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View Full Version : Play faster - shoot better?



KAM007
02-24-2004, 08:01 PM
I've read a lot of articles that suggest watching good players and learn from them. I watch the really good players in my surrounding area and what they seem to have in common is they shoot fast. It's like they don't even have to think about position for the next shot, it's automatic. Their opponents may get one or two shots, if their lucky. I, on the other hand, feel the need to have to analyze to get to my next shot. I's like, if I shoot this one, this will happen, if I shoot that one, then that will happen. I'm wondering if I would be better off shooting faster and thinking less..

Jay M
02-24-2004, 08:25 PM
define shooting faster. Are you talking about standing time while deciding what to do? Or are you talking about the actual shot?

I'm guessing that you are talking about standing time. That's because about 70% or more (not counting stop positiions) of all the shots you shoot on the table are variations of the same shot... shoot it in and bounce off a single cushion. Almost every shot is exactly the same shot with differing english depending on where you want to land. The other 30% are when you are out of line and when you have to play an angle that takes you off several rails. Watch a good shooter, they will always leave themselves in the same basic line or it's reverse depending on side rail or end rail.

Jay M

OK, OK so maybe I'm simplifying a bit, but when I am REALLY in stroke, that's how I play it.

KAM007
02-24-2004, 09:13 PM
Yeah, I'm talking about the standing shot. Once I get it set in my mind how I'm going to play the table, I can run off some balls. Then if I get tied up, I take more time than other players I watch or play to continue shooting.I have played in tournaments and heard players say that I throw their rhythm off.

Jay M
02-24-2004, 09:16 PM
that's fine. Who cares whether the other guy's rythm is thrown off. Just don't speed up to match him and throw yourself off.

In addition to what I said above, bear in mind that most good players see the whole table before they start shooting. As long as everything is going according to plan, there's no reason to slow down and figure out the next shot, you already did that. If the balls are still in the same place when you get back to the table (especially in 8 ball) all you have to figure out is how to get back on your original plan, not the whole table again.

Jay M

Popcorn
02-24-2004, 09:19 PM
They are not really shooting fast as much as they have very grooved fundamentals. They are ready to shoot almost as soon as they come down on the ball. For a player to think they play good because they play fast has it backwards. They play a little faster because they play good. You can see the coordination when they play, the ease they play with, there is no reason to doddle around. Mosconi ran around the table.

tateuts
02-24-2004, 09:44 PM
If you want to see them slow down fast, jack up the bet.

Chris

pooltchr
02-25-2004, 07:18 AM
The really good players you are talking about are most likely planning 3 balls at a time. If they execute position properly, they only need to look at the "new" 3rd ball in the pattern. When you plan your shot, shape on the next shot as well as the angle that lets you get to the 3rd ball in the pattern, there isn't a lot of thinking required while you are standing. It might also be that what at first seems to be fast, is simply a smooth rhythem that makes it look fast.

KAM007
02-25-2004, 05:31 PM
Thanks for all the responses on playing faster. I believe I am trying to look too many balls ahead. Perhaps I need to cut it back to 2 or 3 at a time.

I find that if I have one or two balls at one end of the table and all the rest are at the other end, I have a tendency to shoot the one or two balls that are by themselves and then work down table. Is it good to try and section off the table and play this way?

Mike D2
02-25-2004, 07:04 PM
The players like that around my area are good too. But most of them are hot and cold shooters. If everything is going right then it is but for them they can also shoot bad if it's not.

woody_968
02-25-2004, 07:27 PM
Looking 3 balls ahead is the least you should look ahead IMO, if you naturally look farther than that consider it a blessing and dont try to cut it back.

As far as playing the table in sections, I assume your playing 8-ball, yes this also is a good habit. You might try watching some straight pool tapes, I just started to study the game and all ready feel that I see patterns better. Not only will you shoot balls from one end of the table, but you will identify a "Key" ball to get back to the other end of the table with a stop shot or something else instead of haveing to make the cueball travel so far and possibly loosing control.

tateuts
02-26-2004, 12:02 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote KAM007:</font><hr> Thanks for all the responses on playing faster. I believe I am trying to look too many balls ahead. Perhaps I need to cut it back to 2 or 3 at a time.

I find that if I have one or two balls at one end of the table and all the rest are at the other end, I have a tendency to shoot the one or two balls that are by themselves and then work down table. Is it good to try and section off the table and play this way? <hr /></blockquote>


The more you play, the more consistent your patterns get, and you don't really have to think about it as much. That's why they play faster. But at first you have to really think it out. Experienced players can run out most open racks without major brainpower because they've done it so often that it's become habit.

Planning the table like you're talking about is not the same as thinking "three balls ahead".

Thinking three balls ahead is more a mental concept and it's really two balls ahead of your object ball. The concept is simply that you need to look at what angle you need several shots ahead before you can shoot the shot you are looking at, because your position on the next shot is determined by where you need to be on subsequent shots. Then, after each shot, you continue to make the same assessent.

You would be surprised how many good shooters do not think even two balls ahead! They play into dead ends and rely on their shotmaking and stroke to get themselves out. This is just mental laziness. If they made the effort to think ahead, it would become habit after awhile and a lot easier.

Good patterns and angles separate the good players from the good shotmakers. This is learned stuff.

