The Art of Concentration

Written by Joe D'Aguanno

There was once in your life when your ability to concentrate was supreme. It was long before you learned how to think or understand what words were. It was when you were a helpless baby. Your brain was empty and like a sponge. You were able to focus completely on what was at hand without any distracting thoughts.

As you grew older, learned how to talk and then to think you gradually became aware of that inner voice that that is constantly with you today. It is that inner voice that you can't shut up no matter how hard you try that interferes with your ability to complete running the rack or winning a match. It is ever present telling you that the shot is too hard, that you are going to miss, that the other guy has all the luck and on and on and on. One of the worst times for me is when I am close to winning a match against a really good player, that little voice kicks in telling me how good I am. It?s telling me how everyone is going to think what a great player I am when I win. The next thing I know I?ve got my head stuck so far up there I?m screwing up about everything I try.

The ability to concentrate has a direct correlation on your ability to quiet that voice inside your head. Think about it. If you aren't so busy talking to yourself you can devote as much attention to the task at hand as you want. The only problem is that they taught you how to turn that voice on inside your head but didn't give you a clue on how to turn it off. Here is where you can spend the next 10 years of your life in a Zen meditation school learning the word ohmmmmmmmmm.

If you don't have that much time on your hands I have a shortcut that will save you about 9.9 years. The key to quieting the voice is letting the unwanted thought go when it enters your mind. You let the thought go by relaxing you mind like you do when you get ready for sleep. You can't force the thought out because by using force you are reacting to the thought. You have to let yourself go, totally ignoring everything around you including your ego. Once you have become a lifeless statue with no thoughts of your own you let in the thought that you want. The thought that tells you what you want to do with the shot. By letting this thought in it is automatically fed to your subconscious. Your subconscious is like a trained computer. It analyzes your thought of where you want to pocket the object ball and the shape you want to pull on the next ball.

If you have trained it well enough the subconscious comes back with where to aim, how hard to shoot, what English if any to use, where the cue ball will end up, the correct position on the next ball to obtain the correct position on the 3rd ball. Unfortunately if you let other thoughts in, the subconscious will also return a lot of other information relating to those thoughts. If you are thinking about making the shot and impressing someone watching you play, your brain would divide up its concentration among the 2 different thoughts.

It shouldn't be surprising if you fail to make the shot using only half a brain. If you think about missing the shot your subconscious will be only too happy to provide you with its best information to help you miss. Concentrate on the mechanical aspects of making the shot such as the point of contact on the object ball. Build your concentration by engaging the thoughts that are beneficial to the shot and letting go of all other thoughts through the relaxation process as they creep into your mind. Soon you will be able to keep you mind in a relaxed state all throughout your matches. The results will amaze you.

About The Author: Contents, concepts and images Copyright 2004, Joe D'Aguanno. This information may be shared freely so long as the Copyright notice is included. If any contents or images are used in any commercial way, permission must be obtained from Joe D'Aguanno. Email Joe D'Aguanno at joedaguanno<at sign>hotmail.com

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Author Info - Joe D'Aguanno