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View Full Version : What the hell happened, I can't play this game.



bradb
10-01-2007, 11:05 AM
Maybe others have had this problem, I've been practising, working hard and my game improved to where I felt I had reached my peak of skill, then suddenly I lost it. I was waxed 1 to 9 by a player I usual beat. I was missing shots I usualy take for granted. It was no fluke, I lost again to other players.

Now I going back to that familiar agonizing search for a different grip, another cue, all the things that I thought I had solved I'm now questioning.

I'm getting a bit depressed and practice seems a chore now as I'm not getting it back. I've noticed my stroke isn't smooth anymore, but thats due to the frustration of not being consistant and it effects my confidence. The more I focus on stroke the more I miss.
What the hell to do? Maybe quit for a while, and get away from the game and then come back fresh. Brad

1Time
10-01-2007, 12:21 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr>
What the hell to do? Maybe quit for a while, and get away from the game and then come back fresh. Brad <hr /></blockquote>

That's right. I call this event "running out of pool mo-jo". Man truly cannot live on pool alone. Give it at least a couple weeks. Immerse yourself in something else. I suggest something outdoors. Give yourself time to develop a hunger for playing pool again. Time away from playing and then later watching others shoot will do this. Return only to watch others play. And before returning to play, reflect on the times you played your best. Then see if you can identify what it was that each of these times had in common. This is likely to be a combination of things. In short, a different and specific state of mind is what works for me. It took me several years before I reached a high level of play that I was satisfied with and one I could expect to play every time I touched my cue. And what I've suggested here is what in part helped me get there.

wolfdancer
10-01-2007, 12:28 PM
Have you considered lawn bowling instead?
This might be a blessing in disguise. When we are playing good, up to our expectations, we tend to play on auto-pilot.
And after awhile mistakes creep into our "game"
Now might be the time to go back and concentrate on your basics, and try to get some feedback from a miss, or poor position play.....you might come through this "retro" period, as an even better player then before.

Deeman3
10-01-2007, 12:50 PM
Brad,

Improvement is cyclical and not an even path. Most notice they have "spurts" of better play mixed with regression to lower levels. As time goes on, you will see these imporvement cycles get more often and longer, while the poor play cycles diminish in duration and frequency if you have been doing the right things. On occasion, you will have a bad night, based on poor fundamentals and on occasion just the sequence of bad events evening out. It is usually not long term or serious if, like Wolfdancer says so well, you pay attention to the fundamentals.

SKennedy
10-01-2007, 01:18 PM
It can be frustrating....however, we all have set backs. Wolfdancer and Deeman make good points. How you deal with the problem times dictates your overall improvement and consistency in your level of play. Most of us can shoot lights out at times, but few can do it consistently, anytime and anywhere.

Fran Crimi
10-01-2007, 01:45 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr> Maybe others have had this problem, I've been practising, working hard and my game improved to where I felt I had reached my peak of skill, then suddenly I lost it. I was waxed 1 to 9 by a player I usual beat. I was missing shots I usualy take for granted. It was no fluke, I lost again to other players.

Now I going back to that familiar agonizing search for a different grip, another cue, all the things that I thought I had solved I'm now questioning.

I'm getting a bit depressed and practice seems a chore now as I'm not getting it back. I've noticed my stroke isn't smooth anymore, but thats due to the frustration of not being consistant and it effects my confidence. The more I focus on stroke the more I miss.
What the hell to do? Maybe quit for a while, and get away from the game and then come back fresh. Brad <hr /></blockquote>


I can relate. It sounds like you may have let your expectations get in the way. When you're truly playing great, you won't know it. It will seem like you're doing very simple, very easy things. Nothing special. The only thing is that the balls just keep going in and you keep winning. You don't know how that's happening because you're not doing anything special. That's what playing great is.

Take a break. Do something different. Clear your head for a week or so. Don't be too quick to try different grips and cues and all those things. You're just disappointed but you're by no means defeated.

Try not to judge yourself too much. Just enjoy the process.

