Attitude still key for Rocket

Tags: Ronnie O'Sullivan

Five-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan has praised Dr Steve Peters for the role he has played in helping him turn around the mental side of his game. Having often threatened in the past to walk away from snooker completely, O'Sullivan has found an inner calm through his work with renowned sports psychologist Peters. The pair have been together for six years and 'The Rocket', now 41, says their work has stopped him from 'sabotaging' his own chances.

 

"I was sabotaging myself," O'Sullivan says. "Allowing my mind to tell me: ‘I'm not going to play well, I can't win this tournament, you might as well as get beat, go home.' And then I would act on that." O'Sullivan once famously walked out of a tournament match against Stephen Hendry, seemingly having become frustrated by his inability to play his best snooker on demand.

 

He now credits Peters with allowing him to realise that perfection in sport is unattainable, and that there are other ways to win. "Steve help me re-programme my belief system. Just bring me into reality a little bit. Not every shot can be perfect. Not every match that you think is bad, is bad," he told The Independent. "And realising sometimes that when I'm frustrated, it can turn around in one shot. And it wasn't just the relationship with snooker. It was the relationship with other people. It explained why I got myself in bother, and got hurt in relationships." Despite his troubles with the sport's governing body at times, O'Sullivan insists he remains in love with the game of snooker, and that isn't just a way of earning his living. "It's more than that," he says. "It's something I'm good at. It's something I can take, near enough, to perfection."


O'Sullivan is 11/2 to equal Steve Davis' all-time record of six UK Championship titles at York in December.

 

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