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poolplayer1988
07-17-2004, 11:37 PM
I've been playing pool now off and on for over 15 years, starting when I was in my mid-teens. In my early twenties, I could run 4-5 racks of nine ball in a row on a pretty good day without missing. As the years have passed and I have taken time off from pool for various things and have a full-time job now, my game has declined. Now, on a good day I can run 2-3 racks without missing. My problem is; how do I get back to where I was before and beyond? I was learning and getting better at a breakneck pace in my heyday, and now it seems like I can't do crap, no matter how much I practice. I do drills, I watch tapes of the pros play, I've watched myself play, but I can't quite put my finger on what the problem is. Don't get me wrong, I'm still no slouch, since then I've added better defense to my game and better shot-making, but I can't seem to run the racks like I used to. I win by using more offense and defense now. Anybody got any ideas? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys!!!

Doug Talbot
"the White Elephant"

Chris Cass
07-18-2004, 01:22 AM
Hi Poolplayer,

Sounds like your missing that Killer Instinct. That will come back but not till your provoked into it. I suggest record your drills and keep it goal oriented. Only, work on your basic fundementals and stroke. Do this for 1 mth and get as many hrs in as possible.

Don't do anything else but drill for that mth. Also drill your break. That means everything in 9 ball. Try about two hrs a week for that mth. Then, take a few days off. Take some small tourney event and attend. See, how you fair and find out what you need to work on next.

Doesn't have to be a tourney but you do have to compete with someone on a format that will make you have to shoot to win. Maybe, a match up?

Slow but sure, it'll come back. Drills do set you back for a bit but then, you'll kick up 2 notches. You'll start noticing things like your opponents mentioning how well your playing or something like that. Then, you'll see the drills paid off.

After that, then just play the game. With everyone possible and only when it counts. Maybe, Heide can help me post my work sheet I'm using for getting me ready for the Open this yr? I'll even put fill in the blanks with my numbers, to give you a better idea of what I'm doing. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Regards,

C.C.~~my humble opinion.

Sid_Vicious
07-18-2004, 08:05 AM
Poolplayer...I have nothing to tell you, sounds as if your game right now at 2-3 rack-runs is beyond my game, so I'd be telling you something I didn't know myself if I were to say anything. CC gave you the stuff in his post, the killer instinct is something I have absolutely never had except in gambling battles, and I'll never get anywhere without it, 'cept to have fun.

My only personal advice is to think about tossing your wallet onto the felt, gamble. You may find that protecting your cash will resurface your drive to win. Play for stakes, $20 minimus, fifty preferably. Like I said, I've never rus 3 racks without misses, so I ain't nobody to be advisn'. I'd enjoy playing you though. It's fun seeing somebody play as well as you seem to say you do, even at today's pace...sid

Chris Cass
07-18-2004, 10:12 AM
Hi Sid,

You know you don't have to really play for the doe. You just have to put yourself out there and want to win. I believe you want to win. The fun part comes afterwards. LOL

I like your game already and I like the way you are constantly trying to experiment with your play. That shows how everyone should be. You've got something I know. Running racks is great and fun but you don't have to in order to win. What needs to be done is controlling the table. Whether it'ld be a safety play or one I really like doing. Leaving a hit on the ball for my opponent and nowhere to put the ball. LOL Safe doesn't have to mean in jail and winning doesn't have to mean running more than one rack at a time.

Regards,

C.C.~~a Sid fan... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

poolplayer1988
07-18-2004, 11:05 AM
Thanks guys...
I do play in some tourneys on the Kings Bay Promotions Carolina Amateur Tour. Matter of fact, I played in one yesterday at BG McGees in Greensboro, NC. I started out like a firecracker, beat the first opponent 7-2, and the only reason he won two was because I wasn't used to the newly-covered Gold Crowns that were lightning quick. Love those tables! Sat down for an hour and a half. Got up for my next match....cold fish....couldn't make a damn ball, it seemed like, plus the guy I was playing shooting like unreal, and I know him, and he is no world-beater. I was so disgusted it wasn't funny. Beats me 7-2. Next match in losers bracket after about another hour of sitting I play a guy who can't normally beat me either, but guess what....That's right, I go down in flames 5-3. I was so cold in my stroke it wasn't funny. I was highly irritated, needless to say.

