Snooker Psychology: Michael Holt – Composure!

There’s rarely an ideal time to play Ronnie O’Sullivan. Especially given his form in 2016. But if you land him in the draw, then the first round is probably the best time to catch him cold. Even then you musn’t be daunted by the prospect of beating him. Few people gave Michael Holt a chance in the World Grand Prix at Llandudno last night. But that didn’t stop him pulling off one of the shocks of the season, as he sent Ronnie home early, with an impressive 4-3 victory. As Holt admitted afterwards, he hasn’t always matched his talent with […]

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Snooker Psychology: Ronnie O’Sullivan – The Vacation!

By winning the Welsh Open, he has secured his 28th ranking title. After an eight month break from the game, Ronnie O’Sullivan has subsequently not lost a match this season. And apart from a tight opening game against Mark Williams at The Masters, and the early stages of this Welsh Open final, he hasn’t looked like losing one. Right now O’Sullivan’s game is at another level to his competition. With the World Championships only a few weeks away, there is every chance that he will add to his five Crucible titles. Yet instead of talking up his chances in South Yorkshire, […]

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Snooker Psychology: Mark Allen – Fist Pump!

It’s the last eight of the Welsh Masters. And a big local crowd is in to see if Neath’s Michael White can make his first Welsh semi. White will not be wanting to disappoint his fans. And the experienced pro that is Mark Allen is canny enough to recognise the pressure this will naturally bring. Allen clears up in the second frame after White accidentally pots the pink. He celebrates his good fortune with a fist pump. It’s an act of positive aggression designed to wind White up. He was lucky to win the frame. Instead of respecting his good […]

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Snooker Psychology: Judd Trump – Concentration!

It’s the last sixteen of the Welsh Open. And Judd Trump is in prime position to make progress. But a crucial missed black in the final frame opens the door to a relieved Joe Perry. Thus Judd makes another premature exit from a big TV event. Afterwards he talks, not for the first time, about the dips in concentration that cost him the match. Concentration is a key ingredient for success in top level sport. Especially in snooker. The quality of your concentration allows you to be in harmony with the table. Seeing your shot. Seeing the angles. Seeing the […]

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Snooker Psychology: Ronnie O’ Sullivan – The 146!

It’s the second round of snooker’s Welsh Open. And all eyes are on Ronnie O’Sullivan. After refusing a maximum the previous day, O’Sullivan has brought plenty of media and public attention to himself. Steve Davis once said something like, that if he ever played a casual shot then he fully expected the snooker gods to show him their displeasure.  So how would the unseen powers respond to Ronnie’s 146? Would he be made to suffer with kicks, big bounces and runs of bad luck? All signs that the player and the game are not quite in flow. Well the five […]

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Snooker Psychology: Stuart Bingham – xxxx It!

He wasn’t on many people’s list of potential winners. A solid tour professional who had never got past the second round at The Crucible before. But against the odds Stuart Bingham was crowned 2015 World Snooker Champion. Bingham has always given the impression, that he didn’t feel he was good enough to beat the games best players. For example, at this years UK Open, he was four frames to one up against Ronnie O’Sullivan. The thought of turning over the games best ever player caught up with him, and he surrendered his lead, as if aware of the consequences of […]

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Snooker: Ronnie O’Sullivan – The Zone

It’s the final of the World Snooker Championship, at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre. Ronnie O’Sullivan has taken command of his match against final debutant, Alistair Carter. But Ronnie seems frustrated. Slightly ill at ease. It’s as if he is desperate to play the flowing, magical snooker that put paid to Stephen Hendry’s title challenge. But somehow, he can’t quite seem to attract the snooker gods to the table. In his Hendry semi-final, O’Sullivan clearly had moments when he was in the zone. When, everything he did, was perfection. Effortless. At one with the game. It’s the state of sporting nirvana, that all […]

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