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Stretch
10-24-2006, 09:10 AM
Here's the problem i'm haveing ( and i hope know one from Halifax is listening ) lol. The Wife who watches me play all the time in tournaments as well as 1 of my leagues keeps telling me after a lackluster outing " you gotta speed up you were thinking too much " well that got me to thinking.........Yes she's right (i hate it when that happens). Now mind you knowone can say i'm a "slow" player. In practices i can access a layout at a glance and breeze through a runnout in no time. In contrast, I'm finding my tournament speed is slower. I'll check and double check, I'll weigh my options a bit more thoroughly. Basically i'm trying to leave nothing to chance and making sure each shot is well conceived. It's a grinders style that keeps me in a lot of matches but the catch is it's not my best stroke to play that way, then when i "need" the big shot, or nail the long ball........Mixed results. /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

So how do i force myself to speed up to my best play? I know when i'm "there" and can keep it going but have know idea how i got "there". And when i'm "not there", i can't get out. I'm not asking for the magic key to dead stroke, only ideas to get me up to practise ease. Is this even possible for competition? St.

Bob_Jewett
10-24-2006, 09:55 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Stretch:</font><hr> ...
So how do i force myself to speed up to my best play? ... <hr /></blockquote>
Come down in position and shoot without practice strokes. I've done this for entire matches, and usually my opponent doesn't even notice I'm doing it. This will force you to approach the shot correctly and to make your decisions faster.

dg-in-centralpa
10-24-2006, 10:02 AM
Stretch,
One thing I do, is to shoot the match as you do in practice. Just think of it as a practice game. Half the guys on my team can shoot real good in practice, but let the match start, then they over analyze because now it "counts."

DG - jmho

Fran Crimi
10-24-2006, 10:05 AM
Hey Stretch,

What you're experiencing happens all the time in competition. That's one of the main reasons why rich athletes hire sports psychologists. I've done some research on this and here's what I came up with.

Slowing down during competition means you're afraid that if you speed up, you'll be careless and miss. Yet, slowing down has it's down-side and you wind up second-guessing yourself and losing your rhythm altogether. So which is better, the occasional miss from speeding up or lost rhythm from slowing down?

I'd go for the occasional miss. Once you allow yourself the occasional miss, you'd be surprised that you will recover well and will fall right into your rhythm. Stretch, you have to give yourself permission to make the occasional mistake here and there in competition in order to find your rhythm, because it's only when you find your rhythm that you can start to play in the zone.

Fran

bsmutz
10-24-2006, 10:06 AM
When I am practicing, I don't really care too much about the outcome. I'm just relaxed and making balls. That's where I try to be when I'm in a tournament or playing league. The natural tendency seems to be to try to pay more attention and take more time over each shot. There are a couple of things I do to get into the "groove". One is to mentally throw out any "win/lose" concerns. I've done the practice, I feel confident that I can compete with the best, so I don't need to worry about winning or losing. Just play my game. If I have residual worry or angst, I try to turn it into excitement. Think of a time when you were really excited, so excited that you feel ready to burst or want to scream out loud. I recreate that feeling in my head and allow it to sweep through my whole being. This whole experience is fun and I should be really enjoying it, not worrying about it. This really helps me when I am playing a multiple game contest. When it's do or die with one game, I realize that it really can go either way against any player, so I will take a little more time and plan a little more carefully paying more attention to keeping the table under my control.
The thing that stands out to me from your post is you saying that you don't know how you got "there". This tells me you are not making a conscious decision. You are subconsciously moving over to "there". By getting rid of some of the conscious thinking you are doing now and replacing it with joy or excitement for doing what you love to do, you should be able to get "there" more easily and more often (hopefully). YMMV.

Stretch
10-24-2006, 11:11 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> Hey Stretch,

What you're experiencing happens all the time in competition. That's one of the main reasons why rich athletes hire sports psychologists. I've done some research on this and here's what I came up with.

Slowing down during competition means you're afraid that if you speed up, you'll be careless and miss. Yet, slowing down has it's down-side and you wind up second-guessing yourself and losing your rhythm altogether. So which is better, the occasional miss from speeding up or lost rhythm from slowing down?

I'd go for the occasional miss. Once you allow yourself the occasional miss, you'd be surprised that you will recover well and will fall right into your rhythm. Stretch, you have to give yourself permission to make the occasional mistake here and there in competition in order to find your rhythm, because it's only when you find your rhythm that you can start to play in the zone.

Fran <hr /></blockquote>

Fran, you absolutely nailed my present play in your second paragragh. So i know you know. Yes i had such an amazing year last year and i realy feel the pressure to break out and even surpass last years successes. Plus, everyone is gunning for me now. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif I should be flattered, instead i'm out there just trying to survive lol

It's early in the schedule now in leaugues and Ranking tournaments so i realy appreciate your advise as i felt things were getting a little shakey. Thanks for getting me to look at this from a different perspective. I think i know now what i've got to do. Luv ya Sis!

