PDA

View Full Version : What is up with my pool playing??? (kinda long)



landshark77
03-24-2005, 10:40 AM
Seriously...I am a decent shot in my home room. I am willing to even say that I am one of the better woman players in there. Last night my opponent, who is the same speed, tells me mid-match (not a shark move at all...in between racks) that her team mates have me pegged as the winner and even made some rail bets. I kinda laughed that off and told her that was silly and she said no it was for real, that she even had stakes in it and her money was on me. That to me was unbelievable because this chick is a decent shot herself. So anyway....on with my pool playing...obviously I am considered a good shot in my room (a bar w/ 4 tables, lol). BUT when I go to play in tourneys everything is different...normally I can't get past the two and out syndrome. I was blaming this on the 9'ers, as I'm a bar room banger, but the last tourney I played in was on the bar boxes and was 8 ball. This tourney had me written all over it. There was absolutely no excuse for me to go 2 and out, but I did. When I started out in this tourney I guess I was somewhat nervous, as the chick I drew was the one who put me on the losers’ side before. And yeah, she is a better shot than me, but I didn't even get a game in. And I kept making stupid mistakes...it was like I didn't have a brain and couldn't comprehend a safety. On the loser's side I played some of the best pool in my life...I was on target and could have snapped that match off if it wasn't for a dumb shot that left me snookered on the 8. But in all honesty I shouldn't have been sent over to that side so easily to begin with. It's like everything I enter is a waste...yet I can crush in any bar. What's my deal??? /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Deeman2
03-24-2005, 10:50 AM
Landshark,

Maybe you are just not tournament tough yet. That's not an insult but you really have to play a lot in this environment to "learn to win". It's not just hitting balls but learning to relax, yet keep good focus and fundamentals. Do you get anxious? Are you taking your normal time? Do you feel different about the oponents? The pressure?

I would suggest you keep entering them and desensitizing yourself to the format and competition. Eventually, if your game is there, you will win.

Good Luck,

Deeman

Cane
03-24-2005, 11:09 AM
Dee my well be right. 20 years ago I was a regular tournament winner (regional stuff), then I quit playing for 14 years... didn't touch a cue one time for all that period. Well, now I'm three years back into the game and I have something I never had before... tournament nerves. Even the local tournaments were tearing me up for awhile, then all of a sudden, I snapped into gear and won one of them, then 2, then 3, then... well, it goes on. So, I thought I was ready for something bigger. In January I went to South Padre Island for a pretty good sized tourney. I was fine... felt right at home... until the first stroke of the cue, then it was worse than it had ever been at the local tournaments. RandyG saw me there. I was so shook up that I literally had sweat dripping from the palms of my hands... couldn't hit a bull in the a$$ with a barn door... played position like a 3rd grader... I was NOT tournament tough.

What I did was let my nerves get me out of my preshot and shooting routine and when I did that, my game went to pieces. I came back here the next week and in the next two 9-ball tournaments I was in, I was in the money. Now, in about three weeks, I'm going to Tulsa to play in a Midwest 9-Ball Tour event. Will I be tournament tough for that class of player as much as I now am for the locals? Hmmmm. I dunno! But I know that if I don't get out there and stay in these things, that I won't ever get past the mental problems that slaughtered me in Padre.

Actually, I did the same thing playing with two of my instructors last week. I mean, these are the guys that got me through two phases of Pool School and then Instructor Certification. I just couldn't relax in front of them and let my game happen. I got a little nervouse (they're both great players, by the way) and kind of felt like I was on display... they did NOTHING to make me feel that way. I couldn't reason, I couldn't think, I was so worried about them spotting flaws in my stroke, my game, that I absolutely played the worst pool of my "new beginning" in the game.

It will get better. You'll either learn to relax and let it happen, or like Gabe Owen said just learn to make the nervous energy work for you, not against you.

Later,
Bob

Fred Agnir
03-24-2005, 02:08 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote landshark77:</font><hr> It's like everything I enter is a waste...yet I can crush in any bar. What's my deal??? /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif <hr /></blockquote>You're daydreaming too much about Jimmy B.

