There are times when you get yourself in a playing situation where you will be playing for hours and hours. Tournaments are a good example. Few of these are finishing in a couple hours. Unless you get knocked out early, you are going to be there for a long time, some of the time playing, some of the time waiting.
The joy of shooting amidst the competition and challenges provide something of an adrenalin rush and your competitive edge is sharp. As time passes, there comes a point when the edge starts getting dull.
This is most immediately noticeable when you realize that you are not pocketing the balls with the same careful precision, and your shape on the next ball gets worse and worse. The point is driven home most thoroughly when you miss an easy shot to win a game. That’s not something you can assign to the "oops" category.
That's when you realize your game is dropping down a level, and in the frenzy of strong competition, that is the same as writing a suicide note.
There are two types of fatigue: physical and mental. You can experience them individually and together.
Physical fatigue is quite common in marathon matches. Toxins build up in your body which does not get washed out. You simply run down your reserves.
You can take some steps to restore yourself. If you need snacks or a meal, avoid sugars and carbs (potato chips, candy, corn chips, etc.). Their immediate help is offset by a mental and physical sluggishness. If you need a snack, anything protein works (meat, cheese, eggs).
You can also take short brisk stroll while doing a series of isometrics. This helps to get your blood moving a bit. You can bounce on toes a few times, do a few stretches and toe touching movements.
Mental fatigue is just as dangerous as physical fatigue. But it sneaks up on you. It’s usually 30-40 minutes before you notice that your brain is not coming up with very many brilliant options. Other indicators such as missed shots and poor positioning creep into your game.
If you have the time, an effective refresher is a sitting doze. Find a chair, slump against the back, drop your chin onto your chest, and close your eyes. Simply listen to all the sounds around you while relaxing. Make a game of figuring out what actions caused what sounds. About 10 minutes later your mind is wide awake and attentive.
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