Tell me about your goals as a pool player. Do you have goals related to your game? Do you have goals about yourself as a player? Have you written your goals down? Do you review them on a regular basis? Without ever having met you I can say with great confidence that you can not answer yes to more than two of these four questions. In fact, without ever meeting you, I can say that there is a 95% chance that you can not answer yes to more than two of these questions. This is a safe bet because only abut 5% of people have written goals that they review on a regular basis, and only about 5% of people ever achieve any great success in any given field.
You may have goals in your head about how well you want to do in a tournament or in your league. You may even have a goal in your head to turn pro, or to move to the highest ranking in your league or to go undefeated this season. But have you written these goals down? Have you read them lately? Have you shared them with anyone?.
If you are serious enough about your game to read this article and the others you find on this website, you are serious enough to set goals related to your pool game. You should also be serious enough to commit them to paper. You may set just one "macro" goal such as going undefeated in the current season. But you will need a few "micro" goals, as well, to make that happen. Goals such as putting in 10 hours a week of practice, or being able to run two racks without missing, or to master that 6 foot draw shot you have been seeking.
You will also need to set a time limit on your goals and break them down into shot term, medium term and long term goals. Your short term goal might be to win your next two matches in straight games. Your mid range goal might be to move up one rank before the season ends and your long term goal may be to play in a major tournament, or even to win that major tournament.
While you are writing your goals out, there will be certain rules you will need to follow. First, you will set a due date for the goal. Second, the goal should be as specific as possible. Third, you need to write your goal in a current time, affirmative statement. You will not say: "I and going to improve my game a lot this year." Instead you will say: "My hard work and focus has allowed me to increase my ranking by two points in only three months." Say it as if it has happened or is happening. Set a due date. Be specific..
I like the idea of sharing my goals with other people, especially people who can either help me get there or hold me to what I have said I am going to do. If you have a practice partner, you should let him know that you want to do specific things with your game. If you have a coach, he needs to know that you are committed to improvement.
Remember also that your goals are a living document. They can change as needed. You can move dates up and back. You can cross things off. But whatever you do, be true to yourself. Set your goals high enough that you need to work to get there but not so high that you will get frustrated and give up.
Lastly, don't let yourself fall into the trap I talked about in my book Top Producer which I wrote for sales professionals. I call it the New Year's Syndrome. This is when you put off your plan and goal setting activities for some magic date in the future. Don't say things like, "I will start to practice 10 hours a week starting January 1st, I will start to keep track of my performance on the first of next month." Start now. If you put it off one day you may never get started.
· Buying a Pool Cue - Part 1
· Buying a Pool Cue - Part 2
· Buying a Pool Cue - Part 3
· Goal Setting and Pool
· Your Personal Stats
· Self Talk - Are You Talking to YOU?
· Productive Practice -
Making the best of your practice time