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loyter
12-05-2005, 02:23 PM
Here's the problem I am having lately:

I don't practice well. I have a table at home, and I practice alone. I have a set of routines I like to to through, but lately, my level of practice has dropped. I want to practice, but when I do, I just get frustrated and angry with each missed shot. Then, I get to the point where I am just smacking balls around, which is counter-productive. Yesterday, I hate to admit, I snapped a cue with the frustration. (first time I've ever done that.)

At this point, I think I am ready to stop playing altogether for a while, but I hate to regress any farther than I already have.

Have you had any similar stretches? Any advice?

pooltchr
12-05-2005, 05:47 PM
The quantity of your practice is not as important as the quality. What you practice and how you practice is the key factor.
If I am playing a match and realise I am getting unwanted spin on the ball, I make a note of it for my next practice session. Now I know what to practice. How do I practice it? I have a series of about 8 drills we call "mother drills". There is one drill to target problems with my stroke, one to address my speed control, one covers top and bottom spin, and yes, there is one to focus on making sure I am hitting the ball where I intend to hit it. So all I have to do is select the drill I need, and that is all I do in my next practice session......for about 10 to 15 minutes tops. If I need to work a couple of different drills, I will finish one, take a break for a few minutes, then do the other......for about 10 to 15 minutes tops!
Then I'm done.

You need to know what specifically you want to get out of a practice session (not just making more shots...very specifically what you need to accomplish), and then you need to know how to work on that one area.

It starts with knowing what needs to be done. When you miss a shot, do you ask yourself "how did I miss that?", or do you say to yourself "I was not properly aligned for that shot and that is why I missed it."? Identifying the problem is the first step. Do you have a problem with your stroke not being straight? Are you looking at the wrong things at the wrong time? Are you aiming at the right spot? Are you putting too much spin, or not enough on the cue ball? Were you lined up correctly to begin with?
Once you know the problem, it's pretty easy to fix. You just gotta know what needs fixing and how to go about it.

Steve

Drop1
12-05-2005, 09:14 PM
Practice with a better player.

CarolNYC
12-06-2005, 03:55 AM
Hi there,
[ QUOTE ]
my level of practice has dropped. I want to practice, but when I do, I just get frustrated and angry with each missed shot<hr /></blockquote>
This seems like a "working on your MENTAL game" problem,rather than a physical shooting problem-whats the environment like when you shoot? Are you married,single? What are you playing?
Its hard to practice yourself,so,what I did was, selected a certain time to practice,I play straight pool and try to run racks and this may sound silly,but, my husband gave me a challenge, "for every rack I can run past 3, I get 100 bucks!" /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif-I know its a minute amount, but now its a challenge,so maybe if you put something at stake,it'll give you more of a drive to shoot lights out,ya know?
Carol~just a thought!!!!!!!1

CarolNYC
12-06-2005, 03:56 AM
[ QUOTE ]
The quantity of your practice is not as important as the quality <hr /></blockquote>

Hmmmmm,sounds familiar /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif
Carol~lock&amp;load /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

pooltchr
12-06-2005, 05:35 AM
Carol,
I just keep on singing the same old song...

BTW, glad to see you back posting again.
L&amp;L
Steve

CarolNYC
12-06-2005, 06:36 AM
Hiya Steve,
[ QUOTE ]
I just keep on singing the same old song... <hr /></blockquote>
Oh,but what a very important song you sing-it gave me a good kick in the a$$! /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif
I just want to mention to this home player that I play 1 1/2 hour intervals-this personnal challenge between my husband and I is ,one thing I do-the next interval, I may play bowlliards,or shoot straight in long shots (which I think are deadly) or throw out one ball and kick at it or throw 15 out off the rail and pocket WITHOUT hitting a rail or break and run first 10,last 5 in sequence-BUT,along with all this, you have to find time to get to the poolhall and play a better player and while your playing them-WATCH-contemplate what they'll shoot cause sometimes you'll see a shot and say "Oh,I like that way better" ya know?
Personally, I enjoy watching the men and straight pool-it amazes me /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
As far as the mental game, I needed outside help,LMAO,so I take Tai Chi 4 days a week!
Hope this helps!
Take care!
Carol

DickLeonard
12-06-2005, 07:26 AM
Loyter unless it's a house cue your better off running into a brick wall. Breaking cues can be very costly when your playing with thousand dollar custom cues. That is one habit to never get into.

Get yourself some soft music and play to the melody of the music. Playing good pool is like building a building, you must have a strong foundation, take a half of a newspaper put it on the floor and follow the right angle of the sheet. Left foot along the length and right foot along the bottom and your cue follows the other length. It takes two weeks to make the stance a part of your game. This way any time you want you can check your stance by placing the sheet on the floor.Lesson 1

caedos
12-06-2005, 10:09 AM
The availability of having a table at the house lets me practice specific things. Cool. After 10-20 minutes I'm done with that. 'Playing' or 'practicing' within a game does me little good because I have no opponent and there is no real consequence to 'losing' or playing poorly. I'll work diamonds, banking, specific shots,spins, jumps, and such when I'm at home. I may occasionally run through some racks of a type of game, but I don't get upset if I don't play well because it amounts to tinkering when I play alone and it's tough to play well like that. How often in the middle of a rack when you're on your own do you stop the game down to re-shoot a shot or rework a pattern? If you do at all (ever) then that is a form of practice and how can any player expect to play even average much less above average if you give yourself permission to tinker in the middle of a rack? AND there's no other consequence. I hope you are competing with other people of some skill with some frequency. If you simply must play solo, track your progress with scored games (equal offense, bowlliards, target pool, 99) or create your own scoring.
Cue snapping is expensive and only helps me feel better for a few seconds. Of course I'd have to put down my good cue and find my el cheapo in the corner!