Stretch
10-24-2006, 11:17 AM
Bob, dg, and bsmutz Great advice guys and lots to think about. I realy do apreciate all your input. Hopefully lots of other people browsing this can also get something usefull from your posts as did I. St. " Career student "

Fran Crimi
10-24-2006, 11:42 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Stretch:</font><hr> ...
So how do i force myself to speed up to my best play? ... <hr /></blockquote>
Come down in position and shoot without practice strokes. I've done this for entire matches, and usually my opponent doesn't even notice I'm doing it. This will force you to approach the shot correctly and to make your decisions faster. <hr /></blockquote>

Gene Nagy played that way for about 5 years. I watched him run hundreds like that. He called it the 'drop and shoot' method. He modeled it after the Zen archers who simply picked up the bow, pulled the arrow back and let go, all in one smooth motion with no hesitation. I always wondered if it would hold up in competition in pool because Gene didn't compete when he was playing that way. Did you do well with it? Do you still do it?

Fran

Snapshot9
10-24-2006, 05:42 PM
You're stretching your skill level by trying to cover all the bases mentally. It means you don't just know, but that you are trying to reassure yourself by mentally covering everything possible.

With more confidence in your game, these impending doubts and second hand thoughts will not plague your mind so much.
It is a tendency for players to do this in extremely important matches, but you should not be doing it all the time.

I can get down and shoot most shots within a second or two, but take a little more time for consistency's sake. Over analyzing a simple shot is as bad as underanalyzing a complex shot.

1 exercise that will help you is one that I developed as a little side hobby of mine when younger. Practice and shoot
rolling ball shots. Put the cue ball on the headstring, roll a ball down towards the spot, and shoot it when it is even with the foot spot or beyond. As you develop this skill, you will gain more confidence for everyday shots, and it will help you speed up your normal game.

A mental exercise to help you is that when watching your opponent break, practice analyzing the whole table in 10 seconds. Layout the starting ball, the sequence of balls, and about where the cue should be on each shot. Don't consider the dangers of each shot, only do that when you are
just about to shooot it.

Many people talk about confidence in their game, but it is different things to talk about it, want it, and actually have it. You can not talk yourself into having it if you really don't.

marek
10-25-2006, 02:22 AM
Hi Stretch!
Before you hire sport psychologist /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif(which may be quite expensive /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif) I would recommend you to read "Mind for pool" by Phil Capelle, this one is a real treasure, it helped me tremendously few years ago. I agree with Fran that rhythm with occasional miss is much better than overthinking the shot. But be aware of the difference between overthinking the shot and putting focus on the shot, these are two completely different things! On Saturday I played a straight pool tournament and in the first round I had a very tough opponent. I was trailing 88-54 in the race to 100 and fortunatelly my opponent made a stupid mistake. I knew that if I let him to the table again I would be finished. So I ran 46 and out. The only way I was able to do that was putting full focus on every single ball no matter how easy it was while playing at steady speed. If you have a reasonable amount of confidence in your fundamentals it shouldnt be great problem to accomodate your game. The best way to do that is to do all the thinking at the beggining of your inning, take your time and analyze the layout. Then once you decided your pattern play you just execute the plan. One more advice: try incorporate 3-4 racks of speedpool into your practice routine, at the end of your practice session rack the balls, break them and try to run them as fast as possible. You will be forced to "read" the patterns much faster this way. And one more advice: try so called "brainwashing drill" - put all 15 balls on the table, no clusters, no ball near the rail and try to run them without cueball touching any rail. This will help your pattern play tremendously, especially in 8ball and straight pool. The only catch is that you have to practice this one for 3-4 weeks every day to see the results. But once it sinks into your subconsciousness it will stay with you forever.
Hopefully it will help you. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Fran Crimi
10-25-2006, 07:12 AM
Hi Marek. Nice runout, by the way. Good for you! Wow! You played a race to 100? That's a lot of games of straight pool! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif Just kidding...I know you meant that you played a 100 point game.

Fran

Fran Crimi
10-25-2006, 08:21 AM
Happy to be of service, lil' brother. Give your wife a big hug for being so observant. You might have fallen into a slump if not for her. I've often felt that pool was a team sport...one person on the table and one person in the stands. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Love ya,
Fran

