View Full Version : Can't make a ball-itis?!?!

phil in sofla
08-22-2002, 11:56 AM
Must have happened to all of us at one time or another. You're playing well, close to your best pool, and then something happens, and for some indeterminate period of time (about as long as it matters), you cannot play pool. Pocketing is questionable, shape is impossible, running out, no way, and even the ball in hand two or three ball out is an adventure, and no sure thing.

Of course confidence fails when your game leaves you, you shoot tentatively, and it shows. You pass up shots you'd normally take, and then fail on the safety try you went for instead, overrolling or underrolling, or giving up ball in hand, and selling out the rack.

The weirdest thing in my mind is that is can happen directly after a run of very good play, and I saw it happen in a league match last night within two innings of one shooter's play. He ran 4 balls effortlessly, had to bank an otherwise pocketless ball (made it, a hard bank that we didn't think could go), got on his next ball with the long cross corner bank off the long rail his only possible shot (made THAT one), got snookered on his final ball before the 8, kicked to it and made a good hit, but then gave up the table. After that, he had multiple decent shots on his last object ball, and the 8, and missed maybe 6 times in a row, and missed badly.

Obviously, as in football within the red zone, it sometimes gets harder the closer you are to scoring, and missing the key ball or the money ball isn't all that uncommon. So, within a single game in which you have shot well, there can be psychological reasons why you muff the out balls. I'm really talking about a longer period of time in which you cannot string more than two balls together.

I shot decently through last Sunday, and then struggled for two or three days. I decided to practice the #1 shot of Kinnister's, a straight in down the rail (just off it) stroke tester, CB just off the #2 diamond on the long rail, the OB just off the #6 diamond, to straighten out my stroke. That seemed to do the trick, and I got back on track.

But why does the stroke go haywire for no obvious reason? Mainly physical reasons, mental reasons, what? It is true that I've been running on too little rest, but that isn't unusual, and it was the same before I had the slump. Maybe an accummulative effect there, I suppose, as I've finally succumbed to a head cold, probably from getting run down. But why would such a factor lead to a mechanical change in the stroke?

08-22-2002, 12:05 PM
I wrote and article on just this very thing titled "The eyes have it - The bounce hit of Pool." I can e-mail to you if you would like.

phil in sofla
08-22-2002, 12:15 PM
Yes, please send to me, either private mail on the forum here, or to pschuman@bellsouth.net.

08-22-2002, 12:19 PM
Good afternoon:

I have learned, as was evidenced big time this past weekend, that physical and mental exhaustion plays a significant role in one's ability to not only perform well but consistently. I have accepted the position, although I do not always listen to myself, that when I start playing poorly it is time to take a break.

A little rest and recreation, other then pool, can and will go a long way!


Dr. D.

08-22-2002, 12:20 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: socrates:</font><hr> I wrote and article on just this very thing titled "The eyes have it - The bounce hit of Pool." I can e-mail to you if you would like.
<hr></blockquote>Hi Steve,

Would you please email it to me too? Or maybe you could post it on your web site...

08-22-2002, 12:27 PM
I'd love a copy to read....thanks a lot.


9 Ball Girl
08-22-2002, 02:16 PM
Sounds like when I get scratch-itis! For some reason or other, regardless of whether I'm aiming high or low, the CB will find a pocket to scratch into!

08-22-2002, 04:29 PM
Can I get a copy too? Thanks.

08-22-2002, 06:30 PM
I believe the inelegant term is DOGING YOUR BRAINS OUT!!!!!!!! LOL /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

08-22-2002, 06:55 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: cheesemouse:</font><hr> phil,
I believe the inelegant term is DOGING YOUR BRAINS OUT!!!!!!!! LOL /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif <hr></blockquote>

There you go Cheese, now don't try to sugar coat things.
Just say what you feel!! LOL

Voodoo Daddy
08-22-2002, 07:07 PM
Lays cue down, walks over to cheese and gives him a HIGH 5!!

08-23-2002, 08:09 AM

08-23-2002, 08:18 AM
Congrats on your match. Glad you liked the article.

08-23-2002, 10:43 AM
I have a saying, I like to "drain my brain" when I am having problems. Just let it go, don't think about it, think about other things, or do not think about anything.

I try to imagine a blackboard with nothing on it and stare at it, with my eyes closed for awhile. It really seems to help.

For the most part, the mind gets in the way of a shot,..if the first thought in your head is, "I'm going miss this", you will, unless you "drain your brain" and replace it with, "this is an easy shot", then you will get back on track.


08-23-2002, 11:36 AM
Hi Steve,

Thanks for emailing that. Thatís the same info you have in your book, right?

I havenít seen much mention of your book here (although Iíve seen you mention it a couple of times /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif ), so even though you havenít asked for it, Iíll take this opportunity to mention it and give a quick review since I like it so much. Otherís might be interested in it as well, and Iíd hate to have them miss out because youíre ďnot supposed toĒ advertise here...

After Karatemom mentioned this book Ė Black Belt Billiards - had helped her bank shots tremendously, I just had to check into it and I got one. Itís a cool name for a pool book, and itís a cool book. After some introductory material, itís a book ďchock fullĒ of drills and patterns. The early ones look pretty easy and the later ones look a lot more challenging. He gives good tips on how to shoot the shots, and itís a real good idea to actually read the text that goes along with the picture! Itís not a book youíre supposed to just sit and read Ė youíre supposed to take it to the table to do the work. Itís in a binder that folds back on itself so it can always lay flat when you take it to the table with you. I also really like that if he got the shot from another source, he actually gives that source proper credit.

You get to earn belts, like karate belts, when you successfully complete a drill. I like the idea of earning a "permanent" black belt Ė it doesnít mean you never have to practice that one again, but I interpret it to mean that now you know what to do to make that shot so you can move on. Iím currently stuck on the easy stop shot drill. Canít seem to do 10 perfect ones in a row! But even if you donít get a permanent black belt, you can earn a lesser color, or even a temporary belt, and move along if you feel like it. So, itís different from other drill books in that rather than just doing a drill and then youíre done, you get to do a drill until you get rewarded for your efforts with a belt! (Well, okay, you donít actually get a real belt...)

I donít know how long it will take to work through the entire book since there is so much there, but Iím hoping to at least get through it and hopefully be a black belt by the time I get to Vegas next year. Doncha know it'll get down to me and Karatemom in the finals! /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

No, I donít get royalties /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif , I just like and recommend the book!

Steve, I hope I didnít embarrass you by going on and on about how good this book is...

Thereís more about the book on Steveís web site at <a target="_blank" href=http://members.aol.com/blkbeltbilliards>http://members.aol.com/blkbeltbilliards</a>. If it matters to you (like it matters to me!) he makes it easy to pay with PayPal!

Don't hate me! It's not an advertisement! It's a book review!