HTH,

Fred

Keith Talent
03-24-2005, 02:36 PM
Landshark,

That compliment was a great shark move, intended or not. Something like that can really get into your head if you let it. I know a tennis player -- also a gambler -- who specializes in that sort of thing ... in between games, a little, "I really like the way you follow through on that backhand" can really twist you up, I swear. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Luck with the nerves ... I know that feeling of being brain-dead ... your mind just anxiously grasps as some quick solution, and your focus narrows to a point where you might not even notice a dead 2-9 combo, till after you butchered the 1 ... me, I can hardly relax at tourneys until after I've wasted my spot games!

landshark77
03-24-2005, 02:50 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman2:</font><hr> Do you get anxious? <font color="blue">No frusterated </font color> Are you taking your normal time? <font color="blue">hmmm I dunno..maybe not. </font color> Do you feel different about the oponents? <font color="blue"> Yes only because I am excited that I am playing diffrent people...I love playing diffrent people</font color> The pressure? <font color="blue">I don't think I feel pressure...I usually don't have any sweaters, lol </font color>

<hr /></blockquote>

Thanx guys. I am gonna continue to give it a go...you may be right about the tourney jitters.

Fred..I do think your off about Jimmy B. He will just have to settle for my sista. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

landshark77
03-24-2005, 03:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Keith Talent:</font><hr> Landshark,

That compliment was a great shark move, intended or not. Something like that can really get into your head if you let it. I know a tennis player -- also a gambler -- who specializes in that sort of thing ... in between games, a little, "I really like the way you follow through on that backhand" can really twist you up, I swear. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Luck with the nerves ... I know that feeling of being brain-dead ... your mind just anxiously grasps as some quick solution, and your focus narrows to a point where you might not even notice a dead 2-9 combo, till after you butchered the 1 ... me, I can hardly relax at tourneys until after I've wasted my spot games! <hr /></blockquote>

Ok I sharked myself in that match. Here is what happened:
Race was 3/3. I got the first game in. The second game I was down on a straight in shot on the 8. Mid stroke I start thing wait...if I make this ball I am on the hill and she has no games in. Then I finish my swing and of course I fail to pocket the 8...giving her the chance...then she gets another one in and then she tells me about the rail bets. It came down hill-hill and I messed up on a safety (story of my life) and left her out. If I would have just wanted to get it over with ASAP then I would have won, but no....I wanted to play more games. I wasn't ready to win yet, lol...I don't do that in tourneys though...

Keith Talent
03-24-2005, 03:32 PM
Funny story ... she was hanging by a thread, you threw her a rope, and she reeled you in.

I know how easy it can be to have some errant pool thought -- positive or negative, hardly matters -- creep in when you're down on a big shot ... but I was amazed when a woman told me that while getting in her stance or sitting in the chair, she'd sometimes think about shopping, or some troubling remark a friend made over lunch 3 days before! This ever happen to you?

landshark77
03-25-2005, 07:39 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Keith Talent:</font><hr>
I know how easy it can be to have some errant pool thought -- positive or negative, hardly matters -- creep in when you're down on a big shot ... but I was amazed when a woman told me that while getting in her stance or sitting in the chair, she'd sometimes think about shopping, or some troubling remark a friend made over lunch 3 days before! This ever happen to you? <hr /></blockquote>

Actually, I mainly sing songs. Either along with whatever is on the juke or whatever is in my head. Sometimes I think about the messageboards or whatever is stressful in my life, but mostly it is songs.

Billy_Bob
03-25-2005, 09:50 AM
It's possible she was sharking you. Kind of difficult to distinguish between a serious compliment and sharking. I question *anything* other players say to me prior to a match or during a match. Especially those who I do not know and do not normally chat with. If I think they are sharking me, I'll say "Are you sharking me?". When I do that, they shut their trap. Or if someone is making comments about my shooting *while* I am playing, I'll say "No sharking please!" That shuts them up.

Following is a list of sharks. Some people are quite clever and will use psychological tactics to disrupt a player's confidence. Sometimes other players are just having fun, kidding, and there is no intention to disrupt your playing. So use you judgement with the following...

Anger (Making your opponent angry)
*Wrongly accusing your opponent of cheating; accusations of improper lag, improper coin-flip, improper shot, etc.
*Accusing your opponent of something they did not do or did not intend to do.

Concentration (Disrupting your opponent's concentration)
*Doing anything vocal or making noise while your opponent shoots, is approaching the table to shoot, is studying the table for next shot, or is racking balls for next game. This includes talking to other people during the match.
*Any comments or questions about your opponents playing/shooting good or bad.
*Coaching your opponent. Don't coach other players unless they ask for advice. Unsolicited coaching is a shark.
*Criticizing your opponents game.
*Asking opponent why they are aiming at the wrong ball when they are aiming at the correct ball.

Distraction (If what you are doing would distract you while shooting, it probably distracts other players)
*Moving deliberately within the shooter's field of view.
*Standing where opponent needs to be for next shot.
*Waving your hand while your opponent is shooting or about to shoot.
*Standing at the table, especially behind the target pocket.
*Chalking your cue at table when it is your opponents turn to shoot.

