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  • controlling nerves.

    Not sure if I'm posting in the right area so sorry if so...I play snooker in my local league and pro/ams and suffer with bad nerves...my practice game is good regular 50 60 70 breaks..but on match nights it's only 1 frame snooker my arm tightens up heart going crazy and just feel like I can't let go of the cue ..I would describe my cue action like shaun Murphy and Neil Robertson..smooth and fluent..but on match games my I just can't flow as good...how do yous cope with match nerves?

  • #2
    Originally posted by rayvonnufc1 View Post
    Not sure if I'm posting in the right area so sorry if so...I play snooker in my local league and pro/ams and suffer with bad nerves...my practice game is good regular 50 60 70 breaks..but on match nights it's only 1 frame snooker my arm tightens up heart going crazy and just feel like I can't let go of the cue ..I would describe my cue action like shaun Murphy and Neil Robertson..smooth and fluent..but on match games my I just can't flow as good...how do yous cope with match nerves?
    I think the first thing you need to clarify to yourself - and here if you want feedback - is what exactly do you fear (assuming fear is what you feel). Are you scared the opponent will score? Are you scared of missing? Are you scared of fouling? Are you scared of forgetting your break? WHAT is causing your nerves to go out of control? If you don't know, then that's the first place to start. Get honest with your feelings and figure out what exactly is bothering you.

    I did a whole series on pressure and strategy on my blog. You can see the 3 part series here:

    http://snookerdelight.com/snooker-ar...ection-part-1/
    http://snookerdelight.com/snooker-ar...ection-part-2/
    http://snookerdelight.com/snooker-ar...ection-part-3/

    Hopefully my articles help.

    The OTHER thing you will want to consider is developing a system for shot execution. NORMALLY, snooker players just get down and pot balls in practice, but if you can develop a precise, repeatable, and customized system, then it becomes the thing you concentrate on to control your nerves. The system is the series of precise steps that you do to execute shots. For example, Shaun Murphy's system is the 2-3 pumps each and every time. It's unchanging. Hendry's system was to cock his head, occasionally look at the pocket, etc. The system is a consistent methodology you use for all shots and this consistent approach becomes your mental anchor which helps you deal with nerves.

    ALSO, post some videos in both situations. Post up some practice videos, and then post up some match play.
    Last edited by thelongbomber; 20th April 2014, 07:31 PM.
    Mayur Jobanputra, Snooker Coach and Snooker Enthusiast
    My Snooker Blog: www.snookerdelight.com

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    • #3
      well in a way that's what we all play for, for that feeling of tension, anxiety, fight or flight, what ever you want to call it, that's just competition. the good news is everyone feels it, what ever level, your not alone so smile and enjoy it because that's what its all about.
      i will add when i felt like this as a younger player i did go for a lot of low percentage shots and loose patience. this led to more poor shot choices and miss through taking my eye off the ball, which only feeds anxiety, pressure and tension.
      the worst thing that can happen is you loose, big deal! patience, patience, patience and more practice, and the breaks will come..

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      • #4
        It's more wanting to win for me and the team so the nerves our wanting to do good and being watched by 20-30 people adds the pressure of playing well...Most matches I'm fine it's the start of frames and gradually ease into the game...Some team members feel no pressure or nerves at all.

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        • #5
          It's more wanting to win for me and the team so the nerves our wanting to do good and being watched by 20-30 people adds the pressure of playing well...Most matches I'm fine it's the start of frames and gradually ease into the game...Some team members feel no pressure or nerves at all.

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          • #6
            Honestly I wouldn't worry about it( easier said than done ) but if your easing yourself into your normal game at least the nerves are going, so I don't think it's that bad, could you keep the start of frames extra tight just to get through the first part of the game and give yourself time to settle, just a thought.
            We are all different, there will be players who suffer far worse than you and some far less, to me you sound around average on the nerve-o-meter.
            This is how you play darts ,MVG two nines in the same match!
            https://youtu.be/yqTGtwOpHu8

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            • #7
              Cheers...think I'll upload a video of my practice game see what yous think

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              • #8
                Originally posted by j6uk View Post
                well in a way that's what we all play for, for that feeling of tension, anxiety, fight or flight, what ever you want to call it, that's just competition. the good news is everyone feels it, what ever level, your not alone so smile and enjoy it because that's what its all about.
                i will add when i felt like this as a younger player i did go for a lot of low percentage shots and loose patience. this led to more poor shot choices and miss through taking my eye off the ball, which only feeds anxiety, pressure and tension.
                the worst thing that can happen is you loose, big deal! patience, patience, patience and more practice, and the breaks will come..
                Actually, not everyone. For most in competition, it's the adrenaline rush, that feeling that you describe. But at a higher level, it's more about appreciating the game and challenging yourself to play it perfectly. If you play just for that feeling of pressure, then you won't be able to handle the game long term and it's an unsustainable strategy. Just my opinion.
                Mayur Jobanputra, Snooker Coach and Snooker Enthusiast
                My Snooker Blog: www.snookerdelight.com

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by rayvonnufc1 View Post
                  It's more wanting to win for me and the team so the nerves our wanting to do good and being watched by 20-30 people adds the pressure of playing well...Most matches I'm fine it's the start of frames and gradually ease into the game...Some team members feel no pressure or nerves at all.
                  So it's the pressure of living up to someone else's worthy ideal and expectations. There is more than snooker involved here. Google Elliott Hulse, David Deangelo, Sadhguru, Isha Foundation, Jim Rohn, Denis Waitley, Brian Tracy. Also lookup a term called the "inner game". Also consider downloading and watching David Deangelo Man Transformation DVD's which is a profound awakening and will shift you permanently in many more ways than just snooker. If you do nothing else, do this last one.

