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View Full Version : What's Wrong With Your Game?



Fran Crimi
10-14-2011, 09:19 AM
In examining your game, what one problem keeps jumping up to bite you???

10-14-2011, 09:44 AM
I think I shoot much better than I really do, but my ego won't allow me to see that and holds me back from learning. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif


Eric

Icon of Sin
10-14-2011, 11:14 AM
Shot making consistency...

basically, dogging shots that I shouldnt be missing.

JJFSTAR
10-14-2011, 12:47 PM
Carelessness

Soflasnapper
10-14-2011, 01:59 PM
No fair asking for just one problem! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

If it has to be one, I'd say shot selection, by which I mean I try shots where I really should be looking to play safe or a two-way.

Coroner
10-14-2011, 02:08 PM
I jump up and miss shots when I'm trying for breakouts or if I have a small window for CB position. I want to follow the CB to see if I get position and miss the shot. Drives me crazy, and I can't seem to stop!

bluey2king
10-14-2011, 02:32 PM
I play slow. People tell me I am playing much better but it would be more fun to play me if I was playing faster.
Fran what do you suggest to help pick it up and keep my game. Or is like taking a step back to enable me to make strides in both my game and speed?
Thanks

dg-in-centralpa
10-14-2011, 02:45 PM
Focus or lack thereof.

Fran Crimi
10-14-2011, 03:09 PM
Thanks for the replies so far. I'll wait until after the weekend to post my reason for starting the thread in order to give others an opportunity to post their problems as well.

Fran Crimi
10-14-2011, 03:47 PM
You can start by giving yourself permission to make mistakes, then pick up your rhythm a bit and go ahead and make mistakes. You'll make some mistakes at first, but not nearly as much as you think. You may find that you're enjoying the game more as well.

Bambu
10-14-2011, 05:10 PM
My biggest problem right now has to do with choosing the proper contact point on an object ball. When dealing with throw on center ball hits, I still hit fat at times. I shoot the shot in the same spot I would for outside spin, too thick. With any distance involved, I get scared to shoot the half ball hits with center ball. Sometimes the contact throw bothers me more than using spin, maybe because I gave up straight pool too soon.

Sid_Vicious
10-14-2011, 05:25 PM
Finishing when it is right there, especially with a final, lengthy straight-in shot at hand. I know, I know, they say shoot it like any other shot. Well, it just ain't. Choking the easy ones should be past me after all this study and experience. That's my downfall today. sid

Rich R.
10-14-2011, 06:52 PM
Can I just say "all of the above" as well as everything to come?

Ok, I'll narrow it down to a few big problems.
1. Long, straight shots.
2. Break shots in 14-1. I routinely break the rack but miss the shot.
3. Combinations.

Fran Crimi
10-14-2011, 07:23 PM
Pick one, Rich.

Rich R.
10-15-2011, 04:54 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Fran Crimi</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Pick one, Rich. </div></div>
It seems to change day by day.
Today, I'll pick long straight shots.

Soflasnapper
10-15-2011, 07:43 PM
Upon further consideration, I'll change my answer to what is really my on-going issue.

Frequent inattention to, and therefore faulty, mechanics. Specifically, failure to hone my address properly, and often, failure to pause on the final backswing, trying to flow.

Brian in VA
10-16-2011, 08:13 PM
May I have not concentrating on execution every shot to the best of my ability?

Brian in VA

eg8r
10-17-2011, 08:32 PM
Concentration. I had mentioned to pooltchr before, I play maybe a total of about 20 games a year, spread sporadically around. I usually play lights out in the first game or so and then it goes downhill quickly. This weekend I played some friends and I broke and ran the first 2 tables. The next rack took me 5 innings to complete and neither of us played a single safety. I tend to just quit concentrating for no reason at all.

It is rare that I get much chance to play against any good opponents but on the rare chance I do the same thing happens. I shoot great (my version of great /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif ) in the beginning and then it goes down hill fast.

eg8r

Fran Crimi
10-18-2011, 08:53 AM
So far there are 12 responses stating one issue that jumps out. I'll add mine to the group: Mine is that I miss too many shots.

Let's be honest. How much work have we REALLY put into solving that one problem that we listed here? We get to the practice table and we think of 20 things that we need work on and we do a little of everything but we still haven't solved that one problem that we listed here.

So how about we get down to the business of fixing it once and for all?

