Building Confidence

Written by David Sapolis

Page 3 of 3:  First Prev ·  1 ·  2 ·  3

Article Index
Building Confidence (page 1)
Step 2: Master Fear (page 2)
Step 3: Identify Your Greatest Strengths (page 3)

Step Three: Identify Your Greatest Strengths

One of the most important exercises I do with pool players is when we inventory their strengths. The trick is to figure out the strengths that they already possess and build the rest of their game around them. It is important to allow the players to identify these strengths themselves, without my assistance. From there we can find ways to maximize these strengths and enhance their effectiveness. Many players seek advice on how to strengthen their mental toughness. After the inventory is done, we usually realize that there is a deficiency in another area such as work ethic or motivation. It is very important to accurately recreate a situation or environment that will force the player to develop those weaknesses into strengths. In doing so, we create a situation that will provoke anxiety, fear, distraction, and the player will definitely learn from each and every aspect of the situation.

No matter what your strengths are as pool player, you should always strive to maximize them to their full potential. Trying to correct and fix weak spots in your game is very time consuming and not as effective as using the strengths that you already possess.

Step Four: Set a Course of Attack

Many pool players spend more time choosing from the McDonald’s menu than they do a plan of attack to become a better pool player. If you are the type of player that competes on a regular basis at the highest level, then you seriously need to consider changing that part of your personality. If becoming more confident is your goal, you need to sit down and write a plan on how you plan on accomplishing that goal. Your confidence will arise from gradual exposure to successful situations in the game of pool. It won’t happen overnight. In much the same way a bodybuilder slowly builds a muscle, this is the same thing you will do with your confidence. It is gradual and incremental, and this a necessary pace. It’s not so much about where you are going, you also need to know how you are going to there. Be specific in your plans. The more clear you are with your vision, the easier it will be to make it a reality.

Step Five: Measure Your Success

This step is crucial to increasing your confidence in game of pool. To chart success, you measure it accurately and often. This means that you must be able to accurately define confidence in behavioral terms. By doing so, you will be able to accurately measure your confidence as it grows. Many players avoid doing this, and even balk at the idea. Some easy ways to measure your confidence Include:

Measuring the amount of times you competed with true grit and determination (things that are entirely under your control, unlike wins & losses)

  • measuring visits to the pool hall
  • measuring missed shots in relation to made shots
  • measuring your high runs, or how many racks you can run in succession
  • measuring how you place from tournament to tournament (not counting wins & losses)

This is not an all inclusive list. The point is to simply find a way to measure your increased confidence. Remember to define it through means that are entirely under your control so that any increase or decrease in your performance is directly linked to your performance and NOTHING ELSE!.

The five simple steps I have covered will enhance your confidence as a player if you follow them. This is the basis for every champion’s training regimen, and utilizing these steps will pay off you in the long run! Good Luck!

This article was written with Dr. Leif H. Smith’s article "A Blueprint for Building Confidence" as a basic outline. I have merely adapted this article and applied it to the game of pool. This article is not available for sale, reproduction, or public display. This article is being used as a coaching tool, in private correspondence with pool players.

Page 3 of 3:  First Prev ·  1 ·  2 ·  3 · 

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

Related Articles

Author Info - David Sapolis