View Full Version : Mental Side of the Game

12-12-2003, 05:08 PM
Hi friends, RJ here from Vancouver Canada. I'm a newbie here but have played pool for years.I play mostly nine ball and eight ball in a Thursday night league.I would love to bring my practice game to the tournaments and money matches more often. Does anyone out there have a reccomendation on any good books/videos related to the mental side of the game.I need to relax more, up the concentration, and stop the negative self talk. Any imput on this subject would be appreciated.

12-12-2003, 05:42 PM
I havent read any books about the mental side of pool, but I have read several on golf which I have applied to pool.

Bob Rotella has several books out that are great, Golf is not a game of perfect helped me alot. It talks about not thinking about a shot you have already hit (unless it was good) but thinking about what you have to do next.

The biggest key to bringing your practice game to the table would have to be a consistent pre-shot routine. This is a kind of count down if you will prior to the shot.

Another factor many dont think about is learning how to practice and learning how to play. When you practice it is ok to think about stroke mechanics, but a great amount of practice time should be spent practing to play. What I mean is you have to learn to focus on the target and not think about swing- er I mean stroke mechanics. This does take practice!!!!

Chris Cass
12-12-2003, 05:46 PM
Tap, Tap, Tap.


12-12-2003, 07:18 PM
The Monk has put out about the best books on the mental side of pool,IMO. They have helped me over come parts of my mental game that wrecked havoc on my game. Another great person to talk to is David "BlackJack" Sapolis. He posts here on the board and he has helped me quite a bit.

Kent Mc.

phil in sofla
12-12-2003, 07:38 PM
Two video series I can recommend. Jimmy Reid's No Time For Negatives provides a strong preshot routine, emphasizing all the mental imaging and 'hearing' and feeling of the shot, ahead of time. To a considerable degree, IMO, if you are doing the right things, you just don't have to worry about not doing the wrong things-- doing the one 'leaves no time' for the other.

A new series by the 'Australian Pearl' (sorry, David (?) someone (?), I forget), or at least new to me, explains how to demark the thinking/silent self talk part of the preshot aiming routine from the 'performance' part, by making the thinking, standing up part done in a zone about 2 feet from the table. Once you've gotten it all thought out, imaged/heard/felt out ahead of time, you SIGNAL yourself to get into 'performance' mode, where you do nothing but physically accomplish what you've fully imagined in great detail. This is done by a) putting the chalk down as you b) approach within your stance distance to the cue ball, and begin to get down.

Once you begin to regularly 'signal' yourself to get out of left brain (verbalizing) mode into right brain (performance) mode, and know how that feels, and do it repetitiously, you'll find the stray thoughts and/or negative self talk when down on a shot going away.

Scott Lee
12-12-2003, 07:48 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote phil in sofla:</font><hr>

A new series by the 'Australian Pearl' (sorry, David (?) someone (?), I forget), or at least new to me, <hr /></blockquote>

That would be BCA Instructor, Tim White! He lives in VT and FL, and runs pools schools in both places.

12-12-2003, 11:07 PM
"Does anyone out there have a reccomendation on any good books/videos related to the mental side of the game"

I'm reading-The Black Widow's Guide To Killer Pool, (be come the player to beat!) Jeanette Lee and it's pretty good it has a little bit of eveything in it.

Rich R.
12-13-2003, 07:18 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote recoveryjones:</font><hr> Hi friends, RJ here from Vancouver Canada. <hr /></blockquote>
Another RJ on this board. Just what the world needs. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

RJ, you may not know what I am talking about, but trust me, it is all in fun. If you stick around long enough, you will learn. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Others will give you better recommendations for books and videos. The only advise I can give you is, play as much as you can, without interrupting the rest of your life, and, always remember, you play pool for fun. It is not life and death. Everyone misses shots and, no matter how good you get, you will still miss your share. Hopefully, your share will get smaller. After a miss, move on to the next shot. Don't dwell on it.

In a pool match, as in a lot of sports and games, short term memory is a good thing. /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

12-13-2003, 08:25 AM
"The inner game of tennis". I ordered mine from Amazon.com.


Fred Agnir
12-13-2003, 08:48 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote phil in sofla:</font><hr> A new series by the 'Australian Pearl' (sorry, David (?) someone (?), I forget),<hr /></blockquote>

Probably Tim "The Australian Oyster" White.


12-13-2003, 09:48 AM
"A Mind For Pool" by Phil Cappelle is a worthwhile read.

#### leonard
12-13-2003, 10:59 AM
I probably shouldn't post this, some secrets should be kept to oneself but here goes. Get your self a JS Bach tape and practice playing with the tape in the background. The beat of Bach makes your mind fertile for learning.

That leads to the Dance Routine that all Great Players had when running balls. Ex Ralph Greenleaf running 125 and out in under 30 minutes while staggering drunk.####

The Watchdog
12-13-2003, 06:12 PM
RJ from Vancouver says" I need to relax more, up my concentration, and stop the negative self talk. FANTASTIC.

Why buy a book. You are absolutely correct. Just fix it. You know the problems, fix 'em.

BE POSITIVE. or just shut up and don't think.

You are done. Or you can book a lesson from me, and pay for something you can only do yourself.

Good luck.

12-14-2003, 07:39 AM
"The pleasures of small motions" is pretty good on dealing with the mental aspect of pool. Dennis

12-14-2003, 09:54 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dmgwalsh:</font><hr> "The pleasures of small motions" is pretty good on dealing with the mental aspect of pool. Dennis <hr /></blockquote>

I'll second this suggestion,thought it was excellent /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif


12-14-2003, 10:03 AM
Y'all make me feel guilty as hell...I have most of these and have read only one thoroughly, The Inner Game Of Tennis. It is a short yet powerful book, easily read multiple times when you find yourself struggling....sid~~~needs to get back to reading the fat books ;-)

12-15-2003, 03:12 AM
Thanks everyone for their feedback on the mental side of the game, much appreciated.Based on the info given I'm going to purchase the book, The pleasures of small motions, as it is pool related. A friend of mine is going to lend me his copy of the inner game of tennis as well.Between those two reccommended readings I should learn some good stuff.Sometimes when I practice I play unbelievable (by my standards). I'll throw out all 9 balls (spread out) and run them off time and time again getting shape or recovering with a great pot.And yes I do miss.The point I'm trying to make is that my practice game is so, so much stronger than my tournament and money games.A lot of times during practice I go into that sort of hypnotic trance that people refer to as dead stroke....WHAT A RUSH!!! I don't hear the music in the pool hall, people walking by don't affect me and I get that, I can't miss mentality.I don't over analyze shape shots while in dead stroke and seem to intuitvely know where to hit the cue ball.My stroke is so much more smoother.Can anyone relate to Dead Stroke? Anyways I've rarely had that feeling while in tourneys or money games, that feeling of intense concentration coupled with relaxation.Hopefully there are some breathing techniques, visulization, concentration and relaxtion practices that can be learned from those books.Playing pool in a zone is such a rush in practice, doing it in a tourney in front of a crowd would be the ultimate BLAST.Thanks, RJ