PDA

View Full Version : Need Tips adjusting to table speed, cloth, etc



BigRigTom
03-08-2006, 12:34 PM
One of the biggest difficulties I have is adjusting to the table speed.
I play APA 8 ball and 9 ball.(Skill level 6 in both, went to 7 in 9 ball but fell back to 6.)
Playing league results in us playing at several different locations as the season passes and we never know for sure which table we'll be on any given night. Mostly 7 footers but some 9 footers. Some have Simonis 860, some have Championship Ultra, some have the wooly nappy stuff like "FELT!", some are well maintained and level and some are like they just fell off a truck, bad cloth, dirty balls, dead rails, dirty nappy cloth...you name it we see it.
If we manage to survive all the above, our reward it the regionals and under pressure we're are looking at 9 to 18 rented tables that all have something different to adjust too...then after that the Nationals where the whole scenario is scrambled and we start all over again with no hope of advanced adjustment. We want to perform at the top of the scale on foreign equipment under the most unfriendly conditions.
Any suggestions for a quick 5 minute warmup drill that can give one the edge in these situations?

PlynSets
03-08-2006, 03:52 PM
Tom, I wish I had some text book answer for your Question but honestly I don't think there is one. I'm by far NOT a BCA instructor, nor do I really play in leagues.. But I'll lay my limited qualifications down on the table so as to atleast half ass validate what I say and my theories.. The times I did sub for a buddy in League they made me a 7. After league was over, I played the other sevens, and I'll say in my mind of thinking (which is the ABCD) scale most of the "7's" would be middle to low B players (atleast in my scale factor..). That's not to say there wasn't a 7 or two that'd be a solid "A" and straight put the smack down on me, but for the most part it would seem to me that league players paste that # 7 up like it's a big hooplah like look at me, I'm as good as this guy becuase were both 7's.. (which as I'm sure you know there's a bigger jump in the abillity of 7's then there probably is from 1 - 7.) Atleast by the rating system they were using.. Effren Reyes would've been a 7 in this deal, and I would've been a 7 as well.. That guy could spot me the racks and the breaks.. and I'd still find a way to lose.. LOL

Side tracked none the less. While I believe pool to be a very "conscience" game from alot of aspects some of which being : shot selection, english selection, psychological factors (both you and the opponent and how they feed of each other) etc.. etc..

I believe firmly that much of the game is in fact controlled by your subconscience.

If you take for example left and right spin and throwing balls.. Most players really don't change there aim all that much, but if you watch it in slow motion on a video camera (I have incidentally) there final stroke shot usually diverges from their practice stroke to compensate for the "squirt" (ball divergence I guess is what you'd call it) of their cue.. If you start adding up the divergence, throw, how clean the balls are, etc.. etc.. there's no possible way (in my mind) that you could accurately "aim" a shot with alot of left or right and shooting soft on a fast table over some long distance. It's a matter of "feel." I believe that your subconscience learns from each shot you take, and adapts a little for each one.

Some examples of my theory.. When a new person is learning how to aim, you tell them always to aim at this particular point. Usually they hit the ball thick first a few times, then thin, and then start reeling it in closer and closer to center pocket. (Common sense right?) But the fact of the matter is they aren't changing there aim. There mind / body is learning over compensating and then eventually bringing it back to the sweet spot.

Something really interesting that I suggest you try (again to prove the conscience vs subconscience theories) is take someone that can make balls but has little or no concept of english and shape. Line up a shot, straight, angle doesn't matter.. and then tell them to pick a point on the table, to literally touch that point with there cue before they shoot, and tell them you don't care how they get there, just get there.. Usually they'll miss the shot, but by some miracle there with in a very close distance to the spot more often then not. (try it, it's amazing to see what someones brain is capable of with absolutely zero knowlege.. you'll be blown away)

So now that I've laid out my oh so convincing argument on teaching the subconscience

I'll give you my peace of advice on how to more quickly adapt to a table.

