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Worrying inconsistency in playing ability

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  • jamesg19851
    replied
    Originally posted by Cue crafty View Post
    I’m sure most of us have felt like this at one point or another. When life is busy it all gets a bit too much. For me, solo practice is my relaxation, I lose myself in it, it reminds I can play a bit. And I guess for me that’s enough. I stopped playing league this year because I got bored with the two frame format, lack of form, feeling crap etc. I’m enjoying playing for fun again now. ��
    I feel similarly, I usually enjoy solo practise or playing with someone casually more than the league games. In our league we only get one frame, and it's often quite nerve wracking. I feel like I need a break from the league, do lots of solo practise and come back to it when I'm more confident.

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  • Cue crafty
    replied
    Originally posted by tomwalker147 View Post
    On wednesday night I had half hour practice and didn't miss a pot. Then lost my singles match 4-2 and then my league match 2-0 in the same night.

    At the time I was bemused but the next day thought about the reasons for my losses;
    - My opponents played well
    - Hard day at work followed by rushing straight to snooker
    - Trying to sort the team out, food out, pay subs whilst trying to concentrate on my game
    - not practising enough
    - distractions of the more important things in life.

    Whatever you do when going into a tournament, set yourself realistic goals and make sure you concentrate.
    You can't go into your first tournament and expect to play brilliantly. I don't get nervous anymore and wish I did
    as nerves bring out the best in me, I think perhaps I just don't care enough about the game anymore.
    I’m sure most of us have felt like this at one point or another. When life is busy it all gets a bit too much. For me, solo practice is my relaxation, I lose myself in it, it reminds I can play a bit. And I guess for me that’s enough. I stopped playing league this year because I got bored with the two frame format, lack of form, feeling crap etc. I’m enjoying playing for fun again now. 😉

    Leave a comment:


  • Terry Davidson
    replied
    For the top level this is a young man's game however that doesn't mean us old gits can't enjoy leagues and match play (when we can get it). I am struggling too with my health along with no practice partners outside of a good friend who visits twice a month (maybe) and then there are the chores, medical appointments and everything else that goes with having a regular life.

    Tom...I hope you don't lose your interest in snooker. I have noticed myself lately a little lack of motivation which now that our tournament season has started I'm hoping will go away. It appears snooker is getting more popular here in Ontario lately with 36 entries in our tournament this past weekend and the next one unfortunately is limited to 24 entries as we only have 6 tables available and don't like to extend into a second day if we can help it. This popularity encourages me to stick around a bit longer.

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  • tomwalker147
    replied
    On wednesday night I had half hour practice and didn't miss a pot. Then lost my singles match 4-2 and then my league match 2-0 in the same night.

    At the time I was bemused but the next day thought about the reasons for my losses;
    - My opponents played well
    - Hard day at work followed by rushing straight to snooker
    - Trying to sort the team out, food out, pay subs whilst trying to concentrate on my game
    - not practising enough
    - distractions of the more important things in life.

    Whatever you do when going into a tournament, set yourself realistic goals and make sure you concentrate.
    You can't go into your first tournament and expect to play brilliantly. I don't get nervous anymore and wish I did
    as nerves bring out the best in me, I think perhaps I just don't care enough about the game anymore.

    Leave a comment:


  • Csmith
    replied
    I've struggled with this for a long time and am only recently figuring out how to bring my practice game to the match table. I used to not even play as well as my worst game when faced with match play.

    I've worked on understanding what happens to me when I come under pressure. The key things are flinching as I hit the ball, movement and tension.

    Since most of us play and practice so much, the mechanics of our execution shouldn't change much, unless we overthink them. But it's the tension and movement, at least for me, that spoils everything.

    As a parting note, the main exeption are those players that we know who play great dispite all kinds of movement. But within the last year I've had the opportunity to watch a former Canadian champ practice who has a lot of movement. The important thing I noticed was that he moves around a lot in practice too. So although he may get even better if he reduced his head movement, the fact that he essentially practices it, allows him to bring his practice game to the match table.

    Compare that to someone like myself, who tries to stay still in practice. Movement and tension on the match table spoils everything.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cue crafty
    replied
    Originally posted by sn000ker View Post
    Thank you all for your insightful comments! It is a relief that I am not alone in this
    Check out the old thread I just revitalised. There is some good stuff on there.

    Leave a comment:


  • sn000ker
    replied
    @Terry Davidson Thank you for the comment and the interesting blog post. I will certainly read it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Shockerz
    replied
    Originally posted by sn000ker View Post
    Thank you all for your insightful comments! It is a relief that I am not alone in this
    Funny that isn't it.

