Looking at Fear

Written by David Sapolis

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Article Index
Looking at Fear (page 1)
Anchors for loose minds (page 2)
The Confidence Bank (page 3)
Where do Blocks come from? (page 4)
Visualization (page 5)

The Confidence Bank

For most players, fear is simply a deficit in confidence. Look at your mind as a confidence bank. When positive deposits go up, the mind feels an abundance of confidence. When you’re in a deficit in the confidence account, the mind feels fear and worry. Have a wealth of confidence by building up your accounts. An account is built by success. Even successful shots can make your bank overflow. See fear as a lack of confidence. Even if you have made the shot hundreds of times, if you are fearful, then you are lacking in confidence. Remember, fear isn’t always rational. As you as you see fearful behavior, especially balking, help create success by going back to the last successful shot. Build up the bank again, before pushing yourself to take the next shot. It’s important to note, that the mind seems to focus on failures more than successes. A player can successfully perform a shot over and over again, just to have all of that shattered by a scratch, miscue, or a bad miss. Don’t forget about your successes - the shots that do drop. They are just as important as times when you are having difficulty.

Watch your Language!

What you say to yourself is extremely important. Maybe even more important than what others say to you! Are you creating an atmosphere in your head of fear, or one of confidence? What we put energy into grows bigger. Putting energy into fear, even overcoming it, fuels the fear beast. Use language with yourself that changes the way you view fear.. The following are some phrases to use in order to build confidence and take the focus off of fear.

It’s ok, I just need to build up your confidence.
Tight mind, I can see my fear beast coming up.
Go back and do some drills. Let’s build up my confidence bank.
Check my thoughts. I am having loose mind.
Anchor my mind. Focus on the correction and put it on automatic.
Don’t think about anything but this correction. Say it over and over again in my head.
Walk through the pre-shot routine saying my key words.
My monkey mind is getting me into trouble. Focus on this correction.

Remember, look at fear as simply loose mind. It can be corrected, there are drills for it. Correct loose mind quickly and easily before you lose yours.

BREAKING DOWN THE BLOCKS

It’s so frustrating. One minute you can pocket balls, the next minute you can’t. So many players can shoot perfectly one day, only to find themselves losing it, or worse yet, not even being able to go for it at all. Take the story of Don for example, "One day I was breaking the balls perfectly. I was making the corner ball and consistently getting a shot on the 1 ball and running out. It was great! The next day I came to the table and couldn’t make anything. Nothing fell on the break, I missed easy shots, it was like I was scared. It was like I had a block inside my body that said "don’t go for it. You’ll never make that shot. I was frustrated. I wasn’t sure what was going on."

This happens to every player at one time or another. A block is so strong that it shakes your confidence down to the very core. This article will give you some tools to help you break down the block so that the block doesn’t break you down.

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About The Author: Blackjack David Sapolis played professional pool for 20 years in The United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

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