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)

It’s your biggest nightmare. One day you can make that shot, the next day you can’t. Or, you do it perfectly in practice, but when it is time to do it in competition you choke.

Fear. You hate it. It can be paralyzing. It can make even the most patient player want to check him or herself into the psych ward. This article will help you look at fear in a totally new way. A way so different, so revolutionary, you may just want to write me a thank you note. So...

Are you ready to revolutionize the way you are looking at fear?

You work all day at the table on making shots and attaining pin point position. You do drill after drill to be sure that your stroke is fine tuned. Your coaches/instructors talk at length to you about the importance of having a smooth fluid stroke and a tight, solid stance. You always ensure that you have the proper body alignment while shooting. You know full well that shooting pool without proper alignment is like trying to thread a piece of spaghetti through the eye of a needle. Not easy and not very effective.

But what about the mind? The mind is a thought factory, creating thought after thought after thought. A mind out of control is the same as a stroke out of control; all over the place, and mostly in places where it doesn’t belong. Loose mind creates fear, frustration, doubt, and negativity. The opposite is also true. Tight mind creates fearlessness, positivity, confidence, and focus. So it’s simple, just as you work on how to correct and tighten your stance through correction and drills, do the same with your mind. Teach yourself how to tighten your mind through mental corrections and drills. Change the way you think about fear by simply seeing it as loose mind.

Fear is simply "loose mind".

You correct loose body (lazy stance) all the time. You would never let go of the cue ball with the match winning 9 ball sitting in the pocket. So why do we let go of the mind? Begin to correct loose mind just as you would any body position. Correct it non-emotionally. Whenever you feel fear, frustration or over-thinking, simply draw your attention to loose mind with a simple comment. Say something to yourself like, "my mind seems loose, what am I thinking?", or "I see fear is creeping in, just focus on the correction over and over." Teach yourself to identify loose mind whenever you feel it. Without awareness, making a correction is virtually impossible. Teach yourself to listen to what you are saying in your head. Then, "lock it down" by either saying cue words, corrections, or positive self statements.

Remember, when the mind is loose, negative thoughts have a free for all. They take any opportunity to sneak in and create fear. So how can you keep your mind tight? How can you "lock it down"? The following is a list of drills you can do to help anchor your mind. "Anchoring" keeps the mind tight, in proper alignment, so that negative thoughts cannot enter leading to fear and doubt.

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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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