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1poolfan
07-18-2008, 03:58 PM
This practice lesson is one that I have used over the last few years to dramatically change my game. Not just in my own mind, but in the statistics and in the players I can now compete with. It has taken a few years to get where I am but I am even more convinced of the value of this drill than ever. I don’t really spend much practice time as I have many other things going on, so the fact that this works as well as it does is all the more reason I am convinced it is on the right path. There are many other things one can do, but this practice routine can change anyone’s game forever, even the pros. Also, let me point out that I invented this routine and fully understand the reasons behind why it works. So these are truly my own.

First of all let me say that this doesn’t solve every problem for a pool player but does solve what I think is the most essential part. Not understanding why we miss shots and how to correct it.

What causes us to miss shots is muscle movement so small we don’t even know we did it. Why don’t we know? Because the part of the mind that controls every muscle in our body is hidden from our being able to access it normally. This has been well documented by scientist who have studied, of all things, people using Ouija Boards. So I have named this effect the Ouija Board Effect. The good thing is that we can use this to help us, if we know how. In fact, the Ouija Board is either working for us or against us whether we want it to or not.

So let’s get going with this now that you understand where I am coming from. I only ask that instead of just breaking it down immediately, you try it for 90 days and come back and provide feedback. Since no one will be there to watch your practice, we will have to take your word that you actually practiced.

The routine is rather simple and I think that’s the reason is works so well. It gets right to the heart of things and is geared to producing the exact outcome desired.


The Exercise.

I start with a set of Elephant Practice Balls. Specifically the one I have is the red and white ball. It comes with a cue ball, but for this exercise we don’t need it.

I use this ball because of its exact difference between the colors which allow us to be more precise. Take the red and white practice ball, which I will call the PB, and put a black dot on it exactly on the line between the two colors. This dot should be around 1/8 inch round. I use a fine permanent marker for this. This dot is actually the exact, or close enough, size of the contact points between two balls when they touch each other. This is necessary because of the precision at which we will be practicing with is far greater than anything before.

Next take a piece of chalk and color one edge of the chalk black. Just the very edge of it. This will be our feedback device. It will provide roughly a 1/8 surface that the PB will hit.

Place the piece of chalk on the side rail, lets say at the second diamond, so that the black corner you’ve just marked is hanging over the rail enough for the PB can move it if it hits it. After a few times this will become natural.

Then place the PB directly out from the chalk toward the center of the table. Around a foot is a good place to start. The PB will be on an imaginary line between the second diamond directly across from the diamond on the other side where we placed the chalk. Not off to either side but directly on the imaginary line. Remember this spot as we will be placing the PB back there often.

Place the cue ball around four or five inches from the PB as you would to shoot the PB into the chalk. Start with the cue ball directly on the same imaginary line until you are ready to move the cue ball off to one side or the other.

At this point you might think the object is to hit the chalk? That is incorrect. Remember the dot you placed on the PB, turn the dot so that when the cue ball strikes the PB the dot is the exactly where the two balls will meet.

We have everything set up to start the routine but we are missing some important information. The entire object is not to hit the chalk but the see the cue ball hit the dot on the PB. That means that you must hit the cue ball very easy, just hard enough so that the PB will go to the rail and move the chalk slightly. Let me stress this point, you should never see the PB hit the chalk because you will be staring at the dot until the cue ball hits it and even then don’t look up. When I say staring at the dot, I mean you must see the dot clearly and not just some blurry vision. You must keep the dot clearly into focus until the cue ball strikes the PB.

This is very strenuous exercise because we will be using muscles in our eyes to hold the dot clearly in view for longer period than you have before. I recommend that you start with a 5 to 10 minute exercise and then work up to 30 minutes and longer.

What is the chalk for and why did we color one corner? The chalk is the feedback mechanism that we need to see how well we hit the exact spot we were looking at. If the chalk is pushed directly back from the rail, then we hit the spot dead on. If the chalk is turned to the right, then the cue ball struck the right side of the PB. The same goes for the left side. If it didn’t move it, then we missed the dot entirely.

The whole idea is to do this perfectly each time. If you do not see the cue ball hit the PB, then you must slow the shot down even more. If you cannot hit the chalk at this distance then move the PB closer until you can. If you can hit the chalk perfectly each time, pushing it straight back fifty times in a row, then move the PB away for the rail for a longer shot. If you get to the point where you can make the shot from across the table, then return the PB back to a foot from the rail and move the cue ball ¼ of an inch to either side of the PB, but do not move the dot toward you. The dot must stay in line with the edge of the chalk.

I hope I have explained this well enough for anyone to try it but I welcome questions.

You might be tempted to say, you don’t play like this, why does it work? The reason it works is because you cannot change any ‘skill’ when the pre-conditioned ‘skill’ is running at normal speed. The only way to change a ‘skill’ is by slowing it down so much that the conscious mind can control every aspect of it. Of course you will not play at this very slow speed, but you cannot make a change at normal playing speed.

What will this teach you?
It will stop you from jumping up right away. It will also teach you a precision you probably never had before because you are being as precise as the two balls are at the contact points and not the loose precision of shooting balls into pockets.
It will also teach you to see the cue ball strike the contact point, where you can see why you either made the shot or missed the shot. How many times have you wondered why you missed a shot? Never again. It will also teach your ‘sub-conscious’ mind the exact place to hit the PB. This skill will be taken to the real table where you do the same thing to clearly see the dot. Obviously the ‘dot’ you will see while playing will be just a spot you picked out on any ball. In fact, every beginner does this because it is a natural thing to do. Hitting that exact spot has always been the problem.

Your game will change from ‘making balls’ to hitting the dot. If you hit the dot every time, the pockets will get in the way of the path of the object ball. You will also become very good at making combinations because of the precision you will be learning with this technique.

In other words, See the spot – Make the shot.

There is much more I could write but this post is already long enough.

Thanks.

JoeW
07-18-2008, 04:11 PM
Interesting idea. I will give it a try.

1Time
07-19-2008, 03:20 PM
Sorry, but it sounds pretty stupid to me. There are a lot better ways to learn pool.

bataisbest
07-19-2008, 04:27 PM
WTF? Sounds like this invention is pretty complicated. Who is gonna apply this when they're playing a match?

1poolfan
07-21-2008, 02:09 AM
I think you may be misunderstanding the purpose of this practice routine.

The purpose is to train your brain to see the exact spot until the cue ball hits it when you are shooting. That is all. The only change, if you are not doing it now, will be to add 'seeing the spot' to your shot routine at the very end.

You can't just use 'willpower' to do this; you must train yourself until it becomes a habit. If you don't practice now or plan to, then this is of no value to you. If you do practice now, then adding this practice routine in with your other stuff will make a huge difference.

Once you make 'seeing the hit', a habit;
You will never miss an easy shot again
It will help with 'choking'
Your precision in making shots will go up
Your game will fundamentally change from pocking balls to hitting the object ball in the exact spot
You will play in the zone more often

The above will happen if you are whether you are a pro or an amateur. If this doesn't appeal to you, then keep on doing the same thing hoping for different results. Which is what Einstein said was the definition of 'Insanity'.


The hard part of this simple, boring routine is doing it. It becomes work and tires you out. The long explanation in the original post is to insure you do it properly. Trying to take shortcuts will not help you here.

1Time
07-21-2008, 02:57 AM
1poolfan, What you're talking about is an aiming system. It's ridiculously simplistic, inefficient, and ineffective for most shots in pool. Yes, shots can be made using it. However, there are without a doubt many more complex ways of aiming that require less effort, less time to execute, work much better and with a much wider variety of shots than the system you've described.

Here's what I say you should do. Completely discard this aiming system as if you never knew of it, and learn a much better one. You sound like you've got plenty of interest in pool, and that should serve you well. But you're wasting your time with this one.

1poolfan
07-21-2008, 10:53 AM
Does an aiming system prevent you from missing easy shots forever? Does an aiming system help with choking? Does an aiming system help you play in the zone more often?

I appreciate your comments but this is much more than an aiming system. Even if it was just an aiming system, it would still be the most precise one invented so far. Unless you can tell me what is more precise than learning to play this game using just the contact area between the cue ball and an object ball?

One other note, our brains do not work off of 'systems' only learned 'skills'. Which is why knowledge has little value in sports. If knowledge were the answer, then all you would have to do is tell someone to 'stay down' and they could do it. But in real life, you can tell someone that all day and it won't do any good. All of us have seen this over and over, especially the instructors that work students all the time.

1Time
07-22-2008, 02:14 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1poolfan</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Does an aiming system prevent you from missing easy shots forever? Does an aiming system help with choking? Does an aiming system help you play in the zone more often?</div></div>
Your system does not prevent missing easy shots better than all other aiming systems. Aiming systems can help prevent choking and help play in the zone more often.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1poolfan</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I appreciate your comments but this is much more than an aiming system. Even if it was just an aiming system, it would still be the most precise one invented so far. Unless you can tell me what is more precise than learning to play this game using just the contact area between the cue ball and an object ball?</div></div>
Unless you prefer I call it something else, I will refer to it as an aiming system because that's its function. Your aiming system is not the most precise for shooting easy shots because it does not better result in the meeting of the required contact points between the cue ball and object ball, even with easy shots.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1poolfan</div><div class="ubbcode-body">One other note, our brains do not work off of 'systems' only learned 'skills'. Which is why knowledge has little value in sports. If knowledge were the answer, then all you would have to do is tell someone to 'stay down' and they could do it. But in real life, you can tell someone that all day and it won't do any good. All of us have seen this over and over, especially the instructors that work students all the time. </div></div>
It takes knowledge of the aiming system and skill to use it, not just one or the other. The same is true in sports. For example, participants must make use of their knowledge of the rules and their skills, not just one or the other. Another example, a football and basketball player who changes teams may be required to learn a new offensive / defensive system / role. Also, more knowledge may help with problems like you described between an instructor and student.

I can be more specific and perhaps be more helpful if you better define what you mean by "easy shot". You mentioned shooting slightly off line from center, and you did not mention of how to account for any applied spin on the cue ball. So from what I can tell at this point, your system would be more effective with a simple straight shot than with an angled shot, but less effective with any shot than many other systems. You do realize that when using your system for an angled shot, the imagined spot on the object ball would need to be eliptically shaped and that its shape would need to change as the angle of the shot changed? This would be true with anything except a straight on shot. It's like you've invented spitting a spit wad to hit a target, while others are using a high powered rifle with a scope. Your system is extremely limited in scope and relatively inaccurate.

1poolfan
07-23-2008, 11:58 AM
It takes knowledge of the aiming system and skill to use it, not just one or the other.

That is precisely the point I am trying to make, knowledge is useless in playing most sports. We do not execute the sport based on knowledge, except for chess which is all analytical thinking. Any sport that involves muscles does not use knowledge. Why do I think that?

When does a player play their best? When they are ‘in the zone’. In all cases, when someone is ‘in the zone’ they say they are ‘NOT thinking’, just letting it happen. Getting your ‘analytical’ mind out of the way is the only way you can play your best in any sport. How do you do that? You need to give it something to do and it may as well be something that can help you perform the task at hand or else it will work against you.

