View Full Version : When Under Pressure, what part of your game goes ?
04-07-2004, 10:29 PM
I think for most people, getting up off the shot is pretty common when under pressure
I also find for touch type positional shots, i hit them a bit too hard
04-07-2004, 10:41 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bigbro6060:</font><hr> I think for most people, getting up off the shot is pretty common when under pressure
I also find for touch type positional shots, i hit them a bit too hard <hr /></blockquote>
04-07-2004, 11:23 PM
For me, everything from just below my knees and upwards, turns to jello
04-08-2004, 12:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> For me, everything from just below my knees and upwards, turns to jello <hr /></blockquote>
Did u say everything???
04-08-2004, 12:19 AM
Depends on the pressure..occasionally the pressure is the only thing that makes me really focus and play good but when I get nervous my position is the first thing to leave the building.
04-08-2004, 06:48 AM
Keeping my grip loose and my arm fluid is a struggle when the pressure is REALLY on. Nerves overall, are good for my game. If I am too relaxed, I do not think my run out through.. Johnny Archer says "You never stop getting nervous" you just learn to play through it!
04-08-2004, 07:08 AM
I shoot too hard, especially on long shots or long straight-ins....
04-08-2004, 07:55 AM
For me, my decision making, I may begin to second guess myself on things or over analyze. In general though, my game will rise under pressure as will most players, although they may not realize it, things come into a sharper focus. How you play for fun or banging balls around is inconsequential. Your game, is how you play when it counts, that is all that matters. What you may perceive as a drop in your game, is really just the difference between your fun or practice game and your real game, the one you play when it counts. For all players they are very different. I am never really impressed that much with someone's practice game, you have to see them play for real. If your game under pressure seems different then your practice game, it does not mean you are a dog, but normal. I think it is the reason many seemingly good players choose not to compete and sit on the side lines. They want to preserve their belief in how they think they play and not face what may be disappointing reality if they were to compete, they are cheating themselves, but that is their choice. Back to the original question though, becoming aware of your weaknesses, is one of the ways you improve. This will only really show up in competition, it is the proving ground for all that practice. You don't play a bad match and feel like you should quit for life, you learn from it. I wrote this pretty quick, I hope it makes some sense.
9 Ball Girl
04-08-2004, 08:12 AM
I start to think too much therefore resulting in overfocusing or lack of focusing--I'll start looking around and lose my attention to the table.
04-08-2004, 08:37 AM
Seems sort of strange, but I actually seem to execute better and make fewer mistakes when under pressure from an opponent that doesn't give up anything. Maybe that means I'm guilty of "playing down", but if so I do it without realizing.
04-08-2004, 08:40 AM
04-08-2004, 09:28 AM
All parts of my game are not as good as when I'm just practicing at home. However, sometimes I've been able to string 3 racks in a row under intense pressure against the toughest opponent. Then later I lose to someone I should beat. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif
04-08-2004, 09:56 AM
I have to agree with 9 ball girl and mworkman. That is me to a "T". I also find myself when playing against a very good player trying to shoot every shot easy because of tension in my body. As soon as I realize I'm doing that, I plow a few in and that helps me loosen up.
04-08-2004, 10:36 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> Seems sort of strange, but I actually seem to execute better and make fewer mistakes when under pressure from an opponent that doesn't give up anything. Maybe that means I'm guilty of "playing down", but if so I do it without realizing.
I am the same way Spidey, put me in a tournament and I playlike a man possesed! I seem to feed off of the preasure!
SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>
04-08-2004, 10:57 AM
Under pressure my game normally elevates but the flaw that bits me in the a$$ is I get to thinking I can make anything and pass on some good winning safties.
04-08-2004, 11:17 AM
I tend to go too fast, and I "jump up". If I notice this, I slow way down and can sometimes get it back.
04-08-2004, 11:29 AM
Pressure goes two ways for me.Sometimes it renders it's self in healthy nervousness and other times in unhealthy nervousness.I've played some of my best pool under pressure. It's forced me to really focus, concentrate and be careful and fully aware of what I'm doing.
