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marek
11-06-2007, 04:35 AM
Hi people!
Once again its has been a while since my last post. Today I need some help. Those who follow my progress probably know that I have been working over my technique for about two years now. /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif Two months ago just before the start of the tournament season here I discovered a big flaw in my technique as I found out that I tend to put my cue little off the axis of the stroke which caused my everlasting troubles with double image of the cue while stroking. /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif Also I found out that this off-axis cue placement causes curve movement of the cue while stroking. Once I know this tendency I can work on it. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif It seems the main trouble is the walk-in phase of the stroke. I know that I can align for the stroke properly while standing but once I get down my alignment goes off. /ccboard/images/graemlins/mad.gif It may be due to the fact that I am used to stance where my back leg is straight and front leg is flexed maybe my shoulders are not level, not sure about that. But I found out that if I use double flex stance (both knees flexed) I can hold to the proper shot alignment much easier. But I found it less comfortable to stand this way. Any tips how to use back-leg-straight-front-leg-flexed stance without trouble? /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif
Second question I have is even more complex, not sure if anyone can help me on this one.. My concern is about my body position awareness and muscle memory. It seems like it takes me really long time to get used to new things in my tehcnique, to new stance, new grip, etc. It doesnt bother me so much because I have learnt to be patient. But I find myself re-learning the same things quite often. To be more precise I put this example last week I have worked quite hard on that stance alignment I mentioned above. I was getting better and at one point everything clicked and I got into the zone. It has been a VERY long time since I experienced this and I enjoyed it very much. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif The next day the magic was gone but the level of play was still very high. Then I took 2 days off to rest a little. Yesterday I went again to pool hall to practice just to find my old habits kicking in so I had to work very hard to reconstruct the new technique. /ccboard/images/graemlins/mad.gif Is there any way to make my muscle memory better? Are there any tips which can help me to remember the right technique better? It seems like my brain forces me to forget all the new things about technique if I give it the opportunity and tries to make me play the old way...quite ridiculous isnt it? /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif
BTW in Czech extraleague after 3 tournaments out of 9 I am the leader of the rankings with 3rd place, 5th place and 1st place in those tournaments. Just curious what my game level could be if I get my technique right and dont have to struggle with it... /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Rich R.
11-06-2007, 08:31 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote marek:</font><hr> BTW in Czech extraleague after 3 tournaments out of 9 I am the leader of the rankings with 3rd place, 5th place and 1st place in those tournaments. Just curious what my game level could be if I get my technique right and dont have to struggle with it... /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif <hr /></blockquote>
Hi Marek. It is always good to hear from you.
I will leave questions about technique to the more qualified instructors, but I wanted to congratulate you on your standing with the Czech extraleague. Keep up the good work.

wolfdancer
11-06-2007, 02:51 PM
Marek, I sent you a pm with some advice that I usually charge hundreds for..to date though, no one has paid me yet..

BUT, I have probably bought every golf book that's been written....that's exaggerating of course....and the general advice about swing (stroke) mechanics is that you concentrate on them during practice, and not during play...Same goes for pool, see the ball, be the ball, pocket the ball
You're on the thresh hold of "paralysis by analysis" The human mind can only hold one thought at a time, less if you live in Ala....
And strange as it sounds you might want to just focus on your breathing, which quiets the mind...since you've already practiced both your fundamentals and your pocketing ability...now just let it "flow"....which is what every athlete strives for...."playing in the zone".
you'll never get there if you have to focus on your mechanics......don't thank me, send money....
Nice to see your game is improving...#1 in the standings...pretty damn good!!!! Continued success!!!

marek
11-06-2007, 03:07 PM
Hi Rich!
Nice to see you man! /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif As for the rankings it is the first time in my carreer I am the leader. But clever man once said:"Dont count your chicken until they are hatched!" Its the ranking position after all 9 tournaments which counts. Good thing is that due to my good results in those 3 tournaments I will be seeded in the next 3 tournaments so I shouldnt have much trouble in the early rounds. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif But any player at this level can get hot on occasion so I will fight like a bulldog as usual! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif One more thing: recently I started to play snooker to get more precise hit on the cueball and took part in the snooker league which has two levels - regional and national. After just one tournament at the regional level I have been promoted to the national due to my 2nd place in that tournament+I have recieved high run award with run of 54. Not bad dont you think? /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif I really enjoy snooker, it takes the best and the worst out of you. As it is the true test of the mechanics sometimes it is a pure hell if you struggle with fundamentals but it SOOOO rewarding if your technique works... Maybe I will even add 3-cushion to my practice regime so I become more all-around player. I love the world of billiards, there is always plenty of things to learn! /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

bradb
11-06-2007, 03:09 PM
Greetings. I have gone through this same problem you mention in regards to the stance. After 30 years of playing snooker and using the standard 3 point stance I found I had to adapt to a more front on position for pool.

I began to practice follow thru stroking (with no ball) using the tables base line on the cloth as a guide. When stroking with my head down over the cue I could see my tip end was coming away slightly on the line at full follow thru. I kept experimenting with different body positions until I found something that kept the cue dead straight to the line all thru the back swing and full extension. Whats interesting is that when I found it, it was comfortable and not a fight.

