Very few pool players understand that their performance will reach a stalemate after they master many of the mental and physical aspects of the game. This “lack of improvement” occurs because they have not developed the ability to balance both their conscious and subconscious mind.
The fact remains that you cannot play pool completely subconsciously. This is a common problem that needs to be addressed—if you can’t clearly define where the problem lies in your mind, how can you go about solving it? It is like driving a bicycle through an obstacle course while wearing a blindfold. You just can’t do it!
Furthermore, it takes many years to develop the physical skills necessary to become a good player. However, during this period of time we get defeated over and over again and it is quite possible that many of us have the physical abilities to play on a professional level but do not have the belief system necessary to maintain a consistent high-level of play.
A steady diet of hypnotherapy, positive affirmations, subliminal messages, and EFT can positively affect your game. They are all great ways to reprogram the way that you think and talk to yourself.
After all, your subconscious mind controls your physical game. It controls the way you move your muscles and also controls the various elements of your pool stroke. This part of your mind also manages most of your day-to-day functions. It is what you use to drive to work or brew some coffee. This part of your brain also manages your physical abilities, which are sometimes referred to as your gross motor skills.
In reality, this is capable of controlling your pool stroke too, but it should not. Pool players could spend most of their life trying to consciously guide their pool cue. However, the same players would also wonder why their performance is so poor. It is like a person trying to emulate the performance of a computer using a calculator. It just doesn’t work that way.
The conscious mind is what we use to determine what path the cue ball will take, what speed the ball needs to be struck with, and what spin we need to put on the cue ball to get us to where we need to be for our next shot.
Sometimes you may choose to think about a possible scratch, and you may direct your attention to that pitfall in an attempt to prevent some type of mistake. At the same time, when you are down on the shot you should only be concentrating on aiming your cue through the cue ball at the contact point on the object ball. Therefore, when dealing with both the physical and mental layers of the game you have to decide what specifically that you are going to focus on, and when. When you learn how to control your focus, you are guiding your conscious mind.
The alternative is to leave your mind open to negative thoughts that are unrealistic. This may result in your attention being divided between two or more things. Believing you cannot control your ability to focus could make you feel like you are playing a slot machine or buying a Powerball lottery ticket. In either case, you never know exactly what might happen, but in reality you know that the results more than likely won’t be good.
In the pool world, your game can be limited by lots of clutter including troublesome thoughts and expectations. You should use your subconscious mind to control your stroke and keep your conscious mind engaged with all of the decisions you need to make. These are decisions and thought processes such as “What angle do you have on the current shot?” or “What speed and spin does the cue ball need to be struck with in order for you to reach position on your next shot?”
When you learn how to balance both your conscious and subconscious mind, you will start to experience what it feels like to play your best pool consistently. You can rest assured that you will never master the game of pool or conquer your mind, but taking the time to learn how to play the game with a positive attitude will certainly yield high gains. It makes playing more enjoyable and your game will become more consistent.
Author: Anthony Beeler
Editor: Chris Freeman