(1) You miss an easy shot before you get the winning shot. Often the shot was so easy you can’t believe it didn’t go in. The reason you miss is your mind isn’t on the shot you are shooting right then. It is on position or the next shot. You are not ‘in the moment’ you are asleep at the wheel. Pool is (usually) played one ball at a time. When you play to win, you focus on each shot as if it was your last. If you don’t, chances are good; it probably will be your last shot in that rack.
(2) By trying to get perfect ’shape’ under pressure either tight muscles or adrenalin causes just the opposite. The cue ball gets out of position requiring even tougher ‘shape’ for the next shot. The trick is to realistically evaluate your chances of getting a tight position play. If your chance of success is 50% or less under casual situations, it is nearly impossible to make this shot under pressure. It is unfortunate we actually pull off some of those shots under pressure. Remembering that one impossible shot we made, keeps us from remembering the three-dozen impossible shots we missed. That one great shot does make a good ‘war story’. The problem is, trying to duplicate it, under pressure, probably cost you enough to have bought a really nice cue.
From ‘Finishing the Rack’… continued