As we embark on a new calendar year many of you are probably thinking about New Year’s resolutions. You might be reflecting on 2013 & wondering what the future holds. If you’re a pool player like me you may consider how your game improved or fell short this past year. No matter how you performed in 2013 it’s time to evaluate, learn & move on!

You now have a great opportunity to create goals for the new year & move closer to what you want to achieve. The more you can let go of the past & focus on being proactive in the moment, the more likely you will be to succeed. Here is my process for setting productive goals & effectively moving towards achievement.


Decide what your goals are for playing pool this year. If you want to accomplish something you first need to establish what you want to do & why. This will help give your mind & choices intention to move you in a certain direction. I suggest sitting down & free writing about your best moments & worst moments playing pool during 2013. Were these situations because of how you played, your attitude, your environment, or your situation?


Now that you’ve brainstormed about what you might want to accomplish, to help you to narrow your focus & pick your best goals you need to ask the right questions. Examples are: Do you want to improve a certain aspect of your game? Do you want to perform better in league? Do you want to start competition or compete more? Do you just want to drink, play & not worry about the results? Do you want to get to the next level of your handicap? The more specific the questions & the more honest you are with the answers, the better this process can move you in a certain direction.


Now that you’ve gone through the toughest part of setting goals, figuring out what you want & asking the right questions, let’s set some! If you want to improve a certain aspect of your game, find a drill or create your own that will help strengthen that skill. Then make a routine & add it your life, like dedicate 1 hour 3x’s per week to practicing it.

  • If you want to play better in league, maybe read articles or books on competitive tactics, also commit that you won’t drink during league if you usually do to see if it helps your performance.
  • If you goal is to compete more start researching tours near you that are in your budget, ask around to see what events players that are equal to your skill level compete in. When it comes to competing more, jump right in! Be prepared to lose more than you will win, but you will also learn a lot if you keep an open mind!
  • If you decide that you’ve been taking the game too seriously because you just want to drink & have fun, then you need to detach from the outcome when you compete. Interested in jumping to that next handicap level? Start to pay attention to players at the level above you, what do they do more consistently than you do? That is often the difference between skill levels, that & the experience it takes to close under pressure. Focus on developing those certain skills.


Now that you know what you want & you’ve chosen the actions that will take you there make sure you commit. Even if you get off track at some point, don’t lose sight of your goals & get yourself back on track. It might help you to check in every 3 months to see how you’ve been progressing. Make sure you right down your goals & put them where you can see them. Like on the fridge, on your desk at work, on a calendar, or on your phone’s notepad. The more you keep your eye on the prize the more focused you will be on achieving.

Good luck & I wish you great success for 2014!