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tateuts
04-24-2005, 06:37 AM
I'm talking about shots you should make, at your skill level.

It's not:

1. elbow drop.

2. Squirt

3. Jumping up

4. Grip

5. Bridge

6. Stance

7. Dirty balls

8. Off-center lights.

It is:


1. Indecision. Simple as that. I hope I don't have too many arguments on this. We all know we change our minds at the last second, and hit it a little harder or softer, with more or less spin than we thought. Maybe cut it a little more to make sure we clear the point, or a little less. We might decide we need to curve the cue ball a little, baby it a little or fire it because it's a hard shot. Dogging, doubt, whatever - it's all indecision.

2. It's a difficult shot. You're going to miss some of these. These are the main cause of #1 above. Maybe you're taking on too much.

3. Bad planning. These are the main cause of cause #2 above. Self inflicted wounds. This is why they invented safeties.

So, next time you miss a shot, don't look at your elbow or grip. Look in the mirror.

Chris

CarolNYC
04-24-2005, 06:52 AM
Hey Chris,
Are you sure its not all these, plus,the cloth,rails,weather,someone sneezed,etc.....and so on,ha ha ha!

[ QUOTE ]
. Indecision. Simple as that <hr /></blockquote>
No argument here-once you decide,commit,then execute! /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Carol /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Cane
04-24-2005, 07:05 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote tateuts:</font><hr> Bad planning. These are the main cause of cause #2 above. Self inflicted wounds. This is why they invented safeties. <hr /></blockquote>

LOL, not laughing at your post, Chris, just laughing because of something I heard yesterday at the Tournament. This guy was playing Jeremy Jones and I'm sitting right behind him, his buddy sitting right beside me. This guy was shooting a lot of tough shots and a lot of banks. As Jeremy is running out another rack from his break, he turns to his buddy and VERY seriously says "S#!t, if all of my shot were straight in like his, I could beat him! Can you believe the rolls this guy gets?" I bit my lip and did not laugh out loud. He just put himself in position to play tough shots. NO cue ball control whatsoever. Well, a little, as he could usually see the next ball, but was usually on the wrong side or played position to a blocked pocket.

Now, once your skill level on fundamentals reaches a certain level, IMO, we can go to only two reasons you ever miss a shot. Mis-Aim or Mis-Stroke. I never blame table conditions on a loss... I figure my opponent is playing in the same conditions I am, so if I lose, then I misstroked or misaimed or he was good enough to keep me seated most of the time.

Later,
Bob

TennesseeJoe
04-24-2005, 07:46 AM
What a great post---I think I'll frame it and put it on my pool room wall.

Billy_Bob
04-24-2005, 08:51 AM
No, no, no...

It is THAT table! Well that was the reason given by one player as to why he could not win a game. It was that bad table! (He did not seem to notice that the other players who were winning (some of them from his own team mind you) were playing just fine on THAT table...

Rich R.
04-24-2005, 09:42 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cane:</font><hr> IMO, we can go to only two reasons you ever miss a shot. Mis-Aim or Mis-Stroke. <hr /></blockquote>
Bob, I agree with you, but I would like to take it one step farther. The reason you "Mis-Aim or Mis-Stoke" is a lack of concentration on the shot you are taking. You either get distracted for some reason or, more likely, you are thinking of another shot, that is coming up. Unfortunately, you never get to that shot, because you mis the one you are shooting.

pooltchr
04-24-2005, 10:24 AM
Rich, You are correct in that there can be many "reasons" you miss a shot. You throw your wrist out during the forward motion...mis-stroke. Cut the object ball too thin...mis-aim. Distracted by the cute waitress walking by...well, that may be a combination of both! /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif But all those reasons result in one of two things...aiming at the wrong place, or your stroke not delivering the ball to the place you are aiming. I think Bob's explanation takes it right down to the bottom line. If you aim at the right point, and your stroke delivers the cue ball to that point, the shot goes in. If the shot doesn't drop, there can only be two causes as Bob stated.
Steve

tateuts
04-24-2005, 11:35 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cane:</font><hr> He just put himself in position to play tough shots. NO cue ball control whatsoever. Well, a little, as he could usually see the next ball, but was usually on the wrong side or played position to a blocked pocket.

Now, once your skill level on fundamentals reaches a certain level, IMO, we can go to only two reasons you ever miss a shot. Mis-Aim or Mis-Stroke. I never blame table conditions on a loss... I figure my opponent is playing in the same conditions I am, so if I lose, then I misstroked or misaimed or he was good enough to keep me seated most of the time.

Later,
Bob <hr /></blockquote>

The planning part is crucial to improvement. I play with good players all the time who make the same critical ball position mistakes over and over. They think they are playing shape, but that are just rolling to an area, or trying to get an easier next shot, when the angle is the most crucial aspect.

The reason why I call it "indecision" is because it starts with not having a precise picture in your mind about what exactly you want to happen. A precise picture of the shot with an exact spot or line you are trying to send the cueball to, the smaller the target the better. This then allows the player to better judge the speed, spin, angle and point of aim. This affects not only the shape, but the actual ball pocketing ability, because any indecision in any single element affects the rest.