I got this tip from a Mike Segal video and it was very useful for me. Once I discovered what worked best it was a constant reminder to not revert back as you note. Its been about 1 year now and my game is much improved. I am currently ranked 27 in a league of 226 players.

I stiil keep my back leg straight as in my snooker stance, I think it sort of plants your body and helps you to be more stable. However I now have my weight more on both legs instead of just the front. Also I have moved my legs farther apart so its less an effort to get my chin down to the cue. This also helped in comfort as before I was bending my back to much.

With the new stance I have found my stroke automatically improving. I used to hold the cue tighter... now its much looser. I think its because I have more confidence in the follow thru now.

This is not to say everything worked suddenly better it was a evolving process with a lot of practice. I don 't know if this will work for everybody as I had a real problem to fix, but I think the base line way to prctice the stroke length is very helpful. -brad

marek
11-06-2007, 03:29 PM
Hi Wolfie!
I have read your PM and found it interesting. I just returned from the pool hall and I have to tell you that I tried your approach with interesting result. I didnt try to control my technique, I just played. After 10 minutes I found myself with the cue positioned more to the non-dominant eye than usual. To make a long story short (or to cut the crap) I shot the lights out today! /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif Even though I felt that the shooting arm alignment wasnt by far perfect I was able to hit almost anything. I wasnt in the zone for sure but still was able to pocket balls with ease and getting position almost everytime. My dad was with me today watching me practice and he remarked with big smile that I was a freak of nature and I should make big money doing exhibition with some of those shots I produced there...this kind of commentary always lifts my spirit up but my concern is if I will be able to repeat this level of play consistently. We will see, I will keep you posted. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

marek
11-06-2007, 03:44 PM
Hi brad!
Its an interesting tip. I will give it a try.
Thx!

wolfdancer
11-06-2007, 06:25 PM
Hey, that's great news...you're just trusting yourself to "fire when ready"....I'd just add a few minutes of that to your normal disciplined practice routine...AND we'll be looking for you on TV one of these days....
Also great to have the support of your Dad...

bradb
11-06-2007, 06:44 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr>
You're on the thresh hold of "paralysis by analysis" The human mind can only hold one thought at a time, less if you live in Ala....
And strange as it sounds you might want to just focus on your breathing, which quiets the mind...since you've already practiced both your fundamentals and your pocketing ability...now just let it "flow"....which is what every athlete strives for...."playing in the zone".
you'll never get there if you have to focus on your mechanics......don't thank me, send money....
<hr /></blockquote>

This is so true, if we tried to concentrate on everything in the instructional books when hitting the ball, we'd crumble into a mass of gibbering jelly.

It's more a state of calm focus than intensity. Practice is learning to employ these things to the point you can do them with out thinking. In a game concentrating on pace and position is enough baggage for the mind to carry.
-brad

wolfdancer
11-06-2007, 11:31 PM
I think it was Jack Nicklaus that said he plays good golf when he has only one swing thought, plays his best when he has none...might have been Ben Hogan though

bradb
11-07-2007, 11:32 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> I think it was Jack Nicklaus that said he plays good golf when he has only one swing thought, plays his best when he has none...might have been Ben Hogan though <hr /></blockquote>

Too bad Greg Norman could'nt have blanked out those thoughts in the Masters. I'll never forget that choke he made on 17.... maybe it was 18.
No matter, he went down as the greatest runner up player in the game. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

wolfdancer
11-07-2007, 03:20 PM
I liked Greg, but a combination of bad luck and poor play, gave him a record, that may never be equaled...losing all four majors, in a playoff.
web page (http://http://espn.go.com/classic/biography/s/Norman_Greg.html)
Hard to feel sorry though for a guy with his own jet, own helicopter, and own yacht.

bradb
11-07-2007, 05:44 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> I liked Greg, but a combination of bad luck and poor play, gave him a record, that may never be equaled...losing all four majors, in a playoff.
web page (http://http://espn.go.com/classic/biography/s/Norman_Greg.html)
Hard to feel sorry though for a guy with his own jet, own helicopter, and own yacht. <hr /></blockquote>

I'd give my ____ ___ just to be able to play the way he does now! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Fran Crimi
11-07-2007, 05:50 PM
Hi Marek!

Great to see that you're doing so well. You've gotten some good advice here, so just to add one more opinin --- Yes, change is difficult and it does take time to try to break old habits and incorporate new ones. But I have found that if we find ourselves having great difficulty trying to adapt to a certain techinque that we're trying to learn, it's possible that it may not be for us. It's not that the technique is bad, but if you really try and try and try to incorporate it into your game, and you still are having trouble, then it maybe what you're trying to change goes against the grain of the type of player that you are.

I believe that we all have something inside of us that tells us when something isn't right for us.


Fran

Bobbyrx
11-07-2007, 06:20 PM
Hey, what's this about if you live in Al.................sorry , I forgot what I was going to say