View Full Version : suddenly start shooting off and stay that way

06-05-2002, 07:30 PM
A few days ago I was practicing. I wasn't shooting to well. I played against someone. I was still wasn't shooting to good. Then suddenly I really started shooting poorly. I missed easy shots. I didn't even come close. I remember this happened to me in 1981. It happened a couple months after I restarted playing pool. I had quit in 70. I remember it lasted fairly long. I don't remeber how I got out of it. That's if I even did get out of it. I remember playing someone called Rocket Man. His name is Richie Slupik?. He beat me on a bar table in Cicero giving me a big spot. Later we played on 9' tables at the IL Billiard Club. He spot me something like the 6, 7, 8, & 9 in 9 ball and beat me by getting 10 games ahead. We played on another day and he gave me the break, 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9 and beat me. But we only played the first one to win 10 games, have to win by 2 games.

When I'm shooting like this it seems I often hit too thin when I try to cut some easy shots. It's like I'm aiming at the spot instead of thru the spot I should hit. My stroke is very wobbly. I try getting down lower. I try getting up higher. I try moving my stance closer & father. I can't afford to waste weeks with this problem.

Mon, I got into an open 9 ball tournament. They started me at a 5 handicap. I played against a 9 and lost. I tried moving my bridge a little closer. And I stopped at the backstroke. I'm not really stroking. I played a little better. But I could tell I still wasn't playing like before I recently went bad. And then I wasn't playing good anyway.

I think I'll run to Chris's and practice a couple hours. I've only been playing once or twice a week so far. Due to poor health. If I feel good I'll get in the 7 & under $10 tournament Thur. But I wouldn't feel right if I won playing with a 5 handicap. Later I'll start a post about that.

06-05-2002, 07:37 PM
When this happened to me a couple of months ago I high-tailed my butt straight to Fran Crimi. She told me all the stupid stuff I was doing with my mechanics and had me straightened out in two hours flat! If you're not in Fran's area, may I suggest you have a competent teacher take a look at you? Sometimes we just slip into bad habits without even realizing it, an outsider can make all the difference!

06-05-2002, 07:51 PM
Try, walking into the pool hall with plaid shorts, black socks, a very loud hawiian shirt, a straw hat and tennis shoes.

After that, anything you do at a pool table will look GOOD.

If you worry too much about success, you might not be doing enough practicing. Confidence comes with repeated practice and competition. Practice more than you play. Go back to the fundamentals, stance, aim, pre-shot routine, do all your thinking standing up, when you are down on the ball, you should be in a performance mode, NOT Thinking.. this is a distraction.

Been there, done that,, and the black socks made me look real funny.

06-05-2002, 07:54 PM
In 81 I had a friend who was a pretty good 3 cushion player. He is also very smart. Has an IQ in the 170s I think. But he couldn't straighten me out. And the owner of the billiard club, Jim Parker couldn't help either. They could see something was wrong. But neither were able to help. This never happened when I played from 65 to 70 in high school. Although I did have sessions or days when I didn't shoot up to my regular game.

06-05-2002, 08:01 PM
No, No Eddie, not a friend, not some guy, not a pretty good shooter!!! I had all those people look at me too, and you know what? They all mumbled, "I dunno, I don't see anything wrong" but there was! Fran and another bca instructor watched me shoot 9 balls and knew where I was going wrong. Go see a PROFESSIONAL INSTRUCTOR. If you balk at spending the money ask yourself, "What's my peace of mind worth?"

Chris Cass
06-05-2002, 08:17 PM
Oh My God,
I went on the road with Rocketman. We went to MN. back then too. I also played a few times at Jim Parkers place too. The Ill Billiards Club on 71st. I've also played in a members club after hrs gambling all night in Cicero on Cicero ave. They called it "Kings".

Don't be too hard on yourself Eddie. I was friends with Rich and we went everywhere getting action back then. He even gave me the 7ball once but I tore him up. He still owes me some money.

We played at all the bars on Mannheim road hustling drunks and druggies. Got to be too much. Ya never know what could happen. It was the same time Tommy Mock took 6 bullets to the body at Mocks Fun Casino a bar in Stone Pk. Il. Although Tommy lived through it he was taken out later. He had tons of action there but tons of trouble too.

I don't think I'd want to go through that day again but one things for sure. I learned there is a right way and a wrong way to take someones money.



06-05-2002, 08:49 PM
I think Kings is the 24 tavern I played him at the first time. Then I think I played him at Jim's place twice. And I went with him to a tavern called Mercado's. I loaned him $200 and I never saw him after that. I heard his name mentioned by the owner of 63rd St. Billiards in Downers Grove. He said Richie called him a few days ago. He asked if he owned him any money and if he did he wanted to pay it. The owner said he had part of his foot cut off years ago.

