View Full Version : Clinching the win
01-24-2004, 05:43 PM
I have been noticing that lately, my game is improving by bounds, but am having trouble when I'm on the hill. It seems that I let my opponent win more times that not in this situation.
I did this twice today. Shot in a 9 ball tournament, race to 4, double elimination. My second match, I had my opponent 3 - 0. Would you believe that I let him come back and win 3 - 4? I did the exact same thing in my 4th match.
Any ideas on how to mentally get over that hump?
01-24-2004, 07:24 PM
I guess the first issue is whether you subconsciously change the way you play once you get on the hill (ex. play safe in a situation where you'd normally shoot or vice versa). Also remember that momentum is very important when playing a race. You're on the hill so whatever you've done so far has worked. Don't change it without good reason. If the momentum has swung toward your opponent, you have to make a move to get it back. Sometimes a great way to do this is to take a short bathroom break on your inning, before you shoot. Take a minute to clear your head, evaluate what you must do to close the set out, envision yourself doing it, and then continue the set, sticking with your strategy. Meanwhile, it gives your opponent an extra minute or two to cool off. This is only one example, but it's pretty helpful in a lot of situations.
01-24-2004, 09:07 PM
Before you got to the hill you were thinking about playing pool. When you got there you were thinking about something else? Just take it one ball at a time, focus on performance not winning/losing. Pool is a journey, not a short set.
01-24-2004, 09:11 PM
This has happened to me before & in EVERY situation, I've played not to lose rather than to win. I get defensive and wait for my opponent to lose it rather than grabbing the win for myself. Obviously this is a lousy plan.
01-24-2004, 09:30 PM
I think it is kinda like the football coach that tries to play prevent defense and sit on a 2 point lead when there is 2 minutes to play. It fails a lot more than it works. You have to go for the win in every game. Try to adopt the single game attitude. Shoot like you are playing a single game not races to whatever. Will take time but just modify your mind set. Now, go kick some butt /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif.
01-25-2004, 01:31 AM
I would agree that playing not to loose instead of playing to win could be the problem. Or simply thinking about winning the set instead of just playing the games could set ya back.
But you should also look at the level of the other player, and see if this was really a problem or just one of those things that happens. What I mean is when to players of close to the same ability play, it is not uncommon for one or the other to win three or four in a row. Kind of a law of averages sort of thing. Its why many times in golf, for someone who normally shoots say 80. They may go out in 36, but then blow up to a 44 on the back and still end up shooting 80. Its kind of like a comfort zone, a level of play that we get used to, and at times can be hard to break through. So just think back through the matches and see if once you got on the hill you made any major mistakes, or just simply didnt get the chance you needed to close the deal. I played in A tourny a few weeks ago, during one match I missed one ball and lost 7-1! Sometimes it just goes that way.
01-25-2004, 02:10 AM
I am very pleased that you are competing so well. I know you really enjoy the competition. Your wins will come.. everyone has to experience the clinching the WIN letdowns. And with that comes more confidence each time, you will overcome this.
What I really miss is your posts. I know you are working the NEW job and it probably takes a lot of your time. But I still miss your posts.
I sure hope we see the Cass Clan again this Sept. Is it too early to start CCBIII talks?
01-25-2004, 04:44 AM
This happens to everyone at one time or another. There's many possible ways to look at this and everyone so far has come up with excellent ideas to why.
It could also be when in this situation where your on the hill and so far in front of your opponent that you might think you've already won and wait for your opponent to just hand it to you. You might even put too much pressure on yourself to win that final game, that causes you to choke. It could be that you find yourself thinking of what your opponents doing instead of just playing the table.
The mind works strange. I've seen people that find a way to sabatage every match they're suppose to win. It seems they just beat themselves.
Like the player that finishes one out of the money, almost everytime. They haven't leaned how to win. They haven't put themselves into the game 100%.
There's many reasons for this type of behavior and you have to pick the one that fits. I know one thing for sure. I know that a solid pre-shot routine with your mind focusing on only the task at hand. Focusing on making that one shot. Not, worrying about what the score is, where your at in the tourney, what your opponents going to do when he or she is up to the table, what status the money round is, if your in what bracket, who your playing next, or anything other than playing the table, will only effect your play, mentally.
Now, it wouldn't be a bad idea to read these replys and keep track of your win and loss matches. You can keep a record of these scenerios and try to understand what's happening. Only then, you can correct it.
