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JoeW
04-30-2008, 09:11 AM
I was doing some library research yesterday and found this article.

Adams, Robert M (1995). Momentum in the performance of professional tournament pocket billiards players. International Journal of Sport Psychology

Partial Abstract
Studied evidence of positive momentum in the performance of 45 professional pocket billiards players in a 9-ball tournament. Three relationships were examined: (1) The likelihood of winning a match after having won the opportunity to take the opening break shot, (2) the likelihood of winning a match as a function of winning the opening game(s) of the match, and (3) the effect of making all 9 balls in 1 turn at the table without giving the opponent an opportunity to shoot. The existence of a momentum-like phenomenon was supported. Players had a significantly greater likelihood of winning a best-of-21 match after having won the 1st game or the 1st 2 games in the match, and they had a significantly increased probability of winning a game by running all balls after having won the previous game by running all balls.

Of course there are some problems with the study. However, the findings do lead to the conclusion that one should bear down in the early part of a match.

Bambu
04-30-2008, 09:26 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I was doing some library research yesterday and found this article.

Adams, Robert M (1995). Momentum in the performance of professional tournament pocket billiards players. International Journal of Sport Psychology

Partial Abstract
Studied evidence of positive momentum in the performance of 45 professional pocket billiards players in a 9-ball tournament. Three relationships were examined: (1) The likelihood of winning a match after having won the opportunity to take the opening break shot, (2) the likelihood of winning a match as a function of winning the opening game(s) of the match, and (3) the effect of making all 9 balls in 1 turn at the table without giving the opponent an opportunity to shoot. The existence of a momentum-like phenomenon was supported. Players had a significantly greater likelihood of winning a best-of-21 match after having won the 1st game or the 1st 2 games in the match, and they had a significantly increased probability of winning a game by running all balls after having won the previous game by running all balls.

Of course there are some problems with the study. However, the findings do lead to the conclusion that one should bear down in the early part of a match.

</div></div>

Interesting Joe, thanks. That sounds alot like football, where the team that scores first has the better chance of winning. Whoever draws first blood seems to have the psychological edge. At the same time, it adds a deficit cutting sense of urgency to the other team. Coming back is always tougher than holding a lead, for me anyway.

JJFSTAR
04-30-2008, 10:23 AM
Very interesting Joe and for me it’s the other way around and it is a hindrance to the advancement of my pool game for more than a decade. This is something that I have only just begun to overcome.

Up until now I struggled with "keeping up the pressure" on my opponent. I remember a long time ago saying to a 50 year old pool player "I work so hard why am I not better than I am?" he gave a quick matter of fact 3 word answer that it took me years to figure out how to begin to tackle he said "No killer instinct".

Remember those were pro's in that study all of them have that killer instinct. Not one of them metaphorically has a problem with kicking someone to the ground and stepping on their neck until they stop breathing.

To them that's built in for me I have to struggle with it. There are some people that I meet even in competition that I have been playing with since I was a kid. It happens especially in the upper brackets of the league where I play.

It used to be said by more than 1 person "John likes to come from behind". When someone had me down I would bear down more and I was for a long time a sort of a "come back kid". Today I am older and wiser and want to win more so than in the past and that bear down is happening when I am winning, even or losing.

The mental game is now my sole focus because I don’t think I can gain significantly more today focusing deeply on technique. It has recently shot my game where I didn’t think it could ever be.

My record for this recent tournament is 14 and 1 and the only game I lost was the one that I ran down to the 8 missed and he ran the open table. This 14 and 1 isn't against "average tournament players". It is against "consistently stronger than most tournament players" as defined by our league.

Keep plugging at the mental thing Joe it's really paying off for me. BTW did you Email Dave Sapolis (sp)? I strongly recommend getting in touch with him.

Fran Crimi
04-30-2008, 10:49 AM
Back when Accu-Stats was an actual statsitics program, I recall Pat Fleming saying something similar, particularly about the correlation between winning the set and winning the first game of the set. He said it was pretty significant.

