Talk Yourself Into A Better Game Of Pool

What you say to yourself drives your performance on and off the table much more than you would think. Positive self-talk is a force that we must master to reach the highest levels of pool.

Self-talk can not only influence how you think, feel, and behave in a particular moment, but it can change your beliefs and behaviors. The best players in the world use the voice in their head to become more successful.


It’s quite simple really. It’s always going to be better to talk to yourself in a positive way. Telling yourself how bad you are at something is always going to work against you. I’m sure that when someone tells you how well you are doing at something it feels good and gives you a lift. Positive self-talk does the exact same thing.

To better understand why positive self-talk works, we need to understand more about how the mind works.

The subconscious mind – where your memories are stored, triggers your emotions, feelings, and behaviors related to different situations. The subconscious mind can also be thought of as your “belief system”– a big factor in how motivated you are to improve and how you perform in tough situations.


The subconscious mind is always trying to predict problems or successes based on your memories of your past. It can either hold you back (in the form of fear and self-doubt) or give you a green light to get better. It is not only taking in everything you experience, but it’s also listening to what you tell it. For this reason, mental techniques such as self-talk and visualization can “program” your subconscious to change what you think and believe.

The stories you tell yourself everyday are shaping your future. With better self-talk, you can shape a better future and win more tournaments.


Self-talk and thoughts are not the same thing. You don’t have control over what thoughts appear in your mind, but you can choose your self-talk.

Even though we don’t have control over random thoughts appearing, with more mindfulness we can choose which of those thoughts we turn into feelings, emotions, and behaviors. We also need to be aware of turning thoughts into self-talk. When you verbalize thoughts and feelings (either to yourself or out loud), they become part of who you are.

In pool, players can physically coach themselves with positive self-talk. Here are some examples:

  • If you are losing confidence, you might want to hear something motivational.
  • If you feel tired, you might want to say something which raises your intensity.
  • You might have some instructional self-talk which reminds you of what you need to consider doing mechanically.
  • After a bad miss, you might need some compassionate self-talk, so you don’t react.


When you start to develop your script, it’s important that you think about what you would want to hear in specific situation.
Different words can trigger different emotions for different people. Imagine yourself in situations where positive self-talk might benefit you and think about exactly what you would want to hear from yourself.


You can motivate yourself and change limiting beliefs using positive affirmations. I make positive affirmations a part of my daily routine, right before my practice sessions.

Think of things that you know are great about you, that you should remind yourself of, and behaviors that you will need to change to achieve your goals.

Here are some examples:

  • I am a champion!
  • I am focused on my pre-shot routine before every single shot.
  • Winning is not a condition, it is who I am.
  • I am an artist on the slate. I create shots in my mind and execute them perfectly.
  • I play with intensity and confidence
  • I love the game no matter the results.
  • I learn from every match.
  • I am a big tournament player.
  • I am intelligent, confident, and smooth.

Positive affirmations can be a powerful tool to help you change your mood, state of mind, and manifest changes in your pool game. There are studies that show that we can maintain our self-esteem and integrity by telling ourselves – affirming, positive thoughts. Affirmations are simple tools that can literally remove negative thoughts. Affirmations can assist you with self-regulation, self-worth, self-awareness, and self-confidence.