So, if a player doesn't know exactly where they want the cueball to go, or at least the line it's going to take, I guarantee you they will be subject to mis-stroke and mis-aim and mis-speed and miss everything else.

Indecision in one area affects all others. I believe this is why most of the shots are missed that a skilled player would otherwise make if they approached the shot more decisively. I also believe this is at the heart of the paralysis we know as "dogging".

Chris

BillPorter
04-24-2005, 03:53 PM
While I certainly respect your knowledge of the game, I feel compelled to point out that the "indecision" element in the original post can be a CAUSE of mis-stroking or mis-aiming. At least from my 40+ years of playing the game, I have to agree with one aspect of the original post--namely, that indecision, or to put it another way, anything less than 100% commitment to your planned shot (which includes making the ball AND the path the cue ball will take to its intended destination) is one of the most fundamental reasons for missing shots.

Cane
04-24-2005, 04:17 PM
Ya know, this is a great thread, because we really all agree. I mean one tree, many branches.

The biggest mistake I see among less developed players is indecision. They get down, ready to hit a draw shot, then you can see their brain start working, raise their bridge and hit a follow shot with a little inside or outside on it. They hadn't made a decision when they got to the table, and as Carol said, committed to it, so that change of plans screwed up what may have been a proper aim or proper stroke. I'll admit, there are times I change my mind, but if I do, I stand up and go through my preshot and shooting routines again. I never strike a ball unless I'm committed to what I'm going to do with the OB and the CB.

Later,
Bob

BillPorter
04-24-2005, 04:28 PM
Yes, I agree that it's a very good thread. From your post alone, I would rate you as a strong player. I think you are using an approach that I wish I had the self-discipline to use on every shot. That is, dividing the pre-shot routine into a thinking/analysis phase where you are planning the shot and an execution phase where you are actually executing the shot that you planned and COMMITTED TO. In other words, a THINKING phase while you are standing up and looking at the table, and a DOING phase where you are dropping down on the shot and executing the shot. Lots of missed shots result from the THINKING phase intruding on the DOING phase IMHO.

pooltchr
04-24-2005, 05:46 PM
Bill,
One part of the course Bob. randyg, Scott, myself and many other BCA instructors teach involves exactly this aspect of the game. You have the self discipline to do this just like you have the self discipline to practice the game. It's a matter of learning how to do it. There are physical triggers you can use that will help make the transition from thinking and analyzing to execution of the shot. When these triggers are part of your pre-shot routine, you find that it all begins to become automatic.
I would bet that it's almost impossible (notice I said "almost") for Bob to think about his shot after he is already in position to shoot. His indicision would almost force him to automatically stand up and start all over. It's not magic, just developing another habit that becomes a part of your game.

Steve

GreenLion
04-24-2005, 06:03 PM
I agree Tateuts because there are days when I'm focusing so much on mechanics that I actually do what i don't want to do.When your focusing so much on mechanics you start to develope a lack of confidence especially on long shots.When I'm playing my game and just see what has to be done to get pos. on the next shot and don't think about mechanics i play so much better.

BillPorter
04-24-2005, 06:25 PM
Hey, thanks for your post! It gives me some optimism about improving this aspect of my game.

tateuts
04-24-2005, 07:43 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cane:</font><hr> Ya know, this is a great thread, because we really all agree. I mean one tree, many branches.

The biggest mistake I see among less developed players is indecision. They get down, ready to hit a draw shot, then you can see their brain start working, raise their bridge and hit a follow shot with a little inside or outside on it. They hadn't made a decision when they got to the table, and as Carol said, committed to it, so that change of plans screwed up what may have been a proper aim or proper stroke. I'll admit, there are times I change my mind, but if I do, I stand up and go through my preshot and shooting routines again. I never strike a ball unless I'm committed to what I'm going to do with the OB and the CB.

Later,
Bob <hr /></blockquote>

Bob,

It happens to all of us. I think I'm going to take your advice and get back up if I see something "wrong" down there. Sometimes being down on the cueball is the best view to figure out the shot.

I think at the extreme, "dogging" - where a player has nearly forgotten how to play pool, the indecisiveness has literally short circuited the nervous system. This has happened to all of us to a certain extent - doubt, fear, and intimidation all lead to indecisiveness. I like the way Popcorn put it one time "like a spell has come over them".

I almost always hit where I'm aiming, but I might do so with a little more or less spin than I planned for, or at different speed. Especially when I'm nervous. On a tight table this is enough to rattle out the ball. On difficult shots, particularly cut shots, of course aim might be a problem too - not much you can do about that except to practice them.

I hope instructors spend a little time working with their students on pattern play. Undr pressure, the better my pattern play is the less likely I am to miss. So many good "shooters" are mediocre players because they haven't developed the ball control necessary to really play solid patterns, then when they're under pressure the difficult shots they leave themselves become impossible shots.

