Leave All the Distractions at the Door Before you Play

When it comes to playing your best, a big part of success comes from your level of focus – or lack thereof. Pool success, like all sports success, is largely a product of your level of focus.

When you are “locked in,” you see the table better, pick the right patterns to follow, and execute shots at a high level. On the other hand, when focus decreases, we lose our concentration, become more easily agitated, and inevitably miss shots we shouldn’t.

A big part of maintaining a strong focus has to do with both:
• what you pay attention to, and
• what you choose to ignore

By paying attention to the things that are relevant (i.e. being rested, having your cue ready, etc) and that you control (i.e. your level of focus) you will put yourself in the best position to be successful. But today, I want to spend a few minutes discussing point B above, the things you choose to ignore.

There are a lot of things going on in the world these days, ranging from political to social to even sports concerns. With social media seemingly everywhere, it’s easy to get caught up in polarizing news stories that can really drive you nuts. Walking in your pool room still stewing over what is going on in the world is not going to help you make more shots, but clearing your mind and focusing only on pool will help you play better.

Some additional tips for leaving your distractions at the door include:
• Think about the ways in which you get information on a daily basis – does it often leave you frustrated, and in a bad mood? If so, how does this impact your pool game?
• It does not matter as much what you focus on before you walk in your local pool room, so long as you develop ways to delete those thoughts and turn your attention toward the only thing that matters in pool – making that next shot.
• Are you the kind of player who constantly checks his phone – sometimes even between shots? These kinds of distractions steal from your attention, and your overall likelihood for success.
• Discover ways to ramp up your focus as part of your pre-game routine. For example, while going through practice shots try to keep your mind focused only on positive and productive images, and when you feel your mind wandering and thinking about irrelevant things make it a point to stop, breathe, and re-direct.