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View Full Version : Concentration ADVICE WANTED!!



BritzSticks
11-21-2004, 12:01 PM
Hi Again Guys. OK..Today, I'm looking for Help from any of you, that may know of a good book or Video or whatever, on Improving your Concentration, specifally, while playing pool, but I imagine just a General Book on Concentration would do. I've searched the local library and can't come up with anything that would do the trick. I have BIG Problems in this area. A Couple of years ago, I was Playing a Tournament and was in the Money Rounds. I missed a Key Shot at a key time and IMMEDIATELY Realized that when I shot the shot, I was thinking about Whose Autographs I had on a Basketball I had at home, signed by the Harlem Globetrotters!!! I could hardly believe it! Conversely, I've noticed that tournaments I've won, or played real well in, I can barely remember the specific games, because I WAS in the Zone Mentaly and Concentrating. The PROBLEM, is that I can't find the common denominator that makes me Concentrate Sometimes and Not at others. I Suspect, that it is a variety of things, Including How you're eating that day, which I've noticed makes a BIG Difference, to how your life in general is going, to how much sleep you've had, and other things. But I Sure would like a book that gives you "in the moment" tips on this elusive, for me, ability to simply CONCENTRATE!!! Any Advice is Greatly appreciated in Advance and Hope you're all doing Great...and KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN!!..:)...Nick..:)

Stretch
11-21-2004, 01:24 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BritzSticks:</font><hr> Hi Again Guys. OK..Today, I'm looking for Help from any of you, that may know of a good book or Video or whatever, on Improving your Concentration, specifally, while playing pool, but I imagine just a General Book on Concentration would do. I've searched the local library and can't come up with anything that would do the trick. I have BIG Problems in this area. A Couple of years ago, I was Playing a Tournament and was in the Money Rounds. I missed a Key Shot at a key time and IMMEDIATELY Realized that when I shot the shot, I was thinking about Whose Autographs I had on a Basketball I had at home, signed by the Harlem Globetrotters!!! I could hardly believe it! Conversely, I've noticed that tournaments I've won, or played real well in, I can barely remember the specific games, because I WAS in the Zone Mentaly and Concentrating. The PROBLEM, is that I can't find the common denominator that makes me Concentrate Sometimes and Not at others. I Suspect, that it is a variety of things, Including How you're eating that day, which I've noticed makes a BIG Difference, to how your life in general is going, to how much sleep you've had, and other things. But I Sure would like a book that gives you "in the moment" tips on this elusive, for me, ability to simply CONCENTRATE!!! Any Advice is Greatly appreciated in Advance and Hope you're all doing Great...and KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN!!..:)...Nick..:) <hr /></blockquote>

I might be able to shed some light on a few things for you Nick. Concentration is not something that you can force, or control. Matter of fact if your even trying to concentrate, that means your not concentrateing! Fighting the mind does not work, you can't will a state of mind, or we'd all be willing dead stroke every time. It just dosn't work that way. What you can do is FOCUS the mind. It works like this, as you achieve focus, the mind quiets automaticly. A quiet mind only picks up what is relevent in the here and now. You get to a state of relaxed concentration.

When your at the table and going into your preshot routine, or planning a shot, then exicuteing it, it is relatively easy to focus because your actively engrossed in what you are doing moment by moment. By the sounds of it, your not doing to bad at all in that department. But you are vulnerable between shots, or in the chair.

Something that might benefit you for when those stray thoughts of winning, loseing, who's there, what if i miss etc. (basicaly all chatter) is to focus the mind on your breathing. Nothing is more "here and now" than your breath. It also has a beneficial calming effect. So now you have some tools to keep your head in the game. Focus on the here and now while your at the table and running balls, and for all else you can erase with some focus on your breathing. It will keep you in a lot more games i think. Hope some of this helps Nick. St. (train it, and trust it)

BritzSticks
11-21-2004, 01:57 PM
Boy was THAT Some GREAT ADVICE!!! THANKS STRETCH!!!!

Barbara
11-21-2004, 02:03 PM
Stretch usually dishes out good stuff.

All I can add is that you should try and practice on your focus. I forget the actual data, but I think humans, on average, can only focus on something for 30 seconds. I remember reading that somewhere.

Barbara

Stretch
11-21-2004, 02:41 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Barbara:</font><hr> Stretch usually dishes out good stuff.

All I can add is that you should try and practice on your focus. I forget the actual data, but I think humans, on average, can only focus on something for 30 seconds. I remember reading that somewhere.

Barbara <hr /></blockquote>

Your right Barbara. I agree that "intense focus" on lets say, the target, would be 30 seconds max. Or as little as a second or two or you'd expend far to much energy. That could explain why intently watching a very slow player is sometimes more exhausting than doing it yourself lol.