Walk up to the table, take the cueball, and roll it medium speed off the side rail in the kitchen.. Just watch it, don't think about it.. Just throw it into the rail and let it bounce back and forth once or twice until it comes to rest. Hopefully that'll give you some indication of speed and rebound (atleast a baseline for your subconscious to start with)

Next (this is assuming you have a minute or two by yourself) Throw a ball on the spot, and line a cue ball up almost dead into the corner or dead. Shoot the ball with a little forward, then a little draw, then alot of left and alot of right. (make sure your using different balls on the left and right.. just trying to get an approximation of how clean the balls are in the rack and how much throw your going to be getting.. providing you use left and right incidentally.)

Then do a couple stroke shots, by cheating the pocket and drawing the cue ball down to the head rail.

Now my fingers are on fire becuase I just typed a novel, but I think it's important for you to know why I picked such easy warm up shots. Especially for league or any place your unfamiliar with.

A. Warming up is just getting into stroke and familiarizing yourself with the equipment. You shouldn't walk up and start doing things that aren't ducks.. You are building your confidence in the table, and stroke. Alot of guys walk up and fire 3 or 4 stroke shots miss all of them and then start playing sets or what not.. What did that do for them? They warmed up missing everything?? Instill confidence in your game 1st then get carried away if you have more warm up time.. Pocket some balls and get into your rhythm and I think you'll be much better off then the standard "drills."

Secondly and this is becuase I don't play much league. There basic drills, they don't give away your game becuase you never know who might be watching.. Might kill your action later on in the night if you start doing stroke shots with table length draw.. Or jump draw shots etc.. LOL

Instill confidence in the beginning and you'll find your consistency will go way up.. By the 3 or 4th shot believe me your brain knows the table even if you don't.

DJ

MrLucky
03-08-2006, 04:12 PM
I play APA also and have the same issues ! your advice is on the money ! I also use the bounce the ball off the rails technique and its the best indicator of table speed and rail action which change from table to table regardless of cloth and size!!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Bob_Jewett
03-08-2006, 05:16 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BigRigTom:</font><hr> ... Any suggestions for a quick 5 minute warmup drill that can give one the edge in these situations? <hr /></blockquote>

See the July, 2003 article at
http://www.onthebreaknews.com/JewettIndex.htm
for some ideas and suggestions. Are you cursed with the big cue ball in any of the rooms you visit?

Around here, most APA league play is on 9-footers with Simonis.

BigRigTom
03-08-2006, 05:20 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote PlynSets:</font><hr> Tom, I wish I had some text book answer for your Question but honestly I don't think there is one. I'm by far NOT a BCA instructor, nor do I really play in leagues.. But I'll lay my limited qualifications down on the table so as to atleast half ass validate what I say and my theories.. The times I did sub for a buddy in League they made me a 7. After league was over, I played the other sevens, and I'll say in my mind of thinking (which is the ABCD) scale most of the "7's" would be middle to low B players (atleast in my scale factor..). That's not to say there wasn't a 7 or two that'd be a solid "A" and straight put the smack down on me, but for the most part it would seem to me that league players paste that # 7 up like it's a big hooplah like look at me, I'm as good as this guy becuase were both 7's.. (which as I'm sure you know there's a bigger jump in the abillity of 7's then there probably is from 1 - 7.) Atleast by the rating system they were using.. Effren Reyes would've been a 7 in this deal, and I would've been a 7 as well.. That guy could spot me the racks and the breaks.. and I'd still find a way to lose.. LOL

Side tracked none the less. While I believe pool to be a very "conscience" game from alot of aspects some of which being : shot selection, english selection, psychological factors (both you and the opponent and how they feed of each other) etc.. etc..

I believe firmly that much of the game is in fact controlled by your subconscience.

If you take for example left and right spin and throwing balls.. Most players really don't change there aim all that much, but if you watch it in slow motion on a video camera (I have incidentally) there final stroke shot usually diverges from their practice stroke to compensate for the "squirt" (ball divergence I guess is what you'd call it) of their cue.. If you start adding up the divergence, throw, how clean the balls are, etc.. etc.. there's no possible way (in my mind) that you could accurately "aim" a shot with alot of left or right and shooting soft on a fast table over some long distance. It's a matter of "feel." I believe that your subconscience learns from each shot you take, and adapts a little for each one.