Good luck and have fun!


Carl

Snapshot9
12-06-2005, 11:04 AM
Pool is about baby steps. You have to build up knowledge
over time by learning the basics first, then progressing on
into the more complex things in Pool. You have to master
each step before you can put together a whole good game in playing. When you practice, you HAVE TO BE ABLE to repeat things you don't do correctly the first time, even if it takes 50 iterations of the same shot. I believe that practice is only done by yourself or with a qualified instructor. Playing someone else is a 'contest' of who will win, and you might see something you want to learn, but will no learn it just by watching your opponent doing it. If you are breaking sticks, you have an ego problem, and you better learn to deal with it. I have played 44 years, and have never broken or damaged a cue, any cue. Aren't you intelligent enough to realize that your anger is only self-defeating? Playing excellent Pool is not a 'Right', it
is earned through hardwork and intelligence. A lot of people, the majority, never get there because they can't or don't want to put the time, effort, and brainpower into it to get as good as they can, that's fine, just enjoy Pool and have fun, but to be a serious player and a strong competitor, you have to put a lot more into it. If you don't learn to control your emotions while playing, you will never be a champion, just a sucker.

Billy_Bob
12-06-2005, 12:26 PM
You don't *have* to practice, so stop practicing for awhile!

Just go to bars/pool halls and play or figure out a way to get people to come over and play.

Variety is the spice of life... Over the summer I could not practice any and could not play much due to various projects I was working on. Well I took this time to work on defensive shots when playing the few games I did play.

Also I will work on one specific shot for maybe a month. Every time I play a game, which does not matter if I win or not (not a team situation where the other players might be ticked if I lost), I will shoot "the shot of the moment" whenever I get a chance.

So say I am working on draw shots. Every shot I shoot will be a draw shot. I could care less if I win or not. Just that I am able to draw the ball back every time. And after a month of doing this, I get quite good at that one specific shot. So then on to the next problem area...

John_Madden
12-08-2005, 06:59 PM
Play some up beat music that makes YOU feel good. Then CHANGE YOUR ROUTINE!!! Pick out one shot, practice it over and over until you make it - then make it again, and again. Then quit practicing!! But when you are practicing CONCENTRATE ON MAKING THE BALL. You may have too long or boring routine that you "have" to practice - change it up - make it fun, enjoyable and not too long until you have the <font color="red"> desire </font color> to spend more time practicing. <font color="red"> Take two aspirin and call me in the morning </font color> - so I can build you a new cue!! - just kidding.
Jack
www.johnmaddencues.com (http://www.johnmaddencues.com)

loyter
12-09-2005, 08:56 AM
Thanks to those of you who have repied to this post.

Someone up there in the thread asked about outside influences. That is where I think my problems are coming from. It's a matter of stress elsewhere in my life bleeding over into pool. Well, the outside stress, plus my lack of work on my game lately have led me to miss some really straightforward shots in a couple of tourneys.

Without reading this thread beforehand, I changed things up and arranged to have a friend come shoot with me. Then I switched up my practice routine (actually, I simplified it, and just practiced some of the old classic shots...like full-table straight in draw shots and the like.)

I am back on track, and having fun with the game again. I think I just put too much pressure on myself.

One other thing, I have never broken a cue before, and I am pretty sure that if I had not been playing with el-cheapo from the corner already, I would have been able to restrain myself.

Anyway, thanks again, and lets hope the outside stressors stay away for a while.

CarolNYC
12-10-2005, 04:03 AM
GOOD LUCK! /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Voodoo Daddy
12-10-2005, 12:44 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote CarolNYC:</font><hr> Hi there,
&lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
my level of practice has dropped. I want to practice, but when I do, I just get frustrated and angry with each missed shot<hr /></blockquote>
This seems like a "working on your MENTAL game" problem,rather than a physical shooting problem-whats the environment like when you shoot? Are you married,single? What are you playing?
Its hard to practice yourself,so,what I did was, selected a certain time to practice,I play straight pool and try to run racks and this may sound silly,but, my husband gave me a challenge, "for every rack I can run past 3, I get 100 bucks!" /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif-I know its a minute amount, but now its a challenge,so maybe if you put something at stake,it'll give you more of a drive to shoot lights out,ya know?
Carol~just a thought!!!!!!!1 <hr /></blockquote>

Did someone call me mental? Oh Mental game...oops

mworkman
12-10-2005, 01:06 PM
Practice? Practice???? He's not even talking about the game man, he's talking about practice. This is my favorite quote.

-Alan Iverson.