Fran

KellyStick
04-30-2008, 11:16 AM
My best strategy is to totally annihlate my opponent from the first game. Don't always do that by a long shot but it's a plan. I belive this has a demoralizing affect to many people. Not all. If you also take the second game I find about 1/3 of the people are looking for a way to give it up. Also, most people need to shoot a bit to get a rythm going. If they rarely get to shoot they don't get a rythm. Better yet, when they get to shoot leave them nothing. After 3-4 turns like that you're usually on the mental upside of the match which means you will probably win. Sometimes I take an easy safety up front just to get some demoralization points in early. Nobody likes not getting to shoot. Nobody likes being badly snookered everytime they finally get a chance to shoot. This seems to take the toll on most players. I'm talking APA now not pros. Though I think I have seen some of the pros act this way as well.

I consider the mental side of any match I am in. This can sometimes mean just knowing your opponent or learning your opponent by watching closely. Look for how to get that mental edge. And never give demoralization points to your opponent. When you get beat just rack the balls like it's no big deal which it isn't. I assume we have all come back to win from a Zero-Hill position. Pool is like baseball, nobody wins all the time.

KellyStick
04-30-2008, 11:19 AM
Oh, I am an APA 6 and we have this one other APA 6 who hates it when people play safe. Especially if you are another 6 and you have some sort of shot you could make. Sometimes I play safe on him just to get him in that cue stick throwing mood that makes him easy to beat.

Ahh, the simple pleasures.

1Time
04-30-2008, 11:46 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">However, the findings do lead to the conclusion that one should bear down in the early part of a match.</div></div>
Interesting topic. Thanks JoeW. And no offense intended, but I find this conclusion quite predictable.

Based mainly on my observations and experience... momentum "can" have a significant impact in a match, especially when established at the onset. I say "can" because it is not always so. A minority of competitors seem unaffected or much less so by not having momentum. The other side of the coin is some competitors feed off of having momentum more than others, while some are more negatively affected by losing it than others.

An even more interesting aspect of this topic would be why some are affected more or less, positively and negatively, by having momentum and losing it, and, how to identify this in your opponent and use it to your advantage. Perhaps someone's written a book that has addressed this?

JoeW
04-30-2008, 01:06 PM
I too had a problem with “killer instinct” for quite some time. It came up especially with people who seem to define themselves on the pool table. When my opponent had so much invested in winning, I basically let him win. Later I had to wonder why I play if I let the guy win who “needs” to win.

Here is how I solved this problem and of course it may not work for everyone. I remember from many years ago watching Marilyn Monroe act the dumb blond on a late night show. It was quite embarrassing as I knew she was a highly intelligent woman. It almost hurt to watch her. Then it occurred to me that she was making a fortune for her performance and probably laughed at people like me on her way to the bank. At that point it also occurred to me that she was who she wanted to be, getting what she wanted from life and had no need for my pity – her life was just fine (at the time). So I sat back and enjoyed her performance knowing that she was doing what she wanted to do. In fact most people are doing what they want to do it life and it is wrong of me to judge what they are looking for in some activity. Marilyn showed me, in her inimitable style, that people often choose the situation they find themselves in.

In some weird way this is true for her and for my opponent at the table. He is there because he chooses to be and he knows the potential risk to his own self perception. It is not for me to decide (intentionally or not) to let him win. That defeats the reasons that we play. In a sense, I am acting a though I am better than him and this is just plain wrong.

If he steps up to the table then he is willing to lose. If he is not then he should not be there. This is true for me and for my opponent. Marilyn taught me that it makes little difference how my opponent defines himself. I am not responsible for that. I am only responsible for my best game against the table within the context of the rules including safety play and running as many racks as possible. That is respect for the game and for my opponent. In a sense, I now see that I have a responsibility to give him my best game.

