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 the experience. Not the outcome.
Outcome orientated thinking can be overbearing. For it brings with it consequences. ‘What if I win?’ ‘What if I lose?’ Neither of which allow you to play with freedom. For freedom is a state of mind free of consequences.
Neil Robertson is playing to entertain the crowd. If that is true, he becomes detached from any consequences of winning or losing. There is no pressure. Only can he find his rhythm; touch; feel; play with a clear head; make good decisions and so on?
Things which he can do automatically at a good level if he is well practised and concentrated. An outcome based focus takes you on the outside of yourself. Into your nervous system. Which can then get overloaded by the positive or negative consequences.
Whereas playing to entertain the audience or going on a journey with the fans, keeps you close in to your feelings and love of the game. And desire to share with others.
Naturally then, the chances of winning increase exponentially, because of how naturally you are able to play. Fluency and flow. Taking opportunities without fear of missing. You. Your game. And the moment. Where the experience you are having becomes the main motivation.
So, find the trigger for why you play the game. And let the outcomes come to you!