Watch: How to control nerves in competitive sport: Tips…

Something that SnookerZone knows a little bit about…

You will never get rid of nerves, or nervous energy. You just have to go with it and accept it. The ones who succeed, are generally the ones who can learn – LEARN to control their nervous energy and EMBRACE IT.

A youtube commenter wrote this underneath the video;

huh… pretty good advice actually. I think back to when I had to read something in front of the whole class in school, always got super nervous and started to stutter, red face, sweating tons and all throughout that I tried to fight it. Tried to choke all those feelings, but later just accepted that it was going to happen no matter what and just “gave in”. suddenly I was much less nervous and I did fine, sometimes fighting is the wrong thing to do, just give up and you’ll do better, strange.”

That’s a bit like SnookerZone’s feelings…

SnookerZone recounts back to when he took his driving test. Nerves got the better of him on six occasions, and on the seventh, we eventually managed to control them and get over the line (excuse the pun).

After a period of hypnotherapy and LEARNING ways to manage the pressure through a variety of exercises, we did eventually just learn to accept that we were going to be nervous on the day and just accept that we would potentially make errors.

We are human beings. We make mistakes. We get nervous. Acceptance is the best form of success. Hang in there.

It may sound like a CLICHE but it is so true, you just have to accept it and RIDE through the storms.

In snooker…

It is very similar. You will feel pressure. Nerves. You cannot get rid of them. But you can control them and learn to embrace them.

For some, it takes time. For others, it will take longer to learn how to.

At any level of play, even the best players in the club will get nervous. It’s human nature, and you’re not human if you say you don’t get nervous.

We’ve seen it firsthand at the handicap tournaments in Woking.

Even very good players have missed “straightforward” balls on breaks they should have made more of. What was it down to? We’d say nervous energy. It happens.

Slowing down and taking a step back can really help with this. When you start to feel nervous energy on a shot. Or on a break, make sure it doesn’t end because of nerves. Make sure you end the break because you missed the pot because of the shot and NOT your nerves.

DO THE RIGHT THINGS WELL, and EMBRACE the pressure, and your nervous energy will decrease. It will still be there. But it will decrease if you learn how to manage it.

SnookerZone says that mind and body management go as one in any sport. Snooker is no exception.

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Chris Gaynor

Chris Gaynor is a writer with 10 years' experience writing for the web. He loves snooker, CSI and loves cycling off tiramisu!