The momentum article is ten years old and reinforces, for me, the idea that the sooner I get out front the better.

1Time it seems that good research is usually obvious, after the fact, and the better research raises more questions than it answers.

eb_in_nc
04-30-2008, 01:24 PM
Joe, very key point that you raise here. And it comes all to close to home for me from a match I had two weeks ago:

I was playing the league operator who they refer to as a Super-7, and he is pretty much one of the best players in this division I play in. I came into the game just trying to contain my nerves, forget about mustering up momentum or getting into a dead stroke. I won the lag, and proceeded to win the first 3 games, he only made it to the table 4 times. Before breaking the 4th rack, his teammate keeping score smiled at me a said "you know, you really should be losing this game". I smiled back and said sure, and then went off to do my thing. Unfortunately my thing collapsed on me as this person reminded me that I should be losing, not winning (even though I was and had everything going for me in this match to win), but I let my mental defense down and he proceed to win the next 5 consecutive racks, having broken and ran out two of them to complete winning the match.

The only thing I did wrong in this match was give up on the notion that I could win. Yes, the teammate should probably not have said anything to me, and the fact that she said it in jest maybe was just a cover for what she was truly trying to do to my game, I don't know. But the result was clear and your observations are right on the money with your analogy to Marilyn.

I believe the mental momentum needs to be fortified with confidence and determination. Direction without magnitude does not a vector make.

av84fun
04-30-2008, 11:55 PM
My favorite football player has always been Mo Mentum!

(-:

Billy_Bob
05-01-2008, 07:30 AM
I think it is the opposite.

Not that if you have won the first few games that you will play better because of this and then continue to win, but that when your opponent LOSES the first couple of games, he mentally gives up! (Opposite of "I think I can, I think I can" It is: "I know I can't, I know I can't".)

And I see this all the time. Since I prefer stiff competition when playing for fun, I don't like it if I am playing someone who has given up trying and is handing me each game on a silver platter. So what I do is let my opponent win a few games so he can get his confidence back up, then I suddenly have stiff competition again.

Fran Crimi
05-01-2008, 07:33 AM
Don't you feel like your integrity suffers a bit when you do stuff like that?

Fran


<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: KellyStick</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Oh, I am an APA 6 and we have this one other APA 6 who hates it when people play safe. Especially if you are another 6 and you have some sort of shot you could make. Sometimes I play safe on him just to get him in that cue stick throwing mood that makes him easy to beat.

Ahh, the simple pleasures.</div></div>

JoeW
05-01-2008, 08:42 AM
There is a potential problem with the momentum issue. There are times when I loose the first rack or even the first two racks. How should this be handled? I think that the player (me in this case) needs to re-consider what happened. I know that at times I have lost the first rack or two because of “bad rolls.” That is position was missed by an inch or two, dust on the table or any of a hundred other reasons that I can construct. When my opponent breaks and runs the first few racks, I need to learn to ignore this as a momentum issue because I have not had a turn at the table.

I think that an honest evaluation of why I lost may contribute to getting back on my game. It is true that excellent players are not complainers, to themselves or anyone else. None the less, if the real reason(s) can be found for why I lost, then it is possible to straighten out the match and the real winner (me) gets back in the driver seat.

In a sense I am suggesting that when momentum swings against the player it is necessary to find a way to understand and get back in the match. I bet that excellent players have a way to do this or they simply ignore the score.

eb_in_nc
05-01-2008, 08:48 AM
There is also a "karma" element to the table as well. In some games, you just seem to get the good rolls whereas in others you cannot. I agree that the excellent players seem to not complain, but they also seem to have the better luck, or table karma on their side. Perhaps this just comes from not complaining and taking each shot one at a time ignoring the bad shots behind them.

The mental preparation and stamina is "chess-like" to a large degree.

Bambu
05-01-2008, 09:04 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: KellyStick</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Oh, I am an APA 6 and we have this one other APA 6 who hates it when people play safe. Especially if you are another 6 and you have some sort of shot you could make. Sometimes I play safe on him just to get him in that cue stick throwing mood that makes him easy to beat.

