View Full Version : Question...

9 Ball Girl
06-24-2002, 08:05 PM
What do you guys do when, outside of pool, things aren't going so good and this is all in your head during a match? I try to clear my head by trying to focus on what I'm doing but somehow the "bad stuff" just keeps creeping up. It got so bad once that I conceded my match 'cause I just couldn't keep focused!

Anyway, I'm just interested to hear how some of you handle it.

06-24-2002, 08:20 PM
Wendy, here's a little trick that works wonders, at least for me:

While playing, never remove your eyes from the balls on the table. Never. Even when it's your opponent's turn. What happens is that you enter a low-level trance, and nothing else in the world matters.

I've always used this when I need to really play well, but it seems like it should also work for the problem you describe.

Hope it helps!

- Steve

06-24-2002, 08:21 PM
9 Ball Girl,
If it is serious pool and I am distracted I first try what I call 'table eyes', I train my eyes inside the rails and can't look away unless I excuse myself to look away. Sometimes this brings me back quickly and I can forget about it, sometimes not and then I'm in trouble. I also have a goofy little saying that I tumble in my head like a mantra. Good luck.......:)

06-24-2002, 08:47 PM
Gee, in the last year or so things haven't gone real well a lot for me. (health problems, financial problems, etc.) Life has been more challenging than at any other time in my life. Pool is one of the times and places where I completely forget about all this stuff. God I hope it never changes! /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

06-24-2002, 10:04 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: stickman:</font><hr> Gee, in the last year or so things haven't gone real well a lot for me. (health problems, financial problems, etc.) Life has been more challenging than at any other time in my life. Pool is one of the times and places where I completely forget about all this stuff. God I hope it never changes! /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif <hr></blockquote>

Stickman, there is no shortage of cliches "that which does not kill me only makes me stronger", "this too shall pass" the list goes on. My favorite is "ya' wanna' play some cheap?" LOL. Hang tough StickMan, there are better days ahead. God I hope so 'cause today was a real ba$tard! Regards, Rip~~did I mention how nice Jeanette Lee looked tonight?

06-24-2002, 10:35 PM
Hey, I hang tough. I lost two dogs in the last year. I missed pool on TV tonight because I was getting a new dog. I'm sure Jeanette looked better than the silly looking dog I got. LOL

Don't Ever Give Up!

06-24-2002, 11:29 PM
I recently started shooting again partly to get away from my financial, legal, health, and now my wifes health problems. When I get to the table I've been playing mostly either bad or terrible. And I just keep trying to figure out everything I'm doing wrong and to maybe get some kind of a decent stroke going. Sometimes my problems creep into my mind. I just try to keep shooting. I try to keep it simple. Looking at the current shot and position for the next ball or two balls at most. And you can't let yourself start feeling guilty when you do block out your problems while playing. And I've gotten into a few small tournaments and practiced against a few people. This seemed to help also.

06-25-2002, 02:15 AM
Here is something I use to do when I played in tournaments. It sounds kind of silly but it worked very well for me as far as focus. First I would do like some of the other suggestions......never lose site of the balls. Then I would hum the "jeopardy" theme song in my head. This help me train my warm up stroke before I shot, also it helped me develop consistant timing in my shots (sometimes it helped sometimes it hurt) but most of all, it freed my mind of other thoughts while I was shooting.

Best of luck,

06-25-2002, 02:43 AM
If it bothered me that much I wouldn't play. I'd sort out that problem first. You go in there with the wrong frame of mind. You can sugar coat it all you want but the problem still exists. Why put another problem on top of the one you now have? I'm thinking you played in a tournament. For fun is another matter, it's easy to quit then.

9 Ball Girl
06-25-2002, 09:32 AM
Thanks! I got a couple of good ideas from all of your posts that should help. One of the funny things that happens to me while I'm in that state of mind is that when I'm down on my shot, I get distracted from my reflection on the balls! It's like I'm mocking myself!

Thanks for all of your suggestions and I'm sure things will work out!