06-06-2002, 04:48 AM

I went through a slump like that for a few days. No, actually it was all of May. I finally started shooting to my potential again less than a week ago. What was frusterating for me was that it was post Scott Lee Lesson, and I could not believe that a lesson from Scott had made me worse.

Finally two weeks ago, I took all the balls off my table. I worked with nothing but the cue, for 3 days. And then began following a disciplined set of drills to be able to mark progress. While it was the most frusterating time I've ever spent playing pool, my game is better, I am more disciplined, and my game continues to improve.

This may not be similar to your problem, but sometimes its just best to start from beginning with a simple lag, and work from there.

BigAl - is jealous of the stories CC has to share, and hopes to gather some of his own someday.

Jay M
06-06-2002, 06:15 AM
It's been my experience that your game will go in stages. First you shoot and improve slowly, then you reach a plateau. Then you'll DROP for a while and when your game comes back, you're better than ever. The times on these differ for everyone. (Corey probably got whiplash from this) For me, it is usually about a week or so of complete idiocy on the table and then *poof* I'm better.

I think the reason for this happening is that your body and mind are adjusting to the concepts and understanding that you have about the game and as you incorporate new concepts, your mind and body are adjusting everything about your game to them.

Note that if I plateau for too long, I wonder about it a bit because I should continually improve with practice (I have the eyes and coordination, it's usually strategic mistakes at this point).

I know that I went down a couple of dead ends and had to go backwards to improve again. There was a period where I was shooting EVERYTHING as a slow roll and there was a period where I was slamming everything into the pockets. I had to unlearn those before I could advance, but I think I was better for having made those errors as I can shoot either type of shot with confidence now.

Jay M

06-06-2002, 07:56 AM
Eddie there is no dounbt that pool is one giant roller coaster for all of us and I am sure there is noone on this board that is immune to some kind of slump or another... but this is what I think is happening to you...
once you start getting into that slump mode your first instinct is to play through it trying to shake the effects of the slump as quickly as possible..... I'm not sure but by the sounds of it you are trying to get through this not with real practice time but just "play" time and because you seem to generally have something on the game you really dont get a chance to really work out your problem... this to me is very detrimental to your game as your brain and muscles will slowly start to get into the habit of missing these balls the same way, in fact messing up your muscle memory. In my opinion it would be far more productive to stop and just practice for a while making a very strong effort to try and corner what the problem is so if it happens to you again you can more easily come out of it or just stop playing for a few days and give yourself some time to reflect on it. just my opinion

06-06-2002, 08:01 AM
I think as you get better the "drop" periods start to get smaller and smaller. John Horsefall told me once that the key to wining isnt always playing good... it's still playing better than the other guy when you are playing bad.

Chris Cass
06-06-2002, 08:10 AM
No doubt Eddie,

What a waste of talent. Drugs took over his life. Prime example what not to do. He owes just about every human on the planet. The thing I didn't like about him personally was he would always fire an air barrel, the last game or set. Didn't matter who you were.

It's fun to recall the good times but no matter how many things you did togather, rocket always put rocket in front of the friendship.



Chris Cass
06-06-2002, 09:36 AM

I'm sorry to get into the Rich Slupik story and not addressing the post as it was intended. It's funny how the mind and body works togather in playing pool.

I'm willing to say 75% of the problem is in the mechanics of the stroke and stance portion. The other 25% is coming from the mental side, dealing with it. Because of not really concentrating on the problem and the mind seeing the misses, escalating the errors to a frenzy. Thinking they're focusing on making the ball but in reality, they're just going through the motions. (been there, done that and will do again)LOL

Most players don't address or think about there mental thoughts, stroke and mechanics when, they're shooting really great. They don't think about or notice what's happening while they're in gear.

When in dead punch, we should think about how we're feeling and check out grip pressure and placement, of stance, bridge hand, pre-shot routine and rhythm of play. We're mostly are in a good mood and not thinking about the score, and don't even realize, the tip of our cue exists. We get this overwhelming feeling, we just can't wait to shoot. LOL Like, I do every morning lately. LOL JOBLESS

First, thing is to forget the day before totally. Today is a new day and get the negatives out of your mind. That's a start. You should hook up with Scott Lee. He is occasionally at Chris' and would be easier than traveling. I know it's hard for you to travel with the stomache bothering you so, it's a good idea. Another is RandyG, he has a work shop that would be really good for you. Depending on your time schedule. He's willing to work with all of us here and will bend over backwards to help too. Can't say enough about him and Scott. Fran' great too but NY is kind far for you, I'm thinking.

