We've all been there! And it probably won't be the last time...

Yep, that painful feeling when you blew your chance for the win and you disappoint yourself and perhaps your team mates....

The pain sets in, and most of the time (a bit of) shame also.

How do you deal with this and keep yourself on track and off the path of self destruction? 🤷‍♂️

Well, you basically now have two choices:

1. Sit and take the pain bath for hours and sometimes even days. This way your self image and confidence will go down by the hour and you could potentially even hit what's called a slump. This is when your confidence gets so low, you feel like you can't do anything right anymore, which in turn leads to more negative self talk and therefore making the slump even worse and longer. We want to avoid this path so.....

Let's look at a healthier and more productive way to give yourself some feedback.

2. First of all, I highly suggest going for some form of a workout as fast as you can. For example, yesterday I lost my match in the world championships last 64 round and was really upset with myself. I knew I had to break this spiral quick so I put on my running shoes, went for a 30 min run and hit the gym right after for a quick 15 min all out bench press and pull ups session. 💪

Why?!

Just to get the frustration out and replace the bad body feeling with healthy endorphins and happy hormones. I felt better immediately already. Now it was time for the feedback part!

Always, always start with..... "What Went Well?"

There's always something or multiple things that actually went well, even if you only showed up for your match and put yourself out there to test yourself, compete, get out of your comfort zone and try to be better.

For example, I was breaking well, my safety game was solid and my kicks were really good actually! That's three nice positive things that I can put in my bag and actually be proud of.

Then next we ask ourselves "What needs some work?"

Hmm, I felt pretty tight throughout the match and I missed a bunch of open table opportunities.

Then the final feedback questions: "What can we do to fix this?"

Well, I could have timed my warm up prior to the match a bit better since I was waiting over 90min in the tournament waiting room, which didn't help me much. I could have also focussed a bit more on the process of trying to relax with breathing instead of getting(rushing) over the finish line. I let myself go from thinking about the process to getting a bit desperate about the result.

So quicker awareness of this feeling and thinking, to catch myself faster in the moment.

There, that's a way more constructive way of analyzing my match together with you and this puts me in a much better frame of mind. 😀

Then also what could be very helpful and good for most people before or after you do this feedback, is talk with someone who knows you and your game well and that you trust. I spoke with my wife and also with the Dutch guys that were there. Talk about your emotions, your mistakes, how they made you feel, even make fun of it and act a little like overacting the tense feeling or how you stroked a shot real weird.

Get it out in the open! In the end of the day, we all share these same emotions and situations! The last thing you want is sucking it all up and holding it all in. This makes you tense and down. Shame loves secrecy. It doesn't like openness so that's your weapon against it!! 💪

This is part of the post match feedback for competitive pool players.

If you would like to take advantage of more lessons like this, head over to Terminator-college.com and check out the 6 courses that are available for you. 🙂

If you have any questions or inquiries, feel free to reply to this mail or send me a pm on Instagram or FB

See you over there!

All the best

Niels "The Terminator" Feijen