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09-16-2002, 09:21 PM
OK, I am willing to admit it! I have mental problems when it comes to pool, specifically competing. Everything looks/works great in practice, or when I am playing a lesser skilled opponent, but match me against a better player and the wheels fall off--I can even screw up ball in hand with regularity.

I've read the books, watched the tapes, have a BCA instructor, and understand all about playing the table instead of the opponent, but none of that helps when I get to the table.

If you know someone really good that specializes in this type of problem, I would love to know who it is. It is obvious I cannot progress until I master this daemon.

Thanks for listening!

Tom_In_Cincy
09-16-2002, 09:32 PM
I wish I did.. I would be one of their first customers.

I preach a Pre-Shot routine.. the more complicated the better. I really believe it has helped me push all the distractions (score, opponent, people watching, level of opponent, my stupid thoughts) out of my head while competing. I just focus on the routine and it automatically pushes all the other garbage (well some of it anyway) out of my head, so I can concentrate on the shot..

If you incorporate this into your practice session.. mentally going step by step over what you want to do at the table, visualizing the results... and what ever happens ACCEPT the results... don't judge yourself except at the practice table, the routine will become a habit.. and you will know when you didn't follow it.. it usually results in a MISS

Chris Cass
09-16-2002, 11:46 PM
Hi Cuebald,

I know of two total in the whole country. Your in luck because they both post here.

#1 Voodoo Daddy from Fla.
#2 #### Leonard

Either order but all the same, they don't come cheap. I know both are worth their weight in gold. If you think about it for a minute. Cashing in two tournaments will about cover the price. That's well worth it to me.

Regards,

C.C.

09-17-2002, 12:38 AM
they say that masterbation cures all problems!!!

Doomsday Machine
09-17-2002, 12:51 AM
If you do too much of it it also causes you not to be able to spell words that are longer than eight letters !!! For example: masturbation

bluewolf
09-17-2002, 05:11 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: CueBald:</font><hr> OK, I am willing to admit it! I have mental problems when it comes to pool, specifically competing. Everything looks/works great in practice, or when I am playing a lesser skilled opponent, but match me against a better player and the wheels fall off--I can even screw up ball in hand with regularity.

I've read the books, watched the tapes, have a BCA instructor, and understand all about playing the table instead of the opponent, but none of that helps when I get to the table.

If you know someone really good that specializes in this type of problem, I would love to know who it is. It is obvious I cannot progress until I master this daemon.

Thanks for listening! <hr></blockquote>

You sound like you are very good at pool.From what I have been told,it is a common problem to be nervous at matches etc. You are not alone in this. I have been known to 'give'the match to a higher ranked player I could have beaten.I know during the play, I have these weird mental tapes playing in my head which can affect my play.I really believe(or do I?) I can beat these players but my mind is my own worst enemy.

I plan to start writing down these negative, self defeating thoughts after the match. Then I plan to try to reprogram my brain with positive competing thoughts.

The mind can play such tricks on us. I had this beautiful cue with a 13mm on it.My husband had told me it would be hard for me to english with it.I became convinced I couldnt play with it,even to the point that it was weighted wrong,ww said it was weighted wrong and i was planning to have it sanded down to get it weighted right.Then I had a lesson with scott lee. I told him all of this, he told me it was in my head. I picked it up and it was perfect and played perfect. It was indeed all in my head and if it werent for scott i would have ruined a perfectly good cue.

I can do the same thing in a game. I can get hung up on my handicap when playing a higher apa player. my mind says he is a 4 or 5 and you are supposed to lose to him,you can never run more than 4 balls,you might miss etc so just practice your defensive game.So,even if I have seen this four play before and know that when i play my best pool i might even be able to beat him, my brain defeats me.

I have looked at this cognitive,negative mental tape thing quite a bit over the years but am very glad you brought up this topic as it was an ahhah experience to me regarding the mental work i need to do also.

hope you get the mental help you need also.

thanks.

Laura

Doctor_D
09-17-2002, 05:46 AM
Good morning:

You might consider taking a "Public Speaking" course at a local college. Although not directly related, the prinicples and concepts of eachs share many common aspects.

Dr. D.

Amanda
09-17-2002, 06:10 AM
The nervousness is a pretty common thing from what I hear. Personally I go through it too, not as bad as I used to but it still happens especially when getting down to finals or semi finals in tournaments. One thing I found lately that helps me is Mozart of all things. When I am playing in a tournament I listen to Mozart before the tournament, during practice time and in between matches. Its actually helped a great deal. Now that may not help you but I am sure there is something that will, finding your switch so to speak. Another thing I've heard a few people around here talk about is a hypnotist, now when I first heard about it I laughed, but have since heard some very repsectable players talk about how its helped. One or two sessions and they say they noticed a big jump in tournament play. I was thinking about trying that one out too, I think they said its like $80 for a one hour session so its worth a shot.
Best of luck in finding what works for you.
Amanda

cheesemouse
09-17-2002, 07:26 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: CueBald:</font><hr> OK, I am willing to admit it! I have mental problems when it comes to pool, specifically competing. Everything looks/works great in practice, or when I am playing a lesser skilled opponent, but match me against a better player and the wheels fall off--I can even screw up ball in hand with regularity.

I've read the books, watched the tapes, have a BCA instructor, and understand all about playing the table instead of the opponent, but none of that helps when I get to the table.

If you know someone really good that specializes in this type of problem, I would love to know who it is. It is obvious I cannot progress until I master this daemon.

Thanks for listening! <hr></blockquote>
CueBald,
You may benefit from remembering that you are not alone your opponent has his own set of nerves even if he/she is the 'name' player. If nerves are a given then they must be a positive force to be used in the improvement of your play, don't worry about nerviousness use it as a positive tool. The key to beating a name player is to stay with them till the end game/match, they don't like that /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif Just keep putting yourself in those situations where you feel like your coming out of your skin, put a little smile on your face and take your best shot. Evenually you will keep it together and beat that name player and the rush of what just happened will become your new friend that you will want with you all the time. Once you trained your mind to enjoy this state of nerviousness your body will proform its task of running the balls. Once you break through this mental roadblock your level of play will be limited only by your desire to win.....Whew...that sounds like a bunch of pop psychology, don't it??? Oh, those moments of clarity and those strokes of genious.......WHOPPEEEEEEEEE....good times...

TomBrooklyn
09-17-2002, 08:15 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: CueBald:</font><hr>...match me against a better player and the wheels fall off.

If you know someone really good that specializes in this type of problem, I would love to know who it is. It is obvious I cannot progress until I master this daemon.<hr></blockquote>Cuebald, it is not a daemon or a demon. It is a Gremlin. Everybody has one and they can't be gotten rid of. However, they can be tamed.

An expert I recently became aware of is Richard D. Carson. He wrote a book you can get at Amazon.com called TAMING YOUR GREMLIN.
See it here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0060961023/qid=1032271249/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/102-7513883-7665712?v=glance

I just started reading it. Get it and if you don't like it I will personally give you your money back.

=TB

Kato
09-17-2002, 08:29 AM
Chris, you're right about Voodoo. If I dedicated myself to him and his way I'd probably be a pretty good player. Instead, I'm a putz/ccboard/images/icons/tongue.gif.

Kato

SPetty
09-17-2002, 08:36 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: TomBrooklyn:</font><hr> It is a Gremlin. Everybody has one and they can't be gotten rid of. However, they can be tamed.

An expert I recently became aware of is Richard D. Carson. He wrote a book you can get at Amazon.com called TAMING YOUR GREMLIN. <hr></blockquote>Hi Tom,

The review I just read from your link makes it sound an awful lot like the first part of The Monk's Point The Way. Shine the light on that little inner voice that keeps saying bad things...

Voodoo Daddy
09-17-2002, 01:05 PM
If you make it to the Open, all you gotta do is ask me...I'll try to help you. I noticed that you wrote at the end of your post; "Thanks for listening"...but can they HEAR you?

Rod
09-17-2002, 02:59 PM
Quote Amanda, Another thing I've heard a few people around here talk about is a hypnotist, now when I first heard about it I laughed, but have since heard some very repsectable players talk about how its helped. One or two sessions and they say they noticed a big jump in tournament play. I was thinking about trying that one out too, I think they said its like $80 for a one hour session so its worth a shot."

I'd never laugh at that idea. I have been through hypnosis for another area in my life. It may however be better to schedule more than one visit. Two reasons, the price may drop somewhat and you learn more about self hypnosis and how you think. The Dr that worked with me was trying to get me to a/or his level 3. I obtained that to a small degree on my own and it just seems like another world. You are completely aware of everything around you but remain calm and focused inside. That's how I view it anyway. When he hypnotized me I always thought I was there for 10 to 20 minutes tops but the first two times it was 1 1/2 hours.
Since then, about 5 years ago, I haven't used it and never even thought about it for pool. It's like anything else to a degree if you don't use it you loose it.

TomBrooklyn
09-17-2002, 05:25 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: SPetty:</font><hr> it sounds like the first part of The Monk's Point The Way. Shine the light on that little inner voice that keeps saying bad things...<hr></blockquote>Maybe it's something like that. I just started reading this book and I haven't read The Monk yet. So far it says you should just be aware of this gremlin that is often telling you things, many of which s/he just makes up.

"You can't..." is a common Gremlin tactic. You can't make this shot, you can't run out from here, you can't get better, you can't be a good athlete. And at the very point you begin to do battle with your gremlin is when s/he wins, because all s/he really wants is your attention. Then you get involved in this inner struggle instead of just observing what is happening, experiencing the freshness and enjoyment of the moment.

"You should", "you ought to", "you must", "you need" are other common gremlin themes. Some things you really do need to do, like you need to eat, but many of these things are just made up by the gremlin.

There's a lot more to it, with little tactics and strategies on how to become calm and notice the gremlin. Anyway, I just started with it, but it makes some sense to me already.

09-17-2002, 05:43 PM
Two words. Focus and Concentration. Because you are playing a better player there is a lot more anxiety and stress. The only way to combat this is to stay in the here and now. It's a well known fact that two thoughts can't occupy the same space at the same time. So you need to practice your ability to focus on nothing but the PROCESS. By concentrating on each situation as it unfolds and responding well, then the outcome will take care of itself.

Here's something that may help you. Intense concentration is exhausting. It takes a lot of energy to be that focused all the time especialy in a stressfull situation. I would suggest you begin by reolizing that you don't need to force yourself to be that focused for a solid hour or two. The game like many others is broken into chunks. Like a baseball game for instance is not a solid 3 hour grind. It's a couple hundred pitches. Each play or pitch can be seen as a completely new attention span. Your job is to learn to let your mind rest while encouraging posative images and afformations while in the chair so that your mind can then be ready to focus fully and specificaly on your next visit to the table. The resting of concentration is as important as the focusing of concentration.

Here's a few quick fixes that you might like to try out as well.

- Be aware that your emotional state may change during a match and prepare methods to bring you back into the present.

- Become aware of the signals that indicate when a change might occur. for example, after a win? loss? foul? heated exchange?

- Be more assertive when in the leed. If you win a game take the view that you should win again! This ensures an assertive and focused attidude.

- Never allow youself to become passive.

- Change your beliefs, believe you can win EVERY GAME.

That's my two cents. Hope some of this helps. Stretch

#### leonard
09-17-2002, 08:15 PM
Here is my Favorite move for improving I call it "Hitchhiking". Watch better players play and mentally copy their stroke, When they stroke, mentally you stroke. Your body really can't tell the difference. Sitting in the chair not paying attention doesn't do any good. The reason I know this works is because I played nearly 2 solid years with Joe Canton 1951 National Champ and I wasn't shooting and then I started mentally copying his stroke and all of a sudden I was running the balls. All the practice I was getting was racking/playing the 6 hours a night. ####

09-17-2002, 08:23 PM
I want to thank all of you so very much for your replies and advice. While I started the thread, I rather imagine that there are some pearls of wisdom here for many.

The kindnest and sensitivity of your replies really demonstrates the very best this board has to offer.

Chris Cass
09-17-2002, 11:24 PM
####,

I believe, YOU are a true champion. I wish you'd write a book. I wish I could tap into your knowledge of the game. That's what would bring me to the top, I'm sure. Till then I want you to know, I value every word you post. I know this has been very few lately. Thanks my friend for the reply, I feel honored.

Regards,

C.C.~~respects ####Leonard

09-18-2002, 09:49 AM
Stretch hear, and you got that right about ####!! And if Dick's reading this I MISS YOU TOO! "If i can drag my sorry a$$ down to the Libeary to book some time to lurk lol You can post more Dick!" LOLOLOLOL

PS Meeting you guys and girls down in Albany is still my all time Pool Highlight. As soon as i get straightened away (with Arnolds voice,"I'll be back"

#### leonard
09-18-2002, 03:50 PM
Stretch nice to see your posting. I think I have only played once since our meeting. This has been a tough year with mother-in-law and uncle both demanding much of my time. I hope everything straightens out Stretch. ####

Chris Cass
09-18-2002, 06:59 PM
Hi Stretch,

Long time no see. Hey buddy, I'm ready to go camping. LOL Ya got one of them outdoor pool tables? LOL

Regards,

C.C.~~bought a seperate sleeping bag for the South West.

09-22-2002, 11:39 AM
Thankyou Dick, and all my best wishes for you to find some time down there. Liesure time, that seems to be a valuable comodity these days. St

09-22-2002, 12:04 PM
Hi Chris, no outdoor tables. But you should have seen the beauty i found the other day. Was on a new delivery route down the south shore of Nova Scotia, pulled into this old gas station, the Garage Part wasn't used any more, they just pumped gas and had some convenience items at the counter. Anyways i look into the garage part and low and behold ther's this DROP DEAD GORGIOUSE 9x4.5 Antique. The wife was tending the store so she couldn't tell me much about it but I'll see the ol' man next week. Aparently it's over a 100 years old. Masive legs, and beatiful inlaid wooden desines all around the skirt. I took a few shots on it and even though the cloth is desperate old and the cushions could have used a nip and tuck it ran SWEET! She says he wants 8 grand for it (i think he's dreaming) but that's just a starting point lol. Could be something special though, i'll have to bring my camera with me get some pictures and get another appraisal. Hey, i like that idea! I'll get on to that and post the picture around here, tell me what you think. St