I see focus like a beam of light. You control how narrow, or broad the beam of light/focus takes in. Every shot starts with a broad beam as it survey's the table. Slowely the beam narrows to just the balls that will be involved, then it narrows down still farther to the shot, the ball, then finaly to an intense lazor like dot on the ob where you need to hit. After the ball goes down, your focus then expands to the whole table again. St

Stretch
11-21-2004, 02:55 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BritzSticks:</font><hr> Boy was THAT Some GREAT ADVICE!!! THANKS STRETCH!!!! <hr /></blockquote>

Hey, no problem. Glad it struck a cord with you. Interestingly, the best practice for focus is reading. Yep reading. Ever notice that while reading your mind is totaly focused on the words while your mind is drawn into the charactors, storyline, etc. so much so that thoughts of family, friends, work, everything disappears except for your involvement in the book and the story? It's the same with pool. Think of the rack as a story. a mystery if you will. Your the auther of your own destiny! haha (sorry couldn't resist /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif St.

Cueless Joey
11-21-2004, 04:43 PM
Sorry, I missed your question.
What was the question again? /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

BritzSticks
11-21-2004, 04:45 PM
This is ALL Great Stuff Stretch! Obviously, I was using the wrong word..Concentration...Focus is what I MEANT, and these are things to Improve your FOCUS, so thats what I wanted..My Mind is ALL over the place in a lot of matches..the ones I lose..:)..Funny about that!..:)..Thanks Again..Nick..:)

1Time
11-24-2004, 01:35 AM
Your attention need not be on the game when not shooting. I find it best to simply relax when waiting for my turn and for the most part disregarding my opponent's efforts. Yet, of course you must focus when at the table. By taking a break when not shooting I've found it helps me focus better when I am back at the table. When not shooting I just re-group and develop or maintain a hunger for getting back to the table.

Focusing on your game while at the table is best learned through good practice habits. Also, chances are if your mind is wandering while your at the table, you're simply not interested enough in the game. Or, said another way, your more interested in those other things than the game. Again, good practice habits most likely will set you straight. Other possible causes could be attention deficit disorder (not likely), emotional stress, sleeping poorly, a poor diet, or too much caffeine.

Jimmy B
11-24-2004, 02:33 AM
If you are concentrating on concentrating you're not concentrating.

JB

Chris Cass
11-24-2004, 03:00 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Jimmy B:</font><hr> If you are concentrating on concentrating you're not concentrating.

JB <hr /></blockquote>

This is true. What he was really doing was, focusing on his concentration. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

C.C.~~lmao

dingle
11-24-2004, 04:53 PM
I've found a couple of sports psychology books that are pretty good for the mental game. Check out the Tao of Sports and In Pursuit of Excellence.

DSAPOLIS
11-24-2004, 05:19 PM
Here is a link to something I wrote on this subject. If you need anymore guidance in this area of your game, feel free to to drop me an e-mail and I'll send you more stuff related to this topic.

Achieving Dead Stroke (http://www.geocities.com/blkjackds12/008_Achieving_Dead_Stroke.htm)

Good Luck &amp; God Bless

petel
11-24-2004, 06:59 PM
I once read an article about concentration. The statement that was made is that when we enter the "Zone" we only see images. Not a single word in our minds. Much like we are mentally connected to objects and everything is pure visualizations. And when we leave the "Zone", it is almost like waking up. Have you read about or heard this one before?

1Time
11-24-2004, 08:28 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote petel:</font><hr> I once read an article about concentration. The statement that was made is that when we enter the "Zone" we only see images. Not a single word in our minds. Much like we are mentally connected to objects and everything is pure visualizations. And when we leave the "Zone", it is almost like waking up. Have you read about or heard this one before? <hr /></blockquote>

Yes, this is how I shoot except for the occasional dammit or damn that was good. The brain's on automatic, kind of like I'm too busy to think in words.

ragin1
11-25-2004, 03:47 AM
David is absolutely correct on this. When selecting an object ball we don't speak to ourselves, we visualize the shots available. This is concentration applied. We are focusing. It is automatic. When going through the pre shot routine, we visualize than perform our visualization. I also agree with his analogy of concentration and motors.

When we await our turn at the table we must keep our motor (focus) running. We don't shut our motors off at a red light. We can visualize our opponents shots just as we visualize our own. As we do this we become immersed in the challenge at hand. The focus becomes a thing that is natural, not an effort. I don't get very tired when I can do this.

I love this game. I love the geometry. I love the effect of spin and speed on the angles. I really do. I love watching an opponent making a difficult shot. I watch them select. I judge their selection. I wach their stroke, speed, english. I watch the effects of their effort. I learn from them constantly. When I get to the table I usually know where I'm going allready. When I miss I replay it in my head untill I see the mistake (9 times out of 10 it's my stroke). If I don't see it, I drop it and focus on my opponent again.

One of the hardest things for me to learn was to back completely off the shot. At first when I would realize my mind wasn't on the accomplishement I would adjust by fidgeting my stance, bridge, whatever. This created a problem for me. I was shooting uncomfortably.

Now when my mind wonders I come off the table and step back, then go through my positioning again.

I say if anything but a movie of the shot at hand goes through your head when your in position to shoot back off and go back in again. When your on the chair visualize the shots. Concentration and focus are a product of this.

ragin1
11-25-2004, 03:58 AM
Thank you for your efforts of communicating success at the table. I always enjoy reading your commentary and have learned alot about ways to aproach the game from you. I hope you continue to write, and keep in mind, old topics that are important are certainly worthy of a rehash.

Regards