Petanque or Boule as it is often known, is a sport played around the world. It is played by a selection of people of all ages and abilities in every French town square. It has been adopted as a recreational sport in most countries and is extremely popular in China where there are now over one million registered players.
The game is easy to play but hard to excel at. Several methods are used by players to win in Petank, some covertly such as throwing at their opponents, others involving endless practice. By far the most successful way to win at Petank is to train your brain to win.
The theme of sports psychology is used in every game and it is now making its way into the game of petanque. The easiest way to achieve victory is to train your mind for success and imagine the right shot and perfect play before you step on the pistachio. Many people in the game have never thought of this concept, mainly due to the fact that petank is considered a recreational sport. However like in any sport, the victory of any team is at the top of their mind.
Most of the books written about Petanque are in French and the only books in English cover the basics of the game, not the inner workings of the mind. In my e-book How to Win at Petank, I introduce players of all abilities to important aspects of the inner mind and how their thinking can affect their game.
Many things can affect a players’ game, their mood, the team they are playing, the weather, their teammates, their perceived ability and many other aspects that can change the intended outcome. If a player or a team wants to be successful in a tournament, the first thing they have to do is learn how to control their mindset. It can take years of practice, endless days of regular throwing, losing and sometimes winning, and trying to identify a common thread, struggling to deal with the many issues plaguing their mind. The alternative is to train your mind in the right way, your body will naturally follow it.
Any player who wants to achieve that level of unconscious ability must first learn to drive. When we start learning to drive we are in a state called unconscious disability. This is where we have to think about our every move, we are nervous and have no real idea of what we are doing, everything is difficult and stressful.
The next level is called conscious disability, this is where we are now able to drive a car but still not comfortable. We can make it from A to B but still have to concentrate with huge effort.
After that we get to conscious ability, this is where we can drive quite well, we are getting used to the feeling of the vehicle and sometimes even drive ourselves. However there are still days when we stop and make mistakes because it has not yet become natural.
Eventually we acquire the unconscious ability, we can drive, talk, listen to the radio and still end up at our destination often without conscious thought. It is this level of skill that is important in the game of Petank. The only way to attain unconscious ability is to first gain control of the mind. If you can imagine your shots being played perfectly then your body will naturally be able to replicate this with your hand.
Of course some practice is necessary, but not the endless hours of practice and practice games that are often promoted by current coaches in the sport. Save time and effort and learn how to control your game internally first and natural play will automatically follow.