06-25-2002, 09:35 AM
Maybe keeping a written record of drills you do during a practice session can help maintain your concentration during these sessions. I went to Microsoft Excell. I printed up sheets with 11 boxes running down the sheet in a column. And I have 5 rows, a separation and 5 more rows. Currently I only do two drills during my practice sessions. I spend the rest of time just rolling out all 15 balls and shooting them. And ocassionally I might set up some particular shot to try a few times. Or I might try reshooting a shot that's giving me problems.

I rack all 15 balls &amp; break them. Then I take ball in hand and start shooting until I finish the rack. I count 1 point for each miss or scratch. And then I take ball in hand again and continue shooting until I finish the rack. After each rack I mark down the points I counted for that rack. These are points to be taken off or a count of my misses. I do 10 racks of this marking the misses in the first 10 boxes of column 1. In the 11th box I simply total all the counts or misses. And mark down 15 as the name for this drill. And I mark down the date.

For my second drill I only rack the first 6 balls and break. I respot any balls I might make. It seems I make less balls on the break with 6 balls then I do with 9 balls. After the break I take ball in hand and shoot the balls in consecutive order. I count each miss or scratch as 1. And I again take ball in hand after each miss or scratch and continue until I finish the rack. And I keep score the same way as in the first drill. I started with 6 balls because it is easy to rack. And I don't shoot well enough to be using 9 balls now. I will add balls when I start improving.

Basically in drill 15 I'm just keeping track of how many misses it takes me to go through 10 racks of 15 balls in any order. Just a simple drill to keep me practicing pocketing balls and note my progress. And in drill 6 I keep track of how many misses it takes me to go through 10 racks of 6 balls in rotation order. Just another simple drill. This one to get use to playing position in rotation order for 9 ball. But simply taking the time to write down info after each rack forces you to pay a little more attention to how you are doing and it makes it easy to notice any improvements, or good or bad sessions. And it seems that during the part of my practices that I'm keeping a written record that my concentration drifts a little less.

06-25-2002, 09:41 AM
If you are going to be any good at pool, having the ability to sometimes just laugh at yourself or your simple or stupid mistakes, is helpful.

06-25-2002, 09:49 AM
learning how to concentrate comes in stages just like learning how to stroke a ball properly... you have to tell yourself before the match "did I come here to lose?" "am I going to give myself excuses to lose?" or "am I gonna bare down and kick this losers ass?" alot of people seem to only be able to stay in a game for 5-6 balls then they let up better players can stay in a match for a few ames then they let up... very goodplayer stay in the match till its over... you have to work on your mental skills just as hard as you physical... using any kind of excuse when you lose is just that... an excuse.

06-25-2002, 11:23 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: cheesemouse:</font><hr> I also have a goofy little saying that I tumble in my head like a mantra.<hr></blockquote>Hi Cheese,

C,mon now, give it up! I gotta know how goofy it is!

Does your saying change or has it been the same for months/years? I tend to get a mantra, but it changes regularly. Sometimes I come back to one I had before. Most often, they're musical in nature, like the other poster's Jeopardy song.

06-25-2002, 11:44 AM
Just because it's you I will give it up......."esh biddly oat'n doht boo dot en dot en wah dosh" LMAO /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif See, I told you it was goofy. Do you remember that Phillip Morris cigarett commercial from way back in the fiftys and sixtys where this miget in a bell hop suit yells out .......Calllllllll for Phillllllllllip Moooooooorriiiissssssss. I say it to that migets chant. It makes me laugh inside. I have used it for 20 plus years. Sometimes I will scream it outloud real fast and my buddies will say "what??????" I just laugh...:)

06-25-2002, 11:59 AM
Like you say Rod, if something was bothering me that bad, I probably wouldn't play. Pool to me is what drugs are to some people. When I'm playing pool, nothing else matters. It's my escape from reality. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

06-25-2002, 12:49 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: cheesemouse:</font><hr> "esh biddly oat'n doht boo dot en dot en wah dosh" LMAO /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif <hr></blockquote>Okay, you win! That is totally goofy (but sounds strangely familiar...). Thanks for sharing!

