If Neil Robertson made one mistake last season it was reading what other people thought of him.
Natural human curiosity of course leads public figures to venture on to the internet to see what is being said about them.
Neil read a couple of snooker forums where he was being roundly insulted.
He told me: “People said some things that don’t have anything to do with sport. They don’t understand what it takes to compete at the highest level.
“I shouldn’t have let it affect me but it did because I was struggling a lot last season.
“They were saying that my career was over and that they’d never see me again and I’d never win a tournament again.
“They said I was lucky to win the tournaments I had. I took it to heart when I shouldn’t have done.”
On the web it is easy to insult people behind the cloak of anonymity. In my experience, the people who do this are usually the last to repeat it in person.
If anyone wants to say anything to Neil's face they can do so in Telford tomorrow.
While it is perfectly acceptable to hold strong opinions, it is also worth remembering that not everyone has a thick skin and can shrug off unpleasant comments, especially when they are struggling for confidence, as Neil was last season.
Neil was also described this week as a ‘cocky Aussie’ by one newspaper – ironically owned by an Australian – because he made some comments about the great champions in sport not failing at the last. He wasn’t comparing himself to Roger Federer and co but this was how his remarks were interpreted.
My advice to him is to unplug his computer.