The Importance of Rhythm & Routine for Pool Success

Have you ever noticed how smoothly life goes when you get into a groove?  Whether it’s doing yard work, exercising, or playing pool, we do our best when we are comfortable and relaxed.  

When we are uncomfortable, be it because we are feeling rushed or have other stressful thoughts on our mind, our performance suffers, and we have a less enjoyable time as a result.  Developing healthy, personal routines provide a sense of security, and allow us to relax our minds and bodies and play our best.  

Rhythm and routine

When I talk about being proactive and taking control of your game, I am referring to keeping a rhythm comfortable to you and following routines that allow you to play your best.  With rhythm, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to speed up or slow down your natural pace because of the player you are competing against.  Whatever pace you play your best should be the pace you keep – regardless of the opponent.  Of course, some shots will require a longer look, and other easy shots might take less time, but generally speaking the opponent you are facing should not dictate the pace at which you play.

When it comes to routines, think about the things you need to do to think and feel your best.  Does your pre-game routine include listening to music, using deep breathing, following an imagery script to help you lock in, and relaxing your muscle groups so that you can play freely?  Again, keeping things normal and comfortable to you will result in a better focus and concentration, leading to more wins at the table.

The opposite of rhythm and routine

Players who don’t have a steady routine often hurry shots they shouldn’t and overthink shots to the point of creating unnecessary anxiety.  The same is true with routines – getting away from what has worked in the past will create anxiety, uncertainty, and in some cases panic.  As you can see, an otherwise talented player can quickly see his/her game go out the window when rhythm and routine are disrupted.

Take inventory of the things you need to do in order to feel your best and apply those ideas to how you approach the competition.  Pool is a tough enough game, don’t make it even tougher by being unprepared, rushed, and scrambling to play your best.