One of the practice games I invented for myself at home now is playing the ghost 9 ball with no side pocket shots allowed. Try this for a few days and it will open up your eyes to new patterns. Surprisingly, it's not much more difficult than regular 9 ball, but the patterns can be very strange.

Chris

Thunderduck
04-24-2005, 10:31 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BillPorter:</font><hr> While I certainly respect your knowledge of the game, I feel compelled to point out that the "indecision" element in the original post can be a CAUSE of mis-stroking or mis-aiming. At least from my 40+ years of playing the game, I have to agree with one aspect of the original post--namely, that indecision, or to put it another way, anything less than 100% commitment to your planned shot (which includes making the ball AND the path the cue ball will take to its intended destination) is one of the most fundamental reasons for missing shots. <hr /></blockquote>

I miss a lot of shots because of mistrokes...

Rod
04-24-2005, 11:52 PM
[ QUOTE ]
So, next time you miss a shot, don't look at your elbow or grip. Look in the mirror.

<hr /></blockquote>

I did that. Know what I saw? A complete idiot! LOL I think we pretty much all agree. Well that is at certain skill levels, such as better players with good fundamentals. That, or they at least know the difference.

I'll show you what I did. I just ran 3 racks of nine ball. In the 4th rack I ended up with this shot.

START(
%GQ5K7%HE3X3%IH1Y6%P[9R8%UF3C9%Va4V6

)END

The line is exactly how I set up on the shot. I'll always get back up and reload should I be that far off, but I didn't this time. I said in my mind, I'll just side stroke it with some right and it'll go right in. Ha Ha Ha, I still hit the rail before the pocket and hung the ball.

It doesn't matter that the stroke I used wasn't exactly what I expected. What does matter, I went ahead and shot something, that no possible way I would have normally done.

Now about being committed. The guy I was playing needed 3 games. Well that game obviously and he ran two more. Being on the loooooooossssseers side -- wasn't what I expected so at that point I'm guessing I wasn't committed to the whole tournament. I did win two more but that costly mistake just weighed a little heavy I suppose. In my younger days it wouldn't have been nothing to charge right back. I would have been upset but I'd of still had the killer instinct.

At any rate just thought I'd show my dumb ass move. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Rod

CarolNYC
04-25-2005, 03:26 AM
Hey Bob,
[ QUOTE ]
committed to it, so that change of plans screwed up what may have been a proper aim or proper stroke <hr /></blockquote>

Oh my goodness, yesterday I played a tri-state, placed 7th/8th,blah,blah, anyways, this one match Im playing very well,race to 7,score is 6-0,me, I think I broke and ran 3,for the 7th game, Im on the 7-ball with 2 options-soft roll it or come off the bottom rail-I decide to soft roll,at least I THOUGHT I made a decision, but my mind didnt-Im AIMED to come off bottom rail but STROKE IT to softroll-UGH.......How ridicuolous is that????
I won anyway-7-2,but on that particular shot, body and mind were NOT in unison!
Take care!
Carol~sitting in a lotus position and humming /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Sid_Vicious
04-25-2005, 06:04 AM
Yea I agree. Now(except for the routine stand up and start over) just how are you supposed to evacuate that negative impression of the thought you won't succeed? Even at a glimpse of thought, the negative gets overwhelmingly dominant, subsonsciously if not consciously. I have watched well oiled players ponder extra time, uncommon for them for the most part, and my mind says "They'll miss this shot" and it comes true. I guess you do the best you can do and take what you get, but it would sure be nice if a trick for resetting the mind to positive really warded off that seed of unrest, but it simply does not IMO. The only fix I know of is tenure and learning a very important concept,,,learn the simplicity of winning. That sounds easy maybe, but many people struggle with nailing down a win when it is staring them in the face on a final three ball run. The mental part of this game is killer, especially in the throws of a finish and a win for the cash/trophy. I miss more wins by bearing down on, thinking, restarting, trying to get SURE, than at any other time. Thoughts?

I understand that this subject deals mainly with a change of decision during the stroke and I applaud your observation. Good post, very much a common miss-factor!!!Sid

Deeman2
04-25-2005, 06:24 AM
<font color="blue"> Number one reason for missing a shot...The pocket wasn't there! </font color>
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote tateuts:</font><hr> I'm talking about shots you should make, at your skill level.

It's not:

1. elbow drop.

