: Emily Duddy
My goal each day is to learn as much as I can, work on myself, to treat others with respect, to take challenging situations head on & to always focus on the things that I can control. I recently returned from the Philippines where I represented the USA in the Women’s World 10 Ball Championships, this was an amazing opportunity to improve my pool game, as well as to strengthen my character.
The Training: (beginning about 2 weeks before)
For the body and mind: I started my days with an hour of yoga & concentration training at DeRose Tribeca. This helped me with my hand-eye coordination, my balance & controlling my nerves under stress. Note: I believe that exercise can benefit everyone & finding the kind what works for you will make you more successful. Although yoga is my preference you could try kickboxing, running, weight lifting, etc.
Strengthening muscle memory: For 3-4 hours in the afternoon I would hit the tables at Amsterdam Billiard Club in NYC, completing stroke drills & practice sets. During this time I made sure to complete my pre-shot routine on every shot to make sure it was second nature.
Financial Stability: Before this event I was lucky enough to receive a few new sponsors that gave me the support I needed to put more time & energy into my training. My title sponsor has become Gary Borge Dental. Other brands I represent are Black Heart Tips, QPod and Focused Apparel. I want to thank these companies for supporting myself & the world of pool.
Coaching & Tournaments: Year round on the weekends I am either travelling for events, playing in local tournaments in the Tri-State area or working with my coach to keep my competitive experience constantly building.
My advice for successful training in your life: Whatever goals you are trying to attain most importantly write them down. Then define daily actions that can help you get there. Finally create a routine that can add rhythm to your life while incorporating moving you closer to your goal. Keep your eye on the prize & know your hard work will pay off.
The Lessons Learned During Competition:
1. Trust my training. I was more successful when I reminded myself how hard I had prepared, when I trusted my abilities & when focused on myself as opposed to external factors. Example- many players complained how “bouncy” the tables were playing, but in my opinion the better player takes the responsibility to make an adjustment. I factored that tendency into my shot selection.
2. Have fun! I performed better when I enjoyed the moment & reminded myself about the opportunity I had earned.
3. Don’t worry about the results. When I honestly disconnected from winning or losing I was able to shoot more efficiently under the decreased pressure.
4. To believe in myself. During my first couple of matches I believed & acted like I was the underdog, but as I got comfortable & focused on the positive I remembered I was there for a reason. Once I replaced my defeatist attitude with respectful self-confidence, I knew I could hold my own with any other competitor.
5. Just play pool! This trip I learned how to remind myself where & why I started on my journey to become a professional pool player. Simply because I love to play pool! When I stop focusing my energy on playing perfect, when I accept that I am going to make mistakes, when I don’t overthink & trust my intuition, and when I am completely connected with the act of just shooting pool…I play better & I enjoy it more.
In the end, keep it simple! There might be a lot of options, but make a decision, don’t over think it, commit to it, attempt to execute & observe the results. Never stop loving the game & understand there is always more to learn. Now go hit some balls & have fun doing it!