Ahh, the simple pleasures.</div></div>

This may fall under the "pissing off other players is no good for the game" category. But, I see nothing wrong with exploiting your opponents weaknesses. Keeping your cool is part of the mental war taking place. Thats why pros dont show much emotion.
Plus, some of the players who get mad when you safe them, just dont have much of a safety game. I also play against another 6 on a regular basis. The guy should really be a 7, but as usual the apa is sleeping on him. I mean, the guy is a 200 ball runner. You miss, and its usually over. But, he hates safeties for whatever quirky reasons he has, and never plays them. Personally, I think that in his mind he thinks he just cant miss, no matter what the shot is. So when I play him, I safe him all I can because I know he hates it. I want the ball in hand, and I know rattling him will help my chances. I dont call that dirty pool. I call it knowing how to respond to a safety battle.

eb_in_nc
05-01-2008, 09:10 AM
As Paula would say Bambu, you're making the game "Your Own"

Personalizing your approach to the game by using defensive and offensive tactics is legal and fair, despite the fact that it might piss some people off.

In this particular case, the fact that this guy has no defensive game is probably the #1 reason he has not been bumped to a 7.

Fran Crimi
05-01-2008, 10:05 AM
Yes, players do make changes when the momentum turns agains them. MacEnroe and Conners did it by throwing temper tantrums. Earl also throws tantrums from what I've seen. Then once the momentum turns, all is quiet.

Steffie Graff used to punch her leg when things went wrong. I believe it triggered a trained response of some sort by her. The leg punching would stop when she got back into the groove.

Top pool players know what their weaknesses are and they automatically go into what I call 'auto-correct' mode when the momentum is against them. Those who tend to rush when the momentum changes will suddenly start to slow down their games to correct that problem. Others will speed up if they have a tendency to start to drag. It depends on the player. But top players all know that they must change something if they wish to turn the momentum around, even if it's just a string of bad luck.

Fran

wolfdancer
05-01-2008, 10:05 AM
" It is not for me to decide (intentionally or not) to let him win. That defeats the reasons that we play."
The old adage is that if you are playing your Grandmother in a race to 10, you try to beat her 10/0.
Tim Gallway said it better though on an audio tape he made about "Winning"
He said that when you compete,"... there is an unwritten contract that you will both do your best to win, thus each opponent has his abilities extended, and both players will improve."
I think volumes could be written on momentum...maybe a winning streak produces endorphins, like a runners high, and allows one to play with a very positive attitude, and that in turn gives one an edge in keeping the streak intact?
Momentum is self -perpetuating?
I would have liked to have played Marlyn a race to 10 for some stakes that cannot be printed here....I did once stay in a Motel in the Fresno area, where rumor had it that she and Joe stayed at while on their Honeymoon trip.
That's as close as me and Marlyn ever got though...

JoeW
05-01-2008, 12:38 PM
Thanks Fran, I thought it would be something like that. I do not think that I would like punching myself but it does seem that a player needs some technique or trick to recover the momentum.

When I practiced psychology I would tell people that MDs carried a black bag with all sorts of neat medicines. Psychologists carry an imaginary bag of tricks. You can't see them but they can also work wonders when used appropriately. So now you have me thinking about the tricks that one could use to get the momentum back -- Hmmm

Anger might work for MacEnroe and Strickland but it would not be a good recommendation for most of us as it is too diruptive of one's natural flow, unless the person had spent a life time using these basically self defeating mechanisms.

People like MacEnroe and Strickland use adrenalin to boast performance and trigger it with anger. There are other ways to accomplish the same trick. For most of us, anger leads to motor dysfunction over a period of time. Playing pool requires exquisite fine motor control so one would have to rapidly shift gears when using anger. This is a very difficult task for most of us.