At other times it completley paralyses me. When this happens MY BREATHING goes completley out of wack, my face reddens, and I've even been known to shake during my stroke. I've tried deep breathing and even it doesn't seem to work. It just seems when it's, its turn to show up and comes upon me, it comes and I never know when that's gonna happen.Usually winning a game helps settle me down.
It's gotten a lot better as time goes on and I think the key is to play as many tournaments, leagues and money games as possible against the best compitition possible.Acclimatation to pressure is huge. The more you play in it, the easier it gets.
04-08-2004, 11:45 AM
Some pretty interesting responses here.
In my case, I have to be careful to maintain an even pace. My tendency is to speed up each shot, so that by the fifth or sixth ball, I'm just sliding into the next shot, rather than doing my full pre-shot routine.
The funny part is that knowing I do this doesn't seem to make it any easier to break the habit, especially if I have an easy runout. I used to catch myself shooting at the 8 ball and realizing I hadn't chalked my cue in 3 or 4 shots!
I've tried to make chalking my cue the first step of my pre-shot routine. This forces me to stand up between shots, so I have to do a full pre-shot. Even so, I still catch myself occasionally starting to just slide over into the next shot. I'll start laughing, and my opponent will look at me like I'm crazy or something. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
04-08-2004, 12:42 PM
Under pressure my decision making goes to pot. I can't see the patterns, because I keep second guessing myself.
Also, my speed control is shot. I start hitting them too hard and when I try to correct I start hitting them too soft. I can't find the middle ground when under pressure.
04-08-2004, 01:48 PM
I can play well nervous. I would rather be nervous than complacent.
When I play my worst is when I start doubting myself. Then, any shot can be missed a myriad of ways.
04-08-2004, 04:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bigbro6060:</font><hr> I think for most people, getting up off the shot is pretty common when under pressure
I'm not sure what comes first, the bad shot or the jumping up!
From what I've seen, even among excellent players (the best), is when they are getting fired upon and are under heat, especially late in the match when things are close, if the momentum is shifting and they have doubt, their stroke gets quicker and shorter, and becomes a quick jab instead of a fluid stroke. They kill the cue ball and start coming up short, sometimes spinning the balls in the hole instead of just shooting, and missing badly. I kind of think the jumping up is in response to hitting the ball badly.
I think the best way to combat this is to develop a slower, rythmical stroke. Corey Deuel is a good example of a beautiful controlled stroke, all the way back and through the ball. Even his break shot is 100% under control. One day I would like to just ask him a few questions - he is simply amazing.
04-08-2004, 09:42 PM
Boy is it ironic that you ask this now, LOL. I won't get into the whole story, but I found out this weekend about pressure. Not just a rinky-dink hill-hill tournament, I'm talking some major pressure. The finals of the team state tournament. The final match comes down to one person, guess who, and that person's game has completely left the building. My entire mental game that I had up until that point was gone. Throughout the entire tournament, I barely missed a ball and only lost one game the whole time during the match prior. Never did I think that my mental game would falter, but it did. Once the mental was lost, nothing fell into place.
Not quite sure how to work on that situation for future reference.
04-08-2004, 10:46 PM
That's too bad Heide and very difficult to recover from, but you must and you will. When self doubt takes over, any shot can and will be missed.
Here's one of my favorite things to read when I get down about stuff like this. This is by former football coach, Jack Stallings:
<font color="blue"> The Ability to Play Well Under Pressure is One of the Most Desired Qualities for any Athlete in any Sport, and a player who can perform extremely well in practice but cannot duplicate that performance in a game will not be successful and will, in fact, be a very frustrated athlete.
The first step in dealing with pressure is to recognize and accept the fact that pressure is being created. To deal effectively with pressure, we must acknowledge it exists and then learn how to handle it properly and effectively.
Pressure is created not by the game situation but by how we look at it and how we handle it.. it is not it or they making us tense, it is us!
We create pressure by how we think or act, not by the situation we are in at the moment. The difference in playing a routine game in the middle of the season or the final game in the College World Series is not the game itself, because the game is always the same, but in the mental attitude of the player.
