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poolturtle
02-02-2005, 10:40 AM
I've tried to make it a consitent habit to completely tune out my opponent in a game.(except for common courtesy, of course) Except for possible weak points in their game, I find it a waste of energy to think about the other person's level of play. The way I see it, the only opponent you have in a game is the table. If you can't play the table, it doesn't matter who you're playing, you're gonna lose the match. Any thoughts? I still catch myself focusing on the other guy when I'm in an important game.

Sid_Vicious
02-02-2005, 10:58 AM
I find it best to try and not play "their game", meaning if they are fast, running to the next shot and getting out, I'll study how to extend my time a little, maybe play safe more and slow their cadience down. It makes a lot more difference in a fast player than a slow one. Staggering a fast player will many time frustrate them, and I'm not talking about a LONG extension, just enough to get his timing half a beat off. Your opponent is your enemy, yours to beat...sid

ceebee
02-02-2005, 11:01 AM
This is a good post.

Watching the action in a game, so as to follow the order of things, is one thing. Focusing on your opponent & their physical actions or routine is another. I never watch anything my opponent does when I am in a match, I just watch the balls roll. The last thing I need to do is start emulating someone else's habits or playing routine.

You are absolutely correct in saying, "the Table & the Balls are the challenge, not the Opponent". The opponent is sitting on their derriere, with a pounding heartbeat.

Like someone once said "You came with a game, it's all you got, so do YOUR best".

Your opponent is quietly hoping for your misfortune, let your opponent worry about you.

poolturtle
02-02-2005, 11:18 AM
Any tips on how to regain focus on MY game? I always seem to lose it when I get to the "good" players in a tournament. For some reason, straight money games don't phase me, but tournaments kill me!

"Sincerety is the key to everything. If you can fake that, you've got it made."

Stretch
02-02-2005, 11:51 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote poolturtle:</font><hr> Any tips on how to regain focus on MY game? I always seem to lose it when I get to the "good" players in a tournament. For some reason, straight money games don't phase me, but tournaments kill me!

How to regain focus on your game?...Start from the inside out. Focus on your breath, listen to it, feel it calm and relax. Then make it look easy. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif St.

Bob Watson
02-17-2005, 02:34 AM
When you get to the table, try to play in to suit your game. Favor your strengths, follow over draw or banks over cuts etc. Try not to make mental comments on their play, it will probably just hurt your confidence in the long run. You can watch how the table performs, fast or slow, how the rails respond. This will take out the guess work for you when it is your time to shoot. Basically, when you are at the table, play the table not the person in the chair. And when you are in the chair, always have faith in your oppentents lack of ability. It might just give you enough faith that they will dog the 9.

MosconiJr
02-17-2005, 06:57 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob Watson:</font><hr> Favor your strengths, follow over draw or banks over cuts etc.<hr /></blockquote>
For this reason, I do watch my opponent. If he winces when he leaves himself a bank, and then misses it, I know that he is not as fond of banks as cuts. So then when I push out, or play safe, I will leave a bank shot over a cut when I can. I think you need to watch to see if your opponent has any obvious weaknesses in his game, and also if there is anything else that you can figure out to do (morally of course /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif) to help your winning percentage. For that reason, to me, it's more than just you against the table.

MosconiJr

Chris Cass
02-17-2005, 08:17 AM
Hi Poolturtle,

I think your doing everything right as far as both, tuning your opponent out and also, watching his or her play. It's the reasons that really count that will help you. For instance, you should tune out all and any interfierence(sp) during the match. Music, the movements from other people around, your opponents actions ect.

While sitting waiting to shoot. It's ok to observe your opponent shooting for any fouls or just common errors in judgement. This is good to take note of and use this to pump yourself up.

Mainly while waiting to shoot you should try to relax and try to get into a good breathing exercise and calming your stroke down. So many players just jump up and litereally run to the table to shoot. It should be that your mind is relaxed and willing to get into a rhythm that suits your best game. That player running to shoot will take longer to reach that objective. Many will do that so they don't have time to think while playing. The odds are that they'll miss just as fast. /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

It's tough sometimes with the races so short to develope any kind of flow but it isn't imposible. It's good to focus on your opponents faults to an extent. Not to focus totally on them. imho

Regards,

C.C.

caedos
02-17-2005, 09:04 AM
I tend to focus on my checklists for myself and the table. It's rare that my opponent gets a bullet point on a checklist, and only if his/her flaw is obvious. If they don't get to the table, mission accomplished. If they do, I play the best lockup safety I can regardless of the opponent. Only in one-pocket do I sometimes modify shot patterns to judge my opponent. Mostly I will stand up and recognize my distractions so I can then dismiss them and get on with my game.

MrLucky
02-17-2005, 09:16 AM
I agree! I was taught to play the complete game which includes my opponent! /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif Especially in Straight Pool but even in * you need to know the other persons weaknesses and their tendencies / shot preferences in order to play your safeties properly! Which in both games can make the difference bretween winning and losing!