Oh and Eddie, don't think of your game in compairison to the upper level players. Think of your game in compairison to the table your playing on.

Lots of great advice here and great people. Love the CCBers.....

I'm going to email you so keep an eye on the flashing letter box.


C.C.~~Big Al, in case you read this. Stories are fun to read but being there can really be a nightmare. LOL

06-06-2002, 09:44 AM
I didn't know him well at all. I only met him those 4 times. Even though he was always at taverns playing I don't ever remember seeing him take a drink or do any drugs. His girl friend you to drink while he was playing. And I remember him always talking about his jogging every morning. He borrowed $200 the last time I saw him at Mercados. He stalled over the phone about paying. for a week or so. And then his number was changed and I just forgot about it.

06-06-2002, 09:49 AM
Thanks for all the help & advice. Scott Lee will be stopping in Chicago in early July. I'm planning to take a lesson if I'm still around playing pool. Hopefully this problem will be fixed before then. But I still definitely want to take a lesson from him.

06-06-2002, 10:23 AM
My 'off' days are getting rarer, but I did find an issue recently. It had to do with getting my cue under my eye, as opposed to the center of my chin. I believe that it was familiar enough, stance-wise, for me to not notice, but it threw my aim off enough to matter. (I even 'tested' this a bit--I'm sure that it was mechanics, and not concentration that is/was the problem.)

Stickman posted about this a couple of weeks ago, which is what caused the concept to appear in my head.

My point is, I would never have known to evaluate my cue-to-eye position, if I hadn't read the other post, and would have remained ignorant about it's effects.--It's something I've never questioned, regarding my actual 'stroke' movement/mechanics.

Just another thing to consider. . . .

Chris Cass
06-06-2002, 10:58 AM
Hi Heater,

I totally agree with you. That to me would be a part of everyones mechanics also. I consider all parts of physical placement as mechanics.

The things posted here about the game are always something to consider when things go array, in all of us. Great point Heater, as others here that contribute, your the nutz.


C.C.~~forgets the things and glad to be reminded from time to time.

Scott Lee
06-06-2002, 11:15 AM
Eddie...Correction!...LATE July, right after the BCA Trade Show in New Orleans! Hope to see you then, along with any other interested parties. Jim S. and Chris...look for us to hook up again that same time period for another marathon at Jim's house! LOL Looking forward to seeing both you two again!

Scott Lee

06-06-2002, 03:09 PM
C.C. read your post and mentioned the cue/eye position to me and asked if I would try it. He says that I have the mechanics of Alison Fisher, I get down so low that my chin sort of guides the cue. So before I shot, I got down with my right eye and lined it up, then, without moving the cue stick, moved back over my shot so that I was centered. It worked. I still miss some, but I at least now I can see the difference when I am down on a shot. The cue/eye position made a huge difference in the way that I aim on the ball.
I shot all day yesterday at the ph and did lousy. My 9 yr old was creaming me. I was so frustrated that I couldn't make a ball or get on the next. Later on, C.C. got the videocamera out and taped my shots. Now, I know what I am doing wrong and can try to fix it.
Thanks for the info.


06-09-2002, 09:53 AM
I practiced last night from about 2:00 am until about 8:00 am. I think I'm back to just shooting pretty bad. Hopefully my being way off is over with. Maybe I just needed to practice more. I didn't realize that in the last two weeks I played less then 2 hours. Two Thursdays ago I didn't play and only watched a 7 & under tournament to get a feel for it and learn some of the rules. Then I played in the open handicap tournament on Mon. I only practiced about a 1/2 hour before the tournament. I was eliminated in my first match in about a 1/2 hour losing 9 to 4 against a 9 1/2 handicap. I am a 5 handicap. And then last Thur I played in the 7 & under tournament. Again I practiced for a 1/2 hour before the tournament. And again I lost my first match. I was quickly wiped out 6 to 2 by a 6 1/2 handicap.

Despite losing so badly, I feel I can win in the 7 & under handicap tournament if I can start playing better. And maybe I can win the open handicap tournament if I can play as well in real life as I play in my dreams. When I played from 65 to 70 I think I was about as good as some of these 6s & 6 1/2s. But some of them are capable of running a couple racks or so at a time. And in my mind I think I'm better then these 5s. All I have to do is start shooting like I'm thinking. Of course maybe it's just all in my mind and I never was as good as them.

I told the tournament director he could raise me up if he wants. I think he thought I was nuts. He said he always reserves the right to raise anyone at any time. It seems like most of the players always want to get lowered instead of raised.