Thursday, 17 October 2013


Last week I was in Valencia for another $10,000 dollar event which are the same as the two events I played in America at the end of last month. It wasn't a great run, I lost first round to a Frenchman (never enjoyable) called Geoffrey Demont who is of similar age and ranking to myself.

What was disappointing about the match was that I was leading 2/0 in games and 7/2 in the third as well as having a match ball in the fourth eventually losing 11/9 11/2 10/12 10/12 7/11. I think it fair to say that it was a bad day, one of my worst on tour, to have got so close in the third and in the fourth was devastating. Spain is officially my least favourite place and that is purely because I haven't won a match there in several years. The venue itself was fantastic with big crowds turning out from the first rounds right through to the final.

How did I lose you might say, well it wasn't complacency but more nerves having not won a match for a while I felt the pressure more than I normally would. The important thing however as boring and philosophical as it might sound is that I learn from that situation and let it never happen again! After the event I had a couple of days off after a long run of travelling and events it also gave me a chance to cheer up a bit!

With the World Open qualifying next week it was important to get back to work. I always find that first session back the hardest but after that you feel a lot better and it becomes easier to motivate yourself and push through. World Open qualifying begins next weekend in Manchester and I encourage you to come watch, qualifying is free to get in and you can find out more details by looking at the website

Thursday, 3 October 2013

America Tour

So Monday I arrived back from just under two weeks away in America, first in Charlottesville Virginia and then Madison Wisconsin. In the first event I was drawn to play Dane Sharp of Canada ranked 80 in the world. I lost 9/11 11/6 2/11 4/11 not what I was hoping for as I looked at this match as being winnable despite him being ranked above me. There were some big lessons to be learnt from that match, the first of which was to not just think about the outcome (winning the match) but thinking about how I do this and what I need to do to achieve the outcome I want. By just thinking about the outcome I put myself under more pressure than normal and as a result hit a lot errors and just ran out of steam after being so nervous and pumped up before hand.

After the match I took a bit of time to cool down and relax as I find I need to be in a good frame of mind to analyse a match. Especially a loss as emotions can be high and you can end up just beating yourself up. So by giving yourself a bit of time you get a more true and realistic evaluation, looking at the positives as well as the negatives.

In between the two events I stayed in Charlottesville with the Foshay family who took great care of me throughout the week. On top of this they helped me get rid of some frustration from my match by taking me 'Clay Pigeon Shooting'. Although its fair to say that route into the Olympics seems unlikely!

So onto Madison which was just a short flight away, I sneaked into this event at the last minute which was a bonus. I was drawn to play Martin Knight ranked 48 in the world, trying to learn from the previous weeks mistakes I went into the match with a clear game plan with a lot of help from my coach Rob Owen. I lost 11/5 3/11 5/11 10/12 a much better performance that the week before although still plenty of things to work on!

Next up I have an event in Valencia and then the World Open in Manchester at the end of the month!