For example, if you let your ‘mind’ wander during a shot, the part of the mind that really performs the shot will be guided away from its original purpose and thus you will probably miss. This is seen time and time again when a player wonders, why they missed a shot. Why should you not know why you missed a shot? If you were looking at the spot on the object ball where the cue ball should hit, then you would have seen why you missed. In all cases, you let your analytical mind wander which caused you to miss.

You say participants make use of knowledge during sports like football and basketball. The knowledge, which is stored in the analytical part of the mind, is only input to the actual part of the mind that performs the action. Don’t think this is true, then tell me how the muscles are all synchronized to do any action? Are you actively controlling the muscles? No, a part of your brain has been trained to do this automatically and without any input from your ‘thinking’ part of your brain. So if this is true, then playing pool, like walking could be done as just as well by anyone. It is only how we are training that part of the brain that performs the actions that makes the difference.

To try and explain even more, playing pool is no harder than walking and involves all the same components. You walk every day and do it very well. You do it as well as anyone else can, isn’t that so? Do you use a walking system? No, in fact, you don’t give it any thought whatsoever, yet you still manage to do it perfectly. How did you learn to walk, did someone have to teach you a walking system? No you practiced it until you could do it and with daily practice you got very good at it. But you did not use a system nor do you use knowledge.

What I have proposed is the same thing. You are simply training the part of the mind that really controls the intended action. There is no knowledge involved and no part of the analytical mind is involved. It is direct input into the real learning center of the brain by repeatedly performing the exact action you want to occur.

You do realize that when using your system for an angled shot, the imagined spot on the object ball would need to be elliptically shaped and that its shape would need to change as the angle of the shot changed?

No matter what angle you choose to shoot from, the contact area of the balls will never change. Again I go back to the point you are training a part of your brain that does not work off of knowledge, just input. Which is why you must practice the routine over and over so that it becomes the habit you want, because knowledge is of no use.

1Time
07-28-2008, 12:07 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1poolfan</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> That is precisely the point I am trying to make, knowledge is useless in playing most sports. We do not execute the sport based on knowledge, except for chess which is all analytical thinking. Any sport that involves muscles does not use knowledge. Why do I think that?</div></div>
No, knowlege is useful in playing pool and sports, just like I explained earlier. For example, a pool player's knowledge of the rules helps determine how best to shoot a shot. The player then shoots the shot.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1poolfan</div><div class="ubbcode-body">When does a player play their best? When they are ‘in the zone’. In all cases, when someone is ‘in the zone’ they say they are ‘NOT thinking’, just letting it happen. Getting your ‘analytical’ mind out of the way is the only way you can play your best in any sport. How do you do that? You need to give it something to do and it may as well be something that can help you perform the task at hand or else it will work against you.</div></div>
No, being in the zone does not mean being without the ability to think, analyze, or use knowledge, which is what a pool player does between shots.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1poolfan</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> For example, if you let your ‘mind’ wander during a shot, the part of the mind that really performs the shot will be guided away from its original purpose and thus you will probably miss. This is seen time and time again when a player wonders, why they missed a shot. Why should you not know why you missed a shot? If you were looking at the spot on the object ball where the cue ball should hit, then you would have seen why you missed. In all cases, you let your analytical mind wander which caused you to miss.</div></div>
What? Earlier you said analytical thinking is not a part of being in the zone and now you're blaming missed shots on a wandering analyitcal mind. You seem confused. It's simple. A lack of concentration prior to and / or during the execution of a shot can help cause a miss. The use of an aiming system can help prevent a loss of concentration and improve shot making.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1poolfan</div><div class="ubbcode-body">You say participants make use of knowledge during sports like football and basketball. The knowledge, which is stored in the analytical part of the mind, is only input to the actual part of the mind that performs the action. Don’t think this is true, then tell me how the muscles are all synchronized to do any action? Are you actively controlling the muscles? No, a part of your brain has been trained to do this automatically and without any input from your ‘thinking’ part of your brain. So if this is true, then playing pool, like walking could be done as just as well by anyone. It is only how we are training that part of the brain that performs the actions that makes the difference.</div></div>
No, what I said earlier is true, and you've not refutted it here. You confused the words "sport", which involves knowledge, with an act within the sport (like stroking a pool shot), which is a learned skill. A pool shot is much like a golf swing or a basketball shot in that the act within its sport has been learned and is executed. However, the brain is still actively processesing during such acts, but differently than prior to the shot when things like the rules are considered. I'm sure you agree with this.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1poolfan</div><div class="ubbcode-body">To try and explain even more, playing pool is no harder than walking and involves all the same components. You walk every day and do it very well. You do it as well as anyone else can, isn’t that so? Do you use a walking system? No, in fact, you don’t give it any thought whatsoever, yet you still manage to do it perfectly. How did you learn to walk, did someone have to teach you a walking system? No you practiced it until you could do it and with daily practice you got very good at it. But you did not use a system nor do you use knowledge. </div></div>
No, a system is always used when shooting pool, and this is regardless of whether the pool player recognizes a system being used. A system can be learned, internalized, and executed without giving much or any conscious thought to it. The the same is true with learning to walk or talk. A child need not take a child development class to learn about the systems involved with learning to walk or talk in order to use them. And the same is true with a beginner at pool. A pool lesson is not required for a beginner to begin using an aiming system that helps the execution of shots. And contrary to your claim, people don't manage to walk perfectly; stumbles and mis-steps are common. And contrary to your claim about practicing, the very act of practicing until you can do it utilizes a system, the most common of which is known as "trial and error".

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1poolfan</div><div class="ubbcode-body">What I have proposed is the same thing. You are simply training the part of the mind that really controls the intended action. There is no knowledge involved and no part of the analytical mind is involved. It is direct input into the real learning center of the brain by repeatedly performing the exact action you want to occur.</div></div>
No, what you have proposed is an aiming system that functions the same as any other system. However, it is different than many other systems in one important way; it is extremely inferrior. And you would not know this unless you learned a better system.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1poolfan</div><div class="ubbcode-body">No matter what angle you choose to shoot from, the contact area of the balls will never change. Again I go back to the point you are training a part of your brain that does not work off of knowledge, just input. Which is why you must practice the routine over and over so that it becomes the habit you want, because knowledge is of no use. </div></div>
No, this does not refute anything I've stated in this thread. Your system does not account for changes in angles of shots, different distances, or any spin applied to the cue ball. I'm not saying your system does not help you shoot some shots. But I am saying you're way off on your claims, and you'd be far better off discarding your system and learning a better one.

1poolfan
07-28-2008, 02:50 PM
I see I need to be a little more precise, and use more explanation, in the words I am using.

"No, knowledge is useful in playing pool and sports, just like I explained earlier. For example, a pool player's knowledge of the rules helps determine how best to shoot a shot. The player then shoots the shot."


Knowledge of the shot, is not executing the shot. What I am referring to is the 'execution' of the shot, not the knowledge to select a certain action.



"No, being in the zone does not mean being without the ability to think, analyze, or use knowledge, which is what a pool player does between shots."

'Between shots' is not executing the shot. The two are not the same. Being in the 'zone' does not mean that you don't think in-between shots. It means that during the shot your analytical mind is not directing or influencing the shot. Executing the shot is totally performed by that part of the mind that handles it, which is not our analytical mind. People playing 'in the zone' do not necessarily stay in the zone all the time. They may move in and out as necessary. In fact, it may be too much to be in the zone all the time.


"What? Earlier you said analytical thinking is not a part of being in the zone and now you're blaming missed shots on a wandering analytical mind. You seem confused. It's simple. A lack of concentration prior to and / or during the execution of a shot can help cause a miss. The use of an aiming system can help prevent a loss of concentration and improve shot making."

There is no one who can explain neither exactly what concentration is nor what steps I can exactly do to be 'concentrated'. The word 'concentration' is used to explain something that has so far been unexplainable. Maybe there is pill we can take to have more concentration? The same goes for the word 'focus'
The analytical mind will affect a shot, unless you give it something to do. That is exactly what I said. You must give the analytical mind something to do or it will probably interfere with a shot, thereby you are not playing in the zone.

"No, what I said earlier is true, and you've not refuted it here. You confused the words "sport", which involves knowledge, with an act within the sport (like stroking a pool shot), which is a learned skill. A pool shot is much like a golf swing or a basketball shot in that the act within its sport has been learned and is executed. However, the brain is still actively possessing during such acts, but differently than prior to the shot when things like the rules are considered. I'm sure you agree with this"

I don't think I am confused, but it needs more explanation. The part of the mind that performs the shot in pool, swing in golf, or basketball shot, cannot be accessed by us. We have little control over how it does what it does with our analytical mind. We can usually only start and stop it. You cannot change your stroke in pool while you are shooting, neither can you change you golf swing. But the analytical mind can affect it, and usually not for the good, if it is not kept out of the way. The part of the mind that performs the shot is always processing, but as usual, we have no ability to direct it.


“No, a system is always used when shooting pool, and this is regardless of whether the pool player recognizes a system being used. A system can be learned, internalized, and executed without giving much or any conscious thought to it. The same is true with learning to walk or talk. A child need not take a child development class to learn about the systems involved with learning to walk or talk in order to use them. And the same is true with a beginner at pool. A pool lesson is not required for a beginner to begin using an aiming system that helps the execution of shots. And contrary to your claim, people don't manage to walk perfectly; stumbles and missteps are common. And contrary to your claim about practicing, the very act of practicing until you can do it utilizes a system, the most common of which is known as "trial and error".”

As far as I know, no one on the planet knows how the sub-conscious part of the mind works. We can only make assumptions based on results. If you have some documentation that shows how it works, I would like to see it. I am describing how it works logically not the physical implementation of it. As far as people making missteps, you must live in a different part of the country where they have that problem. I don’t see that many people falling here, nor any place I have lived. I suspect that you walk perfectly except for the occasional misstep. But pool players make mistakes every game or close to it. Even if they only made a mistake once every small number of games, that is still more often that you misstep.
The most common form of practice has been ‘trial and error’ that is why that you can only get so good by putting in enough hours, then you have diminishing returns. It is precisely the practice method I am debating here. The current ‘trial and error’ method has inherent flaws that prevent a person from playing the best pool they can.

“No, what you have proposed is an aiming system that functions the same as any other system. However, it is different than many other systems in one important way; it is extremely inferior. And you would not know this unless you learned a better system.”

I appreciate your comments but you are incorrect. One of the failings of people is that they pass judgment on something that is different, without any data. You are only ‘guessing’ that is does not work, because you have not tried it. It would have been better if you had tried it for a few months and then made that claim. I don’t put much trust in people’s judgment who have no data to back what they claim. I have seen the results of this method with my own eyes, not just in this sport but in other sports as well.

It amazes me that we have so much knowledge, but perform so poorly. This sentiment was recently stated by one of the Hall of Fame inductees when asked, ‘Are the players today better than in years past?’ The answer was; ‘No, there are just many more good players’. I found this interesting that in that with all our ‘knowledge’, in almost every sport, we are not doing it any better than before. Excluding of course where technology has made improvements.

