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yegon
12-15-2004, 12:31 PM
I am trying to work on my preshot routine and have a little problem. I can concentrate on the routine for a few shots, but then fall into the play mode where I am thinking more about the shot than the routine. So basically I play 4 shots the way I should and then 10 the old (no preshot routine) way, then I remeber what I am trying to do, play 4 good, I forget, play 10 bad and on and on.

Now I am short of putting banners saying "PRE SHOT ROUTINE" all around the table and playing a pre recorded CD yelling "PRE SHOT ROUTINE" at me while I play so I do not forget. But I thought before making a fool of my self in the pool hall I could ask you guys :-)

So what would you suggest to make me remember what I am doing?

SPetty
12-15-2004, 01:27 PM
It's my understanding that when you're playing, you should "fall into the play mode".

It is when you're practicing that you must consciously concentrate on getting your pre-shot routine right.

Since I have a table at home and can practice with no one listening, I've had some success saying out loud the things that I'm working on, in order to get my brain to pay attention. And I've been known to make a list on the white board of things I'm supposed to remember. So, if your list includes:

Pay attention to your eye movement.
Pause at the end of your back swing.
Finish with your hand in your chest.

Then when practicing alone, you can repeat all of those one at a time out loud to yourself every single shot.

Just an idea.

bsmutz
12-15-2004, 01:44 PM
yegon,
You have described me to a tee. There is so much to remember in the preshot routine that it is hard for me to incorporate it all every time. Trying to do it all at once may be what keeps us from making it a habit. It might be easier to add just one thing at a time, keep at it until it becomes second nature, then add the next thing. I think the biggest wake up call I've ever had in this game came last week for me. I'm not a great player, but I can hold my own or beat most players and run racks on occasion. We had a league game coming up against a much better team so I went to their bar to practice. It turned out they were having a tournament, so I joined in. I was playing pretty good and feeling pretty confident. Then I got my clock cleaned. I realized that if you want to compete with great players, you need to play great. That means you can't miss easily makeable shots. You can't leave them with open shots. You have to concentrate on every move and make it count, otherwise you just wasted your entry money and feel like crap for playing so lousy (making dumb mistakes). I made up my mind that there is no sense in practicing missing anymore. I decided I just have to knuckle down and make myself remember every time all of the stuff I need to do to give myself the best chance of making every shot. Last night was league night and I have to say that I didn't do the entire preshot routine correctly on every shot, but I definitely made some improvements that I feel were responsible for many of my wins. I was the only one to win both games on our team and we only won one other game. At that level, you really can only hope for one turn at the table, and you have to make it count. So, yeah, put up the posters, make the tape, head butt the wall when you realize you forgot, put a string from your lip to your bridge hand; do whatever it takes to make you remember.

SpiderMan
12-15-2004, 01:55 PM
If you figure out a secret way to combat "buck fever", pass it on. I lost a match in last Friday's tournament due to one shot where I did not take a close look at the object ball's relationship to the pocket point it was nearly frozen to. I just shot as I thought I needed to get best position, and bounced the ball out of the jaws.

SpiderMan

Sid_Vicious
12-15-2004, 02:01 PM
I believe what you need to improve is your rhythm. You'll notice true players get into their rhythm and run around the table, or play whatever speed be it naturally slow or medium, thing is they get into a rhythm. It's seldom that I hit a solid night from the beginning to the end where I play good throughout but mine happens when I am in rhythm. I can't tell you how to not over think your shots, it only takes a glimmer of doubt or over confidence for you to miss the front end of an easy runout, but I can say that playing in "play mode" not practice mode will get you there in the long run. As the old saying goes, "Stop being the student and become the player you've worked at being." Over thinking and over confidence has to be shed from this game...sid