Psychological Tactics (Upsetting your opponent or disrupting their confidence)
*Using psychological "tactics" before the match/tournament begins - Negative implications/comments/questions to players you may play in future games.
*Statements, implications, or questions about your opponents missed shots in prior games - Trying to make your opponent think about their poor shooting.
*Statements, implications, or questions about your opponent's losses in prior games - Trying to make your opponent think about the previous game they lost.
*Statements, implications, or questions about your opponent's exceptional playing abilities - Trying to make your opponent overconfident.

landshark77
03-25-2005, 10:19 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Billy_Bob:</font><hr> It's possible she was sharking you. Kind of difficult to distinguish between a serious compliment and sharking. I question *anything* other players say to me prior to a match or during a match. Especially those who I do not know and do not normally chat with.
<hr /></blockquote>

Oh yeah...there is no way. While this chick isn't like my best friend or anything, we still goof off somewhat. It's a bar room APA leauge...I mean people are stupid and do tons of disrespectful stuff while a match is going on...I think it is was a benifit learning the game in this enviroment because I am not at all easily distracted. The only thing that gets me is me.

Duckie
03-25-2005, 10:36 AM
This is the toughest stage of playing pool, then mental part. You got to deal with your on demons, and what others do during a match, which is not always meant to hinder your game, but more as to keep it friendly, but still can be a distraction.

My tournament routine is this:
Get there early to practice and get used to the place.

Never use the free practice time to warmup playing games with those I will be playing against. I practice alone until its to time play the touranment.

I seldom talk to anyone, before or during a match, or sit around the people playing. Which maybe kinda confusing to them cause when they see me in non tournamnet mode, I'm all chatty. What I do during a touranment is nothing personnal, just my way of playing and keeping focused. Guess thats just how I put on my game face.

Stretch
03-25-2005, 11:22 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote landshark77:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Billy_Bob:</font><hr> It's possible she was sharking you. Kind of difficult to distinguish between a serious compliment and sharking. I question *anything* other players say to me prior to a match or during a match. Especially those who I do not know and do not normally chat with.
<hr /></blockquote>

Oh yeah...there is no way. While this chick isn't like my best friend or anything, we still goof off somewhat. It's a bar room APA leauge...I mean people are stupid and do tons of disrespectful stuff while a match is going on...I think it is was a benifit learning the game in this enviroment because I am not at all easily distracted. The only thing that gets me is me. <hr /></blockquote>

I think you have finally come around to the "glitch" in your game. Pressure seldom does as much damage to your mechanics as it does to your mentle game. It's the bad judgement, poor shot selection, missed opportunaties (brain freeze) that spell the end when the pressure is on. You'll just have to redouble your focus during Matches to keep your mind from wondering and looking at the scoreboard, or wondering about the outcome of the match. The one that concentrates on the present, the longest, usually wins. Being in a complete non-gudgementle state of mind, relaxed, confident, and focused gives you the best chance to succeed and buffer the distractions. Trust that your preparation, skill, and determination will carry the day. It's a race to see who can stay composed and confident the longest. Pool just happens to be the torture of choice /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif St.

Chopstick
03-25-2005, 11:27 AM
Deeman is right on with what he's saying about getting seasoned. The worst thing you can do is to dwell on it. Just keep entering and it will go away all by itself. At this point it's more a matter of you letting it go away. The more you worry about it the longer it will take.

As far as what causes it, here's a thought for ya. Take a jar and some green marbles, some blue marbles, and some red marbles. The green marbles are your good shots, the blue ones are the average shots, and the red marbles are your bad ones. Take a bunch of blue marbles, a handful of green marbles and a handful red ones and put them all in the jar. When you go to play, what's in the jar is what you've got. You reach in the jar and pull out a shot. You never know what you are going to get. Could be green, blue, or red.

No matter where you are on the performance level scale, you are always going to have a certain amount of good shots, average shots, and bad ones. Take that jar and set it down on a line. That line represents level of performance. Let's say to the left is a higher performance level and to the right is lower.

What most people misunderstand about performance is they think that improving means you get more green marbles and less red ones. That is completely wrong. When you improve the whole jar moves to the left. You still have the same number of good shots and bad ones. The difference is that your good shots get better and your bad ones don't hurt as much.

There's an old saying. There are more pool games lost than there are won. The reason this is true is people reach in that shot jar and pull out a couple red ones and think there's something wrong and when they do they let the whole jar slide off to the right. Think about it.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote landshark77:</font><hr> <font color="blue">And I kept making stupid mistakes...it was like I didn't have a brain and couldn't comprehend a safety. </font color> <hr /></blockquote>
It's never just about one thing. Everything goes whacky. Take a look at Efren Reyes sometime. When he shoots a bad shot he just smiles and walks away. That's solid pool strategy. He's keeping his marbles right where they should be.

