Ten Steps to take you to the Next Level

Written by Tim Miller

Step 1. Visualize the break. See yourself smashing the rack with a strong accurate powerful break. The balls explode. You can hear the ball that drops in the pocket. You are left with a wide open table. When you visualize the break, you are building aggressive qualities that will win more games for you. . You cannot win a tournament if you are tentative. A powerful break will get you in the attack mode. Do this many times before a tournament and you will establish the style of play that will help you win.

Step 2. Expect good rolls. Almost all tournament winners come through the brackets with a good roll. It is part of the game. Say to yourself “I get good rolls” over and over. Burn this affirmation in your mind.

Step 3. Take advantage of your good rolls. Getting good rolls is one thing. You must be able to take advantage of them. Burn this affirmation in your mind. Let it become “you”.

Step 4. Take charge of each match. By following step one you set up this affirmation in your mind. Remember, “What the mind can conceive, it can achieve”. You will not win tournaments without this “take charge attitude”. Take charge.

Step 5. Play one match at a time. You are not here to win the tournament. Get those thoughts out of your mind. You can only play one match at a time. You need the freedom to perform. Thinking about winning can clutter your mind. If you focus on one match, you will find yourself in the final four more often. Do not project beyond this one match at a time plan.

Step 6. Spend time in the room before the tournament. You need to be comfortable where you perform. Walk around. Listen to the sounds. Absorb the movement around you. The director will be calling names, making announcements and interrupting play. It is all part of the tournament experience. Be comfortable with this noise.

Step 7. Avoid small talk. At every tournament there are a group of players who like to talk the politics of this game. We all have an opinion on how things should be. Don’t get caught up in this concern. You are here to play. You don’t care who is in your bracket, or who the hot player is, or who should be the director and what kind of payout is proper. You are only concerned with the table for your game only. Some tables will not let you slow roll a ball. If that is the case, move to a two or three rail game. You are here to play a match, and your mind needs to be free to follow these ten steps to success.

Step 8. Practice for the tournament you are about to play. Use The Lesson to design your practice sessions. If you are playing a nine ball tournament, do the stroke work, and then the mid- term exam. If it is an eight ball tournament, The Monks famous thirteen, and fourteen ball exercise will help you. When you practice, imagine you are already in the finals.

Step 9. Stun two racks before the tournament. Make up your mind you will follow this step. The stun exercise will groove your stroke and set up all the other shots you will face. The Stun is explained in my book, "The Lesson."

Step 10. The tournament begins the day before your match is called. Once you arrive at the site, you are officially in the tournament. You have entered the arena. Let all thoughts be on this task. Playing one match at a time begins the day before the event.

Remember, you have a choice. You can worry about the results of the match, or you can shoot balls. When you are concerned with how things will go, you interfere with your ability to perform. There is no profit in this type of thinking. You need to be free. Being angry about missed position does not change the shot you have. Let go of your preoccupation with results.

About The Author: The Monk Billiard Academy (www.monkbilliardacademy.net), founded in 1991 by Tim Miller, (The Monk) is dedicated to making you the best pool player you can become. Tim's unique philosophy on the inner game of pool has helped countless players realize the player within.

More Articles from Tim
· Consistency
· Consistency - Part 2
· Consistency - Part 3
· Getting a grip (right) is vital
· Ten Steps to take you to the next level
· The Match Player
· Steps taken by a self possessed man
· Let Go of Your Dream

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Author Info - Tim Miller