Scott Lee
07-29-2008, 10:09 AM
1Time...Aiming systems have nothing to do with why we choke, therefore they cannot help prevent choking. What helps prevent choking is confidence in your delivery system. Developing an accurate, repeatable stroke is step one.

Scott Lee

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1Time</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Aiming systems can help prevent choking and help play in the zone more often.

</div></div>

1Time
07-29-2008, 10:47 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Scott Lee</div><div class="ubbcode-body">1Time...Aiming systems have nothing to do with why we choke, therefore they cannot help prevent choking. What helps prevent choking is confidence in your delivery system. Developing an accurate, repeatable stroke is step one.

Scott Lee</div></div>
People choke for different reasons, even those who have developed accurate, repeatable strokes. An aiming system can help with confidence in one's delivery system, confidence in one's game, and improve concentration, which in turn can help prevent choking and help play in the zone more often.

Scott Lee
07-29-2008, 01:43 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1Time</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
People choke for different reasons, even those who have developed accurate, repeatable strokes. An aiming system can help with confidence in one's delivery system, confidence in one's game, and improve concentration, which in turn can help prevent choking and help play in the zone more often. </div></div>

Do you even know why people choke? We do, and we teach our students 8 different 'choke syndromes', and how to overcome them. An accurate, repeatable stroke is necessary in each one. Without a repeatable stroke, any aiming system will be of limited value, and give inconsistent results.

Scott Lee

DeadCrab
07-29-2008, 03:04 PM
Just from hanging around billards forums for the last 18 months, it is clear that a lot of people don't know how to aim, or at least not with confidence. So, I would have to say, that for many, indecision about aiming is a potential choke point. If you don't know where you want the cueball to go, how will it get there?

If I buy your video, will I learn to keep a consistent stroke when jammed up on a rail with a wall 3" behind my cue butt, shooting on a table that is way too low, jacked up to shoot over a ball, shooting a jawed cue ball, being watched by a gallery of good players, being tired, and distracted by my aching back?

Those are my favorite choke points.

SpiderMan
07-29-2008, 03:26 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1Time</div><div class="ubbcode-body">1poolfan, What you're talking about is an aiming system. It's ridiculously simplistic, inefficient, and ineffective for most shots in pool. Yes, shots can be made using it. However, there are without a doubt many more complex ways of aiming that require less effort, less time to execute, work much better and with a much wider variety of shots than the system you've described.

Here's what I say you should do. Completely discard this aiming system as if you never knew of it, and learn a much better one. You sound like you've got plenty of interest in pool, and that should serve you well. But you're wasting your time with this one. </div></div>

It doesn't seem like an aiming system to me. I think that Poolfan is working on a practice drill to improve precision, and a way to measure whether you achieve this. It's not a bad idea, though I don't think I'd use a chalk cube to detect whether the shot went off-line.

Poolfan, when I want to see how far off I am from my perfect aim/delivery, I line up a straight-in combo. Then I shoot the CB at the first OB from any angle, trying to shoot the first OB straight at the second OB, and look at whether the combo misses consistently to one side or the other. If I hit it perfectly, the combo goes in. This is a very sensitive measure, and you can control the sensitivity by how far apart you place the two object balls. Using this method, you can tell which way you were "off" regardless of how hard you shoot.

Another advantage of this practice method, on a bar table, is that it doesn't use up the balls very fast /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

SpiderMan

JJFSTAR
07-30-2008, 06:33 PM
Spiderman I think I am going to add some kind of combo practice to my practice sessions and start with yours sounds like a solid idea thanks.

Scott Lee
07-31-2008, 06:47 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: DeadCrab</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
If I buy your video, will I learn to keep a consistent stroke when jammed up on a rail with a wall 3" behind my cue butt, shooting on a table that is way too low, jacked up to shoot over a ball, shooting a jawed cue ball, being watched by a gallery of good players, being tired, and distracted by my aching back?
</div></div>

You WILL learn how to create a more consistent, accurate & repeatable stroke...which will help, regardless of the circumstances. The Choke Syndromes are taught in our Xpert Class.

Scott Lee

1poolfan
08-01-2008, 09:34 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SpiderMan</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

It doesn't seem like an aiming system to me. I think that Poolfan is working on a practice drill to improve precision, and a way to measure whether you achieve this. It's not a bad idea, though I don't think I'd use a chalk cube to detect whether the shot went off-line.

Poolfan, when I want to see how far off I am from my perfect aim/delivery, I line up a straight-in combo. Then I shoot the CB at the first OB from any angle, trying to shoot the first OB straight at the second OB, and look at whether the combo misses consistently to one side or the other. If I hit it perfectly, the combo goes in. This is a very sensitive measure, and you can control the sensitivity by how far apart you place the two object balls. Using this method, you can tell which way you were "off" regardless of how hard you shoot.

Another advantage of this practice method, on a bar table, is that it doesn't use up the balls very fast /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

SpiderMan </div></div>

Spiderman,

You correct that you can use any routine that will increase precision. I have not tried this but it appears it will accomplish the same results. I like the chalk and special ball because you can take it with you and use a bar table for free, just don't pocket it.
I put this out here because there are many smart people who will come up with different practice routines beyond what I can think of using this idea.


As far as choking, I have to disagree with many here. The cause of choking is exactly the same for all of us. If we go down the path of each individual choking for a different reason, then we are left chasing our tails trying to figure out what is wrong with ourselves.
But if you consider for a minute the possibility that the cause of everyone choking is the same, then a solution for one is a solution for all.

So here are my thoughts.

Choking is caused by adrenaline, pure and simple. All animals have this capability and it is part of survival. It kicks in under stress. The point at which it kicks in may be slightly different for all of us and it cannot be controlled. It is governed by that part of the mind that we don't have direct access to and therefore cannot be controlled. Adrenaline is released in proportion to the amount of stress an individual is under. Just as some animals are more sensitive to pressure than others, so are humans. The adrenaline is there for the big muscles in a 'flight or fight' situation, but makes using small muscles used in pool difficult. Adrenaline affects the brain where all the 'skill' in pool lies and it also affect our thinking. Adrenaline is a drug that speeds up our thinking and provides our muscles with additional energy. Not very helpful when you need to perform a delicate shot using small muscles.
Because it speeds us up, our thinking is altered, which is why we may make bad decisions under pressure. Or for some people, they can't make a decision under pressure or do anything, they freeze.
This is why some people perform amazing things like lift cars or run super fast when under extreme pressure. For others, they freeze and can't do anything. We have all observed this in many sports like golfers during the Sunday round. Professional pool players during a critical match. All of us do it.

How do you 'prevent' it? The answer is you can't. You can't fool the mind with anything. You can't change what you were born with. But you can diminish the bad effects and harness the potential good effects.
How? By using the same techniques that others have already thought of. Practicing a routine until it is the only thing you can do. The military uses this; police training uses it and many others. The routine I described in the original post also uses this technique. By training yourself to see the CB hit the spot on the OB, you prevent yourself from jumping up, even with adrenaline flowing. To see the 'spot' clearly you have to use your 'conscious' mind to direct the muscles of the eyes to focus the eyes. This prevents the 'conscious' mind from having any other thoughts and keeps it locked onto the target. The 'conscious' mind can have only one thought at a time. I know people are going to say, "but I multi-task". Not so, you really interleave the thoughts so quickly they appear to be simultaneous. By using your eyes to focus clearly on a spot, your 'conscious' mind has been prevented from sending the 'sub-conscious' signals that it should be doing something else. This allows the 'sub-conscious' to perform the action we asked it to do, without interference.

Also by seeing the ‘spot’ clearly, the ‘conscious’ mind is prevented from hearing other sounds and seeing distractions. Adrenaline helps this and will enhance all senses. When this happens, you are playing in the zone. We have all done this without adrenaline when doing many activities when we ‘zone out’ everything else. The technique I described will help you play ‘zoned out’ more often.

I have much more information to share, but this is enough for now.

Rail Rat
08-01-2008, 10:53 AM
I thought I would throw my 2 cents in here on preset practice routines.

I have found them to be of little help for myself and I think the reason is they are just another game. For instance I consider myself to be a good 9 ball player, but I'm just mediocre at 14-1. Thats because I've always played 9 ball and know the games complexities, and over time have made it my specialty.

I think if you practice some routine a lot you will just become profficient at that routine, but what good will that do you? Its true that some of these execises help to understand various stituations, but all in all I can get them by working on my own game..

I practice by doing stroke drills for about a 1/2 hour. Then I work on some shots that I know are my weak points like safety play. Then I practice 9 ball break and run outs for about and hour.

In effect what I'm doing is polishing my game the best way possible by working on it in practice. I also play 8 ball and when I'm in that league I do the same but only with that game. Brad

1poolfan
08-01-2008, 11:18 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Rail Rat</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I thought I would throw my 2 cents in here on preset practice routines.

I have found them to be of little help for myself and I think the reason is they are just another game. For instance I consider myself to be a good 9 ball player, but I'm just mediocre at 14-1. Thats because I've always played 9 ball and know the games complexities, and over time have made it my specialty.

I think if you practice some routine a lot you will just become profficient at that routine, but what good will that do you? Its true that some of these execises help to understand various stituations, but all in all I usually forget them.

I practice by doing stroke drills for about a 1/2 hour. Then I work on some shots that I know are my weak points like safety play. Then I pracatice 9 ball break and run outs for about and hour.

In effect what I'm doing is polishing my game the best way possible by working on it in practice. I also play 8 ball and when I'm in that league I do the same but only with that game. Brad </div></div>

Railrat and others,

No one is saying what you are doing is wrong. It is great and works for you. The point I am making is; I have seen many, many times the same mistakes being made over and over. There are many players, both pro and amateur, who would like to reduce or eliminate these mistakes. I feel this is a way to do it, and I have proven it during my own play and others over the last few years I have worked on this.

You may not agree with this or even believe it, but it works whether you believe or not, that is the beauty of it. This routine will greatly reduce the number of errors you make and the more you do it, the more you reduce your errors. There has been nothing out there that so far that will prevent you from missing easy shots or jumping up. Nothing that will allow you to play 'in the zone' more often and nothing that reduces or prevents you from choking. Most often these have been explained by terms like 'being nervous' or 'they need to concentrate more', and the list goes on.

I don't buy that bunk anymore and I can prove it. All of that stuff does is ensure people will not get better. Skill in sports is not about 'will power' or winning attitude. It is about being able to perform under stressful conditions. You can meditate all you want, but you will never achieve the level of play, what I think we all can do, in any sport.

Rail Rat
08-01-2008, 11:48 AM
Agreed that anything involved with playing practice can help you, but dealing with stress etc, comes from being more profiecient in what you do... thus you will have more confidence which leads to removing the stress. And if you are a 9ball player, or a 1 Pocket player or whatever you do that goes hand in hand.

