Snooker Psychology: Mark Selby – Confidence!

So Mark Selby is back in the World Championship semi-finals for the first time since 2016-17. Interestingly, after his domination of Aussie cueman Neil Robertson in the quarters, Selby spoke about his loss of confidence in recent years. Given his status in the higher echelons of the modern game, it comes as something of a surprise to hear The Jester speak this way. For surely a three times World Champion can’t be suffering from self doubts? Yet Selby admits he has been constantly questioning himself since his title win in 2017. Each tournament which he hasn’t won, eating into his […]

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Snooker Psychology: Kyren Wilson – The Process!

We have just concluded the second session of the World Snooker Championships quarter-final. And defending champion Judd Trump is in trouble He is 10-6 down and out of form. A fact which is obvious to his opponent, the dangerous Kettering cue-man Kyren Wilson. For Wilson has hit a level of concentration that is the goal of everyone who plays at The Crucible. He is seeing each shot as simply as ‘ball to target’. Getting down on his shot each time, like it’s a fresh shot. And renewing his pre=shot process every time. Just like he is in the practise room. […]

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Snooker Psychology: Anthony Hamilton – Attitude!

              And so Anthony Hamilton is through to the main draw of the World Championships, for the first time since 2008. Anthony saw off the hard to beat Perth cueman Scott Donaldson, whilst admitting that he wasn’t playing his best snooker. To compensate for the weaknesses in his game, he had what he described as ‘the best attitude in the room’. This is a lesson for anyone in sport who isn’t at the best. For it shows that you do not need to be at 10/10 to find ways to win. A great attitude […]

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Golf Psychology: Tony Finau – Winning!

There was an interesting article on BBC Sport the other day about American golfer Tony Finau. It was highlighting the fact that since his win at the Puerto Rico Open in 2016, Finau has finished inside the top ten of PGA events, thirty times! That’s an amazing statistic. Such consistency. A player who knows his own game. The article however, went on to question why the Salt Lake City pro had failed to convert those top ten’s into tournament wins. Could he be trying too hard. Thinking you have to play perfect golf to win? That 8/10 isn’t good enough. […]

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Snooker Psychology: Allan Taylor – Confidence!

A couple of seasons ago, tennis player Kevin Anderson enlisted the help of a sports psychologist, to help him match game outcomes to his talent. In other words the giant South African felt he was under-performing. Kevin is a mild mannered player on court. And he suspected that was inhibiting his progress. Off court he is a passionate guitar player. So the psychologist invited Kevin to bring guitar Kevin out with him on court. Guitar Kevin has a different personality to Tennis Kevin. More outgoing. Louder. Likes playing to the crowd. Extrovert. And so by integrating Guitar Kevin into the […]

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Football Psychology: David De Gea – Present!

There are many fascinating moments in the Netflix documentary The Last Dance. One of which is when author Mark Vancil attempts to sum up what it is that makes basketball’s Michael Jordan great. ‘Being Present!’. That’s what makes Michael the best, says Vancil. He is always fully present. He’s a mystic. He is never anywhere else. His words came to mind when watching the FA Cup semi-final yesterday. Manchester United keeper David De Gea had a game to forget. Chelsea’s first goal from Olivier Giroud may have been saveable. But the second from a speculative drive from Mason Mount, was most […]

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Snooker Psychology: Judd Trump – Six!

So Judd Trump wins the Gibraltar Open to take his seasons collection of ranking titles to six. A tour record. When a player is crowned World Champion for the first time, there are always questions asked as to whether wearing the champions crown will be a burden or a liberation. Some find the expectation too much, and never come close to greatness again. But for those who leave their mark on the game, the first world title, is a catalyst. A stepping stone. The starting off point to take their game to another level. The level of dominance. Trump’s six […]

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Football Psychology: Liverpool – The New Impossible!

And so Liverpool’s Champions League defence is ended at the hands of a tough Athletico Madrid side. Despite giving everything, this felt like a step too far for Jurgen Klopp’s team. Which is hardly a surprise. Having set a potent trail in the Premier League all season, they look certain to secure their first title in thirty years. But in doing so they have had to break club patterns. Patterns related to near title misses; title under-performances; psychologies of being in the title shadow of Manchester United. All things that create a feeling of, ‘when is a Premier League win […]

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Football Psychology: Ronaldo – The Invisible Fans!

It’s arrival time for the Juventus team, ahead of their behind closed doors top of the table clash with Inter Milan. As Christiano Ronaldo steps off the team bus, he high fives the invisible fans who would normally be waiting to greet the Juventus team as they enter the Allianz Stadium. Then at the final whistle Ronaldo turns to applaud the invisible fans. This garners lots of easy laughs on social media. Except – what if this is all part of Ronaldo’s preparation and visualisation routine? In other words he has mentally prepared for this game, as if there are […]

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Football Psychology: Simon Grayson – Sacked!

So Simon Grayson is sacked as Blackpool manager. Heralded as the second coming, upon his return to the club at the start of the season, Grayson’s tenure lasted just more than half a season. Sometimes in a managerial career, the grind simply takes it’s toll. You become worn out. You don’t admit it. You think you have another big job in you. Another sleeping giant that you can turn around. But it’s a fantasy. Your moment has gone. The new ideas have run dry. Your motivational powers have weakened. Your ability to solve problems has diminished. And your energy levels […]

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