…can’t breathe….

One of the hardest things to deal with since I’ve been competing again is the choke. I’ve found myself in many matches winning control of the table, having a great layout and then missing a routine shot. I find myself over the ball with my heart and mind racing, my arm shaking and no matter how hard I try to calm down I can’t seem to make it happen. I remember dealing with this when I first got on the pro tour, but I was rather surprised to have it return after a year off from the game.

I played Turning Stone this weekend, and had a pretty bad choke against a great player who was off his game. The fans groaned and rolled their eyes as I proceeded to dog my chances to win. It’s painful for the fans as well as the player. What I want up and coming players to know is that choking is part of learning. It’s part of becoming a better player. Eventually you learn how to deal with the pressure, but even then top players still struggle with it occasionally. The idea is to put yourself in pressure situations often, and that choking feeling will slowly happen less and less. I know because I overcame it before, and I will again.

3 thoughts on “…can’t breathe….

  1. Thank you so much for being so honest here. You’re a true inspiration in so many ways and it’s always comforting for amateur players to know that the professionals experience the same hiccups.

    Looking forward to more Barretta-isms. 🙂

  2. About Steve Lipsky comment on your facebook..(http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=242918685583&ref=nf) Yes Steve well said. Though, I have never been in a situation like Jens; being in the pro tour, out of it and then back again. So any comment I would have about this would not be from a wise perspective, being I have no wisdom attained from the experience of being a pro pool player or knowing what it was once like. But what I can say is, I am almost positive, the first time JB’ over came the nerves of-an-on-the brink of a win from a final shot, is, she never new it before her first time. This, I think, her attentiveness from being there before and going back again is an indication that Jennifer berretta is on the cusp of talking a quantum leap forward in her game. This is exciting to hear. Two steps forward one step back, then a quantum leap forward. This, I might guess is the stuff a champion is made out of.

  3. I was just watching the 9 ball world cup of pool and saw how difficult it can be for even the “hall of famers” to overcome the choke. The main thing I think is that one has to overcome the fans, the self imposed pressure and remember why he or she got into the sport to begin with…then! if all that fails, a picture of your baby and your hubby to remind you that you’ve accomplished so much in life with even with just that by itself, will let one breathe easier? 🙂

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