Some examples of my theory.. When a new person is learning how to aim, you tell them always to aim at this particular point. Usually they hit the ball thick first a few times, then thin, and then start reeling it in closer and closer to center pocket. (Common sense right?) But the fact of the matter is they aren't changing there aim. There mind / body is learning over compensating and then eventually bringing it back to the sweet spot.

Something really interesting that I suggest you try (again to prove the conscience vs subconscience theories) is take someone that can make balls but has little or no concept of english and shape. Line up a shot, straight, angle doesn't matter.. and then tell them to pick a point on the table, to literally touch that point with there cue before they shoot, and tell them you don't care how they get there, just get there.. Usually they'll miss the shot, but by some miracle there with in a very close distance to the spot more often then not. (try it, it's amazing to see what someones brain is capable of with absolutely zero knowlege.. you'll be blown away)

So now that I've laid out my oh so convincing argument on teaching the subconscience

I'll give you my peace of advice on how to more quickly adapt to a table.

Walk up to the table, take the cueball, and roll it medium speed off the side rail in the kitchen.. Just watch it, don't think about it.. Just throw it into the rail and let it bounce back and forth once or twice until it comes to rest. Hopefully that'll give you some indication of speed and rebound (atleast a baseline for your subconscious to start with)

Next (this is assuming you have a minute or two by yourself) Throw a ball on the spot, and line a cue ball up almost dead into the corner or dead. Shoot the ball with a little forward, then a little draw, then alot of left and alot of right. (make sure your using different balls on the left and right.. just trying to get an approximation of how clean the balls are in the rack and how much throw your going to be getting.. providing you use left and right incidentally.)

Then do a couple stroke shots, by cheating the pocket and drawing the cue ball down to the head rail.

Now my fingers are on fire becuase I just typed a novel, but I think it's important for you to know why I picked such easy warm up shots. Especially for league or any place your unfamiliar with.

A. Warming up is just getting into stroke and familiarizing yourself with the equipment. You shouldn't walk up and start doing things that aren't ducks.. You are building your confidence in the table, and stroke. Alot of guys walk up and fire 3 or 4 stroke shots miss all of them and then start playing sets or what not.. What did that do for them? They warmed up missing everything?? Instill confidence in your game 1st then get carried away if you have more warm up time.. Pocket some balls and get into your rhythm and I think you'll be much better off then the standard "drills."

Secondly and this is becuase I don't play much league. There basic drills, they don't give away your game becuase you never know who might be watching.. Might kill your action later on in the night if you start doing stroke shots with table length draw.. Or jump draw shots etc.. LOL

Instill confidence in the beginning and you'll find your consistency will go way up.. By the 3 or 4th shot believe me your brain knows the table even if you don't.

DJ <hr /></blockquote>

Thanks a load for this advise and it all rings true to me too.
I don't know about you but it is important to me that the advise I try to follow sounds good on the surface.....and....yours does.
Thanks again,
Looks like I'll get a chance to try it out tomorrow when we play our 9 ball match.
Maybe I can get back on here Friday and let you and everyone else know how successful I am at applying your suggestions.

BigRigTom
03-08-2006, 05:25 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote BigRigTom:</font><hr> ... Any suggestions for a quick 5 minute warmup drill that can give one the edge in these situations? <hr /></blockquote>

See the July, 2003 article at
http://www.onthebreaknews.com/JewettIndex.htm
for some ideas and suggestions. Are you cursed with the big cue ball in any of the rooms you visit?

Around here, most APA league play is on 9-footers with Simonis. <hr /></blockquote>

Thanks Bob,
We used to have the "Big Cue Ball Problem" and also the "Magnetic Cue Ball Problem" but now most of the teams carry a couple of "Red Circle Cue Balls" to league with them and since the table is opened up for league play we substitute the cue ball.
Makes every one happy and has been gladly accepted by all in our region (so far at least).
Our League Operators try to have the better cue balls available at the regionals as well. Now if only the Nationals would wake up.....will that ever happen?

Fran Crimi
03-09-2006, 06:43 AM
Hi Tom,

In addition to the other suggestions, I'd suggest that you pick 4 or 5 shots where you generally know what to expect and test them out on the table. Be sure to include draw, topspin and sidespin in the mix. For example: A medium struck draw shot will give you loads of information on how the table and balls are reacting to backspin.

