Worry Less About Your Equipment, and More About Your Shot

We have all seen it before, that player that enters the bar or pool room dressed to the nines, complete with fancy case and all the décor. When he opens his case it’s even more impressive, a top name cue and more “ooohs” and “ahhhs” follow.

From the outside looking in, this guy appears to be quite the player – but is he? While there is nothing wrong with spending money on your pool equipment, some players put more money and effort into this part of their game at the expense of something that is far more important — developing your game.

I have been around pool a long time and have seen just about every cue, case, patch, pin, award, shirt, and jacket. Yes, it’s fun creating an identity through pool, and players should be proud of their accomplishments. The problem, however, is when players become more intoxicated with the “look” of their game versus putting in the time to become a great player. Yes, having a nice cue probably won’t hurt your game, but it also won’t make balls for you – and here’s the big point: Develop your confidence and improve your game and it won’t matter what you look like or the cue that’s in your case.

When an athlete is “locked in” it doesn’t matter what equipment he or she is using. A great bowler can pick up your ball and beat you, just like a pool player can do, and pretty much any athlete for that matter. Great athletes rely on their abilities, and put little stock into outside factors. These players develop a strong pre-shot routine, refine their focus, and execute shots. In fact, most of your better players can pick up a random house or bar cue and still make you look silly.

Again, feel free to play with pride through the cue and equipment you choose to purchase, just don’t rely on that stuff to make you a great player. Improving your game takes time, dedication, and lots of learning lessons. It also requires that you commit to getting better, which includes playing tough players and learning from your losses. What won’t make you a great player is simply buying the most expensive stuff.

You might be surprised how much better your game can become by scaling back from all the showy stuff and turning your attention to strengthening your mental game and developing a specific plan for future improvement. Don’t worry about how you look or what others are saying about you, but instead focus on mastering the game of pool. As you think less about your look, and more about your game, you will be amazed at how many more games you win and the player that you will become.