I've decided that I'm going to be single-minded at the practice table until I improve my ball-pocketing by a couple of percentage points. I'm not going to worry about improving my speed control, or improving my break or improving my safety play. I'm going to work on one and only one problem.

Often times, a problem isn't fixable by doing just one thing, and often there is a trail and error process involved; so I am going to start a journal and log my practice sessions and what I did towards solving the problem. I will also have to test myself in competition to see how things are going and if my attempts at fixing it are holding up.

I think that if we stay single-minded, we can fix that one problem and then move on to the next. We can't try to fix them all at the same time. But we may find that in fixing one problem, we could be fixing others at the same time --- if that makes any sense to you.

What do you say... are you in or out?

We could check back here ask each other for advice if we get stalled.

OR....We could just keep doing what we're doing and have that problem keep jumping up to bite us.

dg-in-centralpa
10-18-2011, 12:46 PM
I'm in. Two weeks ago I had an easy runout in league 8 ball. I lost focus on my shot trying to make sure I had the right position on my next, that I forgot to make the ball I was shooting at. It was an easy simple run and I missed. Focus is my biggest problem right now.

Brian in VA
10-18-2011, 01:55 PM
I'm in! Let's meet back in a couple weeks to discuss results. Any breakthroughs between now and then, share them with the group, too!

Brian in VA

JJFSTAR
10-18-2011, 03:22 PM
I am in!!! I think that we might do ourselves a favor and “get organized”. I offer my services in this area; I am sure there are many of us that are experienced organizers but, do we need someone to make a regular post and be faithful to it?

This is a great idea and I think a little organization can do any group trying to accomplish anything a whole lot of good, what do you think? I have some ideas right away. If you all don’t think we need any organization or that it would be “corny” to do so just give me a little feedback.

Bambu
10-19-2011, 07:35 AM
Interesting about what Fran says about attacking one problem at a time. I usually try to focus on one, but still have a couple of others looming in the background. Dont know if I could be disciplined enough to concentrate on just one thing, but I'll try. Brings back memories of trying to shoot long distance draw shots when nobody was looking, in the back of the golden q.

Aside from using center ball for half ball contact, I'm also working on moving object balls around/dealing with clusters. Sounds sad, but I've been at this for probably 4 years now. It's my own fault though. I spent too many other years spinning around relentlessly, avoiding straight pool, and ducking to avoid clusters. I've gotten much better at it, just not where I want to be yet.

Fran Crimi
10-19-2011, 08:27 AM
Glad you're willing to give it a shot, Bambu. Maybe a break from practicing cluster shots will do you some good and then at some point you can focus on them again.

I believe that any problem in pool is fixable. We just have to finish what we start in terms of working on the fix.

How do we figure out the fix? Knowledge helps, but simple common sense is the key. Formulate an idea and give it a try. Then gauge the results. It's not any different from performing a scientific experiment.

My favorite word in pool is 'experiment' rather than 'consistency.' 'Experiment' is an action while 'consistency' is a result (loosely stated, of course).

Rich R.
10-20-2011, 05:03 AM
I'll give it a shot as soon as I get home from the Open.

Bambu
10-20-2011, 08:45 AM
Yesterday I felt good in a free stroking practice session. Didnt really keep track, but it seemed like I beat the 9 ball ghost using 75% center ball. I usually lose to the ghost unless I'm playing alot. Even then, I'm probably only 1 win outta 3. Lately though, I've been forcing myself to practice just to keep my ankle moving(broke it in february, and still limping).

Sid_Vicious
10-21-2011, 05:05 PM
I didn't finish any better, but the other guy finished less ;-) sid

Fran Crimi
10-25-2011, 02:22 PM
My first report back is very positive. I've been working on total commitment to each shot, even if I'm not sure of the outcome, and my pocketing has been siginificantly improving.

Anyone else?

Brian in VA
10-25-2011, 04:40 PM
During the CCB tournament on Friday, I was struggling through the first 3 rotations; had a single 5 ball runout and my confidence was shot. During the last 2 rotations I won 2 games and 3 games (sweep) to finish one game out of the playoff. What happened? I stopped focusing on winning and focused exclusively on making as perfect a stroke as possible on every shot. Started to split the wicket every time. It was dramatic.

Evidently, I need to have that tattooed on the inside of my eyelids. Or something. Perhaps self-hypnosis prior to the match is called for.

