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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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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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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Snooker Psychology: Ding Junhui – Winning!

And so Ding Junhui is back lifting silverware again. A barren career phase has seen the critics doubt Ding’s hunger and desire to compete at the highest level. Now after lifting his third UK title in York yesterday, they are asking if he can finally become World Champion! The challenge for Ding at the Crucible, has always seemed that he is not just playing for himself. It’s as if he is carrying the hopes of the Chinese nation on his shoulders. A burden that means he is unable to play freely when it comes down to the business end of […]

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Snooker Psychology: Neil Robertson – Freedom!

It’s been nine years since Neil Robertson last secured his only  World Championship. But based on his demolition of Shaun Murphy at The Crucible yesterday, it may not be long before his next World Crown. In brushing aside Murphy, Robertson demonstrated a clinical display of break-building. The cue ball on a string. His practise game made real. Afterwards Neil talked about free he felt. Playing to entertain the crowd. Nothing about winning the title. It’s similar to how Jurgen Klopp has been speaking during Liverpool’s title run in. ‘We are on a journey with the fans’. The focus being on […]

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Snooker Psychology: Graham Dott – Nine All!

It’s another day of dramatic action at the Crucible Theatre. After James Cahill’s compelling win over Ronnie O’Sullivan, Graham Dott is mounting a serious recovery operation against former champion Stuart Bingham. From 8-1 down in the morning session, Dott has brought the scores level to 9-9. He has serious momentum. And Bingham is struggling. But in the final frame, the Scotsman starts to get edgy for the first time in the session. From chasing down his opponent, he can now smell the winning line. His flow and fluency desert him, and Bingham finds enough composure to get home 10-9. When […]

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Snooker Psychology: Anthony Hamilton – Winning!

And so finally, at the age of forty-six, Anthony Hamilton secures his first ranking title, The German Masters. A hard fought 9-6 win over Ali Carter, made Hamilton the oldest winner of a ranking event since Doug Mountjoy in 1989. Coming from a 5-2 deficit, Hamilton produced his best snooker to take an 8-5 lead. Then the questions started to be asked. Would the Nottingham cueman have the mental strength to get over the line… Or would the ghosts of failures past hold sway and prevent him thinking and playing freely? When the pressures on and a big title is […]

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Snooker Psychology: Stuart Bingham – Being Champion!

And so Stuart Bingham’s one year adventure as World Snooker Champion comes to an end. A last thirty-two defeat to Ali Carter, means that no first time winner has yet been able to defend their title in Sheffield. You might think that winning a title for a second time, would be easier than securing the first crown. But there’s a big difference. First time around, there is no expectation. You make your way through the rounds, simply playing what is in front of you. Sure, your taking a journey into the unknown as you close in on your first World […]

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