I suspect that a different mind set is a good technique. I think your idea about changing one's pace or using what I call the "A" stroke would work. The "A" stroke is the tried and true process that one knows works though it may be slower and less fluid.


I suspect that learning to enhance one's concentration whie staying relaxed might be more useful. I think that this type of approach is used by Duel and Reyes.

eb_in_nc
05-01-2008, 12:55 PM
Would this not be a form of bio-feedback that people have established with something that keeps them relaxed and focused, similar to driving your bloodpressure down by the same technique?

What I have been trying to do as of late is sing a song in my head which I know takes me to some other place with the intent to let it fill my conscious mind and allow the subconscious to kick in. It also gives me a pleasant diversion from my surrounding during a match. I'm still working on song choices, and also playing around with making some pre-hypnotic chants to myself by singing this song and assuring myself that I am a force to be dealt with. I have not mastered this by any stretch, but I have noticed that in general I am not as flustered by my own mistakes and can shoot the next shot clear headed.

JoeW
05-01-2008, 01:13 PM
I think that Gallway has it right about the unwritten contract to play our best but I also think that there is more to the story. Playing pool is a game and a sport for some of us. None-the-less there are the unwritten rules we live by as civilized people. Some people have internalized these rules more than others.

If we are having a party and someone is a loud mouth with strident opinions on every subject we (you and I) let him ramble on and do not ask him to the next party. As some wag said we don’t have to tell everyone every thing we know. Some times it is more gracious and polite to let the fool ramble rather than attempt to put them down to no purpose. Then too we recognize that some people just need that social attention, that sense of appearing to be right, knowledgeable, or better than others. It just isn’t worth the effort so we back off. I think it is part of being a “nice” person.

There are people who have not learned to be polite and think only of their own needs at a party or in a pool match. At a party it is one thing, in a pool match it is another. It seems to me that one has to learn to shift gears and realize that competitive sports are also played politely (good sportsmanship) but in a different context. This can be difficult because the same sympathies that come into play when we are confronted by an obnoxious person at a party can be elicited in a pool match. That is we have too much understanding about the opponent’s basic needs and inferiority feelings. The loud drunk demands our attention and it is an easy price to pay to shut him up. The player who needs to win so as to define himself is also someone we would rather be away from. It is natural tendency to let him win and walk away, just as we do in other areas of our life.

For most of us we are simply having a good time being intensely involved in a fine sport. It is not about life defining moments. I think that some people play on this civilized sportsmanship unwritten contract to win at any cost and of course we avoid these people.

The problems begin when the opponent does not realize that they are showing, through their anger, depression or any of several methods that they are too involved and we see that a loss will be devastating – what now? We are not their family and do not want to be placed in a position of wrecking someone’s life – after all it is only a pool game. Drama kings and queens are everywhere. I think that I have come to trust in the idea that the opponent, no matter his actions, is, underneath it all, aware of the idea that he could loose and that when he looses based on my play he knew it was coming, the rest is just show for the dough.

Enough musing for the day, I am off to play some pool.

JoeW
05-01-2008, 01:18 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eb_in_nc</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Would this not be a form of bio-feedback that people have established with something that keeps them relaxed and focused, similar to driving your bloodpressure down by the same technique?

What I have been trying to do as of late is sing a song in my head which I know takes me to some other place with the intent to let it fill my conscious mind and allow the subconscious to kick in. It also gives me a pleasant diversion from my surrounding during a match. I'm still working on song choices, and also playing around with making some pre-hypnotic chants to myself by singing this song and assuring myself that I am a force to be dealt with. I have not mastered this by any stretch, but I have noticed that in general I am not as flustered by my own mistakes and can shoot the next shot clear headed. </div></div>

Hey - that is a cool trick. Try selecting and singing your song(s) while practicing relaxation then the song becomes the trigger. I think you could have a couple of songs one to calm one to concentrate.

eb_in_nc
05-01-2008, 01:43 PM
Yes Joe, using the song as a trigger for a preconditioned response.