I mentioned that this was just my experience, I certainly would not speak for anyone else. brad

jondrums
08-01-2008, 12:52 PM
back to the original post:
it doesn't sound like you're taking into account collision induced throw for cut shots in your drill!

regarding the subsequent discussion of choking:
There are two parts for every shot: judgment, and execution. There is an interesting discussion of this in Koehler's text the science of billiards. Every shot requires different amounts of each of these two skills. There are shots that require very little accuracy in the execution, but a lot of judgment and vice-versa. It sounds like your drill is designed to specifically tune your judgment, and of course practice your execution at the same time.

Shooting a straight in combo tests your execution, because there is very little judgment - just aim for a straight-on hit.

If you can be confident in your execution, it won't take long to get the judgment down, because it will be clear that you aimed to fat or thin for the cut shot.

If however, you don't have solid execution, it will be very difficult to tune your judgment. You might have aimed correctly, but poor execution makes you miss the shot fat. Next time, you aim thinner but that won't be correct!

Jon

1poolfan
08-01-2008, 01:23 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jondrums</div><div class="ubbcode-body">back to the original post:
it doesn't sound like you're taking into account collision induced throw for cut shots in your drill!

regarding the subsequent discussion of choking:
There are two parts for every shot: judgment, and execution. There is an interesting discussion of this in Koehler's text the science of billiards. Every shot requires different amounts of each of these two skills. There are shots that require very little accuracy in the execution, but a lot of judgment and vice-versa. It sounds like your drill is designed to specifically tune your judgment, and of course practice your execution at the same time.

Shooting a straight in combo tests your execution, because there is very little judgment - just aim for a straight-on hit.

If you can be confident in your execution, it won't take long to get the judgment down, because it will be clear that you aimed to fat or thin for the cut shot.

If however, you don't have solid execution, it will be very difficult to tune your judgment. You might have aimed correctly, but poor execution makes you miss the shot fat. Next time, you aim thinner but that won't be correct!

Jon </div></div>


You are precisely correct that I did not take into account 'induced throw' for a very good reasons. The first is you don't "perform" a shot based on knowledge. The part of the mind that actually performs the shot doesn't care about knowledge. It does what it has been trained to do. You can't teach a skill using knowledge; only by repeating it correctly can you do it well. Your 'conscious' mind can understand throw but your 'sub-conscious' does not. It only does what it can do. This drill trains the 'sub-conscious' to perform the skill. I hope I am making sense here. That is why you can have all the knowledge you want, but still can't perform the skill. This same reason is why I did not include spin in the original post and many other things about it. You have to walk before you can run. Adding too many variables into the mix will only make it more difficult to perform correctly. These things can all be added later after you are able to do the basics correctly every time.

On choking, there goes one of those terms again that mean nothing. It doesn't matter that you have 'confidence' because confidence lies in the thinking part of your brain and not in the execution part. You can 'think' you are confident and act confident but that does not mean you have the skill.
Let me put it another way. I can have all the confidence I want and still miss the shot. Or I can have the skill to do it absolutely the same way every time. Which would you rather have?
If I want to increase my skill, then I practice the routine until I can perform it exactly the way I want every time, no more no less. Confidence has nothing to do with it.

Every shot you perform, if you want to perform it correctly, has the same basic set of rules. If you move on the shot you will probably miss it. If you move on the shot your speed will be off because the force is not directed in a straight line. If you move on the ball you may impart unintended spin. Doesn't this all sound familiar to all of us?

It is called inconsistence. Most of us are inconsistence in our play do to the reasons I stated above. This routine levels out the inconsistency by having you perform the same routine during play every time. The laws of physics are exact. If you hit the cue ball with the exact speed at the precise point on the object ball you want, then the results are predictable. This simple theory is made complicated by the fact that we don’t have routines that force us to be consistent. This routine does exactly that. It takes the guesswork out of the equation and allows us to be rewarded by our time spent practicing.

Another way to put it is: Perfection, in all things, is simplicity

Rail Rat
08-01-2008, 02:13 PM
I would explain it this way:.

There is knowledge, applied skill (execution) and judgement

Hitting a planted combo takes very little skill or knowledge. Throwing an off-planted combo into the pocket takes knowledge but still very little skill.

Judgement comes into the game when making playing descisions such as when to play a safety.

Applied skill is the result of experience gained from play and practice. Of course all 3 are the result of that.

Rail Rat
08-01-2008, 03:39 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1poolfan</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
On choking, there goes one of those terms again that mean nothing. It doesn't matter that you have 'confidence' because confidence lies in the thinking part of your brain and not in the execution part. You can 'think' you are confident and act confident but that does not mean you have the skill.
Let me put it another way. I can have all the confidence I want and still miss the shot. Or I can have the skill to do it absolutely the same way every time. Which
It is called inconsistence. Most of us are inconsistence in our play do to the reasons I stated above.

</div></div>

I beleive confidence is everything.

I'm not talking about "misplaced" confidence where you over estimate yourself. I'm refering to the confidence in knowing you can make the shot because you have mastered it. Yes you can still miss it... you can miss any shot, but to play it as it should be played based on your experience and not false hopes is real confidence.
Its inate, not some part of your brain that interferes, its what gives you strength.

1poolfan
08-02-2008, 12:40 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Rail Rat</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
I would explain it this way:.

There is knowledge, applied skill (execution) and judgement

Hitting a planted combo takes very little skill or knowledge. Throwing an off-planted combo into the pocket takes knowledge but still very little skill.

Judgement comes into the game when making playing descisions such as when to play a safety.

Applied skill is the result of experience gained from play and practice. Of course all 3 are the result of that.

</div></div>

Judgment uses knowledge which is performed in the analytical part of the mind. No knowledge is used in the execution of any shot, that is what I am trying to get across. Notice I said 'execution' not the decision on what needs to be done prior to executing the shot. You can have all the knowledge of throw, spin, or anything else and it does you no good during the execution of a shot. The mechanism by which we make a shot is not performed in the analytical part of the mind.

Just think about how you do everyday activities. Do you require knowledge to walk? How about if you walk and talk? No, all of the muscles and senses that are used to walk and talk are done automatically in the part of the mind that controls it. You may 'think' about what you want to say, but you don't coordinate the breathing, the tongue, and the jaw muscles. Let alone the eyes to see with, the sounds coming in. All of the senses and muscles are controlled by a part of the mind that we don't have direct access to.

Now back to pool. The act of shooting a shot requires and immense amount of muscles and senses that are just learned skills. So the 'act' of shooting a shot that uses 'throw' is performed in the part of the mind that we don't have access to. Therefore it is a learned skill. To practice that skill you must 'teach' that part of the mind, how to do it correctly. If you practice like most people do by shooting balls into pockets, then your feedback is if the ball goes in the pocket. Since the pockets are much wider that the contact points on a ball, your 'learned accuracy' is greatly diminished.
So 'throw', 'spin' and any other affect on a ball is not performed with 'knowledge'. Rather it is a learned skill that accomplishes the shot.

Confidence lies in the analytical part of the mind and has no effect on a shot for the above reasons. Therefore what does this thing called 'confidence' do for you. You cannot measure its effect; you cannot perform a specific act to practice it. It is basically trying to 'fool' the mind, which you also cannot do. This is why when practicing you have often heard, 'pretend it's a real match'. It doesn't work. Your mind knows the difference and you can't fool it. Yet you hear this repeated over and over like it's something sacred that should be revered. I repeat, 'You can't fool the mind'. By 'mind' I mean the part of the mind that actually performs the shot, not the analytical part that can tell itself anything.

JJFSTAR
08-02-2008, 01:25 PM
I have been watching this thread for a while now and it has been really interesting. I have not tried this practice routine yet but fully intend to. But I must say 1poolfan; if you think that confidence has nothing to do with pool or your shot making ability with all due respect you are dead wrong.

Confidence in the conscious is a huge part of the game from beginner to pro. Doubt in the conscious adversely affects your game on every level from recognizing proper patterns of the run to the subconscious acts of putting it all together and striking the CB with proper form and technique and everything in between no matter what level of skill we happen to be discussing.

If you have confidence then the transmitter between the conscious and the subconscious are receiving a clear signal, granted the conscious cannot tell the subconscious what to do it doesn’t work that way the subconscious is in control always once the analysis phase of the shot is over.

If you watch enough great pool played you will notice that the most seasoned shark, hustler or pro will do all kinds of strange and bizarre things when their confidence gets shaken. Confidence is an essential part of this game, to discount its value is folly.

JoeW
08-03-2008, 07:57 AM
A couple of comments on 1poolfan’s Precise practice routine. I think that he has devised a way to learn to sight a shot that is intriguing. His approach is where one should begin. It allows the player to learn how to “see” a shot. Basketball players shooting thousands of free throws as kids are doing exactly the same thing. The brain/ mind is forming a set of connections that will accomplish the task. These memory traces or set of learned connections become stronger through use and weaker when they are not used. The residual tracks for different skills (riding a bike) remain in place for many years and can be reinforced with additional practice. So too this type of training can be used as needed to insure that one continues to see the “right” picture for the standard or benchmark shot.

One of the interesting aspects of 1poolfan’s approach is the removal of the pocket from the training situation. This requires the player to focus on fewer things when learning precision aiming. It allows the player to focus on the important aspect of aiming – hit the spot.

What one does with the learned skill in any particular situation due to stress, adrenaline or social factors is another matter that is not part of what he presents. The attention to detail for how to see a shot is the basis for all other shots. Once learned it can be modified through other learning mechanisms to accommodate to such things as spin and type of stroke. These are all separate issues.

The next step up from 1poolfan’s learning environment is Spiderman’s two ball combinations. Spiderman’s approach is closer to “reality” for learning precision play. The dot is no longer present on the OB and one must learn to “see” with the mind’s eye. I think that Spiderman’s approach with the many shot variations it allows and the idea that one tries to place the final ball into the back of the pocket allows the player to learn precision, table and pocket limits, and visualization as they are needed in a game. These would be the next step and these skills need periodic retraining.

While we use the same brain mechanisms that are used to learn to walk, ride a bike, and many other semi-conscious processes needed in life, playing pool is an exquisite skill that is easily affected by other conditions. For this reason it takes not only training but continuous training to maintain a high level of accuracy. In a sense it takes the coordination of a circus acrobat, the creativity of an artist, and the nerve of a fighter. It is none-the-less, a unique sport that requires a great deal of sustained concentration. There is no single factor that makes a good competitor, it is a combination of many factors.

To paraphrase JJFSTAR, it is not a game, it is a lifestyle.

1poolfan
08-03-2008, 08:17 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JJFSTAR</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have been watching this thread for a while now and it has been really interesting. I have not tried this practice routine yet but fully intend to. But I must say 1poolfan; if you think that confidence has nothing to do with pool or your shot making ability with all due respect you are dead wrong.

Confidence in the conscious is a huge part of the game from beginner to pro. Doubt in the conscious adversely affects your game on every level from recognizing proper patterns of the run to the subconscious acts of putting it all together and striking the CB with proper form and technique and everything in between no matter what level of skill we happen to be discussing.

