Mental skills Training in Snooker

Snooker is a peculiar game in that it can allow too much time and space for a player to ruin their chances without even realising it …or to secure their win if they want!

Essentially it involves critical events based on a single move then a load of time thinking about the next shot and then shot after! What happens between the shots and game of play is what I believe can make all the difference in the performance of the player. The champion is the one who can harness the mind between shots and stay in the moment as they master their performance state, whether they are playing or sitting down.

A player does not make a resourceful choice when they decide how the previous shot effect’s the next shot. Usually destructive images and self-talk enters their mental processing as they get distracted and start paying attention to the noise in the audience.

As moments of play can be spent sitting down waiting for the other opponent to finish up clearing the balls then they have a really good chance of embedding those images (usually of the miss-cue of the ball) deep into the body via ‘ideomotor’ movements (those micro twitches in your muscles that helps you unconsciously practice what you visualise).

So what can be done about it? Well, lots! There are many ways and I can share one easy instantaneous method here. For cue players it is perfect to do whilst sitting or particularly as part of preparing for a shot. As always, practice this whilst practicing your sport and it will transfer to the arena of performance.

Multipoint attention technique
1) Stand with your hands relaxed by your side and pick a point out in front of you, just above eye level

Keep your gaze fixed on that point throughout this exercise.

2) As you gaze at that point, slowly raise your hands until you can just about see them appear in your peripheral vision.

3) As you maintain your awareness of the point in front of you and your hands, notice a point at the far left of your vision and the far right .

4) Maintain this awareness as you walk forward in a natural, relaxed manner ….arms and hands moving normally whilst you still maintain awareness of them in you periphery …….all the time , gaze fixed on your original spot in front of you.

Notice your state.

For those who find this a challenge, to begin with you may want to start by sitting in a chair and running steps 1-3.

Remember, practice will deepen this state and allow you to command its emergence.

If you really want to deepen those visualization skills then link onto our sports visualization online free training