Tips for playing under pressure.
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With that said, for me it is essential to spend a few minutes on the range before teeing off to help ease the nerves. Also, I like to pack snacks for the round along with a couple bottles of water. For some reason a snack halfway through the round has a calming effect on me.
And like the link above says, enjoy the pressure. Embrace it, for it is what keeps me coming back for more of these competitive events. Also realize that your livelihood does not ride on the results.
Exactly the opposite of this.
You need to practice and play consistently in a environment where you DO care about the outcome. Until you become used to that feeling and pressure, you'll continue to struggle in tournaments where you do care.
Yes, putting yourself in the situations where you have to execute and having the practice to back it up is a very good plan. No doubt about it. Many successful people come from that.
Agreed, you need to push yourself to be able to handle the pressure later, personally I feel no different playing a casual round versus tournament because I have always given 100% effort mentally and physically towards every shot therefore tournament situations feel no different. I know were all supposed to be having fun and all but the competitive aspect of the game is the most fun by far for me. Start by having something riding on every game you play and it can be as little as a few quarters just add that bit of pressure every time.
One thing that can tighten up your tournament game is by possibly getting more serious with your practice rounds. I don't know what you do in non tournament rounds but maybe your expectations of yourself are higher because you might be getting overly critical of yourself during the tournament adding pressure to yourself that you might not deserve. I have about 20 years of playing billiards tournaments in NY/NJ area. Some were locally sanctioned and some were side action. When i was getting myself ready to start competing rather than just playing, my approach in practice matches would be very different. On your practice matches you should make mental markers of your different shots and determine your strong points. If you start executing in a serious manner in practice you can develop a mentality that you can go to when in the tournament. In billiards, it's about learning how to win, not just about learning how to play. Of course there is a lot of offense and defense in pool that you wont find in golf, but the mental aspect of firing back whenever someone tries to get aggressive in match is still the same. Competition is competition regardless of what sport. The details within each game are what makes them all different from one another.