If you have confidence then the transmitter between the conscious and the subconscious are receiving a clear signal, granted the conscious cannot tell the subconscious what to do it doesn’t work that way the subconscious is in control always once the analysis phase of the shot is over.

If you watch enough great pool played you will notice that the most seasoned shark, hustler or pro will do all kinds of strange and bizarre things when their confidence gets shaken. Confidence is an essential part of this game, to discount its value is folly.
</div></div>

I like your persistence so I will explain it another way.

Confidence is just a word. All words are in the analytical part of the mind. Skill does come from the analytical part of the mind, so you can say any words in your analytical mind you want, it will have no affect on your skill. Your skill should speak for itself. Anything else is just trying to fool that part of the mind where skill lies, and you can’t do that.

I know this is a hard idea to let go because we have been hearing it over and over our entire lives. But I also use the guideline that any theory I hear, even my own, must be able to stand up under scrutiny. So I don’t mind the hard questions at all.

Here is another example; why do you think most amateur’s pool players hit the CB too hard? It is because the mind cannot be fooled and it knows that it does not have the ‘skill’ required so it attempts to use power to compensate for it. Adding power is ‘easy’ to do because the mind had been trained on how to add power and can easily do that.
BTW, the same is true in golf. How many amateur golfers swing at the ball way to hard? No matter what you tell them, they cannot change it. The same is true in pool, no matter what you tell a player, like ‘stay down’, ‘don’t be nervous’, ‘don’t hit the ball so hard’, etc… it doesn’t work. And now you know why.

So if you are a professional pool player and you consistently make mistakes, you will continue to do so unless you change your skill set. This take work, but the not the kind most people perform. Doesn’t anyone else find it odd that so many players with the skill to perform extremely well fail to do so? This happens over and over. I think it is time to level the playing field so that the professionals who put so much time into their craft are rewarded. And for spectators, we get a chance to witness the result of their work.

I would like to see a game that is won on daring and analytical thinking not because of the mistakes the other player made.

Rail Rat
08-03-2008, 11:58 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1poolfan</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
I like your persistence so I will explain it another way.

Confidence is just a word. All words are in the analytical part of the mind. Skill does come from the analytical part of the mind, so you can say any words in your analytical mind you want, it will have no affect on your skill. Your skill should speak for itself. Anything else is just trying to fool that part of the mind where skill lies, and you can’t do that.

I know this is a hard idea to let go because we have been hearing it over and over our entire lives. But I also use the guideline that any theory I hear, even my own, must be able to stand up under scrutiny. So I don’t mind the hard questions at all.

Here is another example; why do you think most amateur’s pool players hit the CB too hard? It is because the mind cannot be fooled and it knows that it does not have the ‘skill’ required so it attempts to use power to compensate for it. Adding power is ‘easy’ to do because the mind had been trained on how to add power and can easily do that.

</div></div>

You say confidence is just a word, but I must remind you that everthing you say is just words.

If we look at reality... the reality of some one who has the real confidence to back up real skill based on real knowledge aquired from real play, then theses words have meaning. Of course you can't tell your brain to do something it has'nt been trained, or has'nt the inate talent to do, I 'm searching for your point here?

As a beginner I shot to hard, as an experienced player I rely on knowledge to shoot proper, thus I have the confidence to execute it. There is no gray area here other than anxiety which we learn as experienced players to control. I do it by channeling tension away from my arm. If I fail its because I just missed the shot!

Daring and analytical thinking have no place when you are down on the shot. If the shot is too daring, make a good safety. If you have to analyse it when you are in your stroke, you're dead.

I'll give you another analogy, I used to be a springboard diver when I was young. When you are standing on the board preparing, you go over the dive in your mind and picture what you are going to do. Then when you are readdy you begin your steps forward. At this point you are commited.... there is no turning back! Your body has taken over now and your brain has only one task to perform... confidence! The confidence to know that you can execute and not blow it.

JoeW
08-03-2008, 12:32 PM
Hey Rail Rat, I was a spring board diver too in my youth, one meter and three meter. Later I moved to high diving. When you have the "skill" it is all about confidence.

If you think confidence has nothing to do with ability try walking a balance beam that is six inches off the floor versus one that is four feet off the floor. Now do a back flip. Many females have the skill, few have the confidence.

The topic that you guys want to research is now called "self efficacy" in the psychological literature.

BTW, I tried Spiderman's two ball combinations and find that I really like the concentration it requires. Another of the appealing features is the ability to set up progressive shots ala Bob Jewett's suggestions for practice / training.

Not to fan the flames but I did build my combination making confidence with Spiderman's suggestion ! :-)

Rail Rat
08-03-2008, 01:13 PM
Hi Joe. Yes I loved the 3 meter, but the one dive that was my bain was the gaynor, I never really mastered it, I think its because I was very tall, but nobody told that to Luganis!...

When anyone climbs up to the high dive platform they better have lots of confidence and skill or they are going to get hurt.

You've been holding back your big guns Joe. When it comes to discussing the mind you are way above our league, we should study some of the topics you reccommend. brad

1poolfan
08-03-2008, 02:16 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Rail Rat</div><div class="ubbcode-body">


You say confidence is just a word, but I must remind you that everything you say is just words.

</div></div>

What you say about words is exactly correct, except that the words I have written give you an exact routine that will allow you to change your skill. That is why just reading about this is not enough; you must ‘do’ the words to see the change. If anyone just thinks they can read this and their skill will improve is wrong. That is why knowledge does not have any affect on a person’s ability to 'execute' a shot. Otherwise anyone could just read or hear the words and be able to do it. But as we all know, it doesn't work that way.



<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Rail Rat</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

As a beginner I shot to hard, as an experienced player I rely on knowledge to shoot proper, thus I have the confidence to execute it. There is no gray area here other than anxiety which we learn as experienced players to control. I do it by channeling tension away from my arm. If I fail its because I just missed the shot!

</div></div>

You may use knowledge to 'select' the proper shot, you may use knowledge to determine 'the speed' of the shot, but you do not use knowledge to 'execute' the shot.

You don't 'channel' anything when you are 'executing' a shot. I am sorry, but that is just more misunderstood information that has been floating around for a long time. If you can, tell me how I can exactly measure it? The answer is; you can't. There is no way to measure it, so there is no way to prove or disprove what you have said.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Rail Rat</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

Daring and analytical thinking have no place when you are down on the shot. If the shot is too daring, make a good safety. If you have to analyse it when you are in your stroke, you're dead.


</div></div>

Daring would be if you and your opponent are equal in skill and you must do something to gain a slight advantage. You may need to go for a more difficult shot. You could choose to play a safe but you decide not. You don't analyze anything while you are down on the shot, that would be silly. But you do analyze the table as part of your routine and you may see a way out, much like a chess match is done.


<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Rail Rat</div><div class="ubbcode-body">


I'll give you another analogy, I used to be a springboard diver when I was young. When you are standing on the board preparing, you go over the dive in your mind and picture what you are going to do. Then when you are readdy you begin your steps forward. At this point you are commited.... there is no turning back! Your body has taken over now and your brain has only one task to perform... confidence! The confidence to know that you can execute and not blow it.


</div></div>


Many of us have stories we could tell to illustrate a concept, but you need to realize that what you may be doing is misinterpreting what really happened. The same thing could be said about what I have written except for one thing. If you do the routine, you will see the change for yourself. I don’t believe in just telling people something, I have tested out everything I have said many times.

For any ‘theory’ to hold water, it must work under all circumstance, by anyone who tries it. Just because ‘you’ tried something and it may work for you doesn’t mean much. If what you use can be repeated in anyone who tries it, then I would say you have something there. Most of the information out there today is based on this same hit and miss approach. I don’t work that way.


One other piece of information I would like to pass along. How many times have we all heard ‘Your game will get worse before it gets better’?

The answer is most of us at some point in any sport. I now understand the reason this happens. It is because we are treating the symptom instead of the real problem.
To better illustrate this, supposed you went to a doctor because you were sick. If the doctor said; ‘I will make you sicker before you get better’, what would you think?
One thought would be; ‘Are you crazy!’ But when we hear this concerning improving a sport, we accept it.

I now know that the routine I describe above, and others I have discovered, will start improving your game now. Your game will not get worse because you are working on improving the problem, not just changing the symptom.

Maybe the next time someone tells you ‘Your game will get worse before it gets better’, you will think of this and run, not walk away.

Rail Rat
08-03-2008, 06:30 PM
Well as I said before I would not say your exercise is not a good concept for anyone else, I just mentioned that routines don't seem to work for me.

I don't wish to spend the time to study it and try it out so I cannot accurately argue it with you. So I will leave it at that, and if your routine proves to be of use then that's great.

I wish you good luck on your endeavor. brad

1poolfan
08-04-2008, 11:50 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Rail Rat</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Well as I said before I would not say your exercise is not a good concept for anyone else, I just mentioned that routines don't seem to work for me.

I don't wish to spend the time to study it and try it out so I cannot accurately argue it with you. So I will leave it at that, and if your routine proves to be of use then that's great.

I wish you good luck on your endeavor. brad


</div></div>

I can tell you are an honorable person by your last post.

I think many others will also not try it because they have not been successful in the past with routines. This routine is different because everything about it has been designed to produce a specific result. There will probably be many others who will try it for a few days and give up because it is simple in nature but hard to do in practice. Then others will modify it and say it didn’t work.
The routine must be followed exactly because every detail is there for a purpose. Unless a person understands the reason behind it, any changes to it will not likely to be successful.

I appreciate your critical critique because any theory should be able to stand up to any questions. This one does exactly that because not only have I already asked these same questions, I have had others look it also. Some of my other friends have much better critical thinking skills than I do. It works where other routines have failed for very specific reasons. To list all of the reasons here would fill a book.

My hope is that anyone, whether you are a league player or a professional, will use this simple routine to improve their game.

Many people wonder how long it will take. The answer has always been around a month, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. I have found it takes around 100 hours to form a different skill, if you did it exactly the same way all the time. But since we play pool and actually reinforce old skills, the time is extended. I have used this routine for some time and it continually increases my skill level. I pay more attention to every detail about it now, than I did when I first started. It will start to make improvements in anyone’s game within a very short time. The more you do it, the more it improves your skill.

I hope everyone enjoys this and improves their game with it.

JJFSTAR
08-06-2008, 06:39 AM
1poolfan let me try to explain confidence and what I mean by it. It may be that you think that by having confidence I mean that I am saying to myself “have confidence” well I am not. That would be detrimental because it would be inner dialog that would be of a non-task related issue. Confidence is a word sure but it is a word that expresses a state of mind. It is not a word like right, left, up, smooth or thick. It is a word like happy, sad, angry or doubtful.

Confidence is what allows us to perform to our maximum potential. It does not matter what we are doing if we are to be successful we must be brave and have confidence. If we are scared and doubtful we do not perform to our maximum potential.

From mountain climber to tight rope walker to heavyweight champion to chess player to pool player to figure skater, ballet dancer or Olympic gymnast all must have confidence. When they don’t that is when they fail. Did you ever see Rocky III?

