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jht1953
09-30-2010, 10:47 AM
A while back I too some lessons from an instructor who taught the SPF method. It really improved my game, not overnight mind you, but after several weeks to months doing the drills and playing while being aware of SPF, Well, for some reason my Finish wasn't consistent. Then I watched a tape by Don "The Preacher" Feeny and he said something about "pulling" your cue towards the target, so instead of mumbling Finish, I mumble "pull" I imagine my cue is 5 feet longer than it is, and I have to pull it through my bridge to the target and my stroke has really smoothed out, I was astonished that such a little change could make such a big difference.....give it a try, tell me what you think..Thanks to all

pooltchr
09-30-2010, 11:13 AM
The words you use don't matter. Finishing your stroke at the home position every time does. Whatever you have to tell yourself to get there is fine.

I worked with a student who used to post here (and I miss her posts) from NYC who struggled with the wording of SPF. But she nailed it down when we renamed the three stops in her stroke "Lock, Load, and Fire"!

I'm sure some of you know who I'm talking about.

Steve

bradb
09-30-2010, 12:54 PM
I use:

Set, Pull, Pause, Straight through.

Brad

JJFSTAR
09-30-2010, 01:57 PM
Well the words do matter to the individual; some words evoke images to some and some do not. So “pull” to him means much more than “finish” and induces him to bring the proper picture into his mind to get his body to react in the way he wants it to.

I have found over the years of teaching that word choice and the particular usage that you intend and what those words mean to the individual to be one of the most powerful teaching tools ever.

The OP probably thinks this particular word choice and image will work for a greater percentage of the population than it will, that’s probably why he posted it.

So my advice wouldn’t be to “say whatever you need to say to get you there” I would say “find the word, words or images that get you to do what you want them (your muscles) to do”

pooltchr
09-30-2010, 02:32 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JJFSTAR</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
So my advice wouldn’t be to “say whatever you need to say to get you there” I would say “find the word, words or images that get you to do what you want them (your muscles) to do”
</div></div>

You post "say whatever you need to get you there"
I post that the words you use don't matter as long as they get you there.

I don't see a whole lot of difference.
Set Pause Finish
Stop Back Home
Lock Load Fire
One Two Three

The words are just a personal mantra. As long as the represent the proper stroking motion for an individual, the words can be whatever they want them to be.

Steve

bradb
09-30-2010, 03:29 PM
For me I often have to go back to the basics when I'm off. I don't fiddle with my stance, worry about elbow drop, or anything else, I think only of the stroke!

Its amazing how many times I will forget something simple like the "pause" and start coming thru to quickly, or coming back to fast in my back swing. So simple as it these words may be they help because the stroke really is a "simple" execution.

I used to have theses initials carved in the butte of my snooker cue... P SB P ST

(Pause, Slow Back, Pause, Straight Through.)

If I made a mistake and now my opponent is running the table, I would sit and run these words over and over in my mind.

Brad

Scott Lee
09-30-2010, 08:43 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: pooltchr</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The words you use don't matter. Finishing your stroke at the home position every time does. Whatever you have to tell yourself to get there is fine.

I worked with a student who used to post here (and I miss her posts) from NYC who struggled with the wording of SPF. But she nailed it down when we renamed the three stops in her stroke "Lock, Load, and Fire"!

I'm sure some of you know who I'm talking about.

Steve </div></div>

Steve...I had a student who also had trouble with Set, Pause, Finish. He had a poster of the Three Stooges on the wall, with their cues crossed in the air (there's the same poster with golf clubs too). I said, jokingly, "Why don't you call them Larry, Moe and Curly?" We both laughed. A couple of days later he called with his revelation. He's in the video business, and his words became "Lights, Camera, Action". As you said, they're just a personal mantra, used to deliver your cue repeatably.

Scott Lee

JJFSTAR
10-01-2010, 12:57 PM
So with all due respect I run into this from time to time on this board. I don’t understand why after I said:

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JJFSTAR</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
So my advice wouldn’t be to “say whatever you need to say to get you there”
</div></div>

You would say:

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: pooltchr</div><div class="ubbcode-body">You post "say whatever you need to get you there"
</div></div>

Unless you mistakenly replaced my WOULDN’T for WOULD and that is what I think happened. We are in agreement for the most part

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: pooltchr</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
I don't see a whole lot of difference.
Set Pause Finish
Stop Back Home
Lock Load Fire
One Two Three

The words are just a personal mantra. As long as the represent the proper stroking motion for an individual, the words can be whatever they want them to be.

