PDA

View Full Version : FOCUS



KalboKev
03-17-2011, 06:22 AM
EVERY SINGLE SHOT. That's what separates the good Am's from the Pro's. It's hard. I can't do it--I let my guard down at some of the most unexpected times. Cheating the pocket when you don't "really" need to, trying to get "perfect", natural shape is often times good enough, take what the table gives ya. That's why the Pro's are on TV.

Sid_Vicious
03-17-2011, 10:29 AM
"Cheating the pocket when you don't "really" need to, trying to get "perfect", natural shape is often times good enough, take what the table gives ya."

I know that that, has been a lot of my problem over time, but I'm getting some better. IMO, placing pressure on yourself with moderate wagers in gambling helps, instead of doing play-play, as long as you match up well enough, and the money isn't too much to bother you. I don't think that you learn much for focus by sparring with people for nothing. It is better to play for zone shape, yet it is hard to beat the cinch-shape with dead-in position on a key "finish ball." You just don't need to pinpoint every shot. sid

bradb
03-18-2011, 05:20 PM
When I'm on my game and everything is clicking I'm cheating pockets, going for the good shape and running racks. In my mind thats the way to play.

Then one day the ball suddenly defies me!... I'm still executing the same exact stroke but the ball starts rolling off and the pockets hangup. Then I wind up driving home thinking about how I lost a match I should have won and maybe I should change my game. After years of agonizing over these downers and losing sleep trying to figure it out, I've decided the best strategy is to wipe it clean from my mind and go back to playing until I hit my stride again.

An old timer told me once to not think about it, just play your game. I thought that was to simple to be any good, but I've learned that he was right. Brad

pooltchr
03-18-2011, 07:59 PM
It helps to recognize which game you brought to the table. None of us plays our best game every night. Most of us play our average game, which, by it's very nature, is somewhere between our best game and our worst game. When you know you are "on", you can go for shots where, if you are a little off, maybe a good defensive shot might be the better choice.

Steve

bradb
03-19-2011, 12:26 PM
I agree Steve, know your game and what you can do. When in a slump your confidence is down and you start to question whether you can still execute so you have to pull back a bit. The downside of course is its a bit like starting over. You feel like you have lost ground and have regressed back to being a lesser player. But in truth you have'nt, your just at the bottom end of your normal play.

The key is learning to put it behind you... Come back to the table as if it never happened. I am always impressed with the pro players who can do that. I think thats the most important thing we can learn from the top players in any competition.

cushioncrawler
03-19-2011, 03:27 PM
Most fights are won before the first blow. Probly the same with pool.
mac.

bradb
03-19-2011, 04:07 PM
Yep. You go in there with a lot of mental baggage, you might as well stand your cue in the corner and watch. BB

Soflasnapper
03-20-2011, 12:23 PM
This is true in my experience as well.

In pool school I learned a good pre-shot routine and exactly how to execute the final critical sighting prior to the actual stroke attempting the shot (and a method to have the same repeatable stroke on the shot attempt).

When I follow this, I play close to my best game. If I neglect any part of it, not so much.

So clearly, the key for me is following these steps I learned for every shot. BUT I CAN'T ALWAYS DO IT (yet).

Which is weird, since I want to always do it to get the far better results it yields.

However long it takes to make the shot/game decision, the actual execution period is very short, and STILL taking that quite short time to do what I should EVERY TIME escapes me every so often.

I take this to be a return to older bad habits, which are evidently hard to entirely eliminate, and a sign I need to really be mindful of my process to work the routines I know make all the difference.

pooltchr
03-20-2011, 12:35 PM
That is what your perfect practice time is all about. Working on the routines, check lists, and mechanics, so that when you are in competition, those are the natural habits.

Steve

bradb
03-21-2011, 02:47 PM
When you can execute your fundamentals without thinking about them and just stroke automatically, this game will start to become natural.

Practice, practice, practice.

wolfdancer
03-21-2011, 03:19 PM
"Practice, practice, practice."
I thought that only got you to Carnegie Hall?
As some sage once said....practice will take you from being a "C" player, to becoming an "B" player.....but it can't make you an "A" player, as that talent, or skill set, is inborn.

cushioncrawler
03-21-2011, 04:52 PM
I kall it praktis praktis praktis.
U guys call it practise.

But the dic sez sez that practice used to be practyse, allso practize.
I like practyse and practize -- but i will uze praktyse or praktize.
mac.

Soflasnapper
03-21-2011, 07:25 PM
Brad and Steve, yes, quite so.

I guess my problem is that I DO have the fundamentals down enough to play freely-- at times.

I've been overly mechanical particularly with aiming forever, and just recently, adding in the ghost ball concept which I always found silly in the past, I find my 'aiming' almost goes away, to just 'looking' at the object ball/ghost ball complex (with correct alignment).

This is so amazing to me, and freeing, that on occasion I rush the fundamentals of addressing the cue ball I learned.

I think I'm too enamored with playing in dead stroke, and trying to be fluid and quicker to achieve it. Which is probably backwards.

Soflasnapper
03-21-2011, 07:26 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: wolfdancer</div><div class="ubbcode-body">"Practice, practice, practice."
I thought that only got you to Carnegie Hall?
As some sage once said....practice will take you from being a "C" player, to becoming an "B" player.....but it can't make you an "A" player, as that talent, or skill set, is inborn. </div></div>

WHAAAAAT? Oh oh.

pooltchr
03-21-2011, 07:48 PM
Sofla
You can't chase Dead Stroke. You have to let it find you.
There are some things you can do to make that a little easier to happen, starting with consistent routines, triggers and switches, as well as fundamentals.
The problem is, it's almost impossible for a human to clear his mind, and get complete focus on only the shot in fron of them for any length of time. One thing we work on in pool school is learning when to clear your mind, how to clear your mind, and how long (about 10 to 12 seconds) you can maintain it at one time.
Training your hands, arms, and eyes is critical in pool, but so is training your mind. It's probably the most difficult thing to learn, but when you get it, life in the pool room gets really good!

Steve

wolfdancer
03-21-2011, 11:59 PM
I also remember reading that once you are aware at the conscious level that you are in dead stroke, that automatically takes you out of it. It was more complicated then that...dead stroke happening at the subconscious level, and the conscious level, ego? wants to be in control...super ego maybe? I didn't study Freud so it was Greek to me. I think when I play, my Id is in charge:
"Id is the set of uncoordinated instinctual trends"

bradb
03-22-2011, 12:31 PM
So true Wolf, its like Zen Buddhism, you will never master Zen unless you get close to it, but if you get close to it you will never master it.

Ps, who says you can never be an A player if you are not one. Mac, keep Praktizing! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Brad

cushioncrawler
03-22-2011, 03:55 PM
The best & quickest way of mastering something iz to write a book about it.
Write now i am righting a book on Snilliards, which iz mainly about potting, my weakness.
Talking about English billiards here, on a 12' table, ie 3 balls, a red a white and a yellow.

Praktis, Praktyse, Praktize kan take u only so far.
mac.

Nearly forgot. I am now uzing a 13.9oz cue, made in 1898, 11.3mm, i luv it.
It haz a big big bend. This bend haz fixed lots of my problems.
Funny thing -- i kan hold the bend to the left or to the write, both are ok.
mac.

bradb
03-22-2011, 05:02 PM
Yes, I will never be an A player, I can practice on the piano for the rest of my life and I'll never play like Van Cliburn.

Where did you find an antique cue, is it a breakdown?

What is Snilliards? Brad

cushioncrawler
03-22-2011, 07:58 PM
Snilliards iz a derogatory name given to the style of billiards often played by snooker players. They simply pot and pot and pot, often ignoring cannons and inoffs, untill they get to 15 hazards (ie pots) at which time the rules say they need a cannon if they want to continue.

I hav got two Alcock 1898 cues. They are one piece, 11.3mm, ash shaft, ebony hand spliced butt, 13.9oz and 15.75oz.
Hell, one haznt even got a ferrule. The other haz a fibre ferrule (bakelite??), added later.
They are probly worth $800 each. And would be worth about $100 if i were silly enuff to add a joint (which one guy i know did).

A piano iz like a cue. Ivory, ebony, and wood. Probly some leather in there too.
mac.

bradb
03-23-2011, 10:44 AM
I looked up Alcock and its certainly a famous name associated mostly to Australia and the worlds finest tables. Seems there are lots of antique Alcock tables still being played on but the cues are very rare. There were'nt to many 2 piece cues around back then as they would probably be custom or home made.

13.9oz. is really light, i am thinking maybe it may have been a women's cue but I'm not sure if women even played snooker, it was usually relegated to mens clubs. Some of the snooker old timers here tell me the cues back then were very light and much shorter than cues today which seems strange for play on such large tables.

The original ferrule could have been ivory which would'nt have held up that long.

I've looked around for antique cues here but its hard to find any as old as yours, people just didn't save them.

Interesting that the bend works both ways.

cushioncrawler
03-23-2011, 03:42 PM
Unlike usofa English cues (the Alcock would hav been made in England) didnt hav ferrules untill i think say 1925.
I hav an older Peall cue too and it duznt hav a ferrule neither.
Willie Smith woz the first English pro to hav a ferrule, and this woz really just a thin brass band that woz shrunk onto the outside of the wood.
I often take ferrules off my new cues. I just uze a fibre backed leather tip (Triumph), like they did in the oldendays.

That 13.9oz Alcock would hav been 15oz when new -- they dry out lots.

The bend works both ways, but one way it givs pure skrew, the other way it givs even more (nonwanted) sidespin.
I am in love with my Alcock(s).
mac.

cushioncrawler
03-23-2011, 03:49 PM
And the Alcock cues go with my Alcock 12' table, a Duke, made in about 1870, best Duke i hav ever seen.
http://www.keepandshare.com/photo/353302/mac-s-billiard-room?fv=y&ifr=&vo=lt

JoeW
03-24-2011, 06:44 AM
My thinking about focus and concentration is changing. I now think that once you have a reliable pre-shot routine it is really all about what you do with concentration and vision.

There is a need for a pre-shot visual routine that becomes just as implanted as the pre-shot physical routine. Ever notice that it is when you are on the most important ball that you tend to look up to see the ball go in the pocket for the win? This is when the visual shot routine breaks down.

I haven’t developed one yet but I see a need for a visual concentration visualization routine that absolutely freezes until the OB has been struck on every shot.

It is some thing we all know about (keep your head down) but it is, I suspect, among the first thing to go when we get “emotional.” And can’t miss or want to win or whatever.

My stoke can be, as good as it gets, and then I miss that crucial easy shot because I picked up my eyes, and my stroke goes to hell.

pooltchr
03-24-2011, 08:08 AM
Personal Eye Patterns....the second most important workshop we teach in pool school!

Steve

BCA Master Instr
03-24-2011, 08:33 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: pooltchr</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Personal Eye Patterns....the second most important workshop we teach in pool school!

Steve </div></div>

And the first might be..............Mantra.

Hi Steve.
randyg

pooltchr
03-24-2011, 08:42 AM
SPF!

Hope you are well, Randy. I'm hoping things work out later this year for me to get out to Dallas for my upgrade class to Master.

Steve

Scott Lee
03-26-2011, 09:08 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: bradb</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> There were'nt to many 2 piece cues around back then as they would probably be custom or home made. </div></div>

bradb...You're a bit mistaken here. There were several companies that produced both one and two piece cues, in the 1800's. Check the Billiards Encyclopedia (Rubin). It shows an 1860's catalog from a German company (B. Finck) with over 100 different models...lots of them two-piece cues. So they were available, if you knew where to look.

Scott Lee

bradb
03-27-2011, 11:10 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Scott Lee</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: bradb</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> There were'nt to many 2 piece cues around back then as they would probably be custom or home made. </div></div>

bradb...You're a bit mistaken here. There were several companies that produced both one and two piece cues, in the 1800's. Check the Billiards Encyclopedia (Rubin). It shows an 1860's catalog from a German company (B. Finck) with over 100 different models...lots of them two-piece cues. So they were available, if you knew where to look.

Scott Lee
</div></div>

I meant that they were'nt all that available as one piece cues were. But you are correct in that you could order them and that they were factory made.

bluey2king
04-19-2011, 10:00 AM
I find my BEST pool comes out when I get a good rythem going and not dwelling on each shot. Yes I do my pre-shot routine but I can feel my pace pick up and I know sooner what I want to do, be it a safety or go for it shot.
Would this be called Focus? Because I think of Focus as my eyes buring a hole in the spot I want to hit on the OB. ??

pooltchr
04-19-2011, 10:19 AM
Focus is all mental. What your eyes are doing may be a result of focus.

Steve

wolfdancer
04-20-2011, 04:19 PM
I had a great golf VHS tape on that very subject... "Nice Shot"
Some running contest between the id, ego, and super ego to take control (and credit) for your game.
Another golf tape that transposes itself well to pool is
Fred Shoemaker's "Extraordinary Golf: The Art of The Possible"
Both tapes have at their core, visualizing positive results for each shot, and letting go of the negative thoughts.e.g. " If I miss this shot, I'll lose the game/match"

JohnnyD
04-21-2011, 01:45 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: pooltchr</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Focus is all mental. What your eyes are doing may be a result of focus.

Steve </div></div>Sir your always there to help everyone.Thank you from all of us on the forum.

KalboKev
04-21-2011, 07:54 AM
It's funny, Focus is VERY important, gotta concentrate on your objective. On the flip side, "sharking" someone and taking them out of their "rhythm" can be very advantageous as well, ask Earl. ;-) Not that I've ever done it.