He has made winning 12 world titles look like a stroll in the park but India’s poster boy of cue sports Pankaj Advani says it is not easy to deal with the anxiety and stress, crediting his elder brother Shree for helping him handle pressure.
“Shree (a celebrity sports psychologist) has helped me a lot with his inputs and guidance. It is very difficult to handle anxiety, stress and emotions while you are playing. These are the few things that I have been working on and I think it has helped me achieve what I have,” said Advani, who is in a game switch mode with a one-week stay in Sheffield ahead of the World Snooker Championship.
“Sports Psychology plays a great part in modern sports because everybody has the skill and ability and the confidence to pull it off. Sometimes it’s just about taking that opportunity at the right time. Taking your chances at a time when nobody will think of. To do something different. Approach it differently from what the others are doing, even if it is just the sharpness of mind. Shree has really helped me out in these aspects,” he added.
Bangalore’s ‘Golden Boy’ Advani humbled rising England cueist Robert Hall in a five-hour World Billiards Championship final to pocket his third grand double post his 150-up short format win last week. While the statisticians are going bananas counting Advani’s records, the 29-year-old champion is just happy to enjoy his success.
“Of course there have been numbers, a lot of records that have been broken, history been rewritten, this win being unprecedented and the statistics. That’s for everyone else to discuss, the statisticians and the followers and the ones who love sports, who love digging out records. As a player I am very very fulfilled at the moment, very pleased that I have been continuously evolving and growing,” said Advani.
Handing his mother, Kajal, a perfect birthday gift on October 29 with his short format triumph, Advani said that making days count is satisfying.
“It definitely plays a very significant role and I do remember the first world championship, the IBSF World Snooker in 2003, it happened on Diwali. Even the IBSF 6-Red during Ramzan. So there are very very significant days and they mean a lot to people and if I can contribute and add to the happiness or occasion it just feels great,” said Advani.