Steve </div></div>

100% agreed but the “whole lot of difference” part is the part I am talking about. Just for example. To a person who is an experienced marksman (who is learning how to play pool) Lock Load Fire evokes a powerful image that they can relate to. Let’s say a performance artist or in that realm is trying to learn how to play pool. Set Pause Finish may or may not work as well as Lights Camera Action; the latter might very well do a much better job.

It may be a minor point to most people and I agree with that or else there wouldn’t be an SPF “family” of instructors. SPF works for so many people and is highly effective. But the OP said he thinks “pull” works better for him, coupled with a specific image of the cue stick to the CB.

So instead of saying:

The words are just a personal mantra. As long as the represent the proper stroking motion for an individual, the words can be whatever they want them to be.


I would say:

The words are a personal mantra and can be as individual as a fingerprint. They can be crucial to the development of the proper stroking motion for an individual, the words can be whatever they want them to be, find the ones that best suit you. Here is a really good one to start with; try Set Pause Finish and we will go from there.

JoeW
10-01-2010, 01:29 PM
Words have meaning and the words you choose have meaning to your brain. If the word "fire" has been associated with pulling a trigger on a pistol then the finger may twitch when the person says fire.

So while the words themselves are meaningless as a word, they do have prior associations and one needs to be careful in the selection of wording.

Personally I think one should not use words during their preshot routine once it has been learned. Words get in the way of all those non-verbal calculations that are going on.

Using a computer analogy it can be thought of in terms of avaiable working brain power. If you get rid of the words you have more operating room, so to speak.

I am aware of the idea that many instructors teach players to have a "mantra" and this is not a bad thing as it helps to get the verbalizations out of the way. However, the mantra should be non-verbal.

BCA Master Instr
10-02-2010, 02:14 PM
When the Mantra becomes sub-conscious, it becomes non-verbal...randyg

JoeW
10-02-2010, 04:21 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BCA Master Instr</div><div class="ubbcode-body">When the Mantra becomes sub-conscious, it becomes non-verbal...randyg </div></div>

I agree, that should be the goal.

JimS
10-02-2010, 06:00 PM
What would be an example of a non-verbal mantra?

JoeW
10-02-2010, 07:31 PM
Aum or Om
see Aum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aum) subsittute "pool god" and it would be OK.

"Spiff" would also work.

Seriously, if you recited Set Pause Finish during practice until it became engrained and later just droped the words and used any humming sound that stopped the verbalization you would gain more operating room.

JoeW
10-03-2010, 07:11 AM
Here is one definition of AUM that RandyG would like. It is triune and as he "becomes the ball" when he shoots – or so I have read in his postings, it is appropriate. Nothing like a little help from the Pool Gods. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

AUM In "Advaita philosophy it is frequently used to represent three subsumed into one, a triune, a common theme in Hinduism. It implies that our current existence is mithyā and maya, "falsehood", that in order to know the full truth we must comprehend beyond the body and intellect the true nature of infinity. Essentially, upon moksha (mukti, samādhi) one is able not only to see or know existence for what it is, but to become it. When one gains true knowledge, there is no split between knower and known: one becomes knowledge/consciousness itself. In essence, Aum is the signifier of the ultimate truth that all is one."

A = Creation
U = Preservation
M = Liberation

Aum is the name of God

AUM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aum)

Fran Crimi
10-03-2010, 09:22 AM
Joe, so are you referring to basically a hypnotic suggestion to trigger an automatic response or just something to fill the conscious mind to prevent it from distracting itself?

Bambu
10-03-2010, 09:29 AM
Help me I'm having Felix Unger flashbacks! I hope you guys arent serious about the chanting.

Fran Crimi
10-03-2010, 09:39 AM
/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif Hey, now that you mention it, it could be effective. It would drive your opponent nuts, wouldn't it? I remember years ago playing a 14.1 match where my opponent called every single shot she played. I wanted to ram the cue ball down her throat. But I digress.....

