...By Solomon Thomas for TDPel Media.
Mark Williams, the three-time world snooker champion, believes that a determination to win is far more valuable than a determination to avoid defeat.
Williams, who is 48, and has won three world titles, spoke during a pre-tournament press conference at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.
He described the game as one where the best player ever, Ronnie O’Sullivan, has lost more matches than he has won.
Williams said he did not dwell on losing because it is something he cannot control.
He cited the example of O’Sullivan, who has won something like one ranking tournament a year.
Williams argues that pressure can affect a player’s game and his ability to produce something truly special.
Williams said that he does not let nerves or shake get to him, although he admitted that he does feel nervous when he is playing cards in a casino.
Williams is not worried about losing matches, and he would not be bothered if he lost a match 10-0 to someone like Jimmy Robertson.
When he is out there playing, he is one of the most fearsome competitors that anyone will play against, but when he loses, he is not worried about it.
Williams has conflicting feelings about the Crucible, and he is not a big fan of the venue when there are two tables, which makes it too cramped.
However, he admitted that when it goes to the one-table set-up, it is the best venue that he has ever played in.
He believes that the Crucible should stay in Sheffield because of all the history that it has there. Williams has never done much preparation for tournaments, and he has not played much snooker in recent years.
Williams has a close friendship with protégé Jackson Page, and he feels more emotionally invested in the 21-year-old’s results than his own.
Page missed out on qualifying for this year’s tournament, but Williams has tipped him for big things, saying he has the potential to fill the gap that younger players have left in the game.
Williams has no intention of retiring and has only one aim in his career, which is to see if he can still get into the top 16 when he is 50.
He believes that if he can achieve this, it will be an amazing achievement for him.
The commentary highlights Williams’ unconventional attitude towards the game of snooker, and his approach of not worrying about losing but concentrating instead on his desire to win.
Williams is not fazed by pressure and his blasé approach to the game allows him to produce something truly special when it matters.
His confidence in himself is clearly evident, and he is not afraid to speak his mind.
Williams’ love of snooker remains undimmed, and he is keen to pass on his knowledge and experience to the next generation of players.