The difference in playing a game in the backyard, home park, or in Omaha at the College World Series is not in the playing field but in the mind of the player...this is why a consistent approach to every game is the key!
Every game should be important and should be approached by the coach and every player on the team as if this game is the only one the team has a chance to win because it is the only one it is playing!
To place any more importance on one game is to get out of the consistent preparation and consistent performance so vitally needed to be a consistent athlete who can perform properly under pressure.
Perhaps the most harmful three words in baseball are: "This is it!" as in, This is it, fellows. ..it is do or die for us, it is now or never, we have got to win this game or there is no tomorrow!"
For a coach or a team to put more emphasis on any one game is to put added pressure on the players and this usually hurts rather than helps performance. The objective under pressure should not be to play super because that is an unreasonable goal; the objective of an athlete should be to play normally under pressure.
A former coach used to say, "When the game is on the line, all I want is for each player to just do his job." If each player will do his job normally in a pressure situation, the team will perform well and will be successful a good percentage ot the time. Coming through under pressure is a percentage action. If a hitter is averaging .333 and gets a hit one time in three clutch situations, he is performing well in the clutch...normal performance under pressure is the goal, not super performance.
All too often an athlete gets the reputation as a "great clutch player" because of one or two performances that got a lot of media attention, but the truth of the matter is most of the time a "great clutch performer" is one who performs normally under pressure.
Normal performance is possible in pressure situations because of proper concentration; in a pressure situation, the athlete must train himself to concentrate on the task at hand rather than allow his concentration to center on the situation.. .the time left in the game, the score, the people in the stands, or "what will happen if I fail?"
An athlete who cannot control his emotions in a pressure situation is the one who cannot control his concentration!
An athlete who is busy concentrating properly on the task at hand will be so busy concentrating on doing his job that he does not think of the situation!
By proper concentration, you control the situation rather than the situation controlling you, so the player should focus on performance, not outcome! CONCENTRATION IS THE PROPER SOLUTION.
Gimmicks used in pressure situations, in order not to be nervous, realistically do not get to the root of the problem; like a coat of paint over rust, it may cover up the problem for a while, but it does not solve it.
However, gimmicks can be useful to help an athlete relax and "free the mind" from the pressure of the moment.
A former great relief pitcher used to back off the mound for a moment and think of fishing in a lake high in the mountains of Colorado.. .the peace and tranquility of the area would help his mind and body relax, and he could hear the buzz of insects and the soft calling of a bird overhead... he would take a few deep breaths to further relax, and go back up on the mound ready to pitch normally.
POISE IS A SKILL AND CAN BE LEARNED, just like any other athletic skill can be learned. Coaches can teach athletes how to play well in pressure situations, and athletes can practice it just like they practice throwing a curve ball or tagging a base.
Proper performance under pressure is a HABIT and can be learned by being put into pressure situations and habitually concentrating on the proper task... it takes practice and effort, but it can be learned!
Discipline and poise in practice become discipline and poise in the final moments of a game!!
04-09-2004, 11:18 AM
my posture /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
04-09-2004, 01:32 PM
my draw shot. everything turns into a stop shot.
Three things go with me first I shoot too fast, I jump on semi difficult shot and i poke at the CB rather then following through. that is the worse one for me. I got to agree with some of the other responses a little nerves is a good thing it will help you stay focus.
04-09-2004, 04:01 PM
For me, if my team needs the game to win the round/match I can shoot very good. If I put the pressure on me, such as trying to beat a guy who's had my number all season and I should have beaten him 7 out of 9 games but ended up winning only one, I try to hard not to make a mistake. I can't get in the zone. Hopefully next year I can overcome that. I talk myself out of winning.
DG - will work harder over the summer
04-10-2004, 05:30 AM
Excellent post. Your ability to look at your own performance in a detached, objective way is a great strength.