                  How we play snooker is how we play life, so it's likely you are trying hard to live up to something you can't yet accomplish. Step 1 in snooker (and life), is to accept where you are now. Accept completely and totally your game. Don't try to live up to someone or compare or compete. There is enough competition within your mind, you don't need to involve someone else. Step 2, is to accept your current state, and then work hard on improving your total abilities.

                  Acceptance of our game (and ourselves) is crucial and it starts with expressing fully within yourself first that you are complete. Nobody can tell you that you aren't complete. Only god (if you want to use that term) and our significant others have that right (if at all).

                  In terms of outer game strategies, some tips to focus and concentrate and try YOUR best (not what someone else is expecting) is to focus on your breathing. The moment you start focusing on your breath, you will also start breathing more deeply. This and the other recommendations on creating a system will help a lot. But nothing will work like understanding and exploring the inner game. If not in snooker, it will help in life.
                  Mayur Jobanputra, Snooker Coach and Snooker Enthusiast
                  My Snooker Blog: www.snookerdelight.com

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by thelongbomber View Post
                    Actually, not everyone. For most in competition, it's the adrenaline rush, that feeling that you describe. But at a higher level, it's more about appreciating the game and challenging yourself to play it perfectly. If you play just for that feeling of pressure, then you won't be able to handle the game long term and it's an unsustainable strategy. Just my opinion.
                    not really bomber, at a higher level its still about pressure, big pressure, because its about winning, getting that cheque and lifting the trophy.
                    yes without doubt we play to get better and master the game, then with all those thousands of hours that people like myself have put in over the years, it would be perfect to perform in competition the same as in practice.. but/and the single thing that grows with you as you improve and play better and better players and your getting into the later end of tournaments is 'pressure', loads of it and how to handle it

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                    • #11
                      controlling nerves.

                      Well Rayvonnufc1 the pressure and anxiety you feel is all yours and you can do what you want to with it! Keep hold of it and the tension it brings or move it on and play freely. The choice is completely yours. Perhaps answer this question in private......"what do I get from allowing the pressure to build and stick with me?"

                      As Longbomber suggests there is a range of help available but all will require you to be willing to make the change. The challenge is in finding help that is written in a way that 'chimes' with you making complete sense to you. Perhaps very lightly skim read a few until you have that moment when one really makes sense then stop, put the kettle on and make a cuppa, and make the time to read and understand it fully. Then most importantly do something with it!
                      Last edited by Stupree; 21st April 2014, 01:56 AM.
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                      • #12
                        http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Patient

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rayvonnufc1 View Post
                          Not sure if I'm posting in the right area so sorry if so...I play snooker in my local league and pro/ams and suffer with bad nerves...my practice game is good regular 50 60 70 breaks..but on match nights it's only 1 frame snooker my arm tightens up heart going crazy and just feel like I can't let go of the cue ..I would describe my cue action like shaun Murphy and Neil Robertson..smooth and fluent..but on match games my I just can't flow as good...how do yous cope with match nerves?
                          Im the same so before i play now i take a few shots of Bourbon...Problem solved .
                          "Practice Makes Perfect"
                          "He Who Endures Conquers"
                          "Fortune Favours The Brave"

                          1 piece Trevor White 8.5mm Tip,17 1/2oz,57"

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by WelshPhantom View Post

                            Im the same so before i play now i take a few shots of Bourbon...Problem solved .
                            This isn't that crazy a solution actually! The same effect can be achieved with non alcoholic drinks too. The secret is to anchor a gustatory stimulus, in this case a particular drink, to a time that you are performing well.

                            You would do this by going to a practice session and order a drink that you are willing to only drink at matches, perhaps add lime if you are a lager drinker, make it as distinct in taste as possible. Do not take a sip! Start your session and play until you are really flowing nicely, making pots and controlling the cue ball as desired. When you feel yourself peaking pause, do not wait for the break to come to an end through missing, smile and reflect on how well you are playing and drink a quarter of the drink, allow yourself to taste the flavour and feel any textures such as fizz and bubbles, and then carry on playing.

                            On your next match night about 15 mins before you are playing order that same drink and begin to drink it, enjoy it, and play well.

                            You have been carrying out this process your whole life! Mum's roast dinner, curry with the lads, and those "I'm never drinking again" tequilas are all anchored to experiences and feelings that can be switched on.
                            Last edited by Stupree; 21st April 2014, 12:00 PM.
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                            Stuart Graham Coaching Website - On a break until March 2015
                            Ton Praram Cues UK Price List

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by j6uk View Post
                              not really bomber, at a higher level its still about pressure, big pressure, because its about winning, getting that cheque and lifting the trophy.
                              yes without doubt we play to get better and master the game, then with all those thousands of hours that people like myself have put in over the years, it would be perfect to perform in competition the same as in practice.. but/and the single thing that grows with you as you improve and play better and better players and your getting into the later end of tournaments is 'pressure', loads of it and how to handle it
                              sweaty hands tight chest head pounding,loved every second of it. pontins twice a year every pro am I could enter. whats the point of competing if it don't effect you.got to my forties and it just stopped no nerves, nothing!all the fun went so did the focus, you need to channel those feelings and use them don't try to loose them you will miss em!

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