In pool there is an importance to not thinking any negative thoughts right before or during a shot that you want to make. All pool players have experienced missing right after thinking that they would miss. This negative thought could have crept in before they got down to shoot, or in the instant before they pulled the trigger.
As an exercise for your next time at the table in practice or even in competition, and especially on longer “tougher” shots, I want you to tell yourself “this ball is going in” at different times before your shot. You can even keep it going like a meditation mantra and don’t stop until the ball actually does go into the pocket.
Saying the entire phrase “this ball is going in” or “this shot is going in” could even be too long and distracting to say in your mind as you are about to shoot, so for that time right before and during your last stroke, you can just saying the single word “in” for simplicity.
This exercise can be used in a few different ways,
1. To replace actual negative thoughts or doubts that you may have noticed before some shots with a positive replacement.
2. To calm general anxiety that could cause you to move during your delivery stroke.
3. To proactively prevent negative thoughts or anxiety from appearing at all.
You can invent your own positive phrases as well that work better for you, or custom tailor them to specific shots or situations. It could be “I’m making this cut shot” or “I’m winning this match.”
You may find yourself pleasantly surprised when your body obeys your mind when it comes to these positive thoughts. The mind gives the body its instructions on how to behave so take the controls and steer it into winning actions.
All my best and see you soon…