JoeW
10-03-2010, 09:46 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Fran Crimi</div><div class="ubbcode-body">just something to fill the conscious mind to prevent it from distracting itself? </div></div>

Yes that is what I am referring to. The verbal portion of the mind gets in the way and can have a less than helpful effect on shot making.

Lots of things will get it out of the way. Humming, singing or my preferred way -- just clear the mind of all talk.

Fran Crimi
10-03-2010, 09:57 AM
I can see how that is helpful, however, since the unconscious mind can only react by habit, you have to be secure in that what it has learned are good habits and not bad.

Players who have not yet broken bad habits or are still creating new good habits need conscious ques to present a visual image to remind them to perform a certain action until they can ingrain the habit. No?

JoeW
10-03-2010, 10:45 AM
Fran said, "I can see how that is helpful, however, since the unconscious mind can only react by habit, you have to be secure in that what it has learned are good habits and not bad."

I very much agree with one exception. The unconscious also "thinks" in its own way. Usually by what we call feelings. Ever meet someone and you immediately found that you did not like them? That is the unconscious figuring things out and not liking what it sees.

Ever construct a shot and feel like you can't quite get that position. You are going to do it anyway and you just "know" it isn't going to work out like you want. That is when we are not listening to the unconscious non-verbal thoughts. In general, the unconscious is protective, something like a guardian angel without words. It just kinda pokes you and says, "Hey, look at that. What do you want to do about it?" If it doesn't like our answer you get that feeling that this just ain't gonna work. That is why it is usually good to listen to your intuition when playing pool. The unconscious is better at figuring out what we can and can't do.


Fran said, "Players who have not yet broken bad habits or are still creating new good habits need conscious ques to present a visual image to remind them to perform a certain action until they can ingrain the habit. No?"

I agree and disagree. I agree that we need verbalization to tell, and remind, our unconscious about what we want to do. And this will take many repitions. However, as soon as it gets the message -- so to speak -- we should turn it over to visual imagery. In this way we are speaking in the lanerguage of the unconscious and the subconscious. Eventaully when it is well engrained we just want to get out of the way and let that side of the brain function. I think that this is why we figure out (plan) the shot while standing and then go into autopilot with imagery when we bend over.

It is difficult to explain to others what you are doing during play but when I describe it I would think that professional players like yourself can see some truth in what I am trying to verbalize. Of course I can't get it all "right" because I am not a Pro, but I would bet I am close, if we could actually get into the head of many pro players.

pooltchr
10-03-2010, 11:33 AM
Joe,
Just so you are clear, we generally suggest that our students use their mantra during <u>practice</u>.

Years ago, when I was in the military, I had to learn Morse Code. The class we learned it in was called "Shout" class. You would hear the sound of a character, everyone in the class would shout the character out loud, and hit the corresponding key on the keyboard at the same time. We did this for several weeks. After a time, hearing the sound triggered an automatic response where your fingers just hit the key without thinking.

Nobody was expected to continue shouting the characters after a time. But it was very effective to expedite the learning process. I took that class in 1972, and still know it to this day. But the 4 years I spent sitting in the ship's radio room, I never shouted out the characters as they came across the radio.

I don't have to "say" the words Set Pause and Finish any more. It was a tool that helped me to learn to do those things.

The words go away, but the motions will stay.

Steve

bradb
10-03-2010, 03:16 PM
Pooltchr, I don't actually say the words outloud... Its a mental thing. Although there are a few choice words that seem to arise when I slash at a shot I normally take for granted.

When I was in the military we were taught how to stand at attention on the parade ground for up to an hour without tiring. There's a way you can lock your knees then sort of let your body go completely at rest as if you were going to sleep, in fact once I almost did and it was a rude awakening. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/blush.gif

I use this same technique when I'm down in my 3 point stance over the cue. I let my body go to rest as if I was unplugged, and let the cue just lay in my hand. Its a good way to fight tension and focus only on moving your lower arm for the stroke.

Brad

cushioncrawler
10-03-2010, 04:48 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Here is one definition of AUM that RandyG would like. It is triune and as he "becomes the ball" when he shoots – or so I have read in his postings, it is appropriate. Nothing like a little help from the Pool Gods. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

AUM In "Advaita philosophy it is frequently used to represent three subsumed into one, a triune, a common theme in Hinduism. It implies that our current existence is mithyā and maya, "falsehood", that in order to know the full truth we must comprehend beyond the body and intellect the true nature of infinity. Essentially, upon moksha (mukti, samādhi) one is able not only to see or know existence for what it is, but to become it. When one gains true knowledge, there is no split between knower and known: one becomes knowledge/consciousness itself. In essence, Aum is the signifier of the ultimate truth that all is one."

A = Creation
U = Preservation
M = Liberation

Aum is the name of God

AUM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aum)
</div></div>Hiya Joe.
Us atheists are at a disadvantage here. But i shood add that the reference to Pool Gods shood hav read Pool gods. God iz the god of Christians (Jews say J*W*H i think -- dont say aktually)-- and Gods iz an impossibility. Funny thing -- every other god religion (i think) givs (gave) their gods a name. In the above case that might be Aum (but i dont think so, koz i think they had multi-gods, and surely each woznt given the same name).

Alltho i did read that the AUM chant(s) for Hindus duznt really mean god. In fact some Hindus are atheists.
So, praps us atheists are back in the game here -- if atheist-Hindus can chant AUM then so can we.
mac.

JoeW
10-03-2010, 08:17 PM
I was a Catholic until age 13. I was an atheist until age 25. Since then I have been agnostic. How can one know that God does not exist? I think that God is a concept that is not comprehensible by humans. Perhaps the Hindus and their well thought out AUM had it right but this would take much study with an open mind. See
Hindus and God (http://www.shaivam.org/hipgodco.htm)

The reasonable position is that one does not know although Pascal had his innings. This is the wrong place for this discussion so I will leave it at that.

Walt Whitman said, "I contradict myself. I am big enough to encompass contradiction." And I think that if there is a God he has a better sense of humor than we do.

BTW the Christians have no lock on the word God. It has been around for many years longer than Christianity. And perhaps you coulld read a little more in Hindu philosophy with regard to the multiple meanings of AUM.

For someone who has chosen his own way to use the English language you get kinda picky with the use of language /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/shocked.gif

cushioncrawler
10-04-2010, 02:17 AM
Joe -- Az u say, a god discussion belongs to the NPR side. Thanx for that link. I think that it haz bekum normal for allmost everyone to write God when talking about "someone else's god". And "someone else" themselves, when talking (writing) about their god or gods, prefer to write the god's aktual name. Thats why i jumped in when i saw "Pool Gods", alltho at the time i thort u were simply repeating what randyg's had written.

I quite like the term pool-gods -- i woz just meaning to hav an english arguement -- havnt had one for a while.

Hope u and mrsJoe are enjoying lovely Florida, alltho i suppoze summer woz too hot. Today i let my wood-heater in my billiards room go out for the first time since winter -- but i love the cold weather -- i aint looking forward to the bushfire season.
mac.

JoeW
10-04-2010, 09:16 AM
All is well in Florida. I live in Hawthorne Active Retirement Community near Leesburg FL where the slogan is "Have a great weekend every day" and we do. With over a 150 social groups, a pitch and putt in the back yard next to the river and a boat marina less than 100 yards away with access to four lakes, Kay and I are on permanent vacation.

And of course we have four Cold Crown IIIs in the billiard room where there is a daily tournament with 12 - 16 players everyday. Life could not be better.

My four year old granson has decided what he wants to be in life. When he grows up he wants to be like grandpa -- retired.

cushioncrawler
10-04-2010, 03:16 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jht1953</div><div class="ubbcode-body">A while back I too some lessons from an instructor who taught the SPF method. It really improved my game, not overnight mind you, but after several weeks to months doing the drills and playing while being aware of SPF, Well, for some reason my Finish wasn't consistent. Then I watched a tape by Don "The Preacher" Feeny and he said something about "pulling" your cue towards the target, so instead of mumbling Finish, I mumble "pull" I imagine my cue is 5 feet longer than it is, and I have to pull it through my bridge to the target and my stroke has really smoothed out, I was astonished that such a little change could make such a big difference.....give it a try, tell me what you think..Thanks to all</div></div>Some folks might go well uzing zero follow-throo. U stop the qtip az soon as it hits the qball. There iz probly decel just before hitting the qball. On a hardhit shot the qtip probly follows throo just a little.
mac.