I will just take one example because in the above paragraph to explain any more than one would be overly verbose. The reason a tight rope walker can perform without a net is confidence they are 100% confident that they will get to the other platform. They have mastered this to the point that they are able to keep 100% of their focus on task issues for the entire journey.

The biggest part of the reason your practice routine works for you is that it has over time built your confidence; it has given you the ability to focus exclusively on task related issues and therefore has improved your game. In other words you have an unshakeable confidence in it and that is great.

There are lots of practice routines that help us out and I have great faith in them and that is why at some point I will try yours however; if there were someone out there that had absolutely no confidence that this routine would do anything for their game the affect that it would have would be greatly diminished. Sure it would have some just because drills of any type in a controlled environment teach us something. But it would not have the same affect that you have experienced.

Gaining confidence cannot be done by saying to yourself anything else other than things that are “task relevant”. In fact having inner dialog in the form of words may not even be the best way to think; visualization of images may be a far more effective thought process than saying any words to yourself because images are worth to make a cliché “a thousand words”. But the jury is still out on that one I think.

And as a side note I think that beginners hit the ball at 90mph because they just don’t have any understanding of the physics behind the game I have been teaching competition pool for a little over 15 years and I can break a beginner of that whack in one session within 20 minutes. It does matter what you tell them you can’t say “don’t hit the ball so hard” you have to explain the underlying physics to them and THEN tell them “so that’s why you shouldn’t hit the ball so hard” so now you know how to break a beginner of that faster.

1poolfan
08-06-2008, 10:12 AM
JJFSTAR I would like to politely disagree with most of what you said for these reasons. There has been and continues to be this aurora of mystic surrounding people who excel at things, especially sports. It appears that only a few among us can really reach the goal of mastering our chosen sport. But even the masters often fail to shine and most outcomes are determined by one player making numerous errors instead using their analytical thinking to find and execute brilliant maneuvers.

You indicate the routine I described may work for me because I have confidence in it. I will tell you the difference in this routine and others by using an example. You can put a stop sign up for a road and tell people to stop. Some will and others may not, especially if there are no consequences for the action. If you really want people to stop you could put up a road block that is impassable. The routine I have describes does exactly that. It puts up a physical road block that makes it impossible to make the errors I described in the original post. Therefore by default it works.

You may have been teaching for a number of years but the methods of teaching have been going on for a lot longer and the players have generally not gotten any better. I think this is because of the methods and the understanding of ‘how’ we actually learn has not progessed. We have moved to this area that cannot be measured and probably does not exist. And we invented words to call this mysterious place, ‘confidence, will to win, inner energy’ and on an on. None of which can be measured nor proven.

We have a choice. We can continue with the same methods and the same results or we can try something new and see what happens. If you want to continue with the same methods and results, then I wish you luck. I agree with Aristotle that the definition of insanity is ‘doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results’.

Your other comment that you could cure someone of hitting too hard in 20 minutes I would challenge you to, here is why. You may be able to get anyone to change in seconds or minutes but the habit they have developed of hitting hard will return, guaranteed.
Why? Because what you are doing is having them use their analytical mind to control the stroke at that point in time. This may work for a few minutes but the habit has not changed. Habits take a certain amount of time to change, if done exactly the changed way. If you intermix a change to a habit and the old habit, it takes even longer.
The reason this works is that ‘habits’ use a different method of construction. They use what I call a ‘neural’ method. This means the formed habit has a direct ‘formed’ link to the action it has learned. There are three ways to change these formed links.
The quickest is pain. Injure part of your body and you will instantly not use it, think of a sprained ankle. Even though you have been using it all you life, you can instantly not use it. The second is pleasure. This is where most of our bad habits come from, smoking, drugs, gambling. Pleasure can form an almost instant habit.
The last method is learning. This is where most of us learn every skill we have. From walking on the ground to walking a tight rope. All of us have the ability to learn any skill we want, unless a person is physically not able to do it.
All habits are in a part of the mind that the analytical mind does not have access to, and for good reason.

The reason I wrote all of this is to try and show you there is no room in here for things like confidence, will to win, or inner energy. It just doesn’t exist.

I don’t have what you call confidence in this routine. I don’t need it nor do I need confidence to know that the sun will come up in the morning. It will happen whether I have confidence or not. The same is for the routine I described. Just by going through the motions I described, it will happen whether you want it to or not. So how would you like to tell one of your students that you have a routine that will improve their game whether they believe in it or not? How would you like to have other routines that ‘force’ a student to improve by changing their habits instead of telling them they lack ‘confidence’? I would suggest that your value as a teacher would be greatly enhanced.

Sorry to be so long winded, but I didn’t see any other way.

JJFSTAR
08-06-2008, 11:18 AM
1poolfan you are free to disagree and I do not look down on you for doing so. However all that I have said is that beings (meaning not just humans) perform tasks optimally when they are in a state of decisiveness and confidence. And in contrast perform poorly when they have doubt and indecision. Comparing that to the sun coming up is IMHO a little silly. You can go to the discovery channel or ESPN2 for proof. It is just a reality of life.

1poolfan
08-06-2008, 12:00 PM
The comparison to the sun may have been a bit too much but the point was to disassociate the action with the word.

It’s funny you mention animals. I interact with 40 to 60 animals every single day and have been for many years. Many of the ideas I have expressed come from observing or training animals, both domestic and wild. To assign human words like ‘confidence’ to an animal is funny to me. Animals act only out of survival, which not to say humans don’t also. Animals will almost never change their habits even if it injures or kills them. Animals are the most scared things on earth, even when they try to look not scared. They have no ability to collect data. Anything will cause them concern from a small plastic sack to the light shining differently. Since they have no ability to collect data, they cannot identify or analyze anything. They act totally out of habits. Animals do not know how to change habits, so their habits rarely change. Only survival forces them to change.

Humans also form habits the same way but we can choose to change habits. The question is how? By using methods that do not allow for error, we can change any habit we decide to. We can change the habit making errors to one of not making errors. But it must be done systematically, not by some mysterious force called ‘confidence’ or other words.

I appreciate your comments because it makes me defend what I have said. If I could not logically defend and prove it with 100 percent accuracy, then the theory would be flawed.

JJFSTAR
08-06-2008, 03:59 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1poolfan</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The comparison to the sun may have been a bit too much but the point was to disassociate the action with the word. </div></div>

I am saying here is what confidence means and here is where our wires get crossed you are trying to disassociate the action with the word and call it a mysterious force. It is not it is a well understood psychiatric phenomenon how it is best gained is not so well understood.

Animals do have the ability to collect data I will not bother throwing up the dictionary definitions of those 2 words. We all know the definitions of accumulation and what a fact is. Now plants cant they simply react; animals however do collect data or else they would not gain experience and they do. They have what is so close to 0 ability of the power of what is called reason that you can say it is 0.

con•fi•dence [kon-fi-duh ns] –noun
1. full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing: We have every confidence in their ability to succeed.
2. belief in oneself and one's powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance: His lack of confidence defeated him.
3. certitude; assurance: He described the situation with such confidence that the audience believed him completely.
4. a confidential communication: to exchange confidences.
5. (esp. in European politics) the wish to retain an incumbent government in office, as shown by a vote in a particular issue: a vote of confidence.
6. presumption; impudence: Her disdainful look crushed the confidence of the brash young man.
7. Archaic. something that gives confidence; ground of trust.
—Idiom
8. in confidence, as a secret or private matter, not to be divulged or communicated to others; with belief in a person's sense of discretion: I told him in confidence.


You also say that this is a fact that this works for everyone just a BTW how large is the control group that you are using?

skin
08-06-2008, 06:08 PM
What will this teach you?
It will stop you from jumping up right away. It will also teach you a precision you probably never had before because you are being as precise as the two balls are at the contact points and not the loose precision of shooting balls into pockets.
It will also teach you to see the cue ball strike the contact point, where you can see why you either made the shot or missed the shot. How many times have you wondered why you missed a shot? Never again. It will also teach your ‘sub-conscious’ mind the exact place to hit the PB. This skill will be taken to the real table where you do the same thing to clearly see the dot. Obviously the ‘dot’ you will see while playing will be just a spot you picked out on any ball. In fact, every beginner does this because it is a natural thing to do. Hitting that exact spot has always been the problem.

Your game will change from ‘making balls’ to hitting the dot. If you hit the dot every time, the pockets will get in the way of the path of the object ball. You will also become very good at making combinations because of the precision you will be learning with this technique.

In other words, See the spot – Make the shot.
++++++++++++

I have been thinking about this exercise but haven't tried it yet. It looks to me like it is basically an exercise to train the eyes, which is a solid goal.

A parallel exercise is used in baseball where the object is to train the hitter to see the ball hit the bat (very difficult to accomplish starting with pitches at full speed). Seeing the bat make contact with the ball also forces the batter to keep his head down during the contact part of the swing and the initial follow through.

I'm not sure the precise practice routine is a good way for everyone to practice pool, but it could have value as a diagnostic for anyone who is missing too many shots.

1poolfan
08-07-2008, 09:19 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: skin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

I have been thinking about this exercise but haven't tried it yet. It looks to me like it is basically an exercise to train the eyes, which is a solid goal.

I'm not sure the precise practice routine is a good way for everyone to practice pool, but it could have value as a diagnostic for anyone who is missing too many shots.

</div></div>

This is so much fun I don’t know where to start.

Train the eyes? Would you then say you can train a camera? The eyes are nothing more than an input device like other senses. So what are you training? The mind of course, and specifically that part of the mind that performs all the skills we have. This is precisely the distinction I am trying to make. We don’t train anything except the mind. Muscles don’t retain responses, eyes don’t retain responses, hands don’t retain responses. Nothing except the part of the mind we commonly call the sub-conscious. I don’t particularly like this term because I think it has been misnamed. But that’s another battle for a different time.
When I say ‘responses’, I mean the action the sub-conscious takes to accomplish any task we ask of it.

So we are not ‘training the eyes’, we are training the brain. Of course people are ‘not sure’ this may be a good way to practice pool because it is new, the ideas are new, and the concept of training this way is new. That is why, unless you try it you will never know. There has never been anything like this before. Like I have said before, the other option is to continue doing the same thing.

The baseball comparison is very similar except they are missing the key element on how to train someone, but I like the idea.

“Animals do have the ability to collect data”

By data, I mean disconnected pieces of information. Not responses that is stored. Animals do not have the ability to collect ‘data’. This separates humans from all other animals. Animals and humans both store responses, that is what skill is. The responses may be modified in real time by the senses that we have. That is why if you move your eyes off of the spot on the object ball just as you hit the QB, the response will be modified slightly which will not be what you want. This is why unintended spin, speed, or direction are put on the CB and we don’t understand why. The only way to change that is to make ‘seeing the spot’ part of the routine. Since the spin, speed, and direction can be changed in real time in response to us taking our eyes off the spot, the opposite is also true. By seeing the spot as we hit the CB, the sub-conscious will make small corrections to help us hit exactly what we are looking at.