2. Squirt

3. Jumping up

4. Grip

5. Bridge

6. Stance

7. Dirty balls

8. Off-center lights. <font color="blue">I agree and disagree. If the above is not solid, then you miss for the reasons stated below. The above are fundamentals and can't be igniored. So, if you are doing them wrong, they ARE probably the reason for a miss. If they are rigfht, then your list below is certainly valid and a nice observation. Coaching or lessons stabalize the above, your mental toughness makes the ones beloew work out. </font color>

It is:


1. Indecision. Simple as that. I hope I don't have too many arguments on this. We all know we change our minds at the last second, and hit it a little harder or softer, with more or less spin than we thought. Maybe cut it a little more to make sure we clear the point, or a little less. We might decide we need to curve the cue ball a little, baby it a little or fire it because it's a hard shot. Dogging, doubt, whatever - it's all indecision. <font color="blue"> I believe the above fundamentals give you confidence to avoid this one if you are mentally tough. </font color>

2. It's a difficult shot. You're going to miss some of these. These are the main cause of #1 above. Maybe you're taking on too much. <font color="blue"> We all are gonna have these and must make a play or duck decision. Good decision making is the key to most losses if the fundamentals are correct. </font color>

3. Bad planning. These are the main cause of cause #2 above. Self inflicted wounds. This is why they invented safeties. <font color="blue"> This is either lack of knowledge or laziness. </font color>

So, next time you miss a shot, don't look at your elbow or grip. Look in the mirror. <font color="blue"> My advice, you have to look at it all.... </font color>

Nice post Chris...

Deeman


<hr /></blockquote>

BillPorter
04-25-2005, 06:40 AM
Nice post. You say you miss many wins when you try to be SURE by bearing down, restarting, etc. This seems to me to be at the heart of one of the more cruel paradoxes of this game (and most games). Namely, that the more important the shot, the more threatening and anxiety producing is the prospect of missing the shot. You bear down because the shot is really important within the context of the match, but even within the act of "bearing down" are the seeds of failure (if "bearing down" has a component of "I MUST make this shot" within it). If you MUST make the shot, then, in your mind, it is catastrophic if you miss the shot. And if catastrophy looms near, we experience anxiety and all its attendant problems (tightening of muscles, tunnel vision, mental images of worst case scenarios, shortened stroke, attemtps to "correct" the stroke/aim in the last fraction of a second, coming up [anxiously!] off the shot, etc. etc.). I am waiting for a sure and easy cure for this! :&gt;)

Deeman2
04-25-2005, 06:41 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> Yea I agree. Now(except for the routine stand up and start over) just how are you supposed to evacuate that negative impression of the thought you won't succeed? Even at a glimpse of thought, the negative gets overwhelmingly dominant, subsonsciously if not consciously. I have watched well oiled players ponder extra time, uncommon for them for the most part, and my mind says "They'll miss this shot" and it comes true. I guess you do the best you can do and take what you get, but it would sure be nice if a trick for resetting the mind to positive really warded off that seed of unrest, but it simply does not IMO. The only fix I know of is tenure and learning a very important concept,,,learn the simplicity of winning. That sounds easy maybe, but many people struggle with nailing down a win when it is staring them in the face on a final three ball run. The mental part of this game is killer, especially in the throws of a finish and a win for the cash/trophy. I miss more wins by bearing down on, thinking, restarting, trying to get SURE, than at any other time. Thoughts? <font color="blue"> Sid, I think I have seen enough of your game to say i know it a little. I also think you might agree I have alittle better pocketing percentage (maybe you agree, maybe not). However, I believe it the ability to somewhat disregard the outcome of an event that makes it easier to accomplish. In other words, I shoot with an objective or two, pocket the ball and get the cue ball to another spot. If that is truely my focus and I separate, in my mind, the consequences of making or missing, I think i pocket much higher percentages of balls. I do like the expression "in the Moment" but thnk it can add undue importance to a single shot. If you really think back on the 50 or so biggest pressure shots you ever made, I believe you will remember just the execution with little concern for the outcome made your success rate much higher. How do you separate this from your ego? That's what experience in playing under pressure does for you over time, unless you continue to place too much value on the outcome. I think this is demonstrated best by one of us running two or three racks ina row in warm-up, then struggling to do the same in the match....

How do you make the execution important and the outcome secondary? If I could transfer that. I'd be one of those great coaches/instructors. If you can make a 75 degree backcut "routine" and not a giant special event, you will pocket a much higher percentage. How to do that is always a personal battle. </font color>

Deeman

I

tateuts
04-25-2005, 10:20 AM
Rod,

That is exactly what I'm talking about!

That kind of shot is missed more than people might think for the exact reason you mentioned.

You don't want to follow it and get on the wrong side of the 8 (because the cue ball might collide with the 9 after shooting the 8). So your choice is to hold up the cueball so you don't end up on the rail - maybe kill it or baby it a little and spin in the 7 - or pound it and send the cueball to the rail and back out to leave a little angle on the 8. Either way, the speed chosen affects the shot. You decided to put a little spin on the ball and probably babied it - not hitting it hard enough to spin it as much as you wanted. The combination of spin and speed was wrong because you didn't give it enough thought to let what you were doing sink in.

Chris

ciscodog
04-25-2005, 10:22 AM
do mos tpeople like to continue breathing while the shoot and follow through or does anyone like to hold their breath before they shoot to better steady themselves? sorry if this is a dumb question just would like to know

tateuts
04-25-2005, 10:23 AM
Well, it's kind of nice to know it happens to all of us. Maybe being more aware of it will help change things.