bluey2king
10-25-2006, 10:37 AM
Thanks to all on this post I have found several items worth working on. My wife has told me that when we are in City's I will be called on how slow I am.
I have just started the "Brainwashing drill" I am getting close to a successful run. I bought a wristwatch with a countdown timer it vibrates so no one can hear it I set for 30 sec and I only use this in pratice. It seems to help tell me to stop thinking and shoot I try to keep pratice strokes to three unless I adjust my stance or bridge but three strokes then pause and finish.
A experience that I just had about getting in the zone. I was way behind in a APA 9 ball match and while I was sitting there I started a breathing exercise (I have started taking Yoga) I wasn't trying to do anything with the breathing but I just started doing it. When I got back to the table I ran a couple of racks without a lot of thinking, I was getting the shape I planned on each shot. I focused on my three strokes and shoot. I blew the match on the six ball and snookered myself behind the nine and could not make the seven. I fell out of the zone when I over thought the shape after I got the six it should have been an easy out from there. I lost the match by one point I never got back to the table he need three and he got the seven and the nine. I just thought I would share this story as you can tell its has been burned in my mind. I think I learned more than I lost about the brething, pace, and over thinking.
I am still a work in progress..*S*

Bob_Jewett
10-25-2006, 11:59 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> (drop and shoot method -- no practice strokes)
... I always wondered if it would hold up in competition in pool because Gene didn't compete when he was playing that way. Did you do well with it? Do you still do it? <hr /></blockquote>
I'd say I played about the same with it. The matches sure go faster. I'd say my main problem with it is that I tend to rush the planning (to keep up the tempo), but the shots are pretty much as apt to fall in.

marek
10-25-2006, 10:58 PM
How does it come you succeed all the time making a fool of myself...!!!??? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif I will got you....one day.....eventually....maybe.... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Fran Crimi
10-26-2006, 07:13 AM
HAHAHA! Don't sweat it, Marek. You want to talk about making a fool of yourself? Try breaking the balls in a pro 9 Ball event and accidentally letting go of the cue stick and watching it spear through the air and land on the next table. Oops. Yup. I did that. Got a bit too loose with the grip. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Fran

marek
10-27-2006, 01:08 AM
Wow! That must have been something!!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif Everybody must have been rolling on the floor laughing!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif It reminds me of one similar accident that has happened to me. It was the beginning of the match, I was playing 9ball. I won the lag so I was the first to break. So I set up the break shot near the rail. But I wasnt aware of a dip in the slate that was on that spot. I put a LOT of power in the shot and watched the cb getting airborne about 5 centimeters high and contacting the rack which gave it even more ascending momentum. The cue ball ended on another table breaking the new rack there!!! Just imagine the look of the face of the player who was ready to break on that table!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif One of the funniest moments of my pool life! /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Fran Crimi
10-27-2006, 08:48 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote marek:</font><hr> Wow! That must have been something!!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif Everybody must have been rolling on the floor laughing!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif It reminds me of one similar accident that has happened to me. It was the beginning of the match, I was playing 9ball. I won the lag so I was the first to break. So I set up the break shot near the rail. But I wasnt aware of a dip in the slate that was on that spot. I put a LOT of power in the shot and watched the cb getting airborne about 5 centimeters high and contacting the rack which gave it even more ascending momentum. The cue ball ended on another table breaking the new rack there!!! Just imagine the look of the face of the player who was ready to break on that table!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif One of the funniest moments of my pool life! /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif <hr /></blockquote>


Hey Marek, I have Mosconi on tape doing a trick shot similar to that only he lauched the cue ball off of a matchbook and on to the next table. Made a big hit with the fans.

Between you and me --- maybe we could take our shots on the road as novelty acts. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif I'm good for at least once a year in losing the cue stick on the break.

Fran

marek
10-27-2006, 01:45 PM
Hahaha! Good idea! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

wolfdancer
10-27-2006, 02:50 PM
Stretch, what i read into your posts is that you may be playing a bit too careful. I went through a period like that for a couple of seasons....played safe if the shot wasnt a 100% make....and then when I had to make the difficult shot...it became more difficult. Id shoot reasonably fast, but the games took forever, because I wouldnt take any chances.
I didnt even like my style of play...and nobody I played against did either.
you dont have to shoot two 50% shots in a row...making that a 1 in 4 chance to get out...but it does help to take a few chances. Play some non league pool and shoot at every ball..."Fire when ready, Gridley" but "dont shoot the nine before its time"

slim
10-27-2006, 05:42 PM
To add to that, pacing yourself is a very important part of any game. Play each shot to shot with the same pace and when you do the same routine each outing at the table, mistakes are more easily notice, and you can move forward with your skill level quicker.

DickLeonard
10-28-2006, 01:31 PM
SSSSSSSSStttttttttrrrrrrreeeeeettttttcccccchhhhhhh hhhh it is very simple. One,two then rock, three,four then roll is the beat to say to yourself. Tyr it.####

DickLeonard
10-31-2006, 06:27 AM
SSSSSSSSSSSSSSStttttttttttttrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeee eetch its one,two then rock three,four then roll. It is the Internal Music that smooths your soul. Pool is a Ballet around a green felt. Every movement must be rehearsed till they require no thought at all. All that is left is to capture your brain. Good luck on that.####