And as far as playing for money goes, I do that on a regular basis. Race to 5 for 20, race to 7 for 50, 2-2 or 5-5 or 10-10 9 ball, 2-2-2, 5-5-5, 10 ball, 10 or 20 dollar one pocket, makes no difference to me at all. Finding someone to play in this little one-horse town is another story. I normally have to go out of town to play, an hour and a half drive one way to get to a major city with some competition.

i do find it hard as heck to practice though without competition. It gets boring REAL fast, but I do it anyway. Doesn't seem to be helping me improve a great deal. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Doug Talbot
"the White Elephant"

NewJack
07-18-2004, 12:02 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote poolplayer1988:</font><hr> I've been playing pool now off and on for over 15 years, starting when I was in my mid-teens. In my early twenties, I could run 4-5 racks of nine ball in a row on a pretty good day without missing. As the years have passed and I have taken time off from pool for various things and have a full-time job now, my game has declined. Now, on a good day I can run 2-3 racks without missing. My problem is; how do I get back to where I was before and beyond? I was learning and getting better at a breakneck pace in my heyday, and now it seems like I can't do crap, no matter how much I practice. I do drills, I watch tapes of the pros play, I've watched myself play, but I can't quite put my finger on what the problem is. Don't get me wrong, I'm still no slouch, since then I've added better defense to my game and better shot-making, but I can't seem to run the racks like I used to. I win by using more offense and defense now. Anybody got any ideas? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys!!!

Doug Talbot
"the White Elephant" <hr /></blockquote>

Hi, just going to throw out a few ideas. Take them at face value.

First and most important, I'd take good notes on how your runs are ending. Are you sure you're missing shots? If so, are they long shots? If that's the case, maybe get your eyes checked. Maybe it's mechanical -- getting an instructor could help diagnose the issue. No matter how good you are, another set of expert eyes can't hurt. Or, tape your games with an eye on your misses -- you might be able to see the problem yourself.

If you do find there's a mechanical issue, it could be a problem with endurance, mental or physical. Not sure what to do other than get in better physical shape or just play more pool. But no matter, as long as you're aware of any mechanical manifestations of your endurance problem, then you might be able to overcome it.

And don't be so certain your game is worse. Perhaps your defensive style is keeping you from high runs you'd get in your aggressive younger days. I'd much rather play an aggressive player who boasts a high run mark than a good defensive player who consistently runs lower numbers of racks.

I'm not a big fan of the killer instinct theory. I hope some of this helps.

tateuts
07-18-2004, 01:07 PM
I don't know if you have a table at home but it sure is great to have one around to practice.

When I was younger I was reckless. I would run more consecutive racks, but I wasn't a better player. I am a lot more conservative but a much better player than I was when I was 20.

Chris

JDB
07-18-2004, 05:48 PM
Every now and then I see a great post and have to respond. This is a great post. It is all about controlling the table, not how many racks you can run.

I am not sure who it was, but a few years ago on this forum somebody quoted a pro that never ran more than two racks. He said he would run a rack, play safety, get ball in hand and run out.

Controlling the table is what it is all about. IMO.

Sid_Vicious
07-18-2004, 06:17 PM
I appreciate the confidence Chris, I keep trying. There has to be a time though where I quit being the student and become what I'm studying to be. Tell me something, when's that time, the time for never thinking anything, just shooting and trusting your stroke? I've had weekends years ago that I landed into the zone, and though about where I needed to put the CB, and it was automatic. Today I have to feel for the right sensations in my body, the feet mostly, for the harmonics of the game that feels good to me. I'll tell ya though, those moments years back when I'd surprise my friends without even a conscous thought was great, and even so back then, I didn't even remember much of the meat of my playing, it just worked, the chatter and pedestrian actions were like something subliminal, never a distraction. Can you over study???sid~~~fun ani't it, when others better than you talk about how well you played yesterday

Sid_Vicious
07-18-2004, 06:22 PM
Bob Vanover has got to be one of the best at the ploy of "coordinating himself a BIH" by running three balls, sticking the other guy BAD, and doing it all over again next inning. That has to be really frustrating to sit through as an opponent, just being able to TRY to make contact and eventually coughing up the ball...sid