Chris

tateuts
04-25-2005, 10:38 AM
Sid,

I think the answer is experience. I was an avid player in my teens and 20's, and stopped playing for 20 years. I took it up again about 3 years ago.

I look back at the first year of returning to the game after the long layoff. I tell you what - it's downright embarassing how bad I played in tournaments. They had me ranked as a lower "A" player when I first came back but there was no way I was playing like it. I was very self-concious. My good days were pretty good, but my bad days were just awful! Gambling I was still OK because I had time to get things under control. Once you start playing bad, it's an invitation to your opponent to play good. When you play good, funny how they start missing those tough shots.

Now, I think my bad days are at least serviceable and closer to my good days than they once were. I can still get out, just not as easy, and I will duck a lot more. I think you know what I mean.

My goal now is to get my competitive nerve honed to have more frequent good days and fewer bad days. Playing bad and missing is, unfortunately, something we all have to live with.

Chris

tateuts
04-25-2005, 10:50 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote ciscodog:</font><hr> do mos tpeople like to continue breathing while the shoot and follow through or does anyone like to hold their breath before they shoot to better steady themselves? sorry if this is a dumb question just would like to know <hr /></blockquote>

I like to breathe. However, I do try to hold my bowel movements on thin cut shots.

Chris

Rod
04-25-2005, 10:56 AM
Chris,

Actually the wei set up is not exact, just fairly close. In truth I could have left the c/b almost anywhere and run out so position was never a factor. I'll rarely line up anywhere near that far off. That supprised me, I was playing well so I thought no big deal.

My stroke backfired, which was on the high end of slower pace. I didn't swipe the ball like I wanted, which was expecting to much movement anyway. What amazes me is that I even considered such a move from an out of alignment situation. Ah, we live and learn.

Rod

Stretch
04-25-2005, 11:26 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BillPorter:</font><hr> Nice post. You say you miss many wins when you try to be SURE by bearing down, restarting, etc. This seems to me to be at the heart of one of the more cruel paradoxes of this game (and most games). Namely, that the more important the shot, the more threatening and anxiety producing is the prospect of missing the shot. You bear down because the shot is really important within the context of the match, but even within the act of "bearing down" are the seeds of failure (if "bearing down" has a component of "I MUST make this shot" within it). If you MUST make the shot, then, in your mind, it is catastrophic if you miss the shot. And if catastrophy looms near, we experience anxiety and all its attendant problems (tightening of muscles, tunnel vision, mental images of worst case scenarios, shortened stroke, attemtps to "correct" the stroke/aim in the last fraction of a second, coming up [anxiously!] off the shot, etc. etc.). I am waiting for a sure and easy cure for this! :&gt;) <hr /></blockquote>

I'm afraid Pool is getting to be a lot like Golf. Along comes modern technology with video cameras, stop action, radar guns, so now you can study in infinate detail the strokes of all the best players. Pool halls and leagues pop up everywhere, There's magazines, tapes, internet (like here) everywhere i and millions of other players look it's all about "mechanics". You've got Instructors everywhere saying elbow up, elbow drop, this grip that grip, set pause finish, tangents, pre-shots, stance, EVERYONES got a book. All selling this as the road to glory.

Now i'm a big believer in good instruction to get you going, BUT what's lost in all this is bottom line Pool is an "individual" sport. You see it yourself, despite the advent of the information age and how "BASIC" a good stroke actualy is everyone is different. How they walk, how they act, how they cue, everyone is different. You ever wonder why almost NON of the best players actually stroke the cue correctly? Oh they always hit the ball dead on all right. But would you teach someone to hold thier head beside thier cue like Earl? Would you have them pin thier elbow behind thier back and pock the cue ball like Mosconni? I think not but it sure worked for them eh? And i could go on and on about all the other players idiosinkcrazys /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif but you get what i mean we're all different, all our moves are highly personal.

ok i'm going to finaly get around to my point. When you stop thinking about your stroke altogether and just react to the target THAT'S when you stroke the shot "correctly". In a game your not there to work on your stroke even thinking about your stroke is working on it. That's for practice. In a game no matter what the score you just do it. You play with the stroke you came with. You know when i play the best? When i get up with a hangover, i deside at the last minuit to throw in, i just don't care how far i get cause there's nuthin else to do that day or my heads pounding and i'm limping from a two day old sprain and i just want to get out of there and PRESTO i'm in friggin dead stroke and i can't miss and the torture continues lol.

This maybe grossely understated but the key area is relaxing into the shot, clearing your mind, and letting your naturaly fluid movement occur. That's what you do in practice, everything seems easy then dosn't it. You start to "concentrate" and it's all out the window. "Concetration" to a lot of people means trying hard, or willing the perfect stroke. You can't force it that way. Just draw the cue back nice and lazy slow when your set, and fire to the target.

