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View Full Version : How Long to get outa shape?



KellyStick
10-13-2009, 07:01 PM
I go though periods where I practice almost daily. Then I go through periods where I play only on my one league night or longer in between. Then there are days somewhere in between the daily and the weekly. Generally speaking I don't feel like I get too much out of the groove if I miss two weeks of no play. I may in fact play better sometimes maybe because I miss it and really get into the game. I'm no pro by any means so my "in the groove" is probably not anything special but on the other hand it's usually good enough to beat anyone I play in APA.

Do you folks feel like there is a duration of not playing that really affects your game? I mean i played when I was young and stopped for some 10 years and sucked real bad. I'm not talking about that. But how long does an extended lay-off for us pool junkies have to be in order to really affect your game? It almost feels like after so many years of play that it would take a real long time to get way off and that with a little focused effort like 30 minutes if your mind is right to get most of it back. And what goes first? For me it's the down the rail shots that go first.

Thoughts?

Icon of Sin
10-14-2009, 07:11 AM
1 month. If I just play matches without solo practice for a period of about 1 month it throws me all off. I know this because I just recently did that when I started taking up golf.

Now here comes the long winded part of the post /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

I just started learning how to play golf about 3 months ago. So far I am enjoying it immensely. This is mainly due to the MASSIVE learning curve I currently have in it. EVERY time I got hit golf balls I see myself improving with things like aiming, distance, hitting it straight and general contacting and stroke of the golf ball.

Now with pool, since I been playing for about 10 years now, my learning curve is no longer anywhere near what it is for golf. does this make pool less enjoyable, not really BUT it does make me want to go to the driving range rather then the poolhall some nights of the week since I know I'm going to be getting more improvment in golf rahte rthen more frustration in pool. Unfortuantely this is a double-edged sword... the more I focused on golf, the better I got but the more my pool game has slacked off and it really showed.

Golf is in NO WAY gonna replace what pool is for me. However I do not mind them co-existing at all. So what I had to do to fix all this was continue my normal practice with pool and squeeze range and course time in the free areas until a schedule sort of developes.

When it comes to time off of pool I feel that at a high level of play, a month off will hurt your game more then a month of normal practice will help it.

Great Topic btw!

JJFSTAR
10-14-2009, 10:40 AM
The period of time off that will be harmful or beneficial is as varied as the individual. There are 3 main factors that will determine what will make your game suffer or let your mind and body “reset”.

1.“Feel” vs. “technical” players. Most of the “feel” players will suffer almost immediately. In contrast; most of the more “technical” players will feel the effect of time off or less play more slowly for the simple reason that the “technical” players know what they do and how they do it and the “feel” players don’t know how they do it they just do. This is not to demean the “feel” players, in fact they have been (in my experience) the more talented of the 2. If you want a more detailed explanation of the difference between the 2 I will be happy to go through it.

2.The skill level you are trying to maintain. 3-4 days without shooting and I am off, so are you a 3? Or are you a 7? There are people on our sister team that only shoot on league night. I do not believe that one can realistically maintain being a break & run player with no practice sessions and just showing up to shoot a match every week. There may be one out there but I have not met them yet.

3.Wear on the mind and body. The 18-35yo folks here may think this is funny but all I have to say is “wait; you won’t think it’s so funny later”. I have a good strong back and I count my blessings for that but the arches in my feet and my rotator cuff are not so great. Part B of that is mind wear, your practice sessions are not nearly as effective if you are “dragging” or are burnt out from a long tough match. Champions have seemingly endless stamina in this arena; it is part of what makes them champions.

So it is really hard to say what kind of time off will hurt you and what might help. I can tell you for sure that a couple of days off probably wont hurt you and it might even help; however a year off is going to hurt your game. It all depends on who you are and what stage of development you are at. Much beyond that you will have to take these 3 points and assess it for yourself. Practice sessions, casual play and competition are like medicine more is not necessarily better.

