VERY WELL the concept and my motto of "having fun."
"Next morning, my first match is against a guy that is always tough to beat, and I know he loves the bar tables as much as I do. But, I figured that if I had fun in the match, I'd still be tough to beat. There was a lot of people watching, but I was feeling comfortable. It ended up being a close match, but I won 7/5. "