I'm thinking different songs for offensive play, defensive play, and refocusing when I might get flustered for some reason. I'm trying to settle how I use this technique for the Summer session so I can compare my stats to what I did this Winter.

Any other suggestions would be worthwhile, and still waiting for your book.

Eric B.

SKennedy
05-01-2008, 01:49 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Billy_Bob</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I think it is the opposite.

Not that if you have won the first few games that you will play better because of this and then continue to win, but that when your opponent LOSES the first couple of games, he mentally gives up! (Opposite of "I think I can, I think I can" It is: "I know I can't, I know I can't".)

And I see this all the time. Since I prefer stiff competition when playing for fun, I don't like it if I am playing someone who has given up trying and is handing me each game on a silver platter. So what I do is let my opponent win a few games so he can get his confidence back up, then I suddenly have stiff competition again.
</div></div>

First round league play-offs were Tuesday. My first game I sunk 8 on the break and could see my opponent deflate in front of me. I know it's luck and so should he...so why does he let it affect him? I have to give him a game so now we're even up. I win the 2nd game. Now, I know this is my match to lose!! If I win the 3rd game, I know he will not come back to beat me. I do win the 3rd game. I know I've won the match...not because of my ability or any killer instinct. It's because I can simply see that my opponent knows he's beat! I can see it in his posture, his stroke, etc. I've been on the hill against a good opponent who hasn't beaten me 1 game and have them come back and win the match (not often). I don't think the diference is so much me as it is my opponent's attitude. Some give up and some just don't quit and think they can overcome anything. To me, it's like a baseball pitcher....doesn't matter if you are pitching good or bad on a given day...in your head you have to convince yourself that you are the best on the field and you are in complete control. Even if you are getting hit, you still act and look like you are "the man." As soon as you show any outward sign of weakness....and believe me the opposing bench can feel and see it....you are done! Momentum works both ways...it affects both players. That's what time-outs, coaches visits to the mound, and pitching changes are for....to try and stop that momentum shift or to try and minimize it.

wolfdancer
05-01-2008, 02:12 PM
I watched an episode of "The Big Break" yesterday....and two gals were in a sudden death playoff, where the loser would go home. One lady just couldn't pull the trigger on a chip shot; wasn't sure what club and what type shot to use, and took 5 minutes to play it...with predictable results.
I've seen similar in pool, and get caught myself debating between shot selections, usually followed by a miss.
If you have "Mo" working for you....you just trust your sub conscious and let er rip....
Well, you have a much better understanding of the human psyche then I will ever have...some of you good sports can play the game without your ego getting in the way....BUT for us intense, bad losers...we put our seele into the game....and therefore feel the pain much more when we lose....
we're entitled to display a little emotion...

Fran Crimi
05-01-2008, 06:47 PM
Joe, many years ago I attended a sports psychology course with sports psychologist Jim Loehr. I like the way he describes the different moods players can go through. He breaks it into quadrants ---Upper left is high positive energy. Upper right is high negative energy. Lower left is low positive energy and lower right is low negative energy. He says that players entering the low energy zones are in danger of losing the match. Players in high energy zones are always in contention to win, and that includes high negative energy. I found it fascinating that high negative energy can result in a positive effect so I asked him about it.

He said that the high negative energy doesn't actually help the player towards winning, but at least they maintain a high energy level that can be transformed into high positive energy, which is the match winning quadrant you want. It's much more difficult to transform low energy into high energy. So high negative energy is actually a better state to be in as opposed to low positive energy, according to Loehr.

Of course, there are times where we may win in spite of ourselves. Those would be the exceptions. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/crazy.gif


Fran

Bob_Jewett
05-01-2008, 07:21 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I was doing some library research yesterday and found this article.

Adams, Robert M (1995). Momentum in the performance of professional tournament pocket billiards players. International Journal of Sport Psychology ... </div></div>
I hope they did their statistics right. If Efren is playing Joe Mooch, the person who wins the first rack is likely to win the second as well, and that would prove nothing about this hypothetical "momentum."

JoeW
05-01-2008, 09:55 PM
I did not read the article, only the abstract so I do not know what analyses he used. As you know there are a few types of analyses that could address the issues involved in this type of study but I do not know what was used. It appears to be a reputable journal and I assumed that reasonable reviewers were consulted.

DeadCrab
05-02-2008, 06:37 AM
"reasonable reviewers "

Now there's an oxymoron.

JoeW
05-02-2008, 09:00 AM
Apparently there is some controversy about the existence of Momentum see Crust and Nesti (http://www.athleticinsight.com/Vol8Iss1/Momentum.htm). There is a perceived need for other types of research. However, there are reasonable theories about Momemtum and sports see Taylor and Demick (http://www.getcited.org/pub/103340940). Finally there is some good research that leads to the conclusion that ascriptions and emotional attachments may influence a competitor's perspective. See Ormsby (http://etd.lib.fsu.edu/theses/available/etd-04032006-120745/unrestricted/FSU_Manuscript_Final.pdf). I think this set of links leads to the idea that Momentum is a topic worthy of study and it would appear to be a real phenomena in some areas.

Bob_Jewett
05-02-2008, 11:02 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Apparently there is some controversy about the existence of Momentum ... </div></div>
Bob Byrne wrote about a study of "hot hands" at basketball. Those researchers concluded that the "clumping" of scoring that you see in basketball is just like the clumping you see from independent random events, like a coin toss.

JoeW
05-02-2008, 11:17 AM
I wonder if there is a difference in momentum when you have to give up the ball after each point scored versus the way we play pool. The pool player does eventally miss or play safe and give up the turn so there is a similarity. However, he does not have to take the ball away from his opponent, unless one is playing full contact 9-Ball.

Then too team sports and individual sports may differ in the contribution of perceived momentum to a player.

Intuitively, momentum makes sense from a psych perspective. Sustaining it may be another issue. I suspect that the term is too vaguely defined and does not currently allow one to tease out the relationships.

If nothing else, perceived momentum probably leads to enhanced self efficacy and it is known that confidence is related to an individual's performance. If it leads to over confidence then momentum would detract not enhance performance. The whole area may be more related to the well known anxiety - performance inverted U function and this suggests that the player is in a constant state of change in the managment of his emotions during a match.

One possibly interesting study would be to compare billiards matches (where the player has shorter runs), as compared to 9-Ball matches.

From another perspective it could be interesting to compare the outcomes of matches where one player ran three (or more racks) in 9-ball and the match outcome when the other player did not have an extended run. One would of course need to control for player ability, possibly by only including players who were known to have run 3+ racks under tournament conditions.

wolfdancer
05-02-2008, 11:45 AM
I found page 55 of Ormsby most interesting.
My comments are only based on my perceptions of what I have observed, although I did stay at a Holiday Inn once.
I think "mo" is linked to removing one's self imposed skills limits, replacing conscious effort by trusting one's body/mind connection. So playing in the "zone" leads to mo....or does mo lead to playing in the zone??? (I'll have to reread my "Psychology For Dummies" book)
For team momentum...I would pick Basketball; for individual sports, pro wrestling (just kidding)...I think golf heads that list

BigRigTom
05-02-2008, 01:19 PM
I have been quitely reading this thread and I have to ask this:

I, being a craps player, have had and seen others have really long runs on the crap table. Some that seem to defy the odds.

I have held the dice for as many as 10 points with out crapping out, I have seen my wife do the same. I once saw a player at the Sands parley and hit four hard Eights before the house closed the table on him.....

Does any of that relate to this dicussion of "momentum" or "hot hands" in other sports and especially the momentum of a pool match.