06-25-2002, 01:03 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: 9 Ball Girl:</font><hr> What do you guys do when, outside of pool, things aren't going so good and this is all in your head during a match? I try to clear my head by trying to focus on what I'm doing but somehow the "bad stuff" just keeps creeping up. It got so bad once that I conceded my match 'cause I just couldn't keep focused!

Anyway, I'm just interested to hear how some of you handle it. <hr></blockquote>

Hi Wendy,

When I have alot on my mind, (which seems to be all the time these days) I try to narrow my game down to 2 balls. When playing 9 ball, I will only focus on making the object ball and getting po on the next ball. Basically, I figure out where I need to be, then look at the object ball and concentrate on just making it. It's overly simplistic and it's not the best thing to do, but seems to quiet my mind when I have enough to think about.

Eric &gt;works fer me

06-25-2002, 01:25 PM
Jeez Cheese, if I tried to say that I'd never get to my next shot. At the very least be tounge tied or carried away in a white suite! Yes I remember the miget.

06-25-2002, 03:41 PM
LOL LOL After you have silently repeated it a couple hundred thousands times it puts you in a day long trance...hehehe I can have that going on in the back of my head while I'm talking to people, of course, everything they say to me is gibberish. LMAO..... /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

06-25-2002, 08:47 PM
If you say it out loud fast, it kind of sounds like scat. In fact, it sounds a lot like some scat from a Disney movie, perhaps "The Jungle Book"?

06-25-2002, 10:28 PM
When there is a lot in the head and just cannot get it out, just stop for a moment, look at the table and think on how th other person is winning because you cannot control your own thoughts.
Remember that the issues are still going to be there after the game.
The game is not going to resolved them nor it will make them worse.
When you find yourself that cannot control your game because of what you have in your mind, then quit, pack up and go home, tomorrow will be another day. If you feel like you are able to control your little inner dude yelling on your ear and reminding you that you have something that is happenning and you cannot find the answer in how to resolve the problem then is time for you to turn around, take a deep breath, think for a minute or 2, have in mind that you are playing and not resolving somebody elses issues and its, at this moment, you and your enemy in the same table and you have to finish here first before going to fight another battle in a different field.

Hope it heps you, its all on the inner-self control of the priorities you have. If the issues that are bothering you at that time require urgency, I will suggest to go and resolve them first to a point that you feel like you are able to leave behind for a few hours and then worry about it later on any unfinished business.

Remeber, it is pool what you are playing, it is not a family matter, or business related, work or otherwise, its pool and its you againg the other person, you have to go and take him out, tell that person with your shots that you are the owner of that table and nobody is going to take it away. When you walked out with the pocket full of shells then you will see the difference.


06-25-2002, 10:39 PM
Everything can be solved by the serenity prayer! If I have a problem that I can do something about, I best do it. After I've done what I can do, I can forget it. If there's nothing I can do, I turn it over to God and let him deal with it. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

06-26-2002, 03:47 AM
Good answer Stickman!
And Wendy, we all have problems, but do not focus on the problem-"theres never a problem, ONLY A SOLUTION!"-if you workout the solution before going into the match ,you have a more positive mentality , unless its a life -threatening situation, then I wouldnt play!
Good luck!

06-26-2002, 06:50 AM
Dear friend,
It sounds as though there may be some issues going on in your life that need to be addressed. Sometimes, problems can't be "Solved" but instead, must be embraced. It may help to look at those problems as opportunities to grow, learn, and become stronger and better. You might try changing the mental dialog, that conversation that goes on in your mind, and choose to have the problems that you are presently experiencing. It is hare to tell your good luck from your bad sometimes, so try to believe that there is a hidden value in having those particular issues present in your life at this time, and that the Gods, or fate, or whatever you beleive in, have sent them to you for very good purposes, purposes which you do not yet understand, but in time, will prove to expand you as a person, and promote your happiness in the long run. We can't always change the problems which life sends our way, but they truly do have a way of vanishing once we embrace them with faith and courage. Decide to change the way you feel about them, and they will stop haunting you when you least expect it. Remind yourself what a fine person you are, and that you deserve a break from worrying about them. Remember that the "worry" function, only wears you out, and doesn't bring you any closer to the solutions, and that the only thing that is real, is what you DO. What you resist, persists, but you are the powerful master of your universe, and the only answers, are the ones you make, and you will find them when the time is right. Happiness is a choice, available to each of us at any moment that we choose to love ourselves.
Good luck friend!
Gayle in Md.

