Building Confidence

Written by David Sapolis

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

Several years ago, Dr. Leif H. Smith came out with a blue print for athletes to use to build up and strengthen their confidence. By using Dr. Smith’s blueprint, I will apply it to pool, and hopefully you will be able to see positive results very soon.

To be a champion, confidence is essential. This is an area where ALL players could use some improvement. Every player I have ever coached or taught has been told "Confidence is the prerequisite to consistency." Without confidence, consistency will never show up. This doesn’t matter if you are a novice, a league player, or a touring pro. Many players usually reach frustration before they reach a level of confidence, but I believe if you follow these steps, you will definitely start to see some improvement.

Step One: Identify Your Biggest Fears

You must identify EXACTLY what it is that is keeping you from becoming the player that you want to be. If you have not achieved your personal goals or expectations it could possibly be because you have some deep rooted fears that are holding you back and preventing you from succeeding. Here are some common fears that all of us have:

Fear of failure: Remember this: The more you fear failure, the more you will fail. Great players learn to overcome this obstacle early in their playing careers. They understand that when they are scared of failing, it makes them passive in their approach at the table, and it will prevent them from taking risks that may lead to failure. The great players understand that there is absolutely no way that you can improve your game when you are competing passively.

Fear of success: This is a common fear that will prevent players from becoming champions.

Many players are constantly focusing on the negativity that will come with their success. Some of these "negatives" include increased responsibility, increased expectations, and increased exposure. Let’s look at them separately:

Increased Expectations

Perhaps your league will start to expect you to perform well every week in every game of every match. Many players do not like the pressure of having to always compete at their best, but face it; that’s what champions do.

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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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