What I do know is your working a lot of overtime. You haven't had a lot of practice along with sleep. Pool like many sports need 100% of mental focusing. The body requires energy also. It would make sence to me if you plan on entering an event you prepare for it by making sure your physically prepared for it. Make sure you get plenty of sleep, eat right and get some practice routines in. That will get your mind mentally ready to do the task at hand. JAT
I don't have a cureall. I don't know everything but I do know you are capable of taking that event off. If I've said anything you don't like please disregard it. Lord knows I don't want to sleep on the couch. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
C.C.~~should listen to his own advice. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
My first thought as I was reading your post Heidi was that maybe you didn't "let" your opponent do anything. Maybe they saw they were about to be shot down so they got down and got pumped and decided that they weren't going down easy and got intense while your intensity was diminishing because you weren't in danger and didn't need to be intense.
....while your intensity was diminishing....while your intensity was diminishing....hmmmmm..maybe you DID "let" them get back into it.......
Sometimes when my mouth is running a little part of what I'm saying will make sense if I can hear it..... /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
01-25-2004, 07:21 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chris Cass:</font><hr> It could be that you find yourself thinking of what your opponents doing instead of just playing the table.
Focusing on making that one shot. Not, worrying about what the score is, where your at in the tourney, what your opponents going to do when he or she is up to the table, what status the money round is, if your in what bracket, who your playing next, or anything other than playing the table, will only effect your play, mentally. <hr /></blockquote>
This often helps me. I concentrate too hard on winning, and forget to do the things that will allow me to win. This works well when I play APA 9ball and someone else is scoring. I don't want to know how many balls I need to win, or how many balls my opponent needs to win. I do best when I'm concentrating on each individual shot rather than the win. It's not as easy in a tournament situation, but the same pinciple applies.
Sometimes it seems that nothing works. All my tips and tricks don't work. Just be patient though and your turn at the table will come back. Most of all just have fun! I do my best when I'm relaxed and don't put too much pressure on myself to win.
It's good to see you posting. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif
01-25-2004, 10:16 AM
Yes I too have been there many times.
I can remember having some of the best players in a tournament on the ropes and letting them get back in the match, its frustrating.
What really worked for me was the "Overcoming Contenderosis" tapes by Ryan Elliot, they are hypnosis tapes for pool and for me at least they worked.
I myself do not have the "killer instinct" I like to win but I hate to see others lose sort of thing.
He has a portion of his tapes series dedicated to finishing off your opponent quickly because its the merciful thing to do, sort of like your going to beat them anyway so why not be kind and do it quickly.
I have really seized onto this idea that by winning quickly and finishing off the set I am doing my opponent a favor and being kind. Sounds like goofy logic but it worked for me.
Now I have loaned these tapes to a few friends and some loved them and some thought they were useless so I guess it all depends on the person and the situation.
Just my two cents.
01-25-2004, 10:24 AM
"Like the player that finishes one out of the money, almost everytime. They haven't leaned how to win. They haven't put themselves into the game 100%." CC
"Your wins will come.. everyone has to experience the clinching the WIN letdowns. And with that comes more confidence each time, you will overcome this." TomInCincy
I reposted these because I feel they really touch base with how I perceive the situation. It's easy to say "just play each shot" but I find that I personally can not avoid realizing "Hey, I'm about to take this thing" syndrome, and I definitely do just like you, blow leads when I should have the opponents by the balls. Bottomline Heidi...it take experiences of winning to get to where those lead-loses start becoming finishes.
I read once that when you have a big lead that you should play very "safely" and when you are pressed against the wall that you have to get argressive. Just maybe we both need to try that, but it seems more resonable to try and demolish the player, run them out of the game, since you have some credits you can afford to lose. It ain't easy is it?
Short of simply playing through these toils, and they are toils felt inside you when you see the lead slipping away, I'd say to just keep a good attitude and learn what winning feels like. Some of us feel strange about winning, I know I do, and at the most destructive times.
Never forget the benefit of taking a restroom break when you see yourself slipping off into this mental problem. I many times find I really needed to go but had been pushing my bladder because I thought, "I'll be done playing after the win and can go then" and soon I forgot about it altogether. Thing is that the body and subconscious knows you're uncomfortable, and it creeps into your entire game in crutial ways down the stretch toward a win. A simple run to the head many times brings my game so "up" that my opponents suggest that I slipped off for a "powder break" if you know what I mean.
I knew I was going to enjoy this thread, it hits home with my game as well. That little mini-break away from the table may be as important as any I can think of during your feeling of being in quicksand. I once watched the professionals playing, and one match stopped entirely while one player went for a bathroom break, he came back and streaked out! Maybe chemical, maybe just good for the player to get away and refresh themselves...sid
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