: Samm Diep
With V-Day just around the corner, I’m turning L-O-V-E into a four-letter word that will help bring the romance back into your pool game.
L.O.V.E. (Laughter, Observation, Visualization, and Experience)
Laughter ~ Always Remember to Laugh
“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)
What a beautiful statement? During the heat of competition, and even just in day to day life, it’s easy to forget to enjoy the moment and laugh at ourselves. World Champion Efren “The Magician” Reyes, one of my favorite players and arguably one of the best players in the world, has an attitude at the table that we could all learn from.
You would never find this man cursing or slamming his cue when he makes a mistake in a match. He simply scratches his head and cracks his signature smile. He chuckles at himself and the situation he’s faced with. His positive attitude helps him maintain his composure and more often than not, he finds a way to get himself out of trouble.
Even when you may not feel like it, smile… laugh. When you smile, your brain assumes you must be happy. Positivity and happiness can help overcome the worst situations.
Observation ~ Observe, Learn, Improve
Far too often, I see B players get knocked out of a tournament and blow out of the pool room. They’re so wrapped up with the results that they don’t even realize how priceless the information is they have in front of them. The next time you get knocked out of a tournament, or you’re between matches, have a seat. Watch the better players and really observe what they’re doing.
So much can be learned from observation. Pay close attention to their rhythm. Do they have a pre-shot routine? What spin did they just use? How is that table playing? These are all powerful tools not only for self-improvement, but when you observe how the equipment plays it will also prepare you for your next match on that table.
Visualization ~ Visualize the Desired Outcome
I can’t reiterate this enough: Stay Positive. Work on keeping those negative thoughts out of your head, and that includes the images of missed shots and other errors. No one is perfect and we are bound to make mistakes, some more costly than others. What you don’t want to do is to dwell on them.
Visualize what you want the outcome to be. When playing position, visualize the cue ball rolling to that exact spot on the table. Visualize yourself staying down, following through, and pocketing the ball. You’ll be amazed at how simple yet effective this technique truly is.
Experience ~ There’s no Substitute for Experience
At the end of the day, knowledge and positive attitude will only get you so far without the time on the table. The best way to build muscle memory and confidence is with practice, and lots of it. Plenty of practice coupled with regular tournament experience will only make you a better player. You will always walk away from every experience with more knowledge and ability. Keep practicing and thanks for reading.
Improvement can begin with L.O.V.E. Remember these four simple tips and fall in love again with the game.
The next time you’re in the mile high area and looking for a Denver billiard instructor, be sure to look me up.