All the best players have had the courage to do things thier way and ignor the teachers who claim that "the clasic stroke" was the only one that can win. Cause i tell you what, Winning has more to do with upstairs between your ears than it does with Perfect michanics. If you've sank hundreds of thousands of balls over years of compatition and you still don't have tournament wins, then you don't need a instructor, you need a phyciatrist. Maybe pool is not your game? If it gives you pleasure then fine, millions of people have fun with it as a form of recreation for fun's sake. Seriouse players who want to improve are better served by training thier mind to play and not obsess with thier mechanics. This leads to mechanical thoughts when the chips are down and that is when you can guarentee the bad goes to worse. St. ~~there, that's my opinion, if you don't like it, i have others lol~~

tateuts
04-25-2005, 01:13 PM
I like it, Stretch, right on.

Chris

Cane
04-25-2005, 01:52 PM
Stretch, I was posting on this as a player, but now I'm going to give it a shot as an instructor. Keep in mind that MY opinion as an instructor does not necessarily reflect what all instructors think or feel.

OK, I think, INITIALLY, the most important part of this game is learning good fundamentals. Without good fundamentals, you'll never build a good game. Bad Foundations, Bad House. Now, with that being said, I think EVERY good player develops their own style and own idiosyncracies. THAT IS NECESSARY. No two human bodies are alike (except maybe the Coors Light Twins) and everyone must do things somewhat differently to achieve the same results. If I get a relatively advanced player that has already built those idiosyncrasies into his game, I'm NOT going to try to change that player's style. It's HIS style, and it's what he's comfortable doing. I do know of some good players that, after going through instruction, swearing that they'd never change a thing about their game, did make changes and improved their game. Were they all physical changes? No. Some of them were shot preparation, some of them were stroke changes, some of them were "finding their switch". I'm not saying that I don't ever try to influence a change in an advanced players style, I'm just saying that IF what they do works, then it's good for them and works for them. If it ain't working, then it needs fixing!

Back to the beginning: Once a player develops a good stroke, assuming they have a comfortable stance and an acceptable grip that won't interfere with their stroke, then what I teach is mostly how to maintain that stroke so it becomes second nature and then move on to physics of the game. Knowing phyics of pool, even if it's in the simplest terms, will make a good player a great player IF that's what they have the dedication to become. Once they have the fundamentals and knowledge, then the only thing left for them to do is master the psychological and mental aspects of the game. In other words, it's EXACTLY WHAT YOU SAID... [ QUOTE ]
<font color="blue"> Winning has more to do with upstairs between your ears than it does with Perfect michanics. </font color><hr /></blockquote>

OK, now I am a great "study" of other players. I spend a few hours a week watching tapes of everything from top professional men and women players to league bangers (don't take that wrong, not all leaguers are bangers, but most in our area are!). What I see, through an instructors eyes are the fundamental building blocks on which the top players have built their games. I think maybe I see those "fundamentals and mechanics" better than most people becaue that's what I teach. I can think of only a VERY few great players whose basic mechanics really suck. Honestly, people say how Keith M jumps up out of every shot, swings his cue wildly, etc., but if you watch and frame by frame see exactly what Keith is doing, he is a machine. His mechanics are wild compared to most, but he does the same thing EVERY TIME! Why would anyone want to change that? It would never work for me, but it works great for him. Look at Gabe Owens. Talk about a fundamental machine, he is one, so much so that it gives a SPF Instructor chills to watch him play. My point is that the great players all have good mechanics, even though they all have different styles and different methods of using them.

All I want to do as an instructors is transfer knowledge. I don't want to go in and tear down someones game and revamp their style. They MUST have their own style to fit their body. My goal is not to change their game, but to give them the benefit of what information I have so that they might improve their own game... within their own style...

I want to reiterate one more time that I absolutely agree with you that Winning is about what goes on, or doesn't go on, between your ears, but it's also about a good foundation to your game. You can have all the attitude and psychological control in the world, but if you don't have a stroke, you won't have a game.

Later,
Bob (soapbox back in the corner for now! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif )

tateuts
04-25-2005, 02:11 PM
The world needs more instructors like you. It's called having an open mind.

A golf instructor I knew gave lessons by video. He mainly examined the last foot or so of the swing before impact with the ball. He explained that if that part of the swing was good, that's all that mattered.

Can you imagine if someone saw Efren and told him to shorten his bridge to 6" or he wouldn't get an better? Or tried to get Keith to straighten his wrist? Or told Corey Deuel the soft break would never work at the pro level?

I know several players who have worked on mechanics incessantly for years. Guess what? They're not getting any better.