Fran

SKennedy
10-01-2007, 02:13 PM
Amen! I had the easiest run I've had in years the other night in Durango. I made it look easy, and it was. My opponent appreciated it also for what it was. You know you are doing it right when it is "effortless." Most of the the time I have to work way too freakin hard and still come up short (my wife says the same thing about me)!!

bradb
10-01-2007, 06:18 PM
<hr /></blockquote>


I can relate. It sounds like you may have let your expectations get in the way. When you're truly playing great, you won't know it. It will seem like you're doing very simple, very easy things. Nothing special. The only thing is that the balls just keep going in and you keep winning. You don't know how that's happening because you're not doing anything special. That's what playing great is.

Take a break. Do something different. Clear your head for a week or so. Don't be too quick to try different grips and cues and all those things. You're just disappointed but you're by no means defeated.

Try not to judge yourself too much. Just enjoy the process.

Fran

<hr /></blockquote>

Yes, I think I need to back away for a while. The last time I went into this funk I quit. Then I went to see a pro match and got all fired up again. Watching good pool played by the best gets you into that easy stroke mindset. I need to do that again. Good advise here by all the reply posts.
-Brad

pooltchr
10-01-2007, 08:33 PM
You sound as if you may be trying to practice when you are supposed to be playing. Practice time is the time to focus on your fundamentals (stroke, grip, stance, etc). If you practice the right things the right way, they will become a part of your game. If you are thinking about them when you are playing, your mind is not where it should be. You have to separate practice from play. Practice is repair time, playing is SHOWTIME!

Along with that, re-read Wolf's and Fran's posts. They are both right on target.
Steve

randyg
10-02-2007, 06:18 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> You sound as if you may be trying to practice when you are supposed to be playing. Practice time is the time to focus on your fundamentals (stroke, grip, stance, etc). If you practice the right things the right way, they will become a part of your game. If you are thinking about them when you are playing, your mind is not where it should be. You have to separate practice from play. Practice is repair time, playing is SHOWTIME!

Along with that, re-read Wolf's and Fran's posts. They are both right on target.
Steve <hr /></blockquote>

You can't think and hit at the same time....yogi berra

Snapshot9
10-02-2007, 06:29 AM
When I am not focusing like I should,I pretend that my left nut depends on the shot. Gives you a different perspective.

SKennedy
10-02-2007, 09:06 AM
Especially if your name is "ACE."

Chopstick
10-02-2007, 11:02 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr> Maybe others have had this problem, I've been practising, working hard and my game improved to where I felt I had reached my peak of skill, then suddenly I lost it. I was waxed 1 to 9 by a player I usual beat. I was missing shots I usualy take for granted. It was no fluke, I lost again to other players.

Now I going back to that familiar agonizing search for a different grip, another cue, all the things that I thought I had solved I'm now questioning. <font color="blue">Do not do this. It is a never ending spiral. If you had it, it is still there. Stand your ground and play through it. </font color>

I'm getting a bit depressed and practice seems a chore now as I'm not getting it back. <font color="blue">Discipline. Every day is not going to be a good day. </font color> I've noticed my stroke isn't smooth anymore, <font color="blue">Maybe it never was and you have jumped to a higher level of awareness in your game and now you notice it. </font color> but thats due to the frustration of not being consistent and it effects my confidence. The more I focus on stroke the more I miss. <font color="blue">That's because you are playing pool stroke instead of playing pool. If you are thinking about anything other than where the balls go it is wrong. </font color>
What the hell to do? Maybe quit for a while, and get away from the game and then come back fresh. Brad <font color="blue">What are you going to do when the wheels come off in the middle of a match? Fold up and lose? That's what most people do. There is no "Gift" that makes a great player. Character makes great players. Pull it together and fight for it. </font color> <hr /></blockquote>

okinawa77
10-02-2007, 01:39 PM
bradb,

I am well respected and feared by most of the league players that I play with. The main reason is because I consistently play well. When I start missing shots, I stop using english, and go to my foundation...center ball. First, I only focus on pocketing one ball at a time using only center ball. When that is in place, then I start tracking the cue balls path after contact with the object ball and adjust my stroke speed in order to get shape on the next shot. Sometimes it only takes 4 shots to bring my game back. Sometimes it take 4 games. Once, I get comfortable with center ball, I start applying english...little by little. I start with center english (along the vertical axis of the center of the cue ball=top and bottom / follow and draw). Then, I start applying side english.