JDB
07-18-2004, 07:54 PM
Funny you mention Bob, I know his brother Tom (Cigar Tom they call him in Baltimore)... Great player, pro level if he wanted to be... I just loved watching him play so effortlessly...

pooltchr
07-19-2004, 06:51 AM
Doug,
Unfortunately with the size of the field we had and the number of tables, there weren't any tables available to stay warm during the early rounds. Lots of strong players were struggling early on. For example, Jeff's first 3 matches were all hill-hill.
You have a strong game, but yesterday wasn't your day. Put it behind you and move forward. When you find yourself in that situation, take a couple of minutes before you start your match to get in some warm up strokes. I have no problem with players shooting a warm-up rack before starting the match when they have been sitting. And if you opponant does, let me know.

Don't feel like your game let you down. Just know that sometimes you get the rolls, and sometimes you don't. Your game is as solid as most any player in the field. Just hang in there.
Steve

Chris Cass
07-19-2004, 08:34 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> I appreciate the confidence Chris, I keep trying. There has to be a time though where I quit being the student and become what I'm studying to be. Tell me something, when's that time, the time for never thinking anything, just shooting and trusting your stroke? I've had weekends years ago that I landed into the zone, and though about where I needed to put the CB, and it was automatic. Today I have to feel for the right sensations in my body, the feet mostly, for the harmonics of the game that feels good to me. I'll tell ya though, those moments years back when I'd surprise my friends without even a conscous thought was great, and even so back then, I didn't even remember much of the meat of my playing, it just worked, the chatter and pedestrian actions were like something subliminal, never a distraction. Can you over study???sid~~~fun ani't it, when others better than you talk about how well you played yesterday <hr /></blockquote>

Gosh Sid,

First let me say, many people no matter what game or sport always think they played better when younger. The age old thing. The older you get the bettter you were. I don't think that's the case here though.

I also don't want to mess up your day but, we're always going to be lifetime students of the game and of ourselves. I think your at the point in your game where you have to realize you know quite a bit about the game. Moreso than you ever did. Now, it's time to know about yourself.

How, you read the racks and what your strong points are. That makes you come up even more. Knowing what you have to do and when is way more valuable than anything to improvements in your game.

I will tell you. You'll always play better when you lose yourself in the game. You won't hear anything or be distracted by anything unless, it's a sudden loud noise. You rhythm will flow like water and everything becomes effortless. This people notice and you will not even know the score.

You won't notice improvements till someone points them out later. Then, it'll make you think but still you won't admit it to yourself because it's something you have to see. You can see improvements buy charting practice sessions. Something written but still you'll have to feel it, to believe it.

You'll think your just hitt'em good for that particular day till someone mentions to you, that you just ran out a 4 pack then, you'll miss the next run out for sure. This happens because you put yourself and mind in the present. The zone knows nothing of time. It's an endless universe with free flowing movements.

The killer instinct I mentioned is what is required to get you there. That's the mind filled with the want to win, make balls and devotion to control the cb like as if was on a string. It's the fight one has within themselves to find the zone. Once, you start making balls and see things are going well you can back off that killer thought and let things go. You start to relax and let your stroke out and fear of missing becomes minimal.

Well, that's my take on it anyway. Sid, take the time you've spent putting in the game and all the knowledge you've gained from the past and feel good about it. Take it to the next level and give yourself some credit. Go into your play as if you are the one to fear and your opponent has nothing to say or do but sit and watch.

Don't dwell on your opponents play or put pressure on yours. Try to make your skills shine and when they do, your friends will tell you about them.

Nobody tells me anything. One day, a guy came up and said to me. He said, I saw you playing this guy Terry one day last mth. He said, I never missed a ball and Terry had told him, I can't stop him. He told him that I made too many shots.

I didn't notice a thing and won a few sets and didn't think of anything else but just a routine session. Later, I got home to see what was different about last mth than this mth. Well, I had been practicing my drills that last nth and I looked up the forms Heide made for me and noticed I had shot 3000 straight-in shot drills, 400 banks, and played my regular sets for fun in between. It was the drills. The hard work on my stroke and my focusing. They paid off and I never knew it.

