After my match Tuesday night that was the question I was asking myself. When you step up to the lag and you know who you're going to play, you can either have a pessimistic outlook or an optimistic outlook on how the match is going to play out. But it truly does not matter which one you choose at the beginning of the match as long as you play your game during the match.
Tonight I played against a 7 who the last time I played against me beat in five straight games. So to be honest with you I was a little pessimistic about the match. But even though I knew there was a very good chance that I was going to lose the match I still gave it my all.
I ended up winning the lag so I got to break first. I ended up winning the first game and losing the second. Third game I ended up winning which now meant I needed one more game before he won 4 games. So next game I break and I run down to one ball and the eight. This person that I'm playing against I know if I miss once the most likely scenario is that he runs out. I leave myself a tough shot on my ball to which I make a difficult cut shot into the corner leaving myself a similar shot on the eight ball. I miss the eight ball entirely giving him ball in hand to which he runs out. The next game we get down to him having one ball and me having two balls and I get ball in hand. I know the defensive shot that I want to do is hit my ball into his ball which are tied up and send his ball into the rail leaving the cue ball and my ball tied up. I don't hit the combo hard enough and I gave him ball in hand with one ball and the eight ball left. Of course he made his ball and then made the eight ball. The next game I lose a little bit cause I'm frustrated that I missed that safety shot and he wins that game. So now we both need one game for the match. He makes a good run at winning the game but gives me one more chance at it. It starts off with me cutting a ball of mine into the corner pocket by one of my balls that is taking up a little bit of pocket. I make the next couple shots leaving me the two ball right next to the 8 ball. The cue ball is about an inch away from the two ball and I was able to use bottom left to throw it in the corner pocket leaving myself about a hundred degree cut on the 8 ball into the same corner pocket. I aim to over cut the eight ball a little bit with top english and medium slow speed so that halfway through the shot the eight ball will pick up a roll towards the center of the pocket. It drops and I win the match for my team.
Every time you step up to the table you should have a routine to where you're able to clear your mind and make as good of a shot as you can during your match play on any given night. Some nights your shots might not be on but others you might not be able to miss. So by trying your best on any given night you can never be upset with how you shot and you're always able to learn from your game. That is how you get better and more consistent. So even if you have a pessimistic outlook at the begining of your match you should never let that affect your play.