Check for levelness by lagging the cb up and down the lengh of the table, particularly near the pockets. Do the same width-wise.

Also, you might want to test for dead rails by hitting the cb fairly hard into the rails. You can also try a few bank shots.

Sounds like a lot but you can pretty much do it all in 5 minutes.

Fran

Billy_Bob
03-09-2006, 08:32 AM
Do the drills at the below link except skip the break practice and don't need to do all the kick/bank shots.

Then also line up 6 balls between the side pockets, place CB 1 diamond back, then practice drawing cue ball back different distances (1 diamond, 2, 3, etc.).

Then place CB 1 diamond back from OB along long rail, shoot OB into corner, and practice following with the CB. Follow 1 diamond past where OB was, then 2, 3, etc.

What helps me the most is to practice on a fast table and a slow table daily. Then the above will quickly get me adjusted to whatever table I'm going to be playing on.

Most of the above drills just get me warmed up. But I think the draw and follow practice are what help me adjust to the table speed the most. And this is where I would have the most trouble. CB not following enough or too much. Or CB not drawing enough or too much. (If not adjusted to speed of cloth.)


Drills...
http://www.geocities.com/billybobnospam/basic_daily_practice.html

IA8baller
03-09-2006, 11:26 AM
I really don't have anything to add to this post as far as it pertains to the original question and following suggestions, but this post touched on my greatest aggrevation in pool league and I felt the need to vent I guess, so here goes..........

Table conditions from bar to bar vary so much (felt type/speeed/cleanliness/rail conditions/etc) that it is hard to have confidence in playing certain types of shots when I'm away from my home tables (which BTW are definitely the best tables, bar none) and therefore I tend to play at a different level at times than I know I'm capable of. Just as an example, twice this year I have had what I would call "normal" kick shots that I would not even second guess my shot if I were on our home tables, but at these away tables, I lined up the shot, stroked he cue, only to have the cue ball hit the rail and hear that familiar "thunk" that you hear from a loose/bad rail and watch my shot sail badly away from it's intended path /ccboard/images/graemlins/mad.gif. This drive's me nuts quicker than anything in pool! These 2 times in particular I was shooting at either the 8-ball or my last object ball and then my opponent gets ball in hand due to our foul rules and ends up running off the table and winning the game. If I remember correctly I have lost 3 or 4 games this year directly due to unacceptable table conditions now and have no answer for a solution short of refusing to play on these tables in the future. What used to really get me fired up was when someone makes the statement..... "everyone plays on the same table so win/lose, the table does not matter" or "don't make excuses for losing by blaming the table"....... As far as I'm concerned people with that kind of attitude know nothing about a good game or the amount of time/practice it takes to consistantly make good kick shots/etc. and I hope someday they can understand. Of course the problem really is that 75% of the guys playing league just look at it as a fun night out and have never really come to understand the intricacies of the game and fail to appreciate someone that does know them.

I'm sure there are a lot of you guys out there that have experienced exactly what I'm talking about, and for those of you that do understand, you know I'm not just whining aimlessly here.

bsmutz
03-09-2006, 04:55 PM
I get frustrated by the crappy equipment also, but have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that predictability goes out the window and that until I practice enough to get my game back on sloppy tables that I will lose some games that I would have won if the equipment played right. I bought my own table a couple of years ago, but before that, most of my time was spent playing on crappy bar tables and I still compete mostly on crappy bar tables. I don't like the argument about everyone being on an equal footing either. In my opinion, the bar/pool room/whatever should be making enough money to keep the equipment up or they should get rid of the table. For just going out to have fun, most times it doesn't matter too much, but during competition or playing for bucks, I hate having to "figure out" how the table is going to play. For me, the worst are bank shots. I can hit banks all day long, 80-90% of the time at home, but like the other night at the bar, I spent a good 10-15 minutes trying nothing but banks and probably only hit 2 or 3 and those were retries of the previous miss! The cue ball was also bigger than the object balls during practice, but then when we started league, they switched to a red dot. It's too bad there isn't an OSHA or EPA for pool table installations; hefty fines and potential shut downs for negligent owners. It's extremely difficult getting some owners to give the proper support. I think we may be moving to another location next year just to see if we can get a little more cooperation.