A frustrated subscriber to the website this week sent me an email saying he had quit:
“I've stopped playing competitive snooker now Nic. I don't know if my self expectation is too high or what but the game is making me miserable so I decided not to put myself through it anymore“
I started a quick answer, but turned that into a longer reply that may appeal to many players who have been blessed with frustration in their game or life…
Unfortunately for the ego, our misery is not possible without expectation.
Interestingly my client this week is from India and I had this conversation with him just this morning. His highest break is 104, he runs his own business, and plays maybe ten hours per week.
He came over for a ten day training, and I was discussing with him the psychology side of the game. With most players, this is a big topic because our mind does tend to take the easy road to frustration. Chief among the situations that prod our expectations into waking up with a sore head are:
This main list of culprits has a greater negative effect on some rather than others, which brings me back to my Indian client. I opened the subject of frustration, having allowed some time for the conversation… but this expectation was broken when he said simply: “I don’t get frustrated with the game at all.” This is not because he is playing well all the time (he isn’t), but because:
I have only met one other client like this – in China, and he also had a solitary ton to his name – a 105. It is important to register that they had not lost their frustration when they reached 100 break standard, as if a ton offers some magic cure.
Rather, having a frustration free mentality helped them reach that standard much more quickly. My other observation was that they were both unstoppable in their personal and professional life too – almost like water being set to flow downhill no matter what… they just did not get stopped by the mental traps most of us fall into and were both very upbeat people who were genuinely happy performing everyday tasks. They have been great examples to me and I occasionally touch their levels of self mastery and unleash my inner happiness too! Just imagine if it was ok to be happy all the time!