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bradb
01-08-2008, 01:34 PM
I thought I would pass this on to the members here and get some feedback on playing methods.

Last night I had an approach and out going in my 8Ball match. I really wanted this game as it would put me 4 and 1 for the night. I got to the last ball which was simple but required a running side draw back to the eight. I studied this shot for a while working out how much side and pace I needed. Finally I hit it trying to nurse the QB to perfect shape, instead the QB died and froze behind a nearby ball. I managed to kick the 8 but my opponent ran out!!

I was frustrated as hell and after the match I set up the shot and hit it perfect without even thinking about it. Another player says to me "you had nice action going, why did you break your rhythm?"

I thought about that and I think he had a good point, but then I've allways felt that when you get to the crucial shot... stop, take your time and nail it! But in this instance if I had just stepped up there and hit it without agonizing over it, I would have won the game.

Theres a zone between concentrating and shooting with instinct but where is that zone? practice does'nt help you find it because there's no pressure. its the magic zone that eluded me when I needed it most. -brad

SKennedy
01-08-2008, 01:53 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr> Finally I hit it trying to nurse the QB to perfect shape, instead the QB died and froze behind a nearby ball. -brad
<hr /></blockquote>

I think the key phrase is "trying to nurse the QB to perfect shape".....

IMO anytime you are trying to nurse the QB you increase the likelihood of an error...besides that, it will give you sore boobs! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Then again, could it have been the cloth.....was the ball spinning when it stopped?

bradb
01-08-2008, 02:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SKennedy:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr> Finally I hit it trying to nurse the QB to perfect shape, instead the QB died and froze behind a nearby ball. -brad
<hr /></blockquote>

I think the key phrase is "trying to nurse the QB to perfect shape".....

IMO anytime you are trying to nurse the QB you increase the likelihood of an error...besides that, it will give you sore boobs! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Then again, could it have been the cloth.....was the ball spinning when it stopped?

<hr /></blockquote>

Yes the cloth was much slower than my own table at home, but by then I pretty well had become used to the cloth, if I had just used the muscle instint I knew I needed I would'nt have dinked it. I can remember times though when I've rushed a crucial shot and blown it also, theres a middle zone you have to be in I think that lets you stay focused without over thinking.

An instructor once told me that playing pool should be like driving a car, you just do it without thinking about it, but driving a car does'nt have all the variables that pool has. So its not that easy.

Heretic
01-08-2008, 03:15 PM
I cannot speak for anyone else, but if I slow down and think about a shot, I overthink it and blow the shot.

randyg
01-08-2008, 03:30 PM
That's why we have to develop our three pre-shot routines.
1. Study
2. Visualize
3. Shoot

randyg

Fran Crimi
01-08-2008, 03:39 PM
Brad, don't beat yourself up about it. If you had shot the shot fast and it didn't turn out well, you would be here posting the same thing and instead of telling you not to break your rhythm, we'd be telling you to slow down.

The answer is that it was sort of a tricky shot and it didn't quite work out the way you wanted it to. Happens to the pros all the time.

When something like that happens, practice the shot a few times away from the table and on your own, then let it go. No need to shoot it again right after the match. It only serves to frustrate you when you do that.


Fran

bradb
01-08-2008, 05:28 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> Brad, don't beat yourself up about it. If you had shot the shot fast and it didn't turn out well, you would be here posting the same thing and instead of telling you not to break your rhythm, we'd be telling you to slow down.

The answer is that it was sort of a tricky shot and it didn't quite work out the way you wanted it to. Happens to the pros all the time.

When something like that happens, practice the shot a few times away from the table and on your own, then let it go. No need to shoot it again right after the match. It only serves to frustrate you when you do that.


Fran <hr /></blockquote>

Thanks Fran, you are right, I gotta put it behind me.

I think we can dwell on a shot to much or we can rush a shot to get it over with, its all a matter of staying in the zone.

BigRigTom
01-08-2008, 07:22 PM
Hey Brad,
I had the 8 and 9 ball-i-dous for a while and I almost went nuts over it.
One day a couple of months ago I was practicing just before a tournament and my mentor and I were talking about what I needed to improve on....I explained my feelings about that sort of thing to him.
His advise was that I should focus on hitting the object ball into a very specific target and do that on EVERY shot until I started doing it out of habit and without thinking about actually picking that pin point target. He said that while I practiced doing that and while I was learning to do it instinctively I should also notice how close I hit that target and if I was off by 1/4 inch right or left or more..etc etc etc.
Once I started doing that instictively I then began to try the same technique with the cue ball position as well. I still am workin on that part (trying to leave the cue ball in an area about the size of a dinner plate)...

Long story short...if you focus on hitting the target and getting the leave specifically on a target instead of approximately in and ares, the instincts sort of take over and it removes a lot of stress. I also found that I had quit thinking about it being the 8 ball or the 9 ball because I was thinking more about hitting the target and getting the leave.