None of what I said above uses the ‘conscious’ mind nor is there input into the sub-conscious that controls the actual skill. So what is the conscious mind to do? If you don’t give the conscious mind the task of ‘seeing the spot’ by controlling the muscles in the eyes, the mind will wander and the eyes will also. As soon as the eyes wander the shot will not turn out the way we want. This is why so we miss shots, especially the easy ones.

Again, I realize this is a new concept in how our mind works and how we actually accomplish many of the things we do, so I don’t mind the questions.

JoeW
08-07-2008, 09:21 AM
Before one gets too far into a philosophical debate on the effects of stress, self confidence or self efficacy on performance it might be a good idea to read some of the literature on this topic. The Inverted U is a well known function that indicates that performance is optimal with the right amount of stress. This holds true in testing, learning, and performance aspects as related to humans. Read the information provided in the link below for a reasonable introduction to the topic.

Stress and performance (http://www.mindtools.com/stress/UnderstandStress/StressPerformance.htm)

The inverted U function has been around for many years and is well accepted in the psychological scientific community. The link is a mere introduction to a vast and complicated literature. People have spent scientific careers on this topic. It is not a mystery.

JoeW
08-07-2008, 09:35 AM
With regard to how we learn see Hebb’s “Organization of Behavior” as a jump off point.

HebbsTtheory Outlined (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebbian_learning)

This link provides some insight into some of the more modern thinking on cell assemblies and how they work.

Some recent thoughts (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16921501)

This link is a more technical introduction

Collegiate Introduction (http://williamcalvin.com/1990s/1995Handbook.htm)

Obviously there are other theories that are equally sophisticated. The one referenced here is germane to the current discussion (and one of my favored theories).

BTW aimals do collect data (or demonstrate what is sometimes referred to as insight)but that is another discussion. Your use of the term needs a better definition.

1poolfan
08-07-2008, 09:54 AM
JoeW, I think what we are talking about is apples and oranges. You have provided links that discuss the physical aspects of how the mind may work. I could care less and will leave that to the people who are interested. I am only talking about the logical implementations. Most people do not know the details of how a cell phone works but can logically use one.

There are many theories about this and mine is just one more.

JJFSTAR
08-07-2008, 10:15 AM
JoeW thanks for that post my recent thoughts on pool with reflection of my past career and their relationship to my current career have been on my mind and the inverted “U” curve does make sense of it all.

So have you tried this routine yet? I have a set of Elephant balls at Dee’s and a sharpie so I plan on my 1st session today. I will Email you soon we want to get up there for dinner before the season starts.

JoeW
08-07-2008, 10:31 AM
Yes JJFSTAR, I tried his approach. It is helpful for testing one's sighting. I do not think that the sharpie dot is needed as the number on the OB can be used. Alternatively, one can use the intersection between the the stripes under the number for an exact spot. Personally, I like Jeannette Lee's suggestion -- See the smallest possible dot and so I use a piece of string or thread in my mind's eye.

When the "basic" technique has been used I prefer the two ball combinations for the reasons stated in a previous post.

1poofan I think that ignoring the literature is one way to proceed. I remember that I truly angered one of my professors in graduate school when I answered his question by stating that in my opionion theory was not more important than practice for without one the other would not exist. I have since learned that theory guided practice is self correcting.

I agree that you have one theory but allow me to suggest that some theories have more empirical support than others.

My apologies if you think my responses were not helpful.

1poolfan
08-07-2008, 11:00 AM
No apologies necessary.

I work in a highly technical area and when a person with much less technical knowledge ask a question, I have to remind myself that what they want is; 'how to accomplish the task' not the details of why it works.

I am not ignoring the literature; it's not useful for most people, in my opinion. Most people will only change if it works and it's simple. In this case it's both.

As far as using other balls or the numbers, you are welcome to do that. I started out using those and found they were too imprecise for what I wanted. For instance, with the Elephant balls, I can line up the OB ball with the chalk precisely by using the hair line between the two colors. You can't do that with stripes very well because they are 'off center'. The feedback mechanism is the chalk. It tells you if you hit the exact spot or not. Using other balls does not give you this same precision, I don't think. That is why I changed over to the Elephant balls.

Almost any other theory will have better support, but most of them have little application to people’s everyday lives. This is new; it's original (or almost since it was first suggested around 350 BC).

JJFSTAR
08-07-2008, 11:54 AM
1poolfan with all due respect this isn’t that new of an idea especially to me funny JoeW mentions it I have been teaching people to aim using the various center points on the numbers of balls and telling people that the point that forms the number is the contact point lining it up directly opposite a pocket and telling people that if they get too concerned about pocketing the ball that I will have them start to aim at diamonds and that their last look should be focused on the OB and telling them what side of the pocket they hit for almost a decade. This is one of the first lessons that I teach right after how a ball can be moving across a cloth and Byrne’s hit the quarter trick to demonstrate how to line up two spheres so the CB hits the OB at the contact point.

The differences between the 2 are that your target is smaller and your measurement device is more conducive to practice alone and may be more effective I don’t know yet I am going to try it out this afternoon. I do not find your routine difficult to understand or follow.

Again with all due respect I have told you that confidence has more to do with pool than you happen to realize; but that is not a question that is something I am informing you of.

Lastly I did ask you one question you may have just skimmed my post and missed it no big deal but that was; how large is the control group that you have used to demonstrate that this is an effective drill from beginner to pro? I may have misinterpreted that and I am not going to go sifting around this thread and quoting you but I just want to know how many people it has helped improve and by how much?

1poolfan
08-07-2008, 02:16 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JJFSTAR</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have been teaching people to aim using the various center points on the numbers of balls and telling people that the point that forms the number is the contact point lining it up directly opposite a pocket and telling people that if they get too concerned about pocketing the ball that I will have them start to aim at diamonds and that their last look should be focused on the OB and telling them what side of the pocket they hit for almost a decade. </div></div>

I still think you do not understand the difference. It doesn't matter what you use for an 'aiming' device, the difference is that you have been teaching people to 'look' at the OB and 'what side of the pocket' to hit is exactly the difference.

Let me try again to explain it.
What do you think is the difference between the best players today and the average league player? What I am asking is the exact reason there is a difference. It is the ability to consistently hit the OB exactly where they want. Excluding for the moment the effect of spin, throw, etc.. What side of the pocket has nothing to do with it? Learning to 'hit' the exact spot is a 'learned' skill, not something you can tell someone to do. Without being able to hit the exact spot every time, you will never know why you miss a shot. Why? Because you will never see your error. If you never 'see your error' you will never be able to take the tedious steps to correct it.

And 'Byrne's hit the quarter trick' did not teach anyone how to 'learn' how to correct the habit of missing.

And when you add the effects of throw, spin and anything else, this not something you can tell yourself. Don't you find it curious that with all the current information is available; most people still do not play pool very well? Don't you find it curious that the same mistakes are made again and again? Don't you find it curious that after a 'decade' of teaching you can't guarantee that a student will play better the rest of his life?

The main focus of most teaching is on 'knowledge'. I know because I have taught enough people and have attended classes my entire life and still do. Every single class is about 'knowledge' not about building skills. Even though many profess to 'skill building' techniques. In the end, they all come down to trying to rehashing the same knowledge.

For example, how do teach someone to 'keep from jumping up' forever, not just under a controlled environment in a class. I have not seen one solid example that did this in any book or class. The simple routine I described above does this with ease because by making it a habit, you have eliminated it forever. The question is; when does it become a habit? I have already explained that in detail I think.

I answer to your question about a 'control group'. It makes it sound like we're dealing with rats instead of people. I have given the complete details of this to between 40 - 50 people. Of those that actually tried it, the change has been 100 percent. If other areas, yes this technique work in many other areas, there are another 20 to 30. All with the same results. If they use the techniques, it works. If they just read the material and don't follow them, the result is the same as reading any other material, it is just knowledge. I have given this to people who have taken years of lessons in pool and other sports and seen the results. I would classify most people as being too brain washed to even try. They say the same things that you and others have pointed out, it an aiming system, that's not how you learn and on and on. That is why I am not fazed by the harsh criticism. I understand most people have a vested interest in attacking something new because it may conflict with their own interest.

I operate differently I think. If what I am doing is not producing the results I want, I will try anything to see if it has any effect on me. But year after year, I see the same level of play in any sport and wondered why?

What I have proposed may not be the final answer but instead I look at it as the beginning. Since it starts the process of allowing me to see my mistakes and take precise steps to correct them. But again, I know this may not be in many peoples best interest. I look at it like going to the doctor. If the doctor could teach you how to not need him, there would be less of a need for a doctor. Therefore doctors fix precise problems if they can but do not teach people how to be healthy.

JJFSTAR
08-08-2008, 12:36 PM
1poolfan I teach people who have a strong desire to perform better in competition. I am not interested in teaching anyone who is not interested in titles, trophies and money. I make several guarantees to my students before I actually tell them anything about sticks, cloths and balls. One of those guarantees is that if they continue to play in competition, they will improve for the rest of their lives; connoting that if they stop playing in competition that they will get worse. It is presumptuous to assume that I do not make guarantees.

About saying that what side of the pocket you hit not being important I say yes it is. If you were aiming at the center of the pocket and you hit the right side of the pocket consistently then you obviously hit to left of your intended contact point consistently and vice versa. This is useful in other instances such as banks if you consistently hit wide but still pocket the ball and your intention is to hit the pocket dead center you should make a minor adjustment. You should move your contact point on the rail, hit a little harder, make sure your not putting some unintentional outside english on the CB etc…

I have not pointed out that this is an aiming system nor have I ever criticized this routine. Nor would I ever criticize anything that I had no experience with. I have also not pointed anything out about it specifically. You however may be talking about other people and not me, but you referred to me so I took it as such.

As for Byrne’s quarter trick; it teaches the novice that unless the shot is strait on that you can’t aim at a contact point on a sphere with another sphere and hit it. This is a far more common problem than you might think for people who are about to enter the world of competition pool. It is why you see boyfriends trying to teach their girlfriends how to play pool by pointing with their finger at the contact point and saying "hit it right here honey”. And she says after she misses “I did hit it right there and it didn’t go in”. It gets the idea to hit home quickly and that is what I strive for.

And finally as for my use of the term “control group” making pool players sound like a group of laboratory rats. I have this to say, what possible relevance could your opinion of the terminology that I use have in this thread? I am a former high school teacher so for example if someone uses apostrophes when they should be using quotation marks, constantly uses commas when they should be using periods and throw in a few extra conjunctions once in a while it is slightly annoying to me ;). Please excuse my emoticon use. Everyone makes typo’s even professional writers, the only exception I have ever seen is my wife and that is because she proofs legal documents. Granted I read quite a bit faster than most because of my teaching experience and am probably more aware of these miniscule mistakes than others. I just reread the sentence and move on. I don’t mention it because the only thread that it would be relevant in is a discussion of proper English. The term “control group” can be used in referring to a group of super models or rats. The term is correct, concise and communicative. I therefore have absolutely no understanding of your criticism of it and consider it rude. I am on occasion admittedly overly sensitive about such matters.