Gayle in MD
06-26-2002, 07:11 AM
Gee, wonder why I show up as Anonymous?

06-26-2002, 07:51 AM
Hey Car,

Welcome home from your travels!


06-26-2002, 07:52 AM

You never fail to amaze me with you responses to questions on this board...You are truly an amazing and compasionate individual and I always look at your reponses when I see them...This lady will surely get help for your words if she heeds them...

Ron C in SC

PS...I put in my resignation yesterday and will retire to the country life in Swansea, SC next Tuesday, July 2nd....God Bless

John in NH
06-26-2002, 08:19 AM
Hi 9 ball girl,

For me it's my attitude as written by Charles Swindell.

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company..a church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude...I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our attitudes."

Good luck,


9 Ball Girl
06-26-2002, 09:54 AM
Thanks. Those are truly words to live by. I won my match last night. So far so good. I have another one tonite. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

BTW, maybe you show up as Anonymous because you forgot to sign in?

9 Ball Girl
06-26-2002, 10:01 AM
Hey Carol! Where ya been? Traveling as usual I'm sure. Welcome back! /ccboard/images/icons/laugh.gif

Gayle in MD
06-26-2002, 04:24 PM
Congratulations Ron, and thank you for your very kind words. I hope that some day I will have the pleasure of meeting you, as I have always enjoyed reading YOUR posts! BTW, I kinda miss calling you "Uncle Ron" and wondered why you dropped the "Uncle"? Where is Swansea? Sounds like a nice place to retire. I hope you will keep me informed of your "New" life! Enjoy, Enjoy!
Gayle in Md, Towjob3@aol.com

06-26-2002, 04:48 PM
It does help to have a "theme song," something that won't remind you of any of your problems, and something that will block every other little distraction out.
I don't have a "theme song," but at one tournament i played, in which my on-again-off-again s.o. just HAD to come to, here is what I did....I brought a discman, and played the old Eminem CD, the whole thing, before my matches. There was one song in particular I like that I played more then once. I would make myself listen to the words, so I couldn't think about anything else (Eminum is rather hard to understand sometimes), and then when I played, all I saw was the table, and all I heard was Eminem (no matter how hard I tried not to!).
I don't think it has to be your favorite artist necessarily, but music that will inspire your game and won't let your mind wander...

06-27-2002, 03:37 AM
Hey Eric&amp;Wendy,
Ive been here-had 2nd daughters graduation,prom and getting her ready for College in Sept.-two down, one to go!:)I was at Corner Mon. evening for final straight pool match.Thanks for thinking of me and Im always thinking of you!
And Gayle, your response made me feel like I was reading a Hallmark card-just beautiful!
Stay well!

Gayle in MD
06-27-2002, 07:05 AM
I've been wondering where you were! Congrats on "Two down, one to go" and now I hate to have to be the one to break this to you, but after the last one is taken care of, then you get to start thinking about what you can do for your grand kids, LOL. Had hoped to see all of you this weekend, but, alas, the Tuna have shown up early this year, so it's off to the Ocean for me! I'll be thinking of you though, and good luck to all in the CAT!

06-27-2002, 08:15 AM
Godd to hear that all's well! The board hasn't been the same without ya!

Eric &gt;CCB: the cult, without the Kool Aid

Gayle in MD
06-27-2002, 09:40 AM
Hi again, and congrats on the match!
RE: Anonymous, the board seems to recognize me at times, and then other times, not. Might be something with AOL. I always forget to check to see if the log in option is present before I post. LOL
Good luck tonight!
take care!
Gayle in Md

06-27-2002, 06:34 PM
Good to see you in what I think is a good mood... for a Hedonist.

Good advice.. as usual..