That has really helped me a lot in pressure situations like the one you described.
My focus is always the same, hit the pin point target with the object ball and leave the cue ball in the dinner plate circle.....maybe in your case it had to be a saucer size leave but the idea still works. You don't tense up so much and dog the shot ...at least it is working for me so far.

The really cool thing is that even if you are off a bit you are still a heck of a lot closer than you would have been if you dogged the shot.

bradb
01-09-2008, 12:19 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BigRigTom:</font><hr> Hey Brad,

The really cool thing is that even if you are off a bit you are still a heck of a lot closer than you would have been if you dogged the shot.
<hr /></blockquote>

Good ideas Tom. In a way thats what I do now. I ignore what ball it is and focus on both targets. In the situation I described, the shape and the shot were fairly easy but required proper cuing. I think by over thinking it, it caused me to lose any muscle memory and I dogged the shape. In other words I executed the shot in my mind but missed doing it physically. (somehow I think that makes sense.) If I had concentrated on target as you do I would have made it I'm sure. Instead I made a easy shot hard by changing my mindset.

I practice the target technique a lot, but I don't know how to practice staying in focus for the crucial shot which can only happen in a real game. Maybe have some one stand by holding a string attached to my private parts ready to yank it!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

pooltchr
01-09-2008, 06:41 PM
There are only 3 things to consider on any pool shot..the angle, speed and what kind of spin you need. Do your thinking about these things, and make your decisions before your bridge hand touches the table. Then all you need to do is go through your routine and shoot the shot.
Think before you shoot, then shoot without thinking!
Steve

randyg
01-10-2008, 07:13 AM
"Think before you shoot, then shoot without thinking!"
Steve

Never have I heard better advise. Great job Steve....SPF=randyg

bradb
01-10-2008, 11:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> There are only 3 things to consider on any pool shot..the angle, speed and what kind of spin you need. Do your thinking about these things, and make your decisions before your bridge hand touches the table. Then all you need to do is go through your routine and shoot the shot.
Think before you shoot, then shoot without thinking!
Steve <hr /></blockquote>


I owe you a beer Steve!

Thanks, Brad /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Bambu
01-10-2008, 05:29 PM
I agree with what your friend told you about rythm. Whenever I see my opponent stop and take extra time to measure up a shot, it makes me happy because I might get to shoot again. Now that he has stopped his rythm, I know he may be questioning himself and his chances in making his shot.
Keeping a nice pace when you can, (even almost free-stroking) also seems to help develop a more natural, effortless way of playing. It takes time but once it happens, stopping to take your time when you need to, isnt quite as big a deal. Just my opinion, of course.

pooltchr
01-10-2008, 06:26 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> There are only 3 things to consider on any pool shot..the angle, speed and what kind of spin you need. Do your thinking about these things, and make your decisions before your bridge hand touches the table. Then all you need to do is go through your routine and shoot the shot.
Think before you shoot, then shoot without thinking!
Steve <hr /></blockquote>


I owe you a beer Steve!

Thanks, Brad /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif <hr /></blockquote>

I'm really a cheap date. Make it a Mountain Dew! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
(Glad I could help.)
Steve

pooltchr
01-10-2008, 06:33 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bambu:</font><hr> I agree with what your friend told you about rythm. Whenever I see my opponent stop and take extra time to measure up a shot, it makes me happy because I might get to shoot again. Now that he has stopped his rythm, I know he may be questioning himself and his chances in making his shot.
Keeping a nice pace when you can, (even almost free-stroking) also seems to help develop a more natural, effortless way of playing. It takes time but once it happens, stopping to take your time when you need to, isnt quite as big a deal. Just my opinion, of course. <hr /></blockquote>

Rhythm and Tempo are very important, but don't confuse it with sizing up a shot. As I stated above, you need to get all of your thinking done before your bridge hand touches the table. That process will be different depending on the shot you are facing. It doesn't take long to think about a simple stop shot, but a 3 rail kick requires a little more time to think it through. My rhythm comes after my thinking is done. From the time I put my chalk down until the time I stand up from a shot is usually 10 to 12 seconds, whether I took 10 seconds to decide what I need to do, or whether I took 30 seconds. They are two completely different parts of the shot.
Like I said, Think before you shoot, then shoot without thinking.
Steve

BigRigTom
01-10-2008, 07:13 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> There are only 3 things to consider on any pool shot..the angle, speed and what kind of spin you need. Do your thinking about these things, and make your decisions before your bridge hand touches the table. Then all you need to do is go through your routine and shoot the shot.
<font color="red">Think before you shoot, then shoot without thinking!</font color>
Steve <hr /></blockquote>

