I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Your mind plays tricks on you! We remember emotionally charged things and recent events a lot more clearly than we remember other things. This can play havoc with your pool game because you can shoot a shoot and miss it 20 times, make it once and in your mind you think you can do the shot.
Another example of how your mind tricks you is if you miss a critical shot in a key game. You might be led to believe that you can't make that shot or you have troubles with this particular shot.
Unfortunately, neither conclusion is true! These are examples of recency and emotionally charged events influencing how you see your game. Let's look at a better way to improve our skills, and build our game confidence.
The first thing we want to do is keep statistics over time. You can use the IPAT Tests or the Billiard University Tests as a base line. Pick the skills you want to develop and test yourself weekly, keeping score. You can track your progress over time.
Keep track also of areas in your game that need work. Put these skills on your list to practice and then test. What you will find is that over time your skills will measurably increase and more importantly, so will your confidence!
And this is the hidden secret of measuring your results. When you come up to a shot in a game that you know with certainty what your percentages are, you have a lot more confidence in that shot. Having confidence in the shot you are faced with brings out your best stroke, which gives you a better chance for a successful outcome.
This is a whole lot better than looking at a shot and thinking you can make it based on your memories. Remember how your mind plays tricks on you!
To help you get started on measuring your results, here is an example of how this works:
What you want to do here is pocket the object ball, and roll your cue ball forward one, two, three, and four diamonds. You only have two tries and you want to measure how far from your target your cue ball ends up. Keep the closest one for each target, and add up your total for the four shots. Over time you will develop the skill of rolling the cue ball a controlled amount and more importantly, you have developed the confidence in knowing you can do it!
Add this confidence and skill to your game arsenal and you will soon see the results in balls pocketed and games won. Keep track of your statistics and soon you will be in emotionally and factually assessing shots. Your results will certainly improve.