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View Full Version : in a slump.. anyone else been there?



dvsmnstr
01-18-2005, 09:11 AM
Hey guys, I'm a pretty good player I usally place top 4 in weekly tourny I play in and it has some very good players. I have come in 1st,2nd a few times also. I'm better than my friends usally by alot.. but recently I have been playing very bad.. and my friends are beating me when they should not.. I know they are getting better as we play more but thats not it.. I just seem to be missing alot of shots I used to make... like last night we played a race to 7 doubles we should have one 7-3(roughly) but we lost 7-4 I don't know if it was the 9ft table and i'm used to the bar box or what.. but I was not feeling confident in my shots so when that happens I can't make crap.. this has been going on the past 3 weeks or so. Any idea's? has this happend to any of you..your game just seem to take a vacation? thanks for any idea's that might put me back on track.

john

bomber
01-18-2005, 10:44 AM
A few questions:
1. How many hours a week do you play?
2. When did you start playing?
3. How long have you been playing?
4. Are you capable of breaking and running out? Multiple times a set?
5. What games do you play?
6. Do you gamble? For how much?

Answering these questions can help some of us undertand your game a bit better and we can offer some better advice (at least from me anyways...which aint much!!!!) lol

GeraldG
01-18-2005, 10:55 AM
I think that probably happens to everybody to one degree or another.

When it happens to me, it means that I have slipped into some bad habit or another....and it's usually real basic. If you can find someone knowledgeable to just sit and watch you, they may pick out what's wrong. It may be something as simple as you're losing concentration and not keeping your eye on the target, or you're placing your feet wrong differently, standing up on the shots, or who knows what. Usually what I have to do is have some practice time alone and start with the very basics and consciously go through every step of my preshot routine, setup and stroke....I don't worry so much about pocketing balls as making sure that I'm doing all of the basics correctly. Then I'll set up shots and CONCENTRATE on keeping my eye and concentration on the contact point on the object ball. Then I'll do some position drills, making sure to pocket every shot. Then I'll end up with some confidence builders...long straight in shots, simple cuts, etc. so that I can end the practice session on a positive note...pocketing 15 or 20 shots in a row. All of that sort of seems to help me get mentally back in the game because it renews my confidence.

dvsmnstr
01-18-2005, 11:28 AM
I agree with you so much on that confidence statement Gerald. I'm not feeling as confident as I used to when I was playing good and I think it's hurting me. here is some background info. I usally play about 6-8 hours a week (I work at a bar so I play alot and keep some friends in after hours to play.) I have been playing for about 2 solid years now and i'm 22. As for breaking and running out it's usally hard on the barbox with 8ball but I have done it say maybe 20 times in my pool career. We usally always play 8-ball and as far as gambling goes.. well if we are just hanging at the bar shooting there is no gambling usally but as for after hours play we have a solid core of about 10 guys who will always play for money.. we usally play 20,50, or 100$ a game. i'm a pretty decent player so I usally either win money first then have wiggle room so I don't really lose any of my money. If I go down more than 50-100 I stop. The money don't bother me because we played a doubles game for $1,000 bucks 2 weeks ago and I was fine (the owner and his friends are all money bags and my teammate covered me).. I never play by myself usally just play against an opponent i'm going to try and get some alone time in and take some slow easy shots and maybe try and get back into the grove. Also last night we were on a 9ft table and it seemed huge I did not feel like I could make any long shots.. thanks again for any info guys!

john

jjinfla
01-18-2005, 11:35 AM
Looks like you reached your peak. No place to go but down. All your patsies are now playing better than you and passing you by. Time to hang up the old cue stick. Absolutely no hope for you.