bsmutz
12-15-2004, 02:52 PM
Spiderman brought up a good point that I've been thinking a lot about lately. This is the shot that you know you can make just by looking at it. But for some reason, you pick the wrong aim point and when you hit it, you miss. I'm forming the opinion that you need to look at these shots more carefully. Maybe after you make your million balls, these shots will become as natural as a straight in shot, but for most of us, I really think we need to make extra sure that we're aiming where we should. That means taking a little extra time to walk around the table and look at it. While I agree that rhythm is important, I also feel that you have to break your rhythm at will to make extra sure that what you see from behind the cue ball is the same as what you see from behind the object ball and from the pocket. Another situation that I see quite often in 8-ball and 9-ball is one or two key shots that make all the difference between winning and losing (or at least giving your opponent a turn at the table). Sometimes it's a long straight in shot that's hard to get shape off of, other times it's a cluster or a couple of balls blocking each other. Sometimes it's just a difficult shot. What you do in these situations can have a huge bearing on the game. What I see is that the great players think it through or step up a notch and come with the great shot. The mediocre, intimidated, buck fever susceptible, whatever you want to call them (I'm one, at times) players, miss the shot or miss shape and, bang, the game is over. We're not perfect, so no matter what we do, we're going to miss sometimes. I'm just coming to the realization that for me, taking the time to really look at the shot, make myself go through the preshot routine, and give myself the best chance to make every shot is going to pay off in less misses and, subsequently, less losses. Now it may be that, as I mentioned before, somewhere down the road I'll be able to treat every shot as routine as a one foot hanger. Until that day comes, I'm going to practice and play as deliberately as I can remember to. My hope is that by reminding myself with every missed shot, I'll eventually make it a habit.

yegon
12-15-2004, 03:03 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> I believe what you need to improve is your rhythm. You'll notice true players get into their rhythm and run around the table, or play whatever speed be it naturally slow or medium, thing is they get into a rhythm. It's seldom that I hit a solid night from the beginning to the end where I play good throughout but mine happens when I am in rhythm. I can't tell you how to not over think your shots, it only takes a glimmer of doubt or over confidence for you to miss the front end of an easy runout, but I can say that playing in "play mode" not practice mode will get you there in the long run. As the old saying goes, "Stop being the student and become the player you've worked at being." Over thinking and over confidence has to be shed from this game...sid <hr /></blockquote>

Of course I do not think about the preshot routine during a tournament. I play instinctively and pay more attention only on critical shots.

What I forgot to write clearly is that I am having these problems when practicing alone. I am able to concentrate longer on straight tablelength shot drills, but if I do a practice game against a ghost (for example) I am not able to concentrate on the preshot routine for long, not even for 1 rack.

Chopstick
12-15-2004, 03:08 PM
Have you ever walked into a room and forgot why you went there? Just think dogs live their whole lives that way. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif


Seriously though here's a mental programming trick that will solve the problem. Yes, the brain is an electro-chemical computer and it can be programmed like any other. You just have to learn the properties of the machine you are dealing with. The reason you forget is when you stored the information you did not store an image of yourself in the memory. Don't try to remember a routine, remember yourself doing that routine.

I suppose Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) could also be applied but I have never considered it's application beyond that of seducing women.

woody_968
12-15-2004, 04:37 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote yegon:</font><hr> I am trying to work on my preshot routine and have a little problem. I can concentrate on the routine for a few shots, but then fall into the play mode where I am thinking more about the shot than the routine. So basically I play 4 shots the way I should and then 10 the old (no preshot routine) way, then I remeber what I am trying to do, play 4 good, I forget, play 10 bad and on and on.

<hr /></blockquote>

I didnt have the time to read all the posts, so if this has already been said please do as my wife does and just ingnor me /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

To work on your preshot routine (or other fundamentals) dont just throw balls out on the table and run them, that puts you into "game mode". Instead line the balls up accross the table and take ball in hand on each shot. Better yet dont shoot any balls at all, go through your preshot routine and shoot the cueball into a pocket or rail. That way you will continue to focus on what you are trying to work on and not on the lay of the table.

Just remember after practicing your mechanics to throw some balls out and play them like in a game - NOT thinking about mechanics - this is something I struggle with (I think too much lol) and you cant play good pool thinking about mechanics.

Woody

SpiderMan
12-16-2004, 12:10 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr> .

I suppose Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) could also be applied but I have never considered it's application beyond that of seducing women.

<hr /></blockquote>

And how well is that working? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

SpiderMan

Chopstick
12-16-2004, 01:41 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr> .

I suppose Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) could also be applied but I have never considered it's application beyond that of seducing women.

<hr /></blockquote>

And how well is that working? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

Well, I never actually got around to trying it. An example of NLP in pool is the Pro Book. When he tells you to set up a shot, a number 4 for example, and actually say number 4 when you shoot the shot. That is storing the information using two different areas of the brain. The felling part and the language part. When I see a number 4 shot I think the words number 4 and the execution of the shot returns to memory and I execute it like a robot. I have found that it has greatly increased my consistency.

I should probably do some more work with it. The pool part not the women part. I'm too interested in making balls and catching fish to fool with women anyway.