I can safely say that I have about 95% accuracy for pocketing balls using only center ball (cue ball).

Deeman3
10-02-2007, 01:46 PM
If only I had your skills and it was as easy for me. It would seem, to a novice like me, that if you could safely make 95% of your shots with center "english" you'd never, ever stray from that center ball hit. Shooting .950 with no english is quite a feat but, I admit, possible for the best in the world.

wolfdancer
10-02-2007, 02:18 PM
Brad, you're fortunate....do you know how long it took me to figure out I can't play this game???

wolfdancer
10-02-2007, 02:22 PM
damn,but .950 is impressive...when the pros shoot over .900 accustats ratings....those tapes used to be featured...
is that .950 on a 9 ft'r with 4 1/2" pockets, I wonder???

bignick31985
10-02-2007, 02:35 PM
I dont know about you guys, but when I'm relaxed with my environment and feeling comfortable I am always on. I've hit streaks of sub par peformance and its usually when I have alot on my mind and have a hard time blocking it out.

We had a Tri Cup Tourney this weekend and I choked 2 out of 3 games. I thought too hard, took too much time in between shots, and just worried too much about the outcome.

I go back to play last night for league and completely wax a seasoned 6, not to my suprise. For me, its about being comfortable. If I'm comfortable it sorta just comes to me.

1Time
10-02-2007, 03:35 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote okinawa77:</font><hr>
I can safely say that I have about 95% accuracy for pocketing balls using only center ball (cue ball). <hr /></blockquote>

I can safely say I have over a 95% accuracy rate of pocketing balls on a lot of shots... for example after having CB in hand.

SKennedy
10-02-2007, 04:47 PM
This last year I know of at least 2 times I actually missed a "ball-in-hand" shot!! Granted, I had angle on the shot and was too focused on shape and later shots, but I still missed them. Right now, I'd settle for 95% with ball-in-hand shots.

bradb
10-04-2007, 04:44 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Brad, you're fortunate....do you know how long it took me to figure out I can't play this game??? <hr /></blockquote>

I tried the "stay in the center," technique, except... damnit! I'm missing that too! :&gt;)

Actually I'm getting it back, I think my problem now is rebuilding my confidence in my stroke.

Some really good advice from Deeman up there and thats don't give up!!! So I'm back to the table but the knees are knocking. I still don't feel comfortable, but watching some good matches has helped me to want to play competively again.

I think overconfidence is a road to disaster, I had that for a while, so when your game goes off its a lot longer fall.

pooltchr
10-04-2007, 07:38 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SKennedy:</font><hr> This last year I know of at least 2 times I actually missed a "ball-in-hand" shot!! Granted, I had angle on the shot and was too focused on shape and later shots, but I still missed them. Right now, I'd settle for 95% with ball-in-hand shots. <hr /></blockquote>

How many times do you take BIH, place the cue ball where you want it, and then just shoot the shot. Try placing the cue ball, then stepping back and begin your entire pre-shot routine as it that was what was left for you. Think through your shot, speed, spin, angles, everything you do on normal shots. I'm willing to bet that with BIH, your routine is completely different.
Steve

SKennedy
10-05-2007, 09:48 AM
You are right. My BIH technique (routine) is different. I will do as you suggest. Thanks.

wolfdancer
10-05-2007, 10:40 AM
Steve, my own take on the ball-in-hand miss (I plead guilty, and also have watched my teammates do the same)I think my own misses are caused by "focusing backwards)on the shot.
For a normal shot I'd decide that maybe hi left with medium speed would get the cb to end up in the right spot for the next shot...then I would go back and concentrate on my aim.
With BIH though...I'll take the aim for granted, forget to make the adjustment for the 4 tips of English, and miss while concentrating on relocating the CB. It's what keeps me from moving up in the ranks to a B player.

