View Full Version : Hypothesis; natural talent
09-08-2011, 09:07 AM
Unfortunately I have very little. The longer I play this game the more inclined I am to believe that most of ones ability to play the game well comes from their “natural ability”. I wish that it was just a matter of scientific study, strategic understanding and practice. But the longer I play the more I have come to believe that this is less than half the battle. I am still improving. I still drill regularly, I still study training videos as they come out, I have lots of people that I am teaching the game to, I still video tape myself and look for flaws in my game and I am a member of 2 teams.
Don’t get me wrong I have played great pool before. In fact there are only a handful in the area that can beat my “A” game, I know them all and they beat the crap out of me. Certainly all the articles I have read about the mental game have helped me; especially the ones from Dave Sapolis and Dr. Joe Waldron as well as membership of this site. I just suppose that I am a little disheartened by the fact that with all the work I do I still am not at the top locally. Improvement is now at a snails pace. But the thing that gets to me sometimes is that I don’t ignore my weaknesses I take them on, head on and have for years yet I have never run 50 balls in strait pool nor have I never run more than 3 consecutive racks of 8 or 9ball in my life. Even back to back runs in 8ball are rare.
I am coming to believe that there really isn’t anything more I can do other than maybe shoot pool all the time like 4 or 5 hours a day or take some professional pool lessons, I have neither the time or money to do that for any length of time. The simple fact is that “I aint got it” and probably never will. I guess I will just keep working on my game. I will just drill, study, teach, tape myself and compete… repeat. And hope my “A” game shows up at the next match. When that happens it is more exciting than freefall in skydiving. I just wish it would happen more often.
09-08-2011, 06:47 PM
Why don't you post a link to your shooting and let us have at it?
09-09-2011, 10:11 AM
I agree natural talent goes a long way. But all that really means to me is, some players need to work harder than others. You don't need a pretty stroke to run a rack. If you have the time and the drive, solid fundamentals can do wonders.
You also might be playing too tight. It's tough to let your natural stroke out when you try too hard. Might want to try mixing in some free stroking with your drill routine. Forget about the run out when you practice, don't play to avoid spin. Don't worry about position so much. Let your guard down. Welcome the harder shots which let you air your stroke out. Works for me when I get into a rut.
09-09-2011, 11:26 AM
Well Fran attempt #1 didn’t go so well YouTube won’t let me upload a vid that is any more than 15min mine are all 20-25min; at least the recent ones and those are the only ones worth the time. I will have to do some shooting of me shooting in short 1 game stuff. I will do that the next time I am due to shoot myself. That’s a good suggestion and I will get to that soon.
Bambu; thanks but in all honesty I really do know all of that and do all that from time to time. Funny you should mention that because the 2 games I won in the match I did shoot from the hip, fast and loose so I do know exactly what you mean but that really doesn’t bring out my “A” game. Sometimes it gets me out of a ditch but it doesn’t ever get me “on”.
I have come to the opinion, after several years of watching the pros that the critical element in the top professionals is the ability to fiercely concentrate on every shot. This special form of concentration takes years to refine.
Watching the pros I see what appears to be an ability to quickly and easily block out all distractions. It would appear that there is an intensity that is simply beyond what most of us have trained ourselves to have.
My bet is that if you allowed yourself to fully concentrate on every single shot for an hour or so you might surprise yourself with the number of balls that you can run.
While many people discuss the idea that you have to hit a million balls I think that it is more a matter of training oneself in the “right” way and the pros have stumbled upon the ways in which to capitalize on their abilities. It does not take as long to become a jet pilot as it does to be a professional pool player because the jet pilots are trained by people who know how to teach them.
Teaching oneself the habit of intense concentration and then to relax between shots (to conserve energy) is not easy nor do most people do it.
09-09-2011, 12:02 PM
Joe yes I know. Complete immersion into nothing but task oriented issues has been my focus for a few of years now it has done wonders for my game. I completely understand the level of focus you are talking about and when I do blow shots or position that one brief instant of distraction is quite often the culprit. That is one of the many elements of “natural talent” that I am talking about. Think how much of a disadvantage people who are plagued by attention disorders are faced with.
09-09-2011, 08:39 PM
I think the biggest limitation we put on ourselves when we're playing is when we pass negative judgement on ourselves. Ever notice that when you're having fun playing, you're not judging yourself like that? I think that's when we give ourselves the greatest opportunity to play well.
As soon as we start chastising ourselves for something or another during a match, we immediately turn the situation into something negative. It's really hard to produce good stuff when we're in a negative frame of mind.
I gave actor Ron Silver several lessons, and I once asked him if he ever had days in front of the camera when he just didn't feel right and how did he handle that? He said he didn't try to fight it. Everyone has bad days, so he just accepted it and went with the flow. Eventually, he said that things often turned around as long as he didn't try to fight it or be negative.
I think the top players are experts at recovering from their mistakes and aren't so harsh on themselves.
09-11-2011, 07:18 PM
Yes I agree and I try to remain CALIS as Dave Sapolis suggests.
C; Confidence in your ability
L; Let go of your mistakes
I; Immersion into the task
S; Stay in control
He also says in the same article that “negativity is nothing but bad; if your attitude is positive then your chances of winning increase ALWAYS!”
Yes this is way easier said than done the thing is that I have studied this and for the most part I am successful at it but like anything it requires constant work and I accept that. What gets me down sometimes and this is after the match usually is that I sometimes get beaten by people who don’t know this and don’t work on this stuff. It just sometimes gets me down and yes I know that feeling can only have the effect of poorer performance the next match. Onward and upward I will continue to work and I think I will try and do some filming real soon.