SpiderMan
02-17-2005, 09:31 AM
If you're still interested, the Thursday-afternoon tournament is just up the street from where we played last Saturday. Even though it "officially" starts at 6:30, you need to sign up by 5:30 because it fills quickly and they won't over-subscribe. Finishes up around 9 pm. Pretty good free buffet also.

SpiderMan

poolturtle
02-17-2005, 09:39 AM
I can't. I'm in Brownwood now. Had to help family out with some things. Thanks anyway. I'll try to get there next week.

BTW, I learned a ton from playing you this last weekend. I figure I spent $30 on the trip for expenses(gas, food, etc). Best $30 I've ever spent. My game took a dramatic jump.

Took that new game and nearly dominated the Monday night tournament I played! I took 2nd place.($40) I made 3 mistakes the whole night and I played at least 10 games. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif Nearly ran the entire table on one game, but I missed a long off the rail shot. That put me in the losers bracket. Came back to play for first and missed a bank that he'd hooked me on. Gave him ball in hand and he ran out. /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif The other mistake was a bad leave off an attempted safety, but I ended up winning the game.

Stretch
02-17-2005, 01:39 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote MrLucky:</font><hr> I agree! I was taught to play the complete game which includes my opponent! /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif Especially in Straight Pool but even in * you need to know the other persons weaknesses and their tendencies / shot preferences in order to play your safeties properly! Which in both games can make the difference bretween winning and losing! <hr /></blockquote>

Hi MrLucky. I agree, you have to play the "whole game". In compatition you have to decide whether your going to be the hunter or the prey.

I've been reading some of Harvey Dorfman's stuff. He has worked with a lot of the elite atheletes in the pro's in baseball and football. His ideas about Aggresiveness i think are directly related to the Mental Game of Pool, or any other sport for that matter.

He explains that one of the synonyms for "Aggressive" is "assertive". This term will serve you well if you want to understand what aggression means to a competator.

In order to be assertive, you must put yourself in attack mode. Aggressiveness is not a frantic behavior. It is controlled, methodical, relentless. Believe me, the other player sees this. By being aggressive you increase the personal likelyhood of success. You compete to succeed, rather than being tentative or submisive, playing to prevent failure, which many do. Dorfman also say's that when an athlet's approach is nonagressive he forfiets whatever edge he might have had through talent or circumstance.

Have you ever noticed this? If you make a bad shot "aggressively", you have a much better chance of getting away with it. However if you make a shot tentatively or cautiously, that's when you get nailed.

The althlete in any sport will "nail" his nonagressive opponent.

Hope some of this helps. St ~~ Need Confidence? fake it till you make it~~ /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

SpiderMan
02-17-2005, 01:48 PM
Congratulations! You mentioned that you thought you should outplay most of those guys, so I'm glad you went back and showed them. Don't let up!

BTW, I will be in Fort Worth next weekend for the state tourney, maybe we can shoot some if the schedule allows. I also need to pick up your cue for the ferrule work, so try to have your sneaky pete re-tipped to play with by then.

SpiderMan

Deeman2
02-17-2005, 03:17 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote poolturtle:</font><hr>
BTW, I learned a ton from playing you this last weekend. I figure I spent $30 on the trip for expenses(gas, food, etc). Best $30 I've ever spent. My game took a dramatic jump.

Took that new game and nearly dominated the Monday night tournament I played! I took 2nd place.($40) I made 3 mistakes the whole night and I played at least 10 games. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif Nearly ran the entire table on one game, but I missed a long off the rail shot. That put me in the losers bracket. Came back to play for first and missed a bank that he'd hooked me on. Gave him ball in hand and he ran out. /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif The other mistake was a bad leave off an attempted safety, but I ended up winning the game. <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> Congratulations, sounds like you owe Spiderman a gapper!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif Let's see $40 minus $30, I figure your're gonna be out about $2 and change... /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif</font color>

Deeman

poolturtle
02-17-2005, 03:58 PM
I would probably pay up, but I already donated $5 to him in the tournament we played in that day. Besides, I was forced to witness the poodle leg-hike as you like to call it. /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

Just playin' Spider /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

I don't plan on letting up on them. I need a new cue and I have to pay for it somehow. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif Playin' another one tonight. Maybe another $40 or $50 if I win. It's a small tournament.

I'll try to catch you next weekend. I may have to come back to Brownwood again, but, if nothing else, I should be able to get there for the Thursday or Friday tournament you were telling me about. I'll let you know.

Chris Cass
02-17-2005, 04:14 PM
Hi caedos,

Welcome to the board. I noticed your from TX and that you teach with RandyG. What a guy. I just respect the heck out of that man. Great teaching skills too. I've never seen anything better. I think we could sit and talk pool for days on end. I'd love the ability that man has to convey thoughts to another. That's a gift my friend.

Stick around and again, welcome,

Regards,

C.C.