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Dear Jeanette
By Jeanette Lee
International billiard icon "The Black Widow" answers your questions about life, love, and everything else that happens in the poolhall.

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VIDEO: Pool Fundamentals

April: Nervous Energy
April 2012
Q. I've been playing pool a long time, but still get nervous when I play a tournament or match. How do you keep control of your nerves?
Jamie Cummings ; Dallas, Tex.

A. If I focus on my pre-shot routine and executing a perfect swing, I really don't leave any room for my nerves get the best of me. It's important to identify why you feel those butterflies in your stomach. We all feel nervous when we want something badly enough. And it's no different for world-class pool players. All the best players get nervous because we want to win so badly. The difference, however, is how we harness that energy. Top players have an ability to accept their nervousness. The rush of adrenaline and the excitement surrounding a big moment are exhilarating feelings. Rather than getting swallowed up by fear and panic, you have to embrace your surroundings. Some people try so hard to calm themselves that they forget to focus on pocketing the ball. Keep things simple - breathe slowly and regularly, and trust the hard work you've put into your game. No matter how hard things get, just keep working and trusting yourself!