04-10-2004, 06:38 AM
The only two aspects of my game that deteriorate under pressure are shot making and position play. Other than that, my game is rock solid! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
04-10-2004, 07:56 AM
I believe pressure leads to tension in your stroke which causes those unbelievable misses of sure in shots. In professional golf you are always hearing the announcers state that this new player or that player haven't learned to win yet. What I believe this means is they haven't learned how to deal with this tension generated prior to executing a critical shot toward the end of a match. This is also very true in pool, as you can see a player string a run of balls with ease but then blows shots he/she needs to win the rack.
Tension in the stroke, therefore is something I try to be very cognizant of when the game is on the line and mentally focus on relaxing my stroke in my pre-stroke drill.
Another technique I use and has been very helpful to me is when I am shooting my "out ball" I always stay down on my shot until that balls rolls into the pocket.
I hope this helps any player that has experienced the same problems.
04-10-2004, 11:43 PM
I know you were very disapointed in yourself. I've watched you beat yourself up for 3 days now. Now, it's time to let it go and move on. Correct your mistakes in your mind and move on. I was very proud of you and the way you shot. 2nd place in state is nothing to be sad about.
There's nothing that can replace experience. Chalk this one up for just that. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
04-11-2004, 01:07 AM
With me, it is a little different. If I have mentally prepared myself in anticipation of a match, then pressure does not exist, nothing in my game goes.
If I have not mentally prepared myself, then the pressure, in a less than stellar mental attitude will and can result in anything going. In this scenario, I can become quite nervous and rush and choke easy shots. I do not lift my head, I just miss all kinds of easy shots due to lack of emotional control and play like crap.
04-11-2004, 01:58 AM
I have been playing for over 30 years...
back in the old days I wanted to know how to play the best I could ... all the time. I talked to Jimmy Moore and he said "just keep hitting the balls and enjoy it!"
Joe Balsis said " The most dangerous players are the ones who love playing! They are usually playing the best they can, All the Time."
Your not any different than most people. Slice it or dice it anyway you choose but you do lose concentration. It may or may not be head or body movement(but it is real doubtful) your eyes still move and so does your arm during the stroke. Are you really rock stable? When something happens mentally, when in doubt or otherwise, which it happens, then it will change something during the stroke. You (when you know more about the game) or someone qualified needs to point out the change.
04-11-2004, 10:19 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> Your not any different than most people. Slice it or dice it anyway you choose but you do lose concentration. It may or may not be head or body movement(but it is real doubtful) your eyes still move and so does your arm during the stroke. Are you really rock stable? When something happens mentally, when in doubt or otherwise, which it happens, then it will change something during the stroke. You (when you know more about the game) or someone qualified needs to point out the change.
Rod <hr /></blockquote>
When I am not on target mentally, I do lots of things wrong. I do my prestroke too fast, my eye pattern is off and there are stroke irregularities that are not present when I am in concentration and confidence. Not lifting up on the shot is just one of the things I do not do wrong.. I credit this not to my ability in the game or lack there of, but 95% Randy gs poolschool, where I had someone standing over me, 3 days in a row, 24 hours total making sure I did not move or lift my head, that I always froze.
In addition, after a tough match, where my concentration was lacking, I missed easy shots due to eye movement problems and distractions, I have an sl7 watching my every move. No matter if my whole game appears to have fallen apart, I played badly, I always ask if I kept my head down and did the freeze. The answer is always yes.
So, I am still working on being in control of that mental game as well as spending time learning skills on the table. I cannot say that it is the pressure that makes my game fall apart, but rather that when my mental toolbox is not intact, that is when I am vulnerable to pressure and just about everything falls apart exept that I freeze even when shooting bad.
That is after all, about me. I learn from people like you on this forum, and I was a nervous wreck my first 6 months of playing pool, but when I got to the point where people's opinion of me or anything about my game ceased to 'crush' me, is when I started to get better at pool./ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
04-11-2004, 12:47 PM
It is all easier said then done, but you try.
04-12-2004, 06:29 AM
I tend to play pretty good under pressure. The past few years, I've struggled with my game, but in the bigger tournaments I've shot in, I've done well. I think it's because when I get in a pressure situation, I think things out more. I take my time and try not to lose focus. If something goes, it's usually my stamina. Pressure situations can drain my energy.
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