I take it day by day. For example, I will probably not shoot today. The match was last night I was highly focused for a long period of time, I can use a little down time. Now if someone that I really want to shoot calls me sure I will head on down. But for the most part I am going to relax because I will definitely be shooting tomorrow, Friday, Sunday, Monday and the match is on Tuesday.

bradb
10-14-2009, 12:02 PM
I'm a technical player, I find that if I play TOO much I start to get off my game. When I play for long lengths of time it tires me out and I start to get sloppy. I have to quit for a while and give my mind a rest.

Last night I lost a league game to a player who I should be able to spot half the rack. I have been playing so much at different clubs lately that I have lost my touch.

On the other hand I need at least one or two good sessions a week to play well, so its a happy medium for me. Brad

Soflasnapper
10-14-2009, 04:01 PM
There's an old quote from one of the Fusco brothers (straight pool players, I think), which my memory claims went, 'When I don't shoot for 3 days, I lose half my touch.'

But I don't know the true number of days of the original quote-- might have been 7 days.

10-14-2009, 04:20 PM
Personally, I haven't had a layoff longer than 10 days for a few years. I usually never go more than a day or two. I can only play an hour or so, a day, but it's enough to maintain a certain level.

I'm more of a "technical" player, I shoot with aiming systems and don't really feel like my game drops off much in 10 days. If anything, my speed control might drop off a lil, but nothing I can't compensate for (don't try to leave the CB within a couple of inches of perfect).

That said, I haven't taken a long layoff in years.


Eric

KellyStick
10-14-2009, 05:02 PM
Someone asked what kinda player I am technical or Feel and what SL. I'm an 8-ball 6 and a 9-ball 7. I would say I am more a technical player than feel. Tho some times I try to shoot fast and loose and sometimes it works. Time off is both good and bad. I'm looking at about 3 weeks off or more. I've poked a few balls in that time but nothing significant. Tho sometimes I wonder what significant is. Often when I am not playing I still knock in a rack of balls at home. I begin to walk past the table, I throw the balls up and just shoot them in any where and in any order I like. Then I go about my business. I think this periodic though brief calibration may be a big help. So even when I say I am not playing this is rarely 100% true.

Sid_Vicious
10-14-2009, 05:55 PM
Depends on your prospective of how big you considered you game was at any given time. If you've played to 30-40 years, and take a 3 month break, you'll be surprised at what talent, even better talent, you came back into. 3-10 days layoff,,,well you simply haven't resolved what was bothering, or making your game stale yet. For a real player, "Laying off is no hill for a real stepper." sid

10-15-2009, 06:16 AM
I'm more of a feel player, but I know the technicialities of english and position play making it easy to help me teach someone. I 95% ofthe time I don't use an aiming system like CTE or 90/90 or any of that stuff. I learned CTE though and on that certain 5% I find it could be helpful when in a crisis with a tough shot you gotta make with the safe not being the better shot.

So on those rare occasions I might bust out an aiming system on the shot. For everything else it's what feels right. I'm a 7 in 8ball and a 8 in 9ball. It seems to be working for me and the addition of those aiming systems as a nice backup plan is a wonderful "plan b" to have lying around just in case.

I'm always open to learning stuff like that. Nothing against the technical players and I know Eric personally and IMO he is a better player then myself, I just feel being technical you end up limited at some point by the systems you are using. I think playing by feel it might be easier to achieve "enlightenment" if you will. There are no limitations.

This is all in my opinion.

Icon of Sin
10-15-2009, 06:18 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Anonymous</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'm more of a feel player, but I know the technicialities of english and position play making it easy to help me teach someone. I 95% ofthe time I don't use an aiming system like CTE or 90/90 or any of that stuff. I learned CTE though and on that certain 5% I find it could be helpful when in a crisis with a tough shot you gotta make with the safe not being the better shot.

So on those rare occasions I might bust out an aiming system on the shot. For everything else it's what feels right. I'm a 7 in 8ball and a 8 in 9ball. It seems to be working for me and the addition of those aiming systems as a nice backup plan is a wonderful "plan b" to have lying around just in case.

