fcsnooker - Top Quality Snooker Coaching and Instruction in association with Mr Frank Callan - The Mind Game -
"In the Mind"

It is all in the mind. How often have we heard this expression and how easy is it to say?

But does this just mean turning a switch from negative to positive in your mind to give you confidence?

As far as I am concerned it is just another of the many generalisations that abound in snooker and many other sports. I never accept things at their face value and I have found out through experience that things are not always as they appear to be. If we are talking about negative thoughts then I would be more concerned. I would wish to establish how and why they got there in the first place.

Most players of whatever ability will know the feeling when things are going well. Every time they go to the table there is plenty of play on and the more they play, the higher their confidence becomes. But what happens when they start missing shots they would usually get and chances become less and less? What are they doing wrong today that they were not doing wrong yesterday?

Everyone who has played the game will have encountered the problem that whatever they try and do, things just seem to get worse.

The ordinary club player who does not get the time to practice can only grin and bear it hoping that in the end things will come right. But in the meantime, how can their confidence be as high as it was when things were going well.

For aspiring amateurs and professionals who are dependent on the game for their livelihood, these spells are more serious and can only add to the pressure they have to contend with during match play. Sometimes they may be able to sort out the problem themselves. Perhaps they have been moving on the shot or snatching. But there can be much more to it than that.

In snooker, where the only movement is confined to the back arm and the hand the errors are more subtle because the game itself is more precise and exact. The slightest error in most cases means failure.

When top players come to me for help they all maintain that they have no problem when they are in among the balls, as there are no really hard shots to play. The problems arise when they come to the semi-hard shots and those played with power when the cue ball and object ball are well apart.

Percentage wise, if you are playing a long shot with power and are maintaining an average of 8 out of 10 in practice, your confidence will be much higher when called on to play the shot in an important match than if your percentage is only 3 out of 10.

Even if you are recognised as having 'good bottle', then the knowledge that you are managing only 3 out of 10 in practice, is bound to be present in your thoughts and must have some effect on the outcome of the shot.

If the problem persists and I know only too well that it can, what happens to your state of mind? I have known good players who have given up the game through sheer frustration.

So how can you improve your mind set when things are not going right? If you are unable to sort out the problems then you must seek out a coach or coaching manual, that is not only able to find the cause of the problem, but more importantly can put things right.

The players armed with more knowledge about their action and how to correct their faults, will come to realise that many things are all 'in the mind'.

Frank Callan Suite - 282 Ribbleton Lane, Ribbleton, Preston, Lancashire, England - PR1 5EB - tel. + 44 (0) 1772 702211 - info@fcsnooker.co.uk

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fcsnooker - The Frank Callan Suite - 282 Ribbleton Lane, Ribbleton, Preston, Lancashire, England - PR1 5EB - tel. + 44 (01772) 702211 - info@fcsnooker.co.uk
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The Frank Callan Suite - 282 Ribbleton Lane, Preston, Lancashire, England - PR1 5EB
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