Jake

GeraldG
01-18-2005, 11:40 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dvsmnstr:</font><hr> I agree with you so much on that confidence statement Gerald. I'm not feeling as confident as I used to when I was playing good and I think it's hurting me. here is some background info. I usally play about 6-8 hours a week (I work at a bar so I play alot and keep some friends in after hours to play.) I have been playing for about 2 solid years now and i'm 22. As for breaking and running out it's usally hard on the barbox with 8ball but I have done it say maybe 20 times in my pool career. We usally always play 8-ball and as far as gambling goes.. well if we are just hanging at the bar shooting there is no gambling usally but as for after hours play we have a solid core of about 10 guys who will always play for money.. we usally play 20,50, or 100$ a game. i'm a pretty decent player so I usally either win money first then have wiggle room so I don't really lose any of my money. If I go down more than 50-100 I stop. The money don't bother me because we played a doubles game for $1,000 bucks 2 weeks ago and I was fine (the owner and his friends are all money bags and my teammate covered me).. I never play by myself usally just play against an opponent i'm going to try and get some alone time in and take some slow easy shots and maybe try and get back into the grove. Also last night we were on a 9ft table and it seemed huge I did not feel like I could make any long shots.. thanks again for any info guys!

john <hr /></blockquote>

Yeah, I find it infinitely easier to switch from a 9-foot table to a bar-box than from a bar box to a 9-foot table. And it does make a difference. It really sounds to me like for some reason you've just lost some confidence in yourself. It may be because you were apprehensive about playing on the big table, then when you actually started missing some shots you felt like you should have made, it snowballed...the more confidence you lost, the more shots you missed and the more shots you missed, the more confidence you lost. Sometimes it helps, when you miss a shot, to look at what you did RIGHT on the shot more than what you did wrong. If you missed the pocket, but got perfect position on the next shot, dwell on the position you got if you have to dwell on something. Don't ever take that bad shot you made back to the table with you on your next shot. You should heve cleared that from your mind by the time you get back to your chair. Pool is about 90% mental...it's all about confidence and concentration, being relaxed and having some understanding of the game. I think if you spend some alone-time with the table and convince yourself again that you can do this, you'll be OK again.

bomber
01-18-2005, 12:11 PM
Your game will plateau...this is what has happened to you it seems...the longer you play, the harder it is to get better. You learn alot real quick when you first begin and your learning curve slows...if you want to get off the plateau you have to put in some time on the table....you should try to play everyday and more than 6-8 hours a week...many players play that much in a day...practice alone and against competetors...do drills to improve your weaknesses when you play alone, and concentrate on improving your game when playing opponents....a good rule of thumb when playing opponents is this: you cant get any better until you begin to play better opponents. search out good players and play them.

dvsmnstr
01-18-2005, 12:20 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jjinfla:</font><hr> Looks like you reached your peak. No place to go but down. All your patsies are now playing better than you and passing you by. Time to hang up the old cue stick. Absolutely no hope for you.



Jake <hr /></blockquote>

this is not the case because i'm not getting beat by "patsies" i'm not making shots.. if they were simply out playing me I would not be down on myself about shooting bad. It's not that I have "peaked" like some of you have mentioned.. i'm just playing worse than usual.. not just staying at one "peak" point.

mksmith713
01-18-2005, 03:56 PM
It looks like everyone has asked every question but the obvious one.
When was the last time you had an eye exam?

jjinfla
01-18-2005, 04:52 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote mksmith713:</font><hr> It looks like everyone has asked every question but the obvious one.
When was the last time you had an eye exam? <hr /></blockquote>

That was going to be my question.


Jake

Paul_Mon
01-18-2005, 07:31 PM
John,
Slumps are weird. Most of the time they're cause is unknown. Ever see the movie Tincup when Kostner goes to practice and he can't do $hit. His caddie gets him out of it by "pretending" to give him a cure, he believes in it and is cured. If you haven't seen the movie rent it, it's a classic.
FWIW, of all all my pool playing is on 9 foot tables. Almost every fall I take time off to hunt and devote little time to pool. Sometimes my game dosen't suffer at all and it's like I never stopped playing. Last year was not the case. I couldn't make 4 balls in a row and shots almost never looked good. Those two words "look good" can not be understated. When I'm shooting well everything "looks good" before I shoot it. I know exactly where to aim and it "looks good" before I pull the trigger. My eyesight is far from 20/20 so don't confuse what I'm saying with the ability to see.