1poolfan
08-09-2008, 09:08 AM
I want to apologize for parts of my last post. It was not my intent to offend instructors nor doctors. It was my frustration showing through on trying to explain the difference between the routine I described and others. Again, I want to apologize for offending anyone.

I had to go and think about how to explain what I mean a little differently, I think I may have a way. So here goes.

Most people think pool is about pocketing balls. This is not what pool is about. I know you could say ‘If you don’t pocket the balls you can’t win’, but pocking balls is the result of what you did. It is the goal not the act itself.
Because this shift in view some time ago, all practice routines are based on achieving results not on how you did it. The result is almost every routine puts attention on pocketing balls. This is probably the result of changes in society where ‘we want it now’, means I don’t want to do the hard work to achieve the results. But in doing so, the result oriented practice works fine until you put pressure on the person. Then the adrenaline kicks in and the results are erratic. The more time you spend practicing techniques that are results oriented, the more frustrated you become when it doesn’t work under pressure.
This can be seen by every league player and professional when they get under pressure, the errors start to show up. This is also why snooker players, whom are forced to have better technique, generally perform better when they change to pool. While this has been known, the connection to the actual practice routines was not made. So the practice routines that put attention on results are inherently flawed because they do not address flaws in technique.

It may be that most people are not willing to put the long, hard, boring, and tedious work into their game that is required. That is ok, as long as they understand that under pressure their game will not hold up. This goes for the pros as well. It is infinitely more fun to go bang balls into pockets that to do some boring routine.

The routine I described in my original post(and others) forces you to have good technique. As you have seen, many people would like to alter it to put attention on the results instead of technique. This is now understandable. There may have to be different teaching methods based on the desire of the student. For those students that want to improve their game but really don’t care about putting too much effort into it. They can continue with the same practice routines that have been out there.
But for others who are willing to put in the time and effort, there needs to be another type of instruction that puts attention on technique. This type of training will be for the student wants to be able to play under pressure where the technique will hold up.

I hope that explains it better.

JoeW
08-09-2008, 12:11 PM
As a practicing psychologist my goal was to get the patient to the point where they made good decisions and knew the decisions were their own. When the pt said, "I don't know why I ever came to see you, I could have done this on my own," I knew we had arrived at the right solution. Therapy is about teaching people to make good decisions, it is not about controlling others.

A man beats his wife and hates himself for it but he doesn't know how to stop. It is not about controlling the man it is about teaching him to make better decisions.

Your post is not offensive. It merely indicates that many people do not fully understand what we do in the human service professions.

JoeW
08-10-2008, 06:13 AM
To directly address your prior post, a physician's goal is to restore an ignornat person's state of health. (Ignorance is not knowing, stupidity is doing it anyway). Return visits are part of the physician's training to insure that the problem has been thoroughly treated with no adverse side effects.

JJFSTAR
08-11-2008, 09:38 AM
No problem 1poolfan as I said I am overly sensitive at times. I know and completely understand your frustration. I think (but am not stating this as a fact) you are saying things to yourself like “These people practice pool by pocketing balls, don’t they understand that this routine that I have come up with surpasses that by a million times?” “If these people would do this it would improve their game immediately because it addresses pure technique because it takes the pocket out of the equation” etc… etc… I hear you, I have read every word you have written and understand every word you have written completely. I have really thought about it. It is my opinion that you should do the same with this post. It will take a lot of words to get my thought process across so this may be the longest post in BD history for that I apologize. And it is certainly the last post that I will make until I have tried this routine and give it the time it deserves.

If you are saying things like that to yourself IMHO you are being a bit presumptuous again. Your practice routine is not all that different from the things I have been teaching for a long time. Here are a few examples. Just before I explain the 4 basic ways a CB can be moving across a cloth (I already know some of you are going to say that there are more than 4 and I am ready to answer that) I hold a CB and an OB and I say to them “until today you have put too much emphasis on this” while holding up the OB. After today you will have a deeper understanding that pool is about this” while holding up the CB.

My teaching methods spend very little time teaching someone how to pocket balls.
I am of the opinion that that is an inferior teaching method to mine. I in fact say when you pocket a ball with poor technique you are reinforcing bad habits. When a student of mine hikes their stick, jumps up or does whatever and I say “that sucked” and they say “I made the bal!!!” and I say “yea and that’s too bad because it tells you that it is ok to have a swashbucklers stroke”. It is the same when a student of mine runs a table but leaves their problem ball for absolutely last when there was a perfectly good break ball earlier in their run. I say “that was terrible” and they say “I ran the table!!!” and my response is “Yea and that’s too bad because you have just reinforced for yourself that it is ok to leave your problem balls and not take care of the early in your run”. And invariably if there is a graduate of mine around they always smirk because they remember when they had that little understanding and how I cured them.

In the book that came with the practice balls that you are using there are drills that don’t involve pockets that are quite hard to do. They take some time to set up but they are of great value. Spidermans combo practice squared, if you haven’t taken the time to look at them I suggest that you do.

Bear with me while I say all this because its all relevant to what everyone has been saying in this thread and is what I believe to be the heart of your frustration so reading on is worth it.

When I was in my late 20’s my game was about to go supersonic but I didn’t know it. I could never have envisioned that I would go so far so fast. I had never taught anyone anything about pool but I was well on my way to having a complete grasp on the scientific aspects of the game because I had read a few books on pool, heck I practically memorized Byrne’s book.

I went from a 4 to a 6 in under 2 years it was a blip on the radar. For most people that are teaching themselves that is a road that takes a decade or so to travel. So how did I make strides that normally take 3 times as long by myself? The answer is DRILLS.

I was about to get the full impact of practice drills. I had come up with some and did them in random order and occasionally I would forget to do one or even four of them in my practice sessions. It wasn’t until I grouped my drills and did them in some kind of organized manner that I was really able to “bear down”.

ALL of the expert pool players that I know came up with drills to overcome specific weaknesses in their games with no exceptions. Every single one of them drilled for hours honing their skills. I am sorry but I may offend a few people here myself. If you make statements like “I really don’t have the time, patience and diligence to practice alone” and you mean it and you really don’t and never have done drills. I have only one thing to say “what do you want to play for?”

You see I have spent the long hours that are necessary to have the shot become as natural to me as walking and talking I don’t have to think about doing it. I have paid my dues and the reward is that I have a good competition game. But like all instructors worth their salt I resigned myself to be a student of the game for the rest of my life that is why I will at some point try this drill of yours.

You are probably thinking that all of my drills involve pocketing balls and that is what makes your routine different well try this. It is the first leg of my opening practice session.

Do each of these 10 times. Place the CB on the head spot shoot it strait up table and have it come back to stop dead on the tip of your stick. Then take the 1 ball and line it up so that the 1 is perfectly perpendicular to the table and shoot it up table and try to do a stop shot so that the 1 doesn’t wobble and comes back to hit the CB flush back to knock it strait into the center diamond. Then place the 11 ball in front of the 1 ball so that everything is lined up like crosshairs turned around and shoot the 1 ball into the 11 and have the 11 come back to hit the 1 ball flush and the 1 kick the CB strait back into the middle diamond. The drawback to this drill is that you spend a lot of time setting it up. The benefit is that it gives you a lot of information.

I have never seen a pool player that can do even the 1 ball consistently let alone the combination. If you do this drill you will most likely very rarely miss a strait shot.

So here is where I finally get to my basic point. What is more likely, keep in mind that I have yet to try your drill.

A: You have come up with a precise practice routine that is “out of the box thinking” that no one has ever thought of or tried before that will immediately help every pool player from beginner to pro if they implement it into their practice sessions.

Or

B: You are a pool player that has recently become an expert just like millions of others around the world and you have a favorite drill that you have tried with other people and so far it has been beneficial to every person that has followed it exactly and stuck with it.

As I said not yet having tried your drill the chances of the former being true are unlikely not impossible just very unlikely. The inclination that one would have given that you tout your drill as being the former and not the latter leads to the prevalence that it is probably the latter and not the former and that is why you are getting the reaction that you are getting from the people on this board.

We are not a bunch of guys who think the idea of practice is breaking up our favorite game and trying to run the table for an afternoon or evening. This board has people on it that are highly knowledgeable instructors and expert pool players. Just take some time to reflect on what you have said and how you have said it. In teaching pool as in life, it is sometimes just as important what not to say as it is what you are saying. That is what makes me the instructor that I am, I know what not to say and how not to say it just as much as I know what to say and how to say it.

1poolfan
08-11-2008, 12:21 PM
JJFSTAR, I like your post. It was long and useful information. I will try some of the drills you suggested.

I think there are major differences in what you are saying and what I posted. The difference can be demonstrated by the drill you posted;


Do each of these 10 times. Place the CB on the head spot shoot it strait up table and have it come back to stop dead on the tip of your stick. Then take the 1 ball and line it up so that the 1 is perfectly perpendicular to the table and shoot it up table and try to do a stop shot so that the 1 doesn’t wobble and comes back to hit the CB flush back to knock it strait into the center diamond. Then place the 11 ball in front of the 1 ball so that everything is lined up like crosshairs turned around and shoot the 1 ball into the 11 and have the 11 come back to hit the 1 ball flush and the 1 kick the CB strait back into the middle diamond. The drawback to this drill is that you spend a lot of time setting it up. The benefit is that it gives you a lot of information.

The first thing is that ‘information’ is just knowledge and doesn’t tell you how to correct the unwanted action. The second thing is that you are not saying ‘how to correct’ any problem. The third thing is; you are not presenting a routine that allows the student to perform it correctly, only incorrectly. As I said, I like the routine but I would have modified it to allow me to perform it correctly, then proceed to make it more difficult. As you reach a point at which you can’t perform it correctly, you need to back off the drill and make it easier so the student can perform the action correctly.

“I have never seen a pool player that can do even the 1 ball consistently let alone the combination. If you do this drill you will most likely very rarely miss a strait shot.”

Of course many students can’t do this consistently. But if you want them to ‘learn’ to do it correctly, you start them off at the point they can do it; absolutely every time. Then you slowly make it more difficult. If they get to a point where they miss more than a few times, they must make it easier so they can do it successfully again.

Why is this important? Because in order to change a skill, you must perform the skill exactly like you want it to be, not perform it incorrectly and maybe get it right a few times. Changing a skill requires that you perform the ‘correct’ action many more times that you perform the incorrect action. That is what I said in my original post. You must perform it correctly. I could have said ‘perform this routine by placing the OB and CB far away from the chalk’ but students would only practice an unwanted skill. This would not have changed anything.

Like I said, I like your post and your routine. This is the type of discussion I would like to have because it gets to the root of what I am talking about. The routine you posted may be excellent for demonstrating what a straight stroke is; but doesn’t help me achieve one except by hit and miss.

As far as your analysis of what I am thinking, I will leave that to professionals and mind readers.

Eric.
08-12-2008, 08:53 AM
Thanks for your thoughts.


Eric