This is going to seem stupid and I promise I'm sober, but here's exactly how to think three balls ahead: You're on the 1 ball in 9 ball. You need to get on the 2 ball, which you can do, but you can't shoot yet because you need to see what angle you need to get from the 2 to the 3. Now you see that, so you see where to put the cue ball after shooting the 1. You shoot the one and get position, and your ready to shoot the 2 ball and... can't shoot yet. You need to figure how you're getting from the 3 to the 4 and maybe the 4 to the 5. You figure that out, so you shoot and miss your position, so you reasses the angles down the line.

Those angles and positions are the "three balls ahead" concept. It might be two balls, it might need to be more. The important thing is you want your angles to progress through the rack as naturally as possible without putting the cue ball on a path that is interfered with by other object balls.

There. I said it. I'm never going to say it again.

Chris

pooltchr
02-26-2004, 06:41 AM
Well said, Chris! I am a firm believer that if you can plan and run 3 balls at a time, there is no reason you can't run a rack. Just keep adding one more ball to your thought pattern after each shot. Obviously, you need to make sure there are no balls tied up that need attention during the run, but with good planning and patern play, 3 will usually get you out.

Frank_Glenn
02-26-2004, 08:05 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Those angles and positions are the "three balls ahead" concept. It might be two balls, it might need to be more. The important thing is you want your angles to progress through the rack as naturally as possible without putting the cue ball on a path that is interfered with by other object balls.<hr /></blockquote>

I trimmed the post, but this was one of the best descriptions of looking ahead and what it really means that I have ever seen. Thank's for the post. Good info.

tateuts
02-26-2004, 08:34 AM
Hey guys, thanks - hard stuff to describe in words - much easier to show.

Chris

cheesemouse
02-26-2004, 08:47 AM
KAM007.

Besides the good observations made by others there is one thing that better players seem to have in common. They stay focused on the game while they are on the bench. I guess you could call it the 'WHAT IF' mode. While riding the bench they stay up to date on the lay of the balls on the table looking for potential moves on their part when and if they get back to the table. When they are given the opportunity at the table they don't have re-examine everything from scratch. This home work they do while riding the bench just adds to the impression of fast play....they are just like the Energizer bunny...ever ready!

KAM007
02-29-2004, 12:55 AM
I appreciate all comments and words of advise from all, thanks. I am new to this forum and I'm not sure what some acronyms are. What does IMO mean? IMF I could figure out, but IMO?

PQQLK9
02-29-2004, 06:02 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote KAM007:</font><hr> I appreciate all comments and words of advise from all, thanks. I am new to this forum and I'm not sure what some acronyms are. What does IMO mean? IMF I could figure out, but IMO? <hr /></blockquote>
IMO
In My Opinion

http://www.gaarde.org/acronyms/?lookup=I

What does IMF mean?

MarkUrsel
02-29-2004, 06:26 AM
Thinking three balls ahead has been shown to me. Many, many times. By players who at the end of the match hold out their hand and say "we were playing for how much?", and there's usually another "teacher" on the rail looking to provide his version of the same lesson.

Three balls ahead is one of those concepts I know, and I follow. When I screw up position and hook myself or leave something difficult, it's generally because I got playing a little too fast &amp; loose and forgot to add the third ball into my thinking.

Those teachers with my money in their pockets didn't forget to add the third ball each time. One of these days, the lesson will stick. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Wally_in_Cincy
03-01-2004, 07:13 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote KAM007:</font><hr> I appreciate all comments and words of advise from all, thanks. I am new to this forum and I'm not sure what some acronyms are. What does IMO mean? IMF I could figure out, but IMO? <hr /></blockquote>

A list of commonly used CCB acronyms
==============================
BD - Billiards Digest

P &amp; B - Pool &amp; Billiard

CCB - Cue Chalk Board

OT - Off topic

NPR - Non-Pool-Related

TIA - Thanks in advance

HTH - Hope this helps

CB - Cue ball

OB - Object ball

BIH - Ball-in-hand

OP or 1P - One pocket

LO - League operator

TD - Tournament Director

ABC - Amsterdam Billiard Club

VF - Valley Forge

DCC - Derby City Classic

WPC - World Pool Championship

JL - Jeanette Lee

AF - Allison Fisher

KC - Karen Corr

CW - Charlie Williams

CSPL - Cincinnati Straight Pool League
==============================

<font color="red">HTH /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif </font color>

tateuts
03-01-2004, 07:51 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote MarkUrsel:</font><hr> Thinking three balls ahead has been shown to me. Many, many times. By players who at the end of the match hold out their hand and say "we were playing for how much?", and there's usually another "teacher" on the rail looking to provide his version of the same lesson.

Three balls ahead is one of those concepts I know, and I follow. When I screw up position and hook myself or leave something difficult, it's generally because I got playing a little too fast &amp; loose and forgot to add the third ball into my thinking.

Those teachers with my money in their pockets didn't forget to add the third ball each time. One of these days, the lesson will stick. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif <hr /></blockquote>

Mark,

It's all a big circle of knowledge and execution. Sooner or later the planning should become such a strong habit that you literally can't shoot until you've got it figured out exactly what you're trying to do - even if you don't pull it off.

Ever notice how even the great players stop dead in their tracks and stare frozen at the table sometimes with a puzzled look on their face? They can't shoot. Their habits won't allow them to shoot until they have it figured out.

The main thing is to avoid the impulse to set up and rush the shot without planning. Don't worry, the shot's not going away. Always have a plan, even if it's a bad one. That way you'll learn from your mistakes.


Chris

KAM007
03-02-2004, 12:43 AM
Thanks for the acronym info.

KAM007
03-03-2004, 12:55 AM
Thanks for the Post Chris, informative info.