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View Full Version : It's still in there somewhere!



sack316
04-04-2008, 11:49 AM
Well friends, after more than a six month layoff from pool and poolhalls for personal reasons, I made a cameo appearance last week with a friend on a day we were both off work. Just a day to hang out with old friends and teammates and catch up on the goings on of the previous months.

And as expected--- I took my cues out of their case and it felt completely foreign, my line of sight was way off, and my angles and position were... well I'll be nice and say terrible.

So I chose to take this "new" feeling and try to use it to better myself. As a self taught player I had plenty of bad habits that were just there from a young age. They had become muscle memory, and though I had worked on and gotten rid of several of them, a few still lingered because that's just how I shot and was comfortable. I became a good shot by adapting and compensating for some of my bad form, but when teaching others I was always more of a "do as I say and not as I do" kinda guy.

Well, now after quite some time off I figured this as good a time as any to focus on mechanics and retrain my body to shoot properly. After some time of shooting "right", and several bad racks, it eventually clicked... my old comfort level at the table mixed with new proper mechanics came together and suddenly I was shooting more like the old me, just minus the bad habits.

Now I won't sit here a lie and say I shot like a god from then on, but it was good enough for me to see the potential gain that would come from it if and when I start practicing regularly again. I was able to pull off shots and position play that my old form used to prevent me from. My speed and angles were still off, but I could see it... and most importantly see the "why" when something was off.

And above all else, I had fun! I sure didn't have the stamina I once had to shoot all night, but the few hours I did play were full of good times and promising results. Now I can only hope I can manage some time in my schedule to get back out there and just do it. I know what my limits were before, now I'm curious to see what level I can play at when I'm actually shooting the "right" way.

Sack

SKennedy
04-04-2008, 01:34 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: sack316</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Well friends, after more than a six month layoff from pool and poolhalls for personal reasons, I made a cameo appearance last week with a friend on a day we were both off work. Just a day to hang out with old friends and teammates and catch up on the goings on of the previous months.

And as expected--- I took my cues out of their case and it felt completely foreign, my line of sight was way off, and my angles and position were... well I'll be nice and say terrible.

So I chose to take this "new" feeling and try to use it to better myself. As a self taught player I had plenty of bad habits that were just there from a young age. They had become muscle memory, and though I had worked on and gotten rid of several of them, a few still lingered because that's just how I shot and was comfortable. I became a good shot by adapting and compensating for some of my bad form, but when teaching others I was always more of a "do as I say and not as I do" kinda guy.

Well, now after quite some time off I figured this as good a time as any to focus on mechanics and retrain my body to shoot properly. After some time of shooting "right", and several bad racks, it eventually clicked... my old comfort level at the table mixed with new proper mechanics came together and suddenly I was shooting more like the old me, just minus the bad habits.

Now I won't sit here a lie and say I shot like a god from then on, but it was good enough for me to see the potential gain that would come from it if and when I start practicing regularly again. I was able to pull off shots and position play that my old form used to prevent me from. My speed and angles were still off, but I could see it... and most importantly see the "why" when something was off.

And above all else, I had fun! I sure didn't have the stamina I once had to shoot all night, but the few hours I did play were full of good times and promising results. Now I can only hope I can manage some time in my schedule to get back out there and just do it. I know what my limits were before, now I'm curious to see what level I can play at when I'm actually shooting the "right" way.

Sack </div></div>

It's nice that you are working on your game in a positive way, but more importantly, glad to hear you are back playing. Are you anywhere near Deeman and do you guys ever get to play each other?
By the way....sometimes my line of sight and angles and such are also way off from time not playing....even a few hours off!

Fenwick
04-04-2008, 06:59 PM
I can relate. I don't know if this is value adding but here's my story. It's taken me 6 long sometimes frustrating months to rebuild my game after a 20+ year layoff. Still a long way to go. I had to as you mentioned tear down and rebuild my fundamentals from the bottom up also because of bad habits, self taught. Seeing myself on tape was a eye opener also. I learned a lot here, thank you, but until I started to make the easy shots as important as the hard shots I was stagnant. That was the break through for me. I also suffered from paralysis of over analysis while I was struggling. I then had to remember it's better to practice good form only as long and my attention span allows. If I miss 3 or 4 shots in a row I take a break for 10 or 15 minutes to regain my focus. I think my stroke and my shapes are better now then ever before because of better fundamentals but I'm still just a C player for now. My goal is to run my age before the end of summer; I'm 57. 100+ would be better still. Either way I'm having fun being back in the game.

sack316
04-04-2008, 11:15 PM
Actually Deeman and I don't live too awfully far away from each other. A pretty easy trip for either of us. On occasion he would swing up this way to visit and play a little when I was working at the poolhall. Unfortunately anytime he was here I'd either be working or already playing a league match se we have yet to play each other... well, that may actually be fortunate for me on my end /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

One key shot that really astounded me the other night was on my draw. I've never been big on using much bottom, I've always just been more comfortable using follow and rails to move around the table, and draw was something I tended to only use when completely necessary (though I did use it more frequently the last year or so before my hiatus). Well a shot came up where the OB was near a pocket the full table length away from where the cue sat, and I needed to get back pretty much where I was right then. So I figured what the heck and see how close I could come drawing it back... a shot that has never really been part of my bag of tricks. So I bared down and focused on making sure my entire routine was mechanically sound and then just let go. To my amazement I not only drew it back the full length of the table from that distance, I actually got too much on it and bounced back off the rail about 2-3 feet! The guy I was playing was like "what do you mean it's been six months?" I just told him I could not have even done that back when I was shooting every day. I could draw a table length when I was close to the object ball, but never that extreme of a draw on the long shots... that shot would usually have resulted in a stop shot to maybe a few inches of draw.

One other note I discovered in myself was that I think I used to tend to try to get a little too fancy moving about the table. I used to make the cueball do some pretty amazing things (minus the extreme draw I mentioned earlier) to move around... and often that was to the detriment of my shot making. That night, since I wasn't completely comfortable, I was more focused on making balls and getting "good enough" position as opposed to my former self who ALWAYS went for "perfect" position. As my comfort level rose I started stringing together some nice runs. Just something I need to keep a mental note to myself on--- that I'm a good enough shot maker that I don't need to sacrifice the current shot trying to get perfect shape for the ones to follow. If I don't make THAT ball, my all the cueball trickery and work I did were moot anyway.

I guess in a nutshell for that last paragraph... the humbling feeling I got from being so out of practice was a good thing in that it made me focus on the little things more.

Sack

eb_in_nc
04-07-2008, 08:11 AM
Taking a break from anything on occasion brings new perspective and insight. Like Fenwick, I also started playing again just last August after more than 20 years of not really touching a cue. Staring off again was rough since falling back into bad habits came pretty quickly. It wasn't until my team captain asked me "what was that little thing I did with my cue at the end of my stroke all about" to make me realize that my new found love for the game was still entrenched with my old bad habits. So I spent many weeks just working on my stance/stroke, and keeping my head down(at least trying to). I have to be honest, keeping form is tough since I can see myself revert back on occasion, especially when I am tired or not as focused as I should be to properly play the game. But to my amazement, my game has improved two fold. It still has a longer way to go, but I'm encouraged that taking something seriously can produce the right results.

At this point in the game, I don't think I could take 6 months away with not being able to hear that "kerplunk" sound as the ball you just shot is dropping into it's respective pocket!! Life is too short to not be shooting pool.