'Rocket' Ronnie O'Sullivan seeks help from shrink to rescue his snooker career
By David Kent
Last updated at 1:16 AM on 13th April 2011
Ronnie O'Sullivan has turned to a leading sports psychiatrist in a bid to save his career and take his place at Saturday's Betfred.com World Snooker Championship in Sheffield.
The three-time world champion, who has not followed through with his verbal declaration to withdraw from the tournament, will this week travel to meet Dr Steve Peters, the mind guru who helped deliver Great Britain eight cycling gold medals in Beijing three years ago.
After a miserable campaign featuring first-round exits in his last four tournaments and a slide to No 10 in the world rankings, the move has the feel of a final throw of the dice for O'Sullivan.
He has again recently threatened retirement - and sensationally informed World Snooker on the telephone last week of his decision to pull out of the 17-day blue-riband event.
Asked for confirmation in writing of his decision and given the weekend to mull it over, the troubled star reconsidered on Monday in a dramatic U-turn.
The former world No 1, who is due to face Wales's Dominic Dale over the best of 19 frames on Monday, said: 'I am about to go and see the man who worked with the GB Olympic cycling team later this week.
'He has a very good reputation. I'll be honest with him, I'm not sure what he can do to help me - but there is that small chance that he can.
'My problem is not that I can't get over the winning line, or that I don't believe I am good enough. I can win and I know if I'm playing well I beat all bar a couple.
'But a friend said to me in China you should see this bloke. I will try anything that might work.
'It just sounds too good to be true if after all these years someone makes it all come back, and I start enjoying it again and finding all my shots.'
World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn has been fiercely critical of O'Sullivan's commitment to the sport this year - and missing the Sheffield showpiece would surely have spelled the end for snooker's biggest draw.
O'Sullivan, who missed 12 events during the campaign for medical and personal reasons, added: 'Last week I put in a verbal withdrawal to World Snooker and told them I wasn't going to play in Sheffield. That's when it really hit me that this could be it, for five or 10 minutes my heart was pounding.
'I said if it's easier to say I'm retiring then say that. They said that's fine, but we'll give you the weekend to think about it. On Monday they called back, and talked me back into it.'
http://snookerscene.blogspot.com/2011/0 ... world.html
O'SULLIVAN 'THREATENS TO QUIT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP'
The Daily Mail reports that Ronnie O'Sullivan has told World Snooker he is withdrawing from the Betfred.com World Championship.
However, O'Sullivan has apparently had a rethink and is consulting with a leading sports psychologist ahead of the Crucible.
According to the newspaper, O'Sullivan said: "Last week I put in a verbal withdrawal to World Snooker and told them I wasn't going to play in Sheffield. That's when it really hit me that this could be it, for five or 10 minutes my heart was pounding.
"I said if it's easier to say I'm retiring then say that. They said that's fine, but we'll give you the weekend to think about it. On Monday they called back, and talked me back into it."
O'Sullivan, who won the world title in 2001, 2004 and 2008, is due to play Dominic Dale in the first round.
He has been largely de-motivated this season, has fallen to tenth in the world rankings and has not won a match in a ranking event since last September's World Open.
The Mail reports that O'Sullivan is consulting with Dr Steve Peters, who advised the British cycling team ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
You can read the story here.
Well, I'm not surprised. That's all I can say.
I'm glad that Ronnie reconsidered his decision and that he is seeking help.
This just shows that all the stories about "not being bothered" are just nonsense: he's in deep pain and he wouldn't be if he didn't care.
I hope that he gets the support he needs, including from WSA and that the media and the fans will give him a break. He needs some peace of mind to work this through.
All the best Ronnie.
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