Anyway, last January I was in this slump for over 2 weeks and playing daily during the week for a couple hours and weekend more often. I had my wisdom teeth pulled on a Friday, skipped playing Saturday and went to the hall on Sunday. Now in all honesty I had taken 2 doses of Vicodin, one in the morning and one 4 hours later. I'd never taken it before and was marveling on how well it worked on the pain. When I played that Sunday the slump had ended. I believe that 3 things ended the slump. One, was that I continued to play through the slump. Two, I took 2 days off and three, I was relaxed when I ended the slump.

I am in no way recommending drugs or alcohol, just relax. Oh and follow through, thats the first thing I do to eliminate mini slumps.

I had foot surgery on 11/29/04 and have played about 15 minutes since then. I fully expect to be rusty but I've been reading pool books. Another thing I used to do quite often and recently started doing again. At night while trying to fall asleep I visualize table length 1/2 ball cut shots along the rail. I try to see the vivid colors of the balls, mostly shooting the 2 and 3 ball. But I follow through, watch the balls collide, see the spin, then set it up again.

good luck, HTH..........Paul Mon

Rod
01-18-2005, 08:46 PM
I thought I was in a slump once but I was mistaken. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif
Just remember when your playing doubles, anything can happen. You can play good and your partner doesn't, or vise versa. The swith to a nine footer, I'll bet caused you a lot of problems.

Bar tables simply play easier. They accept balls hit into the rail a foot from the pocket or more. Bar tables can be a cause of slopply play. You get use to balls that are poorly hit going in. That won't happen on a 9 footer. Hence the lack of confidence.

When ever your playing bad, review the basic fundamentals. All progress starts there.

Rod

jjinfla
01-19-2005, 06:54 AM
I think it comes down to the difference between a bar box and the 9 footer. The bar boxes, small Valley 8 footers, here are notoriously dirty. Plenty of dirt, talc and chalk on the tables and balls. The balls being that dirty do react differently than on a nice clean table. You get more throw. And the owner gets a charge about changing the cue balls. Has about 4 different ones that he keeps switching around. Different weights. But I don't have that problem anymore since I quit going to that bar.

I had been in a terrible slump with my break and was just about ready to junk my break cue and now all of a sudden my break started working real good. Balls started falling. I was in a rut where I would get a good spread but nothing fell. I did work on it a lot but not really sure what I improved. 9-ball sure is a funny game.

Jake

GeraldG
01-19-2005, 07:11 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jjinfla:</font><hr> I think it comes down to the difference between a bar box and the 9 footer. The bar boxes, small Valley 8 footers, here are notoriously dirty. Plenty of dirt, talc and chalk on the tables and balls. The balls being that dirty do react differently than on a nice clean table. You get more throw. And the owner gets a charge about changing the cue balls. Has about 4 different ones that he keeps switching around. Different weights. But I don't have that problem anymore since I quit going to that bar.

I had been in a terrible slump with my break and was just about ready to junk my break cue and now all of a sudden my break started working real good. Balls started falling. I was in a rut where I would get a good spread but nothing fell. I did work on it a lot but not really sure what I improved. 9-ball sure is a funny game.

Jake <hr /></blockquote>

Jake,
Do you look for the "sweet spot" on the table? I usually start out breaking from the right. If that doesn't produce for me, I move to the left. If that doesn't produce, I start moving back to the right along the head string in about 6" increments until I find a spot that breaks well for me, then I start varying the speed of the break until I find a speed and position that consistently gives me balls. It seems like every table is a little different.

Nostalgia
01-19-2005, 08:50 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr>When ever your playing bad, review the basic fundamentals. All progress starts there.<hr /></blockquote>
Truer words have never been spoken. I was in a slump for over 2 seasons of my APA league. No matter how much I practiced, my game continued to get WORSE. I finally broke down and took a lesson from an APA instructor. He noticed some things and had me go back to practicing my stroke. I went on to win the next 7 of 8 matches I played until the end of the season.

BACK TO BASICS.