Brian in VA

Fran Crimi
10-25-2011, 06:42 PM
That's great, Brian! Just keep at it. That's what I'm working on too --- staying in the present.

Brian in VA
10-26-2011, 09:12 AM
Thanks Fran. It really is a simple game when I pull my head out of my butt. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

I wish I could get more practice but my road time is killing my game.

Brian in VA

Sid_Vicious
10-28-2011, 02:28 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Brian in VA</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Thanks Fran. It really is a simple game when I pull my head out of my butt. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

I wish I could get more practice but my road time is killing my game.

Brian in VA </div></div>

Billiards isn't a hard game. We make it that way for ourselves on "day2." sid

BlakeW
10-28-2011, 11:06 AM
Knowing I am going to miss a shot before I shoot, and not standing up and rethinking my plan.

Fran Crimi
10-28-2011, 11:33 AM
Go for it, Sid. I know you've been struggling with your end game for a long time. It's time to kick that monkey off your back once and for all. You've got things to do, places to go, people to see, matches to win....

Bambu
10-29-2011, 08:38 AM
Attempted a game of straight pool yesterday for the first time in years. Was pretty much a disaster, lost by over 50 balls in a race to 100. Then we played 9 ball, and suddenly my game returned. I barely won that, but could see the huge difference in my comfort zone. I walked out feeling doomed as a 9 baller forever, wondering how things might be now if 9 ball never came to town.

Fran Crimi
10-29-2011, 08:49 AM
Bambu, I imagine you mean that you played a 100 point game. Races aren't played in 14.1, regardless of what Dragon says. They just don't know any better.

I went through the same thing about a year ago when I started to play 14.1 after years of only playing 9 Ball. It was a disaster for months. Now I'm starting to feel comfortable but it took a long time. But I remember that first game. I was like...."What the heck...??"

Bambu
10-29-2011, 08:58 AM
Yeah thats true Fran. We never called straight pool a race, that just kinda slipped out. There goes that 9 ball in me blood, again!

JJFSTAR
10-31-2011, 09:02 AM
It’s 2 weeks later and here is my report. Given enough time to think about it; if you asked any good pool player what their biggest problem was and gave them a multiple choice and one of the choices was accuracy/shot making ability they would surely come up with that as their choice. I have been concentrating on this most of all over the last 2 weeks and have realized that I have several problems within the basic problem.

It looks something like this:
1. Accuracy
A: Eye pattern
a: Not looking at the smallest contact point, blinking, looking into space, too many toggles between the CB and the OB, taking too long to shoot the shot so you loose the focus point.
B: Form
b: Hiking, swizzling, lunging, jumping, chicken winging, elbow dropping (when hitting center-ball or below; I still think there is nothing wrong with a “piston-stroke” when using follow, feel free to disagree), legs straightening, head bobbing.

80-90% of the shots I miss I miss because of one or more of these problems, it is very rare that I just plain miss; this may seem “overly analytical” for something that happens is ¼ of a second; or it may seem too all encompassing, but it does help me to organize and attack the parts of the problem that lead to the basic problem. I have decided to devote the rest of 2011 and all of 2012 to accuracy, how are the rest of you doing?

Fran Crimi
11-01-2011, 04:26 PM
Sounds good, JJ. I've been working on eliminating mental distractions that make me miss, like thinking out of order. I'm seeing improvement in my ball pocketing as a result. So far so good....much more to do....

JJFSTAR
11-02-2011, 02:44 AM
Can you explain “thinking out of order” in high detail? It may seem basic to you but those nanoseconds count. 1st touch with “only accuracy” worked out well for me.

Fran Crimi
11-02-2011, 07:38 AM
Sorry in advance for the long post.

I've done extensive research on what playing in the zone is. I've studied many different sports, many sports psychology books, etc. I've managed to come up with a definition of playing in the zone that is probably a bit simplistic but I think it summarizes what's going on in the brain.

Playing in the zone means that your mind is functioning without distractions.

Although it has been proven that we can't trigger the zone on demand, we can create the environment in our brain that is conducive to zone play and often times it will trigger zone playing.

Contrary to what most people think, playing in the zone is not a totally unconscious thing. Actually, it's a smooth transitioning back and forth between conscious and unconscious thought.It's really an amazing thing the way our brain knows how to switch back and forth between the conscious and unconscious.

Thinking out of order disrupts this smooth process and creates a distracted environment in the brain.