I never drilled when coming up. You just don't need to to get good. You do just have to play the game and lots of it. I wanted to change my game and bring myself up. I decided to change my game machanics from the ground up. So, I did this by burning in the straight-in drills. I did the first 1000 on just burning my stroke timing mechanics, the next 1000 was for a smooth delivery and grip pressure, the next 1000 was for getting this all in muscle memory as my pre-shot routine.

I still varied out of the box a bit but it took about a mth after the drills before someone commented on my improvements. If they never mentioned it I still wonder if I would have noticed. Now, for the Open, I'm back doing my drills this mth and next. Hopefully, they'll payoff again.

Like I said, you don't need drills but you do have to feel you can be something to be proud of. That hard work does pay off. I feel the drills only helps my basic mechanics and it really showed in my performance. I believ, many say things about you that you just don't hear. Poll players are not the type of people to just give out compliments on others play. Only the smart ones that know, positive breeds winners.

Oh, over studying? Yes, you can lose yourself into what is so simple at times. Over analyzing things causes breakdaown in confidence. This can be seen when players are looking at the layout before a run. The if I do this and if I do this instead can be overwhleming and just confuses the game. It turns into a time stands till thing. It makes for a long match no doubt. It's best to keep everything simple and know with confidence that you can work through anything with the knowledge and ability you already have. One can overstudy a rack and soon iot becomes into a, noise here and a, cell phone there a, shark here and just excelates into a shooting frenzy. LOL That's the time you take a break and wash your face. Come back and just shoot. Before you know it everything looks simple and you can now play. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Regards,

C.C.~~long and winded. hope I made a good point and didn't talk too much about myself. I'm full of it you know. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

poolplayer1988
07-19-2004, 02:21 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> Doug,
Unfortunately with the size of the field we had and the number of tables, there weren't any tables available to stay warm during the early rounds. Lots of strong players were struggling early on. For example, Jeff's first 3 matches were all hill-hill.
You have a strong game, but yesterday wasn't your day. Put it behind you and move forward. When you find yourself in that situation, take a couple of minutes before you start your match to get in some warm up strokes. I have no problem with players shooting a warm-up rack before starting the match when they have been sitting. And if you opponant does, let me know.

Don't feel like your game let you down. Just know that sometimes you get the rolls, and sometimes you don't. Your game is as solid as most any player in the field. Just hang in there.
Steve <hr /></blockquote>

Thanks for the uplifting message Steve. I started out like a firecracker against my first opponent, and even though he said he hadn't played in quite awhile, I still hit very good. Playing Cloud was a joke. He was hitting everything, including a LOOOONG jump shot, which he normally never makes, and attenpted several more but could do nothing but hit the ball. If it would have been me and him the first set, it would have been a totally different story. I have played him many times at CueNSpirits in WS, NC, and he has never beat me like that. He's got game, but I was frustrated that it wasn't a closer match.

I have to find some consistency like I used to have. I played last night in a 4 man ring game, and I won at least the first dozen games. I was on fire, even running two racks in a row on several occasions, and a couple of times coming a little short on nearly running three. I had focus, I had consistency, and that's what I need, but I can't keep it. That's the problem. I was SO close to running three racks in a row last night that it wasn't funny, but about midway through my third rack I would do something stupid. Don't know why... /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Doug Talbot
"the White Elephant"

poolplayer1988
07-19-2004, 04:01 PM
Thanks guys for all the replies. I have found someone here locally who has agreed to train me and hopefully put me on the right path. He is, in my personal opinion, the best player around, and he has played for many years. When a road player comes into town that no one else can beat, this guy is the man we call, and he takes care of all comers. I've personally seen him play a tough road player on at least a dozen occasions, and he has never lost. I think he can give me an objective opinion on what my problem is and direct me in the right direction. I work for a television station, so I think I'm going to borrow a camera and videotape myself and see if I can reveal any problems.

Doug Talbot
"the White Elephant"

Chris Cass
07-19-2004, 05:14 PM
Hi Poolplayer,

I'd be glad to share my opinion if you send me a copy of your tape. I think you'd have to tape from some different angles to read it. One from dead ctr front, from back dead ctr and from side. I'm sure you'll be ok with who's helping you but another opinion wouldn't hurt and I'll keep it to myself and pm you with my thoughts if you care to do it. No matter what you decide, I wish you well.

Regards,

C.C.~~one day I'll be a qualified instructor. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif