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Tom_In_Cincy
06-30-2002, 10:00 AM
From the newsgroup forum rec.sport.billiards
I found this interesting enough to share it with this forum.

This isn't a new idea to some players, but has merit and was informative to me when the idea was presented to me many years ago.

john@lewis.co.uk is from the UK and just posted this Friday.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr>Some time ago, when I visited a professional golf coach, he told me I'd never be any good at golf. He said " John, you have to be thick to be any good at golf" After some discussion he added the same reasoning applies to snooker, billiards and pool.

Although he made what I thought to be an outrageous statement, he justified his remark by quoting various top players all of whom he knew personally, who he claimed were "thick" He claimed they were immune to thoughts of how they accomplished what they achieved in their sport, and were never wrong in their choice of club at golf, or shot at billiards. If anything went wrong with the intended result, it could not be their fault. Some would call this
immense self belief, some would consider it arrogance on their part, my professional called it "thick".

There was a time when the Billiard and Snooker Council, vetted the applications for professional status, and kept out what were termed the "riff raff", players of a lower social standing. The drunkards were not admitted as they were not thought to live up to the standards of behavior, and would bring the game into disrepute.

This has of course all changed now, and anyone who can find the entry fee can become a professional snooker player, and should they be sufficiently (thick) immune to the pressures of winning the top prizes, and win a prestigious event, are asked to make the winners speech. It is when they speak in front of an audience that one can best judge them, not for their playing ability, which they have proved, but for the thickness factor, that immunity
from ever being wrong, the total self belief that gives them such an advantage when they smash the balls into the pockets. One reads in these columns of the "zone",which is described as a thoughtless period of play where everything goes right all the time, this is said to be "mindless" play, hence my pro's description of "thickness" seems not far out after all.

Now in the UK, where I see my snooker heroes, I have my opinions on who is ahem thick, but as I never see any American cue sports, I wonder about the thickness factor within the top players.

By the way, the brain is said to in two halves, the right side for arty things, and the left side for thinking with, but the left side of brain controls the right eye, and the right hand, so if you think your right eye is dominant, what you mean is your left brain is processing the information, but the left side is the thinking side, and you should not think when playing, or so my teacher told me. "You have to be thick John" he said. I wonder what he meant?

Best wishes

JohnL<hr></blockquote>

PQQLK9
06-30-2002, 10:09 AM
I've heard it refered to as being "Head Strong".

Sid_Vicious
06-30-2002, 10:20 AM
Thanks Tom, I understand this but can't find a fast analogy right now to express why I say that...sid~~~thick is the new word of the day

MikeM
06-30-2002, 06:05 PM
For a second there I thought this thread was all about how being thick around the middle could help your pool game. What a letdown.

MM...gotta spend more time at the Y and less in the PH.

06-30-2002, 07:09 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> "You have to be thick John" he said. I wonder what he meant?

Best wishes

JohnL&lt;hr&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; <hr></blockquote>

ah, this is a good one. where to begin?

we've heard the phrase "paralysis by analysis". what is "getting in the zone", if it's not cutting out the thinking and gettin into shooting?

it suprised the heck outta me when, as a youngster, i discovered that there is no direct coorelation between being great at chess and being smart. there really isn't.

how many players do you know who really can't shoot their best till they do something to fuzz-up their brains? (if you answered "none", you reallyneed to get out more.)

i have a tendency to chew on some of my teammates who grieve endlessly over misses by telling them that they've learned all they are going to about that shot within a few seconds of striking the cue ball. let it go.

i'm not quite sure that you have be be stupid to be a great player but i'm pretty sure it does not hurt.

dan

Tom_In_Cincy
06-30-2002, 07:23 PM
HDJ,
I've read that the "zone" is a glipse of how you can play if you practice and become confident in your ability to trust what you know about your skill.
The book "Golf is not a game of Perfect" explains the "zone" a lot better than my poor paraphrasing.. Excellent read, especially if you know anything about the history of golf since the 1960s.

The parallel between what is written in this book about the mental side of competion and skill developement of golf and pool is what I found to be most interesting.. I highly recommend it to any one that plays pool or golfs.

06-30-2002, 07:36 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> HDJ,
I've read that the "zone" is a glipse of how you can play if you practice and become confident in your ability to trust what you know about your skill.
The book "Golf is not a game of Perfect" explains the "zone" a lot better than my poor paraphrasing.. Excellent read, especially if you know anything about the history of golf since the 1960s.

The parallel between what is written in this book about the mental side of competion and skill developement of golf and pool is what I found to be most interesting.. I highly recommend it to any one that plays pool or golfs. <hr></blockquote>

i really think they should have written the movie "rainman" around hoffman being a pool savant and cruise being his stakehorse.

too true???

dan...not ready for the lobotomy.

Tom_In_Cincy
06-30-2002, 07:41 PM
Laughed outloud at your post.. HDJ.. great thought..

Savant
1 : a mentally defective person who exhibits exceptional skill or brilliance in some limited field

John in NH
06-30-2002, 07:41 PM
Hi Tom,

Amusing post, I always knew that pool and golf had something in common, couldn't quite figure out what that was, thanks for sharing that bit of information.

Regards,

John

WaltVA
06-30-2002, 08:11 PM
Years ago, a friend recommended "The Inner Game of Tennis" for insights on the "zone." If I remember, exactly the same point was made - you've hit this same shot over and over in practice, know how to do it, so trust your muscle memory and instinct rather than trying to "think" your way through it.

Thinking is useful in analysing and learning something completely new, but once you've practiced and KNOW the shot, just DO it - thinking becomes an impediment to performance.

Walt in VA

Tom_In_Cincy
06-30-2002, 08:15 PM
"The Inner Game of Tennis" by Timothy Gallwey, 1974, and has been revised at least once, was recommended to me in 1987 by Jim Rempe as being the best book he had read about the mental aspects of competition.. Great book and should be read prior to "Golf is not a game of perfect" to get the full effect of what a mental game is..

07-02-2002, 05:32 PM
I have to admit that there is a certain toughness about "thick" players. I've seen some mediocre players who were dumb enough to think they were GREAT players play pretty good at times ;-). Ronnie Allen said it best when he was describing a shortstop player who had beat him in a tournament, "This guy has himself bullshitted into thinking he can play!"

07-02-2002, 06:34 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> From the newsgroup forum rec.sport.billiards
I found this interesting enough to share it with this forum.

This isn't a new idea to some players, but has merit and was informative to me when the idea was presented to me many years ago.

john@lewis.co.uk is from the UK and just posted this Friday.

&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr&gt;Some time ago, when I visited a professional golf coach, he told me I'd never be any good at golf. He said " John, you have to be thick to be any good at golf" After some discussion he added the same reasoning applies to snooker, billiards and pool.

Although he made what I thought to be an outrageous statement, he justified his remark by quoting various top players all of whom he knew personally, who he claimed were "thick" He claimed they were immune to thoughts of how they accomplished what they achieved in their sport, and were never wrong in their choice of club at golf, or shot at billiards. If anything went wrong with the intended result, it could not be their fault. Some would call this
immense self belief, some would consider it arrogance on their part, my professional called it "thick".

There was a time when the Billiard and Snooker Council, vetted the applications for professional status, and kept out what were termed the "riff raff", players of a lower social standing. The drunkards were not admitted as they were not thought to live up to the standards of behavior, and would bring the game into disrepute.

This has of course all changed now, and anyone who can find the entry fee can become a professional snooker player, and should they be sufficiently (thick) immune to the pressures of winning the top prizes, and win a prestigious event, are asked to make the winners speech. It is when they speak in front of an audience that one can best judge them, not for their playing ability, which they have proved, but for the thickness factor, that immunity
from ever being wrong, the total self belief that gives them such an advantage when they smash the balls into the pockets. One reads in these columns of the "zone",which is described as a thoughtless period of play where everything goes right all the time, this is said to be "mindless" play, hence my pro's description of "thickness" seems not far out after all.

Now in the UK, where I see my snooker heroes, I have my opinions on who is ahem thick, but as I never see any American cue sports, I wonder about the thickness factor within the top players.

By the way, the brain is said to in two halves, the right side for arty things, and the left side for thinking with, but the left side of brain controls the right eye, and the right hand, so if you think your right eye is dominant, what you mean is your left brain is processing the information, but the left side is the thinking side, and you should not think when playing, or so my teacher told me. "You have to be thick John" he said. I wonder what he meant?

Best wishes

JohnL&lt;hr&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; <hr></blockquote>

that makes alot of sense. I'm good at a few different things, and I attribute the fact that I am really dumb as part of my success. Many years ago, Mark Twain said "All you need in life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure."

I think he's on to something there.

07-02-2002, 09:38 PM
Very interesting topic, indeed, Tom. I like to think of it as overcoming reality.

Jack Nicklaus credited himself with being one of the greatest rationalizers of all time. He said he had a rationalization for anything and everything about his game, just as long as it kept him positive, kept his confidence level high and in the frame of mind where he felt ready, willing and able to win a golf tournament. He admitted that some of the things he told himself sometimes were downright fabrications, yet absolutely necessary for his frame of mind at that particular time.

Fran

SPetty
07-03-2002, 01:35 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Jimmy M.:</font><hr> I have to admit that there is a certain toughness about "thick" players. I've seen some mediocre players who were dumb enough to think they were GREAT players play pretty good at times ;-). Ronnie Allen said it best when he was describing a shortstop player who had beat him in a tournament, "This guy has himself bullshitted into thinking he can play!" <hr></blockquote>Hi Jimmy,

When I can keep my brain out of it, I can often shoot better than when I let myself think about it. A couple of league teammates even got together and created a sign for me that said: "Don't forget to remember how good you are!" They actually noticed during league play that I would sometimes "forget" that I knew how to play this game!

BillPorter
07-04-2002, 10:43 AM
Tom, nice post. Lack of "thickness" is probably my biggest handicap when it comes to pool. BTW, why did the name Earl Strickland leap into my mind as I read about "thickness?" (Meaning no disrespect to anyone!)

Tom_In_Cincy
07-04-2002, 11:17 AM
LOL.. does 'thickness' have levels.. would Earl be the "10"?

07-04-2002, 01:01 PM
Is three inches thick enough??? LOL St.