Chris

wolfdancer
04-25-2005, 03:43 PM
Back in the late 70's, or early 80's there was a book about a "new" golf theory....since abandoned....I just can't remember the name right now.
what was interesting though, was that the book had sequence photos of the great golfers of that day. Each swing was different...Lee Trevino looked like a hacker....until.....the moment of impact, when they all looked similiar. Like you said about Keith, if an idiosyncrasy is repeatable...not a problem to be fixed.
I played for years, skipping the "develop a stroke" part
and now I am working on that...and am watching other player's strokes......
This is the paradox......on paper, the stroke looks ridiculously easy....one moving part,a pendulum movement with the lower arm.....yet seems infinitely hard to master.....what I see are jerky moves, jabs,etc....and so far, I have resisted watching my own feeble attempts.....there's some things best left unviewed, like making sausage.
And since we all pretty much agree on what the stroke should look like....I'm hesitant to take a lesson that would "teach' me what I already know, but don't do very well.
I dug out another old golf book
T. J. Tomasi, PH.D. "The 30-Second Golf Swing"
He says the brain creates three phases (he calls them modes)
the analytical, physical, and emotional (I missed!!)APE
and we get caught sometimes in the wrong mode when we swing/stroke.
I'm going to reread the book, looks like there are ideas in there, that could apply to pool.
Back to the stroke.... I wonder if a "waggle" would be better then a pause...

Stretch
04-25-2005, 06:04 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cane:</font><hr> Stretch, I was posting on this as a player, but now I'm going to give it a shot as an instructor. Keep in mind that MY opinion as an instructor does not necessarily reflect what all instructors think or feel.

OK, I think, INITIALLY, the most important part of this game is learning good fundamentals. Without good fundamentals, you'll never build a good game. Bad Foundations, Bad House. Now, with that being said, I think EVERY good player develops their own style and own idiosyncracies. THAT IS NECESSARY. No two human bodies are alike (except maybe the Coors Light Twins) and everyone must do things somewhat differently to achieve the same results. If I get a relatively advanced player that has already built those idiosyncrasies into his game, I'm NOT going to try to change that player's style. It's HIS style, and it's what he's comfortable doing. I do know of some good players that, after going through instruction, swearing that they'd never change a thing about their game, did make changes and improved their game. Were they all physical changes? No. Some of them were shot preparation, some of them were stroke changes, some of them were "finding their switch". I'm not saying that I don't ever try to influence a change in an advanced players style, I'm just saying that IF what they do works, then it's good for them and works for them. If it ain't working, then it needs fixing!

Back to the beginning: Once a player develops a good stroke, assuming they have a comfortable stance and an acceptable grip that won't interfere with their stroke, then what I teach is mostly how to maintain that stroke so it becomes second nature and then move on to physics of the game. Knowing phyics of pool, even if it's in the simplest terms, will make a good player a great player IF that's what they have the dedication to become. Once they have the fundamentals and knowledge, then the only thing left for them to do is master the psychological and mental aspects of the game. In other words, it's EXACTLY WHAT YOU SAID... &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
<font color="blue"> Winning has more to do with upstairs between your ears than it does with Perfect michanics. </font color><hr /></blockquote>

OK, now I am a great "study" of other players. I spend a few hours a week watching tapes of everything from top professional men and women players to league bangers (don't take that wrong, not all leaguers are bangers, but most in our area are!). What I see, through an instructors eyes are the fundamental building blocks on which the top players have built their games. I think maybe I see those "fundamentals and mechanics" better than most people becaue that's what I teach. I can think of only a VERY few great players whose basic mechanics really suck. Honestly, people say how Keith M jumps up out of every shot, swings his cue wildly, etc., but if you watch and frame by frame see exactly what Keith is doing, he is a machine. His mechanics are wild compared to most, but he does the same thing EVERY TIME! Why would anyone want to change that? It would never work for me, but it works great for him. Look at Gabe Owens. Talk about a fundamental machine, he is one, so much so that it gives a SPF Instructor chills to watch him play. My point is that the great players all have good mechanics, even though they all have different styles and different methods of using them.

All I want to do as an instructors is transfer knowledge. I don't want to go in and tear down someones game and revamp their style. They MUST have their own style to fit their body. My goal is not to change their game, but to give them the benefit of what information I have so that they might improve their own game... within their own style...

I want to reiterate one more time that I absolutely agree with you that Winning is about what goes on, or doesn't go on, between your ears, but it's also about a good foundation to your game. You can have all the attitude and psychological control in the world, but if you don't have a stroke, you won't have a game.

Later,
Bob (soapbox back in the corner for now! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif ) <hr /></blockquote>

Thankyou Cane, great post. I think your a credit to the proffession with that kind of additude. I'm also glad you can see both sides of the coin as an Instructor AND player. I wasn't trying to put instructors in a bad light, but you really need to shop around. Harvey Penick the great golf guru had a good understanding of how to get results "without" indulging in rigid mechanical fundamentles. I'm reminded of a story i once read somewhere that illustrates this perfectly. Some students came to him and they wanted to learn how to do a flop shot. He didn't tell them a darn thing he just gave them a bucket of balls and instructed them to start pitching onto the green over this bunker. When they became proffient at this he came round and said now imagine theres a bush growing out of the sandtrap and it's 10 ft high. Pitch over that. so they went back at it with another bucket till they were lofting the ball over the imaginaty bush. Then he came back and said now the bush is 2o ft. high. Pitch it over that! so back they went. Presto, they taught themselves how to do a flop shot, and stick it on the green. Take what you want from this, but should he have done it himself and make each student do it exactly the way HE would do it? cluter there mind with grip, stance, half swing? full swing? body position? Harvey was so good he could teach even without teaching! lol. St.~~when your under the lights, it's all you~~

wolfdancer
04-25-2005, 06:12 PM
I've got Harvey's "Little Green Book" around here somewhere.
Never heard that story about him, but heard several others, and I'll never forget Ben Crenshaw's speech, when he won the Masters, and kind of broke down, remembering Harvey.Must have been a great man.
"could teach, without teaching..." good line!!!