I'm always open to learning stuff like that. Nothing against the technical players and I know Eric personally and IMO he is a better player then myself, I just feel being technical you end up limited at some point by the systems you are using. I think playing by feel it might be easier to achieve "enlightenment" if you will. There are no limitations.

This is all in my opinion. </div></div>

I posted all this. Just forgot to log in... Sorry.

bradb
10-16-2009, 11:46 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">There's an old quote from one of the Fusco brothers (straight pool players, I think), which my memory claims went, 'When I don't shoot for 3 days, I lose half my touch.'

But I don't know the true number of days of the original quote-- might have been 7 days.

</div></div>

I think thats true for both types of players only the technical types can come back faster, they don't have to get back into a zone.

I spend a lot of time in shot making, I look over every shot, workout the angles and what I need to continue. When I'm on I can put together some long runs and wear down my opponents while they have to sit and wait it out. The down side of this is that its hard work!... to keep it going for hours on end is tiring and I start letting up a bit when I'm ahead. When I play night after night it takes its toll so I need to get away from pool for a while.

The other downside of being a technical player is when you run up against a buzz saw player they can really throw you off your game. We've all seen players like Alain Martel tear through a rack in 30 seconds. Thats an extreme, but when I'm up against that kind of player I have to focus on my game and not get sucked in.

Of course at the pro level, the top players are a combination of both styles. One player who comes to mind is Rocket Rodney, he plays smooth and fast but when he's behind he has the ability to focus and not get reckless. Brad

KellyStick
10-21-2009, 08:46 PM
Well after about 6 weeks off I got 20 points outa 20 on my 9 ball team in APA. The guy I played was an idiot so that helped. I played well and I was lucky. I feel really good. Maybe there was good alignment of the stars I dunno. BUt maybe absence makes the heart grow fonder as well. Maybe it helps the stars align. I think luck is somewhat in the subconscience if you let it... I feel invigorated. So if you are getting stagnant or bored or are in a slump or funk or WHATEVER maybe you need a break. Just like work it might be that you need a vacation. In some ways pool is like work. It is fun but it takes focus and effort and energy. This can be more draining at some point than beneficial. Back off, get refreshed, and come back.

Part of this might be work related to. My real job that is. I was getting in a funk at work too in some regards. Letting both go for a time I think was a good thing.

bradb
10-26-2009, 11:44 AM
I agree, sometimes we can get pooled out and only time away can solve that. If I play too much I do start getting bored and lose interest and then of course its no longer fun and you start losing.

When I first won a 9ball tournement it did wonders for my mental attitude. I used to fret going into a match, now I go in more relaxed with no fear of anyone I'm going up against. That was my biggest problem before...playing below my ability against the top players.

I have also found I don't need to practice as much now because being in the right head space is more important than constant playing. So I get there a bit early and just play enough to get the feel of the table. I'm still practicing at home but have cut down the time.

Once you've won a tournement you also benefit from other players tightning up when they play you. I was up against a young player in another finals who was playing strong but I could sense his nervousness when we stated, so I got off a good run to put on the pressure. Actually I think he is a better player than me but he completely collapsed and I had an easy win.

As I watched him struggle I could'nt help but think that used to be me and I felt a bit sorry for him, but did'nt say much to him after the match, I may have to play him again. brad

KellyStick
10-28-2009, 07:30 PM
So your APA handicap helps put the threat out there. And your attitude coming to the table of confidence is a mental advantage.

I always felt that win or lose if I come out hard and strong from the start that this gives and advantage. Though sometimes you might have to play that safety right off the break to make that happen. Go for the throat, make sure it's the other guy's throat. Git the mental edge early.

Don't let em shoot anything but crap. It demoralizes and does not allow them to get in stroke. Don't let up and practice strong table management.

bradb
10-29-2009, 10:45 AM
Yes, but there's still the dreaded human factor to deal with. I have to remind myself of that when I'm off my game and it happens to everybody. The trick is to not let it be a regressive thing and drag you into a funk but continue as if it never happened.

As you said never lose the killer instinct, strong mental attitude will get you through when you're up and when you're down.