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Nr. 65 Psychologie - Anhang 1: Nick Prinsloo über mentale Probleme

Nick Prinsloo ist ein bekannter Pool-Spieler und -Autor.
ist seine Website. Seine Ausführungen sind auch für Dreibandspieler interessant, vor allem die über mentale Sperren und über das Zielen auf lange Distanzen (siehe die nächste Seite). Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis des Autors bringen wir seine Original-Texte.

Overcoming The Mental Barriers

This lesson tackles an aspect of the game which is invariably the deciding factor when it comes to being a champion: overcoming the abstract mental barriers. This would range from facing a difficult shot, to dealing with an opponent's good fortune (flukes, etc.), to playing a player much better than yourself, to playing in front of an audience; all common situations that arise - some repeatedly - during the course of a serious pool player's career.

Basically, all such situations are beyond the direct control of the player. They also vary from situation to situation. How each situation affects you is really up to yourself. If you are going to get angry when your opponent gets more than his fair share of luck, nobody but you are to blame when it adversely affects your concentration for the rest of the game or match.

Another common mental barrier experienced by almost every player is getting nervous when playing before an audience or playing an important match against a much stronger opponent than yourself. We all get nervous; even the best in the world. What separates the winners from the losers is that the winners handle that nervousness to the extent that it is no longer a barrier in their way to success. It is okay to feel edgy before or during an important match, as long as you still perform well under those circumstances.

Now, you might ask how you should handle these situations. There is really one solution or "technique" for handling any situation that you cannot directly control, namely CONFRONTING the obstacle. It is of imperial importance to know exactly what confronting means and how to apply it. Confronting is defined as "facing without avoiding or flinching". It means being there comfortably; feeling comfortable with any circumstances, whatever they may be. Facing something without avoiding or flinching means exactly that. It does not mean when your opponent has just made an incredibly lucky shot that you must ignore it or look away or think of something else.

You must FACE it and be comfortable with it.
Observe it and don't let it affect you emotionally, otherwise it could surely cost you the game or match. The same goes for when you have a couple of lucky rolls yourself. It may not have such a negative effect as your opponent's lucky rolls, but confront it nevertheless. Don't let it make you lose concentration; not for one moment.

Ditto playing the final of a major tournament against a tough opponent with a great reputation, before a large audience. It is a hell of a lot tougher than facing a beginner's luck shots at your local poolroom, but it can be overcome. You don't have to go and stand in front of the crowd and look at them in order to confront them, but know that they are there and just be comfortable with it.

You may say, but I can't make myself feel comfortable. That's true. The idea is not to think about it or force yourself by trying too hard, but to simply do it. Just do it. You've seen that on a T-shirt before. Try it, it's easier than it seems.
Your tough opponent can only play well when you give him the chance to do so. He will become more confident when you show fear or any sign of nervousness, so confront him and you will make it a lot more difficult for him, and at the same time easier for yourself.

When you are faced with a difficult shot or even a shot you know you usually miss, confront it before you go down on it, as well as during execution, and it won't be a problem.

Confront your own bad play, confront playing conditions, confront everything that might seem like a problem and it won't be a problem any more. Confront, confront, confront! You will be amazed at what inner strength it gives you!
We could dedicate an entire book to the mental aspects of the game, but why should we, when the ultimate book about the mental game has already been written? The book I am referring to is Pleasures Of Small Motions: Mastering The Mental Game Of Pocket Billiards, written Bob Fancher, PhD. Dr. Fancher is pool's very own shrink, and the book is highly recommended.

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