Today, I had a client tell me that there is a single frame shootout to decide this season’s local snooker league title – and he is playing it!
He asked me for any tips and I gave him the following thoughts…
Firstly, play YOUR OWN SNOOKER GAME for the whole frame – this includes the shot selection, technique, and tempo you usually use.
This carries the assumption that YOUR GAME IS GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN. ESPECIALLY important is keeping YOUR standard tempo and not speeding up or slowing down – as either can disrupt you.
MAY THE BEST MAN WIN
Secondly, adopt Ronnie O'Sullivan’s attitude of: ‘May the best man win’.
This will take some pressure off you, and put your focus on your own performance rather than the result.
IT IS OK TO FEEL PRESSURE IN SNOOKER!
But when you do have pressure then just admit it – there is nothing wrong with being shit scared… I always was in matches, and in the recent world final (where I was sat in the front row) I could see John Higgins’ grip hand shaking!
Trying to deny pressure is human nature and probably what your opponent will do.
If you can practice today, practice YOUR OWN GAME – don’t make any changes!
However, DO make sure your pre shot routine is being applied consistently.
Also, make sure you are staying down long enough to watch the ball ALL THE WAY to the pocket or cushion – don’t shift your eyes to the cue ball until you have done this.
Get 15-20 mins warmup before the match if you can – maybe leave work a bit early and get to the club before others do?
I would start by playing a few reds along the top cushion, a few blacks off the spot, a few shots with the cue ball on the cushion, a few pinks in the middle, a few long pots, and ten minutes or so of break building. If the long pots are not going in then play a few middle distance pots and use that information to guide your shot selection in the frame – there is nothing wrong with refusing a long ball if they are not going in on the day.
Spend 10-20 minutes today mentally rehearsing being in the frame and playing shots to your satisfaction in the right frame of mind…
YOU ARE ALLOWED TO ENJOY IT!
Finally, you ARE allowed to enjoy snooker – so make sure you do that on the night too!