    It gives people comfort to know everyone else is in pain (but I know what you mean)!

    If you are going to be sentenced to life imprisonment, its nice to have company in the dock............

    Leave a comment:


  • Shockerz
    replied
    Originally posted by Terry Davidson View Post
    sn000ker...you are now joining the rest of us. Hendry used to say 'I wish I could bring my practice game to my matches'. This problem happens to EVERYONE and the only way to get over it is to play in more tournaments but given Hendry's experience even that doesn't actualy solve the problem just makes it a little better.
    Totally agree, we all suffer at different levels.

    I'm sure some of the best players out there have never made the World Championships and we probably haven't ever heard of them on the circuit because they just couldn't play under pressure and realise their full potential.

    I had an uncle in the 70's who had beaten every one who's anyone in the world at darts and was absolutely awesome. He was a right hard nut in a fight and a real man's man.

    Put him on the larger stage and tv and he just fell apart in his head and drove himself mad trying to understand why lesser players were beating him.

    The mind is a game in itself!

    Leave a comment:


  • sn000ker
    replied
    Thank you all for your insightful comments! It is a relief that I am not alone in this

    Leave a comment:


  • Shockerz
    replied
    Originally posted by sn000ker View Post
    Hi Shokerz,

    Thanks a lot for your reply. It is reassuring to know that this is expected behaviour during the first tournament matches. I guess experience will teach me.

    I just sometimes find myself thinking to myself, while down on a shot, things like "in order to pocket this ball, the cue ball would have to make contact with it at an infinitesimally small point", which shifts my "intuitive" way of seeing angles into an "algorithmic" one, i.e., I start thinking too much, which of course makes me miss the shot completely. Is there a remedy for such thought? How does one "quiet the mind"? How does one "get the head in the game"? Is this also just experience?
    Welcome to tournaments!

    We all search for a quite mind and that certainly isn't easy in dead ball sports as you have too much time to think.

    Alex on here wrote a nice article about this on my blog (Them Damn Monkeys), certainly worth a read!

    I saw a coach once and he asked the following:

    "When you last won a competition and played well, what were you thinking about and how did approach each shot?"

    When I really thought about it, I hadn't actually been thinking about anything apart from playing the shot e.g. see it in my head and then play it; certainly not thinking about a mm to the left sort of thing.

    It takes a lot of commitment to calm the mind and not react to flukes, poor run, being late, not enough practice, cannot cue straight, my girlfriend doesn't love me any more etc etc

    Whether we like it or not, all out emotions go in the stress bucket in the week and we take them to the competition waiting for those voices to confuse and put us off.

    I think we all suffer but just try and play as many comps as you can, try some other pressure in practice games (give a handicap, put money on it) and then keep trying to keep your head clear.

    Obviously there are books like 'The Chimp Paradox' but why focus on telling yourself you have a problem before you get a chance to get past it naturally like the rest of us.

    Just clear your head, take the shot, don't focus that hard on the mm or you'll forget the pocket and loosen your arm. If it doesn't go in, wait your turn with a clear head and let the last shot go or it will affect each and every opportunity you get.

    Leave a comment:


  • Terry Davidson
    replied
    sn000ker...you are now joining the rest of us. Hendry used to say 'I wish I could bring my practice game to my matches'. This problem happens to EVERYONE and the only way to get over it is to play in more tournaments but given Hendry's experience even that doesn't actualy solve the problem just makes it a little better.

    Leave a comment:


  • Snooker Theory
    replied
    By the way I no longer bet on games or play in tournaments, the added pressure takes away from my enjoyment. When I would lose a tournament I would get down on myself instead of being more motivated. I hope you find your groove, best of luck mate.

    Leave a comment:


  • Snooker Theory
    replied
    I have always done bad at tournaments in any sport, other than playing in more tournaments, the only thaing that has helped me at all was betting on my practice matches.

    For whatever it is worth mate, I think casual bets make practice matches more like tournament play due to the added pressure of the wager.

    Leave a comment:


  • sn000ker
    replied
    Hi Shokerz,

    Thanks a lot for your reply. It is reassuring to know that this is expected behaviour during the first tournament matches. I guess experience will teach me.

    I just sometimes find myself thinking to myself, while down on a shot, things like "in order to pocket this ball, the cue ball would have to make contact with it at an infinitesimally small point", which shifts my "intuitive" way of seeing angles into an "algorithmic" one, i.e., I start thinking too much, which of course makes me miss the shot completely. Is there a remedy for such thought? How does one "quiet the mind"? How does one "get the head in the game"? Is this also just experience?

    Leave a comment:

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