One last thing. While the number of good shots and bad shots remains relatively fixed, the capacity for bad ideas is near infinite. You may not be able to out shoot your opponent but you can still out smart them.

jjinfla
03-25-2005, 11:53 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote landshark77:</font><hr> Seriously...I am a decent shot in my home room. I am willing to even say that I am one of the better woman players in there. <hr /></blockquote>

Is that the same as saying, "I shoot good - for a woman"?
Sounds like you are unconsciously putting yourself down. Start comparing yourself to the general population in the room. Unless that is all you play are other women.

That 8 ball that you missed. Did you go to the practice room and practice it until you mastered it? That is the only way to improve. You turn your average shots into high percentage shots. The more 100% shots you have in your bag of shots the better your game will be. When a 60% shot comes up and you see missing it will sell out the table and you can play a 90% - 100% safety - play the safety.

Jake

landshark77
03-25-2005, 12:27 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jjinfla:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote landshark77:</font><hr> Seriously...I am a decent shot in my home room. I am willing to even say that I am one of the better woman players in there. <hr /></blockquote>

Is that the same as saying, "I shoot good - for a woman"?
Sounds like you are unconsciously putting yourself down. Start comparing yourself to the general population in the room. Unless that is all you play are other women. <hr /></blockquote>

No Jake that is not what I meant, lol. I can hang with the boys, and well...but I would need weight for longs sets with the better players. OF the girls...I am one of the top players...and I only classify it that away because I don't want to sound like I am some super player and can beat anyone. PLUS, in the tourneys I am playing the girls

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jjinfla:</font><hr>That 8 ball that you missed. Did you go to the practice room and practice it until you mastered it? That is the only way to improve. You turn your average shots into high percentage shots. The more 100% shots you have in your bag of shots the better your game will be. When a 60% shot comes up and you see missing it will sell out the table and you can play a 90% - 100% safety - play the safety.

Jake <hr /></blockquote>

No, unfortunately I did not. I don't get to really practice like that, with drills and what not, basically because of a lack of a table...however, this is going to change soon. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif I am also not sure which 8 shot you are referring to. The one that I missed in my APA match was strait in. I could have made it blind folded, but the fact that I wasn't ready to be on the hill thru me off.(mental not skill based) The 8 shot in my last tourney was my failure to get position on the 8. The ball prior was a tough cut and I was concentrating more on making the ball than getting position. And yeah these are all excuses, lol. Simple fact is I need to work on some stuff. Thank you Jake and everyone else who has replied to this. Hopefully soon I will be doing as well in the tourneys as I do on a typical Friday night at the bar, lol.

theinel
03-25-2005, 07:24 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote landshark77:</font><hr> I kept making stupid mistakes...it was like I didn't have a brain and couldn't comprehend a safety. <hr /></blockquote>
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cane:</font><hr> I was fine... felt right at home... until the first stroke of the cue, then it was worse than it had ever been at the local tournaments. RandyG saw me there. I was so shook up that I literally had sweat dripping from the palms of my hands... couldn't hit a bull in the a$$ with a barn door... played position like a 3rd grader... I was NOT tournament tough.<hr /></blockquote>

I've struggled with this for years and discovered that it's basically an adrenaline issue. I'm a solid B player and play leagues, tournaments, and money games but I'm never sure what is going to happen when the action starts. I've played with perfect calm and control in high pressure situations with team trips to vegas or hundreds of dollars on the line and I've also fallen completly to pieces when playing against inferior opponents for a dollar a game. I seem to reach this point right when I'm about to start playing where my adrenaline switch either gets thrown or it doesn't. If the switch stays off I play normally with focus and confdence. If the switch gets flipped on my hands go cold, my confidence dissappears and my decision making goes to mush. I spent years trying to figure out the cause of this but concentrating on what to do if it happens has been a bigger help.

Forcing myself to concentrate on a short list of basic things to do is for me the difference between the adrenalin going away quickly or staying with me for the whole match. Here is my list...

1) Be non-judgemental. Letting myself get uspet about the situation is sure to make it worse.
2) Use relaxation techniques and deep breathing.
3) Play slowly.
4) Take no shot for granted no matter how simple it is.
5) Visualize an exact cue ball finishing position on each shot.
6) Force myself to analyze the whole table before each shot.
7) Focus on three ball patterns.

All of this stuff is basic but it gets me away from thinking about stuff I feel like I have no control over and gets me focusing on the details of the table and the shot at hand which I can control. Other little stuff that has helped me out more than once is singing or humming a favorite song and really concentrating on how my hand feels on the table.