(This is today's bit of advice from the book Safety Toolbox.)
This is about the emotions you feel during competition. Emotions are experienced every moment of every day. There is a scale of emotions from the deepest depths of despair to the heights of ecstasy. Emotions also have a volume control. When turned up, it is more demonstrative. When turned down, even the greatest victory gets downplayed.
During competitions, the only emotion you should allow yourself is focused interest. You observe and include in your evaluations every ball movement on the table and every action (and reaction) of your opponent.
Strong emotions interfere with your ability to make fully evaluated decisions. The anticipated joy of winning before its time means you are unable to take proper care in executing a shot. Disappointment and frustration prevent you from doing a complete analysis. You tend to get lazy and only consider the least difficult shots on the table. And you also fail to consider consequences. Get your head back into that intent calculating mindset that makes decisions based on reality.
Strong emotions (positive or negative) get in the way of clear thinking. Do not allow them to be experienced. If you notice yourself assuming success or failure, stamp it out. Take the time necessary to set the emotions aside and recover your stability. You can allow emotions into your life - after the match. Celebrate if you win, vow to fix problems if you lose.
On missing a planned shot
Never feel disappointment or frustration over a shooting failure. The situation is caused by some incorrect assumption or improper execution. It is a chance to figure out what went wrong and how to correct it into the future.
- Review the analysis that came up with the shot. You might have made incorrect assumptions.
- Review the pre-shot routine. You might have missed a step.
- Review the shot and the mechanics of the execution. Your stance may have been off or your stroke was not properly executed.
This review process allows you to recheck yourself and acts as a check and balance process to keep your estimations under control.