Your order of thoughts may be slightly different than my order of thoughts. We create habits in the way that we do things. I'm not talking about merely making sure you made all of your decisions before getting down on the shot. I'm talking about the order in which you make those decisions.

What do you do when you approach the table after your opponent's inning? What do you look at first? What do you do next? In the zone environment, you will run through your list of options the same way each time you approach the table.

For example: When I'm playing 9 Ball, the first thing I do when I approach the table is to look for the 9 ball and see how it's situated. If I don't do this, at some point during my analysis process, or even worse, when I'm down on the shot, I may realize that I don't know where the 9 ball is. I've just distracted myself and decreased my possibility of success.

Now I have to stop the process and look for the 9 ball. Then I have to recover from the distraction. Sometimes that means starting over and sometimes not. But there will be some recovery process involved if I want to be able to continue and get back to where I was in my thought process.

dg-in-centralpa
11-02-2011, 12:43 PM
Reporting back- after 2 weeks of league play, I have found that the better my day goes at work, the better my focus. As my job has a lot of stress, I am a real estate broker with 2 problem settlements I am trying to get through, sometimes that affects my play at night. Although sometimes I can channel that anger and frustration into stronger focus, it doesn't always work.

Fran Crimi
11-02-2011, 05:21 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: dg-in-centralpa</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Reporting back- after 2 weeks of league play, I have found that the better my day goes at work, the better my focus. As my job has a lot of stress, I am a real estate broker with 2 problem settlements I am trying to get through, sometimes that affects my play at night. Although sometimes I can channel that anger and frustration into stronger focus, it doesn't always work. </div></div>

OK, so now you know. So the next question is: Is there a way to shut it all out so you can focus? The answer is YES!! Getting rid of that stress will not only be good for your pool game but for your health as well.

Here's a suggestion: Give yourself permission to let it all go for the evening rather than just channel it. Just allow yourself to have some good old fashioned fun. Let yourself laugh. Enjoy your friends.

You will not be signing any contracts on the pool table, nor will you be conducting any deals while you're waiting for your turn to shoot, so why not totally immerse yourself in your pool game? Yes, easier said than done but you absolutely can do it.

dg-in-centralpa
11-03-2011, 09:57 AM
Fran,
You're right about letting go of stress being good for my health. Actually I have completed deals while waiting for my next game. It's the nature of the beast.I will certainly try to allow myself to have more fun on those nights. My phone is off unless I absolutely need it on. Won't be easy but I will work at it.

Brian in VA
11-03-2011, 10:22 AM
Fran that's a great post! I recently attended a class on coaching by Alan Fine. He describes what you did as the "focus" part of excellent performance. (Goes along with faith, belief in one's skills, and fire, or desire to excel.) His book, You Already Know How to be Great, is a terrific read on the subject. I've suggested it to a number of people for self-coaching techniques and I'm using the method at work and in my personal life. It's quite amazing.

Thanks for your time on this subject!

Brian in VA

Sid_Vicious
11-03-2011, 11:43 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Fran Crimi</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: dg-in-centralpa</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Reporting back- after 2 weeks of league play, I have found that the better my day goes at work, the better my focus. As my job has a lot of stress, I am a real estate broker with 2 problem settlements I am trying to get through, sometimes that affects my play at night. Although sometimes I can channel that anger and frustration into stronger focus, it doesn't always work. </div></div>

OK, so now you know. So the next question is: Is there a way to shut it all out so you can focus? The answer is YES!! Getting rid of that stress will not only be good for your pool game but for your health as well.

Here's a suggestion: Give yourself permission to let it all go for the evening rather than just channel it. Just allow yourself to have some good old fashioned fun. Let yourself laugh. Enjoy your friends.

You will not be signing any contracts on the pool table, nor will you be conducting any deals while you're waiting for your turn to shoot, so why not totally immerse yourself in your pool game? Yes, easier said than done but you absolutely can do it.
</div></div>

Then it becomes an issue, at least with me, of having too much fun and losing focus. IMO, there are 2 "sides to this coin of stressless thinking" for some. I do understand your concept though. Daily stresses can be a real bummer to performance, and yet, there are times when a cluttered mind takes away the worry of losing a game cuz life has recently handed you a bunch of lemons, and success just develops from being in that vacuum of thoughts. We have quite the mental quagmire within our chosen sport of billiards. sid