09-12-2011, 10:38 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JJFSTAR</div><div class="ubbcode-body">YouTube won’t let me upload a vid that is any more than 15min mine are all 20-25min; at least the recent ones and those are the only ones worth the time. I will have to do some shooting of me shooting in short 1 game stuff. </div></div>
If you have any editing software (even "movie maker", which is free in most versions of windows), try just cutting out all the dead time between shots. I've done this many times when making videos of myself and others playing.
You can remove all the walking around the table, head-scratching, etc, and turn most 30-second shots into 5- or 10-second shots. I find that it vastly shortens the clips without losing any of the meaning. Actually makes most matches much easier to watch.
Sometimes I will selectively leave something in, such as a player using a particular technique for lining up a bank or kick, when cutting it out would actually detract from the information. But it's usually simple to shorten most matches to about 1/3 of their original length without losing anything that matters.
Here's an extreme example, where one shot literally fades into the next because I was trying to synchronize with a music soundtrack: http://vimeo.com/24835577
Anyway, a light application of this technique should allow you to get your matches on YouTube.
09-13-2011, 07:02 AM
To play good, you have to play a lot, and I'm talking about pool being a 1st lifestyle. Relationships kick success's butt, the job, the partying around the table...I don't care what anyone says, you can not practice "your game" above your born talent level, in anything. Talent is where it's at, and then you must dedicate to playing pool every chance you get, 10-20 hours a day if you can, to ever get to an above average level you seek after all these tutorials, books, videos, and expensive pool lessons. Advice from other players and discussion sites like this one helps a lot, but not everybody has a valid point about anything, me included. You have to listen selectively.
If there's anything special about hypnosis and mental strength in this game we play...you anneal those parts by playing a stupid amount of pool, and I am talking about tons and tons of hours. IMO, players should instead maybe take a class in personal reality. Playing for money will suffice for that. If you find after a while that you can't match well with someone, and end a day's session of maybe 4-6-8 hours of continuous money pool and not get stuck, then accept your spot in "pool life." You just ain't getting any better than you are now. You are at your talent limit, and the best you can do is have the zone once in a while, then lose to ball bangers next outing.
The one thing you can do as a limited talented pool player is play smarter. Beyond that, the basics of how you actually stroke a ball consistently, and get out, is all talent, with it's limit. sid
09-13-2011, 11:49 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JJFSTAR</div><div class="ubbcode-body">In fact there are only a handful in the area that can beat my “A” game, I know them all and they beat the crap out of me. Certainly all the articles I have read about the mental game have helped me; especially the ones from Dave Sapolis and Dr. Joe Waldron as well as membership of this site. I just suppose that I am a little disheartened by the fact that with all the work I do I still am not at the top locally. Improvement is now at a snails pace. But the thing that gets to me sometimes is that I don’t ignore my weaknesses I take them on, head on and have for years yet I have never run 50 balls in strait pool nor have I never run more than 3 consecutive racks of 8 or 9ball in my life. Even back to back runs in 8ball are rare.
I am a little bit puzzled by your situation.
It sounds as if you and I are at a similar point regarding pool skills. I've never run 50 balls in straight pool either - I just couldn't get into that game, and my high run was somewhere in the 30s. I do frequently run two "regular" games in a row, sometimes three, and have run four, but that's my best. If someone misses on an open table, I will usually run it out. When I played APA, I averaged almost exactly one inning per win.
We both compete in densely-populated metro areas, but your "A" game apparently puts you near the top of the heap in Philly, and mine (probably similar to yours) doesn't come close in Dallas. There may be hundreds of players in a 10- or 20-mile radius that could be considered better than me.
Even within my Thursday-night BCA league, I was only ranked somewhere in the middle of the pack among 80 or so "serious recreational" players.
I've wondered about this before. I have friends in other areas who talk about playing $100 sets all night long in their local rooms, yet these guys play about like me. I get asked to play $100 sets now and then, but $100 players around here are way out of my league - they eat/sleep/breathe pool, and they seldom miss.
I like playing weekly "bar" tournaments, and often drive around the area checking out new ones I've heard about. While there are plenty of drunks and bangers, these little $5-entry tournaments will sometimes feature one or two shortstops with skills that amaze.
So I'm wondering, what the heck is the difference ... is Dallas really such a stronger market than Philadelphia, as far as average pool skills are concerned? Has anyone on here spent significant time immersed in the pool culture of both areas?
09-13-2011, 03:21 PM
Lee claims to have "practiced" 16 hours a day to get to her level. But I still think that natural ability and talent play a huge part in how well a person performs.
Before you give up you might try taking a few lessons. It might move you out of the plateau you are at.
09-13-2011, 03:48 PM
Sounds like you are better than I by about a half to a full handicap. As I said back to backs are rare. Never have B&R 4 of anything. And thanks again for pointing me to MOVIE MAKER. I value your input on my vids. I hope you can give me some useful hints.
I find 15 ball rotation has helped my game a lot. A friend and I play here in Florida. We play to 50 points, and score one point for each called shot. ball in hand on a scratch or foul but no other penalty (ball in hand is enough). Balls pocketed on a scratch are spotted.
The reason I have come to like 15 ball rotation so much is because it makes you do everything, lots of defense, kicks, banks, combinations are part of nearly every game. The fellow I play with and I have found that with 10 -12 balls on the table and no two balls touching you simply can't give the other guy a shot or he is like to run out or score high for the rack.
Because there is such variety to the required shot making and positional play it will certainly take your game up a notch or two.
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