Mark Selby claims work on the mental side of his game and learning to play on instinct are paying off after reaching the semi-finals of the Tour Championship.
Selby is no longer the dominant player he was when winning three World Championships in four years from 2014 to 2017.
However, he has won two tournaments already this term - the European Masters and Scottish Open - and powered into the semi-finals of the Tour Championship with a 10-3 win over Kyren Wilson.
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Selby has not seen his coach Chris Henry since the World Championship in August, but their work since has been on the mental side of the game.
"I saw him at the World Championship last year in person, since then it has been done over Zoom," Selby told ITV. "I am quite fortunate to have the table at home, so I set the iPad up on the window ledge and he watches.
"We did a bit of work before Sheffield looking at my technique as I am always one to doubt myself, but he said whatever you are doing was working two or three years ago and cannot see a lot of difference, so as far as he's concerned it was on the mental side.
"We have worked on that quite a lot and it seems to be paying off."
Selby’s pace of play has improved, and Henry has urged him to try and play on instinct.
"It is something Chris has told me to work on," Selby said. "Sometimes you have to work on it a bit if the break is awkward, but he said if the balls are there more times than not you know the shot, so get down and play it and just try and play a bit more on instinct.
It has been difficult for me as I have always been a thinker round the table, so to try and get on with it and get more fluency is working but it is a lot of hard work. I have tried it this season and it appears to be helping.
Selby will lock horns with Neil Robertson in the semi-finals, and is relishing the contest more than casting eyes on the Australian’s hair which he has not had cut since lockdown began.
"I am looking forward to the game,” Selby said. "But I'm not looking forward to looking at his hair for 19 frames.
"Neil is a fantastic player, one of the all-time greats. We have had a few good battles and I am sure Friday will be exactly the same."
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