Are you Mentally Prepared to Play Your Best?

Are you mentally prepared to play your best when you enter the pool room?  This seemingly simple question can be more complex when you unpack it, as “mentally prepared” actually encompasses a lot of things.

For example, if you are unfocused, angry, distracted, or bored, then you are almost certainly not mentally prepared to play your best.

Mental preparation tips

So then, who is the mentally prepared player you might ask?  From my perspective, he/she is a player who can check off most, if not all of the items below:

Comes to the pool room ready to play and not carrying stress from earlier in the day with him/her

Is properly fueled (food, water) and not bogged down by drugs or alcohol

Is 100% focused on playing pool, and not concerned about plans later that evening or the next day

Is prepared to deal with frustration and adversity, including missed shots and games that shouldn’t have been lost

Has a healthy, positive attitude and is optimistic he/she will play well today

Is constantly looking to improve, and will accept advice from better players, as well as review mistakes after playing so that future improvement can be made

As you can see from above, the mentally prepared player is not necessarily a more skilled player, nor is he or she at any more of an advantage when it comes to being mentally prepared.  Literally anyone can do the things listed above, and serious players looking to improve their game welcome these kinds of reminders so that they can continue to take their game to the next level.

Advantages of mental preparation 

Why is mental preparation important you might ask?  For one important reason: Mental preparation allows you to play your best.  When you are mentally prepared your confidence increases and anxiety decreases.  Mental preparation also allows you to synchronize your mind and body in order to make perfect pool shots.  And finally, mental preparation galvanizes resiliency, preventing you from having catastrophic breakdowns.

Being mentally prepared is something every player can do, and in some cases mental preparation actually makes up for skill differences between two similarly skilled players.