I like that so much I plan to make it my <font color="red">MANTRA</font color> AND part of my preshot routine starting NOW!
Thanks Steve you have a Mountain Dew coming from me or better yer here ya go:


Truck Load of Mountain Dew just for Steve! /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif
http://hardingersystems.com/BAT-forum/images/MountainDewTruck.jpg

Bambu
01-10-2008, 08:26 PM
Good point. Sure I try to size up the run before I shoot, but "plan B" comes into effect for me more often than not. The only perfect runs I usually get are the easy ones, off a good break. Most times I have to improvise somewhere along the line. If the rythm comes for you after the thinking has been done, you are playing on a higher level than I am. I'm not saying that I am done every time I stop my flow, but I cant say my rythm stays the same regardless of how much time I take. Gotta have goals I suppose, thanks.

bradb
01-11-2008, 05:35 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bambu:</font><hr> Good point. Sure I try to size up the run before I shoot, but "plan B" comes into effect for me more often than not. The only perfect runs I usually get are the easy ones, off a good break. Most times I have to improvise somewhere along the line. If the rythm comes for you after the thinking has been done, you are playing on a higher level than I am. I'm not saying that I am done every time I stop my flow, but I cant say my rythm stays the same regardless of how much time I take. Gotta have goals I suppose, thanks. <hr /></blockquote>

I think what Steve is saying is don't change your stroke rhythm, but be flexible in judging your shot. Its true if you stand up too long its tough to get the flow back... judge the stroke when needed, then get down commited to your decision and let the muscle memory take over. Looking back now I can see I did'nt do that. I tried to decide my shot while down on the ball, big mistake!

I was watching a video of Reyes dogging a simple shot ... you could see the indecision on his face while he was over the ball.

I don't feel so bad when I see the big boys do that, but I wish I did it as rarely as they do!
/ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

bradb
01-11-2008, 05:42 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BigRigTom:</font><hr>
I like that so much I plan to make it my <font color="red">MANTRA</font color> AND part of my preshot routine starting NOW!
Thanks Steve you have a Mountain Dew coming from me or better yer here ya go:


Truck Load of Mountain Dew just for Steve! /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif
<hr /></blockquote>

Tom, If enough people read this Steve could be set with Mountain Dew for life! /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

pooltchr
01-11-2008, 06:23 PM
Correct, Brad. The time between shots is time to evaluate the shot as well as the table layout. You need to have those thoughts out of your head when you are trying to shoot a shot.
One of the big workshops we teach in pool school covers being able to shift from the left side to the right side of the brain at the appropriate times. The left side of the brain is the analytical side. If it's active while you are shooting, that is when you start to question yourself.
If you ever get the opportunity, you should try to get into one of our classes....I think you would enjoy it.
Steve

bradb
01-12-2008, 12:36 PM
You're a bit too far away Steve, but maybe this summer I'll drag the Rv down that way if I can find enough things for the wife to do in Carolina. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif
-brad

pooltchr
01-12-2008, 01:22 PM
There are some very nice campgrounds in Myrtle Beach, SC...and I have no problem going down there any weekend in the summertime! /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif
Steve

BigRigTom
01-12-2008, 05:03 PM
Steve it may be a bit early to brag too much but using your suggestion which I adopted as my "MANTRA", I played the season's first match in APA 9 ball league Thursday night, that was the night after I read your suggestion.

"Think before you shoot, then shoot without thinking!"

I am a 7 and I beat an 8 with a score of 55 to 38, that gave me a match score of 16 to 4!

Thanks again for that tip.
I'll let you know how I manage to hold up over the 16 week season. It did make the light come on for me though. It was exactly the tip I was looking for at the time but I didn't know it until I read it on your post.

Paul_Mon
01-14-2008, 04:36 PM
Brad,
Allow me to give you my take on instinct. Instinct is when you need to hit a shot with a certain amount of speed and spin, two variables. You can use perfect speed and perfect spin and achieve your objective. Where instinct takes over is when you miss being perfect on one of the variables and compensate, instinctively, with the other. In bowling it would be throwing the ball too soft, but missing the target wide therefore giving it more room to hook back to the pocket. In golf it would be allowing a putt to break 6 at a given speed, but you hit it too hard and instinctively played less break. In pool its determining that the shot needed lag speed and a perfect ball hit with no English. But you hit it a little thicker, still within the range of making the ball, but instinctively hit it harder to make up for the loss of speed due to the thicker hit.

All that being said, IMO if you over think the shot instinctive compensation is less likely to take place.