SKennedy
10-05-2007, 01:23 PM
4 tips? How wide is your CB? Or is your tip that small? Wooops! Don't ask my wife that loaded question!!

wolfdancer
10-05-2007, 01:47 PM
four tips was a slight exaggeration...I hardly ever venture out more then one tip. But every time I do miss on BIH...or any casual, take it for granted shot...I realize my attention was focused on what the CB would be doing after contact.
It's also on my top ten list for explaining to my teammates why the ob didn't go in...well that, and some sudden movement on the 3rd table away.

okinawa77
10-05-2007, 01:59 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> damn,but .950 is impressive...when the pros shoot over .900 accustats ratings....those tapes used to be featured...
is that .950 on a 9 ft'r with 4 1/2" pockets, I wonder??? <hr /></blockquote> <font color="blue"> I'll miss one shot out of 20 with the premise that the shot is a common cut shot, not one that requires extreme english, masse, kicking, or banking. Accustats are actual tournament games which include safety play. I am referring to pocketing balls on common cut shots.

P.S. 9ft with quad shim pockets....Shoreline Billiards, table #4.</font color>

wolfdancer
10-05-2007, 02:30 PM
I wondered because many posters here just play on the bar box, and while 19 of twenty is impressive to me, even on the smaller table...it's even more so on the reg. one. Haven't been to Shoreline, or the Bay Area for some time now, but still get the local tournament results, emailed to me. After buying over 100 Accu-stat tapes, and having a few conversations with Pat Fleming...I kind of figured there was more to the stats, then just ball pocketing percentages.

wolfdancer
10-05-2007, 02:54 PM
Just went to their online site....looks like mostly Gold Crowns there, and a nice layout....I couldn't remember what the place looked like.

SKennedy
10-05-2007, 03:21 PM
We knew it was...just picking at you. And on the excuse thing, those of us that are poorer players with big egos have many, many excuses. I could have had a new one the other day......I was at a place I normally frequent but on a Friday night when a band was present (I usually go to on weekdays). Anyway, I was playing this guy I knew some 9-ball. I found out his older sister was there with a group of folks and I said something to her and one of her female friends in the group kinda warms up to me real quick. As I've stated before, I've been married over 32 years and sowed plenty of very wild oats at a very early age and I do not "wander." Shortly thereafter, this same lady comes up to the table and gets in my field of vision while attempting to pocket the 9-ball into a corner pocket, which was a pretty tough cut shot...just short of 90 deg. She says to my opponent, "I'll distract him for you," at which point she bends or squats down over the corner of the table, raises her tube top to her shoulders and bares all. I kept my eyes on the table and made my shot pocketing the 9-ball. She was kind of upset that I didn't notice and made the shot, which I think hurt her ego. I'm actually sorry I did not look and I could tell there were two areas that were darker than the surrounding flesh, etc. There was a big crowd there and it was more important that I made the shot, even under duress, than to chance looking at her boobs. To help us all save face I loudly stated to her that her inability to distract me was a result of one of 2 potential realities. The first one we both stated in unison , "that I was gay" and then I added "or I've been married for over 30 years". She then said she was sure it had to be the latter. Although 2 gay guys did hit on me later that night (just kidding). I think though the next time I will "look" at the boobs. My only real regret is that I'm not good enough to look up and still make the shot. I wonder if Dr. Dave has any tips on that one? Let's see now...look at CB, then at OB, then at boobs, back to OB....etc.

wolfdancer
10-05-2007, 03:36 PM
That's a great story!!!.....

SKennedy
10-05-2007, 03:53 PM
You just like the "boob" part. By the way, the lady in the story is not Gayle. I'd have been distracted for sure by the "pin-up gal" from Maryland. LOL

pooltchr
10-05-2007, 08:56 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Steve, my own take on the ball-in-hand miss (I plead guilty, and also have watched my teammates do the same)I think my own misses are caused by "focusing backwards)on the shot.
For a normal shot I'd decide that maybe hi left with medium speed would get the cb to end up in the right spot for the next shot...then I would go back and concentrate on my aim.
With BIH though...I'll take the aim for granted, forget to make the adjustment for the 4 tips of English, and miss while concentrating on relocating the CB. It's what keeps me from moving up in the ranks to a B player. <hr /></blockquote>

Wolf,
This is similar to SK's problem. We stress with all our students the importance of doing the same thing the same way on every shot. This goes way beyond just using the same stroke...your pre-shot routine is critical to your consistancy. Skipping steps in your routine, or changing the way you are thinking is sure to disrupt everything. It's the same as choking on the money ball...even though there isn't a "next shot", it's still important to play shape anyway...because it's something you should do on EVERY shot.
Steve