My guest today on the Mental Game Podcast is a long-time client who has been phenomenal to work with because, besides being an all-around great guy, he is deeply committed to the process of mastering his craft.
Niels Feijen is a professional pool player from the Netherlands. He is one of the top players in the world and his accolades include the 2008 World Straight Pool Championship, the 2014 World Nine Ball Championship and the four-time MVP for the Mosconi Cup.
Pool strikes me as a game much like golf was decades ago – a physical sport that requires a lot of mental ability and yet, as Niels explains, very few professionals actually work hard on their mental game. Not only is Niels dedicated to constantly improving mentally, he works incredibly hard on every aspect of the game. And that’s why he is among the best in the world.
In this episode you will learn about:
- Dealing with bad luck and variance
- Why he is one of he few pool players who works on his mental game
- How to train and develop resilience
- How he turned around a poor starting performance in a tournament to go on to win it
- The importance of fitness and a healthy diet
- The importance of maintaining realistic expectations
In particular Niels really understands the nature of performing in the Zone and how to find a way to pull himself out of a slump. Rather than expecting to be able to perform perfectly every time, he knows the things he has to do to get from his C-game to his B-game, and only then can he go from his B-game to his A-game. This is the only way to achieve consistency in performance and it requires preparation and hard work, not natural talent. Where most people give up, Niels doubles down.
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