Paul Mon

bradb
01-14-2008, 06:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Paul_Mon:</font><hr> Brad,
Allow me to give you my take on instinct. Instinct is when you need to hit a shot with a certain amount of speed and spin, two variables. You can use perfect speed and perfect spin and achieve your objective. Where instinct takes over is when you miss being perfect on one of the variables and compensate, instinctively, with the other. In bowling it would be throwing the ball too soft, but missing the target wide therefore giving it more room to hook back to the pocket. In golf it would be allowing a putt to break 6 at a given speed, but you hit it too hard and instinctively played less break. In pool its determining that the shot needed lag speed and a perfect ball hit with no English. But you hit it a little thicker, still within the range of making the ball, but instinctively hit it harder to make up for the loss of speed due to the thicker hit.

All that being said, IMO if you over think the shot instinctive compensation is less likely to take place.

Paul Mon
<hr /></blockquote>

Yes, agreed on your take to a point. I would say though that when you over think a shot you lose your touch, your feel for the table.The main thing I believe is to look at all the factors needed to execute the shot, then get down, set up the stroke and do it. Mind first, then body... whatever the sport, lock it in and commit.

What I call instinct is relying on previous experience in the same situation and letting the body recall that motion.

I think at least 90% of pool shots are slight variations of shots we may have had a thousand times before. Its only when we get to a variation that is difficult that we need to make sure we know whats needed. -brad

bradb
01-15-2008, 03:00 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BigRigTom:</font><hr> Steve it may be a bit early to brag too much but using your suggestion which I adopted as my "MANTRA", I played the season's first match in APA 9 ball league Thursday night, that was the night after I read your suggestion.

"Think before you shoot, then shoot without thinking!"

I am a 7 and I beat an 8 with a score of 55 to 38, that gave me a match score of 16 to 4!

Thanks again for that tip.
I'll let you know how I manage to hold up over the 16 week season. It did make the light come on for me though. It was exactly the tip I was looking for at the time but I didn't know it until I read it on your post. <hr /></blockquote>

Tom, I went 5 or 5 last night in my Monday night 8 ball league including an ERO!

Hats off to Steve, I never would have thought that such a simple instruction could make such a difference in play.

I decided to just play on instinct, the only time I stopped is when I got to the money ball. I backed off from the shot, took a deep breath, looked over the shot twice, then got back down and nailed it. The pause helps to relax, shake off the nerves a bit and then refocus.

I honestly don't even remember the run, I was so intune with the play that I only remember the last shot.

I reccommend this for anyone who is struggling with their game on critical shots. Thanks again Steve.
/ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

BigRigTom
01-19-2008, 06:17 PM
Brad and Steve!
It worked for me again last Thursday.
I played a match against an APA 7
Beat him 55 to 35 for a 15 to 5 match score.

"Think before you shoot, then shoot without thinking!"
I am having a great time with that one.
I am currently #1 on our MVP list for our division of the APA Southwest Region.
Check it out APA Division 842 MVP List (http://www.southcoastapa.com/XMLStats/StatViewer.aspx?stat=MVP%20List&amp;DivNum=842&amp;DivName =T.O.%209-Ball%20Red) ,if you don't believe it...I am having trouble believing it my self.

Bambu
01-23-2008, 11:03 AM
You are right. And I admit, I am guilty of doing the same thing.

Deeman3
01-23-2008, 11:09 AM
Congratulations, Tom.

Bambu
01-23-2008, 11:24 AM
Interesting about the brain and its different sides. And thanks for hitting on a problem I never even realized how to fight. After thinking about what you said about think before you shoot a bit more, I began to realize just how important that was. I always knew a big mistake I made was over or under thinking my shots. What I didnt know was exactly how to correct that. Old habits die hard, but thanks to you I am catching myself, and slowly changing my ways. It seems like such a simple thing, but this can be big for me. Thanks again.

BigRigTom
01-23-2008, 01:08 PM
I agree with you Bambu!
Anyone who has not already given this little saying a lot of deep thought should.

I think I am playing the best pool of my life.
I have been working very hard at improving over the past couple of years but that one bit in of insight has pulled a whole lot of stuff together for me.

It is still a bit early and as in all things time will tell.....it is working great for me right now and I plan to milk if for as long as it last. I'll keep you all posted.

I lost only 1 match so far this season (out of 6).
It was in 8 ball and I lost to an APA Skill Level 4 who truly rose to the challenge. He ran 4 plus the 8 for a 5 ball out (all were difficult shots) in a hill/hill match after I played a pretty lame two way shot. I really didn't think he could get out from there so I wasn't worried about it....then....he made me pay for that lack of respect for his game.

That match was on a 9 foot table too!

wolfdancer
01-23-2008, 01:19 PM
"Think before you shoot, then shoot without thinking!"
Tom, not sure where you got that from...but hope i can remember that when i compete.
Congrats!!! on your league stats...

Bambu
01-23-2008, 10:48 PM
Good for you, Tom. I hope to catch on to this bit of advice as fast as you seem to have. For a minute there I thought you said an apa 4, ran 4 racks on you. I was gonna say jeez, what are the 6's like out there? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif