: Tom Simpson
Ask The Master - My game is seriously lacking in consistency, not from shot to shot, but from Saturday night with guys where my game is like the good Dr. to Monday nights to where it gets ugly and nothing goes right. I can't even make the easy ones. What can I do to be the shooter I truly am when it counts?
When the doctor is playing, he feels confident and is focused on what he's doing. He expects things to work. When Mr. Hyde shows up, he might start with one crazy miss, which makes a big dent in Dr. Jekyl's confidence, which begins the downward spiral of doubt and worse play.
No matter what, treat every shot the same, every day. You're going to have misses, and some of them will be horrific. Horrible misses occur when you are playing with doubt, fear, or self-consciousness. This slump issue is a very large topic, so I'm just going to mention a couple of ideas here.
You need a solid pre-shot routine. When you are having fear, doubt, etc., fall back on your solid physical routine. That's all you can control. Take your best swing, every shot.
Every shot is a new day, a fresh start. Take a breath. If you're still mortified by your earlier humiliating lapse of focus, you're not present for the current shot. Take a lap of the table, let it go, and become fully involved in the shot you're facing. The past is history. The future is fantasy. Become fascinated with the shot. Put everything you've got into visualizing, setting up, and executing the current shot. You must be present to win.