I am trying to intentionally enter the zone and so far I think I did it once a few weeks ago but have not been able to do it since.
(Note to Joe... I'm still trying and I have 2 more opportunities next week in our APA league playoffs)

New2Pool
05-02-2008, 01:34 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BigRigTom</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have been quitely reading this thread and I have to ask this:

I, being a craps player, have had and seen others have really long runs on the crap table. Some that seem to defy the odds.

I have held the dice for as many as 10 points with out crapping out, I have seen my wife do the same. I once saw a player at the Sands parley and hit four hard Eights before the house closed the table on him.....

Does any of that relate to this dicussion of "momentum" or "hot hands" in other sports and especially the momentum of a pool match.

I am trying to intentionally enter the zone and so far I think I did it once a few weeks ago but have not been able to do it since.
(Note to Joe... I'm still trying and I have 2 more opportunities next week in our APA league playoffs) </div></div>

I was the counterpoint for you at Vegas. I bet "black" 8 times in a row at the roulette wheel in Vegas and it came up "red" every time. The odds were slim that I would miss a near 50/50 event 8 times in a row but it happens. I probably saved money in the long run. I got frustrated and just went and watched shows the rest of the night.

Deeman3
05-02-2008, 01:39 PM
Tom,

I think it is all probablity in dice and in some sense in pool. Probability sayd you have to have some long runs of dice both positive and negative. I just think we are mostly mistaking these natural "runs" as momentum. JMO

JoeW
05-02-2008, 01:57 PM
I agree, long runs are expected in probability theory. Dice and Roulette are all about probability. It is possible that long runs in pool and other sports are thought to be somewhat controlled by the player while they are actually controlled by probability. One would have to do the studies to come to some conclusion.

None-the-less we tend to believe that practice makes perfect, and there is of course truth to that statement. Momentum may be an extension of that type of thinking. The more you get it right, the more you will get it right.

SKennedy
05-02-2008, 02:04 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I agree, long runs are expected in probability theory. Dice and Roulette are all about probability. It is possible that long runs in pool and other sports are thought to be somewhat controlled by the player while they are actually controlled by probability. One would have to do the studies to come to some conclusion.

None-the-less we tend to believe that practice makes perfect, and there is of course truth to that statement. Momentum may be an extension of that type of thinking. The more you get it right, the more you will get it right.
</div></div>

In dice, know and play the percentages and you will always come out ahead.....provided you play long enough!

JoeW
05-02-2008, 07:08 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: wolfdancer</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I found page 55 of Ormsby most interesting.
My comments are only based on my perceptions of what I have observed, although I did stay at a Holiday Inn once.
I think "mo" is linked to removing one's self imposed skills limits, replacing conscious effort by trusting one's body/mind connection. So playing in the "zone" leads to mo....or does mo lead to playing in the zone??? (I'll have to reread my "Psychology For Dummies" book)
For team momentum...I would pick Basketball; for individual sports, pro wrestling (just kidding)...I think golf heads that list </div></div>

Many years ago, Bib Latanne and Stanley Schacter conducted a seminal study that lead to the conclusion that emotions follow behavior. Their work has been replicated and extended by several others.

From their work it could be hypothesized that momentum may facilitate entrance into the zone. That is an interesting idea and leads to the suggestion that one should play for accuracy first, emersing one's self in the game, and as momentum is gained the zone may follow. Hmmm

This may be more of an explanation of how the zone is entered and it would be interesting to learn if people who have experinced the zone were initially concerned with mechanics and accuracy as a precursor to their zone experience.

wolfdancer
05-03-2008, 12:55 PM
As the noted philosopher, "Fast Eddie" observed in the "Color of Money" :
"It's very hard
to know that.
It's very complex...
Iike which twin
has got the Toni
Maybe they both
got the Toni.
Maybe Toni's a guy.
It's very complicated."

And from the same movie:

"It doesn't make sense.
It goes in streaks.
The balls roll funny
for everybody, kiddo."

good topic Dr. J.....and Bob's comments are always interesting!!