pooltchr
04-26-2005, 04:13 AM
Bob,
Great job of summing up the how and whys of what we do! I always spend a few minutes talking with a new student, and then watching him shoot a couple of racks before we even begin a lesson. I can learn what level of player they are and what they want to achieve. Understand that each student is different, I try to give them what they need. I spend much more time on the fundamentals with a beginning player to give them that foundation. More advanced students will have less time on SPFF and more on the physics and the mental game. Watch the student and see what gets their attention. Those are the things they usually need the most. If they are learning something new, that's where the focus should be. It's not a cookie cutter thing. Each student is going to require different things from the instructor. The real trick is to identify their needs and address them.

Great Post!
Steve

DickLeonard
04-28-2005, 06:43 AM
Tateuts I want to tell you a true story. I would travel to The Tournaments in the Rochester,Syracuse area with Dickie McConnell from North Adams Mass.

These tournaments produced some of the Greatest Players ever Larry Hubbard,Mike Sigel,Eddie Kenowski[the Cannonball].

Well McConnell lost his first two games and he was a lost puppy. I was losing my match badly and I went to the mens room when I got to the table. I wan't in the mens room one minute and in came Dickie asking me what I was doing. I was looking in the Mirror giving myself a pep talk I told him.
He said to me I always thought you were taking drugs, do you know how many times you would come into the mensroom and then come back and run out the game. I said I never counted it, I just knew that it worked. Then I walked out and ran out on my opponent.####

tateuts
04-28-2005, 10:55 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DickLeonard:</font><hr> Tateuts I want to tell you a true story. I would travel to The Tournaments in the Rochester,Syracuse area with Dickie McConnell from North Adams Mass.

These tournaments produced some of the Greatest Players ever Larry Hubbard,Mike Sigel,Eddie Kenowski[the Cannonball].

Well McConnell lost his first two games and he was a lost puppy. I was losing my match badly and I went to the mens room when I got to the table. I wan't in the mens room one minute and in came Dickie asking me what I was doing. I was looking in the Mirror giving myself a pep talk I told him.
He said to me I always thought you were taking drugs, do you know how many times you would come into the mensroom and then come back and run out the game. I said I never counted it, I just knew that it worked. Then I walked out and ran out on my opponent.####

<hr /></blockquote>

Dick,

Great story. Thanks for the advice. I am seriously going to try it.

When I get shaken enough it's usually a downward spiral for me and it's hard to get back into it. Even if I make the shots it seems like everything else goes wrong. It's hard to keep a clear mind when you're screwing up. I could have used some of that pep talk last night.

Can you message me your e-mail address - I want to send you a couple photos of your old Palmer "J" cue - It's been totally restored and it's really pretty!

Chris

Stretch
04-28-2005, 11:38 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DickLeonard:</font><hr> Tateuts I want to tell you a true story. I would travel to The Tournaments in the Rochester,Syracuse area with Dickie McConnell from North Adams Mass.

These tournaments produced some of the Greatest Players ever Larry Hubbard,Mike Sigel,Eddie Kenowski[the Cannonball].

Well McConnell lost his first two games and he was a lost puppy. I was losing my match badly and I went to the mens room when I got to the table. I wan't in the mens room one minute and in came Dickie asking me what I was doing. I was looking in the Mirror giving myself a pep talk I told him.
He said to me I always thought you were taking drugs, do you know how many times you would come into the mensroom and then come back and run out the game. I said I never counted it, I just knew that it worked. Then I walked out and ran out on my opponent.####

<hr /></blockquote>

I remember you telling me that story Dick, and truer words were never spoke! I do that mirror talk now usually before the match starts when i'm cleanin up, and again (if i need it) in a tuff spot dureing play. Pride usualy gets in the way though. I feel like i can play threw anything and the turn arround is right round the corner.....then it's too late. lol St.~~getting easier to take breaks with age /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif~~

DickLeonard
04-29-2005, 05:41 AM
Tateuts I always wondered about putting a mirror in my cue case. That way I wouldn't have to go to the mens room. The Ladies can just put makeup on and they can give themselves a pep talk. ####

BoroNut
04-29-2005, 01:14 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote tateuts:</font><hr>The Three Reasons Why Most Shots Are Missed<hr /></blockquote>

An admirable list, but you have missed my top three:-
1 - It was my turn
2 - I was using my cue
3 - The inability of my aging eyes to fix focus clearly on the precise aiming point on the shiny surface of the distant object ball due to it visibly trembling on the lip of the pocket.

Boro Nut