Tom Ford speaks out on his lowest point and how talking to someone saved him

Tom Ford has bounced back from a seriously low ebb (Picture: Getty Images)

Tom Ford says speaking to a mindset coach helped him recover from his lowest point, having felt he ‘didn’t want to be here’ at his worst moment.

The world number 16 is in a much better place now, but during the pandemic and the lockdowns that came with it his mental health suffered badly.

He was still producing good snooker during those testing days, but was entering an increasingly dark place mentally.

Ford made the semi-finals of the German Masters in January 2021 and had just reached the quarter-finals of the Welsh Open in the February, beating Kyren Wilson and Jack Lisowski in the same day.

Results were of little importance, though, with the restrictions of lockdown weighing heavily on him and even thought he spoke about being ‘fed up’ at the time, things were actually much worse than that.

‘I couldn’t really talk about it too much before. I remember that was my lowest point,’ Ford told the Talking Snooker podcast. ‘I remember playing them two games, I came off, Kyren said “well played” and I said, “I don’t even want to be here, I don’t want to be playing in this.”

‘It was a lockdown thing but I didn’t know why I was feeling it, I didn’t know what was going on. I remember breaking down to my wife when I was in the hotel room in floods of tears saying, “I didn’t want to be here.”

‘And I didn’t mean Wales, I meant I didn’t want to be here. It was a tough time.’

2022 Cazoo UK Championship - Day 2

Ford has been a consistently good performer over the last 18 months Getty Images)

Ford did something about it and began speaking to mindset coach Sabrina Francis, who has been credited with improving his game on the table, but clearly helped him in a far more important way as well.

‘That’s when I started talking to Sabrina,’ he explained. ‘I’d never tell anyone how I felt, I’m not one of them people, I still don’t really do it now. But talking to somebody definitely did help because some of the thoughts that were going through my head were silly thoughts.

‘Under them circumstances where we weren’t allowed to mix, had to play my match and go straight back to my hotel room. It just completely hit me and I didn’t know why.

‘I was always one of them that said, “Man up. Have a beer or something and you’ll be alright.” It just wasn’t the case and you don’t realise when you’ve got those thoughts going through your head how serious it can be.

‘If you don’t talk to anyone, the worse it’s going to get. It’s just about finding the right person to talk to and going from there.

‘I got through all that but I can understand how a lot of people have got mental problems and got their demons. It’s basically about talking to someone and getting the help that you need.’

Ford is feeling good again now and has found a level of consistency on the table that he hadn’t managed previously in his career.

Into the top 16 for the first time this season and two ranking finals in 2023, he is now eyeing up a run at the Crucible.

‘I think my game’s most likely at its strongest now,’ he said. ‘And with different things happening in the snooker world, there’s more tournaments coming on, I think it opens a lot of doors. If I’m playing a lot more I’ll be playing better.

‘The main aim at the minute is to get into the World Championships where I don’t have to qualify. If I’m there then I can have a look at having a decent run.’


MORE : Dogged Mark Allen battles to another title and warns rivals what will happen when he finds form


MORE : Ronnie O’Sullivan demolition will put a bad habit to bed, says Mark Selby

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
Facebook, 
Twitter and Instagram.

Snooker