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Dominate the Mental Aspect of the Game

4 min read
Dominate the mental aspect of cornhole

Negativity Breeds Negativity

Someone once told me, it is easier to pull a man down the ladder then help him up the ladder. I have been in a terrible slump, until last night. Probably the worst slump I’ve ever been in since I learned how to throw a flat bag eons ago. I couldn’t do anything right. From 3 off the back, 1 on the board, missing wide open shots for easy points, to missing the board by 2 feet. My opponents joked that I could win a farthest from the hole contest.

The other night while playing $5 cash games, my neighbor, the tumbler took $70 and a set of bags off me. Each and every time I got on the boards things just seemed to get worse and worse. Show up to league and go 1-12, one more rung down the ladder. It got so bad, I stopped setting up the boards to practice. Heck, I didn’t want so show face at league night and worse yet, I lost the motivation to write articles for Cornhole Addicts as those were getting as bad as my game.

So What Changed?

Once I changed the way I thought about my game it constantly improved! We have covered most of the mechanics of the game: footwork, how to throw a flat bag, how to find a partner, etc. And we even discussed some strategy. But now if you are ready to take your game to the next level, you need to dominate the mental aspect of the game. Cornhole is a relativity simple game, pretty easy right, throw 4 bags in the hole. I believe the biggest difference between a competitive skill level player, and an advanced player is the advanced player knows how to dominate the mental aspect of the game.

Tip #1 to dominate the mental aspect of cornhole is to have fun!

Tips to Dominate the Mental Aspect

Tip 1: Have fun
Remember why you started playing this game? Because it was a freaking blast! That’s why you set up those boards every night after work and threw bags for hours and joined a league, it was fun. It’s easy sometimes to stop having fun though. Give up an 8 spot, lose a few games in a row, now you aren’t having fun anymore and you can’t even beat your drunk Uncle Phil. When that happens, I just stop myself and think about the idiocy of the game. All I am doing is throwing a bag into a hole in a piece of plywood 27ft away. Next thing you know, my stroke comes back, my bag flattens out, and I start making more in the hole.

Tip 2: Believe in yourself
I know this one sounds a little corny. I know personally I’ve walked into a tourney, and first draw round 1, I would get paired against an ACL Pro. I wouldn’t have the confidence to beat them, and I lost the game before I even threw a bag. They could throw 6’s and 8’s all game, and I would throw 5’s and 7’s. When this happens I just tell myself the truth. I am not the greatest cornhole player in world, but I can beat ANYONE in the world. I have put in the time, I have mastered the technique, I can throw 4 baggers and I can do it daily. You also have to believe that you are going to make your shot. If you are going to throw an airmail, you have to believe that you are going to make it. Ever seen a Pro do it? When they throw an airmail they know they are going to make it as soon as the bag comes out of their hand.

Tip 3 Don’t worry about what you can’t control
You can’t control the weather, wind, bags that were supplied, board condition, etc. Everyone at the event is playing the same conditions you are. The easier you can adapt the better off you are. Watch some of the top players throw in tough conditions. They focus more and dominate their game to win. Most of the less experienced players just constantly complain about the things they can’t control. Many a time have I heard players complain about the boards or bags after they lost. Prepare for the worst, and you will be successful.

Tip 4: Get lost!
No, I don’t mean it that way but get lost in the music. Have you ever noticed that some players wear ear buds while playing. They say that music calms the nerves. I guess you could look at it as when you are angry or upset or just got cut off by that tool driving and then at that moment, just right song comes on the radio and it changes your entire mood. So don’t you think that if you get lost in your music while playing cornhole, it will take you mind off of what you are doing, calm your nerves and might even improve your game? If you have not tried it, go for it. You have nothing to lose!

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