-Joe

Pelican
01-19-2005, 09:16 AM
"in a slump.. anyone else been there"

I never been no where else /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

jjinfla
01-19-2005, 11:59 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote GeraldG:</font><hr> Jake <hr /></blockquote>

Jake,
Do you look for the "sweet spot" on the table? I usually start out breaking from the right. If that doesn't produce for me, I move to the left. If that doesn't produce, I start moving back to the right along the head string in about 6" increments until I find a spot that breaks well for me, then I start varying the speed of the break until I find a speed and position that consistently gives me balls. It seems like every table is a little different. <hr /></blockquote>

That sounds like what I was doing.

Jake

GeraldG
01-19-2005, 01:04 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jjinfla:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote GeraldG:</font><hr> Jake <hr /></blockquote>

Jake,
Do you look for the "sweet spot" on the table? I usually start out breaking from the right. If that doesn't produce for me, I move to the left. If that doesn't produce, I start moving back to the right along the head string in about 6" increments until I find a spot that breaks well for me, then I start varying the speed of the break until I find a speed and position that consistently gives me balls. It seems like every table is a little different. <hr /></blockquote>

That sounds like what I was doing.

Jake <hr /></blockquote>

Hmmm...I'd probably start checking the racks real close then. But.....it sounds like you're on the right end of the table anyway. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Jude_Rosenstock
01-19-2005, 01:12 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote GeraldG:</font><hr>
Jake,
Do you look for the "sweet spot" on the table? I usually start out breaking from the right. If that doesn't produce for me, I move to the left. If that doesn't produce, I start moving back to the right along the head string in about 6" increments until I find a spot that breaks well for me, then I start varying the speed of the break until I find a speed and position that consistently gives me balls. It seems like every table is a little different. <hr /></blockquote>


Dude, if I get to break that many times in a set, I've won already! Seriously, if you're having problems with your break, watch your opponent. If he's dropping balls, try to immitate what he's doing (location, speed, etc.).


Jude M. Rosenstock

nhp
01-19-2005, 02:33 PM
There are so many factors that you need to examine that could be causing your slump. It could be your mechanics, such as your stance or alignment being off, it could be your equipment, such as the tip on your cue being lopsided, or it could all be mental, where frustration causes your game to decline.

You see, pool is a very egotistical game. It attracts (but does not only consist of) people who love to show off, who want to be macho and slam the balls hard making every shot, etc. When you are the 'leader of the pack' of a group of friends whom all play pool, and one of them beats you, he has beaten the leader, and you have to deal with the 'oohs and ahhs' as if your ability is in question because 'such&amp;such' beat you.

I myself have never had to deal with the problem of having a bad day and getting beaten by egotistical friends, because I don't practice with friends. When I play pool for nothing, I play by myself. If my poolroom friends are at one table playing, I go across the room to the other corner and play. I don't like to be disturbed or bothered when I am practicing. All of my poolroom friends know that I won't just hit balls around with them for nothing, because I tell them that it is damaging to my poolgame to play them for nothing, because it's very hard for me to concentrate and give my best game when it's just for fun.

You should probably consider doing something else instead of having your friends stay after hours and you beating them to boost your ego every night.

This whole thing is stemmed from your ego. Every time your friends come in there and you beat them and show off to them, your ego floats higher and higher above all of them, and when it gets shot down, it falls long and hard. You need to learn to not put yourself into this type of situation, or else it's going to keep happening to you.

Cali
01-23-2005, 11:55 PM
Good point made about the eye exam. I am due myself. I have occasionally gone into a slump myself. Usually personal problems can screw your game right up. A lack of practice can mess with your confidence choking your stroke. In all cases I found the easiest remedy is to go back to the basics. Focus on your preshot routine, stance stroke and perfect aim. If you focus on these and really concentrate on them shot after shot, the late truck payment, lost dog, and cheating girlfriend seem to all but disappear, for the moment. Also, I know everyone thinks they shoot better after a few beers, but in reality the real "players" don't drink at all. You don't see the pro's chugging beers in between racks do you? Beer relaxes you, but so does confidence that comes with practice. It will be very awkward at first but once you stop, your game will improve dramatically and you will become more consistent. Oh yes and I love to drink when I don't shoot, don't get me wrong. I am an Irish cop!!! Double Trouble. Cali