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View Full Version : How much warmup do you need?



stickman
11-19-2002, 07:23 AM
Last night was the first really poor performance for me in a long time. I didn't beat myself up over it, even though I was disappointed. A friend rides to league with me. He was running late, so we got there right at match time. I like to get there early and shoot a few warmup games. I walked in the door, and got picked to play before I even got my coat off. I could barely string two balls together. Towards the end of the match, I began to start shooting, but it was too late. After my match, I went to another nearby table, and played some warmup games with another teamate that hadn't been picked yet. In short order, I was pounding him, even though he's a skill level higher than me. We played 3 or 4 games and he felt it was enough. I got some balls and went to a 9 footer to continue practicing by myself. I practiced for about an hour. My grip was loose, my stroke was fluid, and I was playing great.

My performance was poor only because I didn't get my usual 3 or 4 warmup games in. What does it take for you to warmup?

Rich R.
11-19-2002, 08:04 AM
I like a minimum of 30 minutes at the table, by myself, not playing games. I just roll the balls out and shoot, trying to get my stroke loose and smooth. When I miss, I usually reset the shot and do it again.

Wally_in_Cincy
11-19-2002, 08:05 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote stickman:</font><hr> I walked in the door, and got picked to play before I even got my coat off. <hr /></blockquote>

That's brutal. Even if I can't hit any balls I like to get a drink, say hi to everybody, visit the head etc. just to get mentally loose.

Warmup? I can hit 10 or 15 balls and be ready. Of course the more the better but that's a minimum.

Popcorn
11-19-2002, 09:10 AM
I don't think it is a good idea to warm up playing games. Just hit some makable balls get some muscle movement going and loosen up. If you play games you run the risk of not winning or playing bad and bringing that to your match. Warm up should be all positive, don't even shoot hard shots. I don't even try to run 9-ball racks. I just throw out the balls and start shooting balls in, in any order while moving the cue ball around a little. Other then some table speed, your not going learn anything in a ten minute warm up. It is just to loosen up. Don't pressure yourself at all in warm up. Make some easy shots, loosen up, relax and go play your match. Warm up must be positive, positive, positive. A bad warm up, can lose a match for you.

stickman
11-19-2002, 10:06 AM
That's excellent advice, Popcorn. I know because I have done it, and it improved my play. (positive attitude) In my league play, I haven't used that technique, but somehow it hasn't seemed to make any difference. I always warmup with my teamate that rides with me. He is a skill level higher, and actually a better shooter than me, most of the time. For some reason though, I have his number. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif My play goes up a notch when I play him, and I beat him often. The two of us are very competitive. I have a positive attitude playing him, because I know that I can beat him, and if I don't, I wasn't supposed to anyway. Mainly, it seems that I just have to hit some balls to get my grip loosened up and my stroke smooth. Familiarity with him makes it a no pressure situation. I do sometimes warmup by myself, and when I do, I do as you suggest, by starting out with ball in hand and shooting easy shots that I can't miss. This starts you out with a positive attitude. I feel guilty warming up by myself at league play, because there is usually very few tables to warmup on, and I know my teamates need to warmup also.

Scott Lee
11-19-2002, 02:11 PM
Jim...I know I am in the minority here, but I need NO warmup at all...! I believe this is related to the knowledge and feeling that goes along with being in control of your stroke (knowing what it is, and being able to 'call it up' immediately, on demand)! "Fix" your stroke, and your consistency raises in every facet of your game!

Any warmup I might do, would be related to learning how the table plays, rather than 'warming up' my stroke.

Scott

bluewolf
11-19-2002, 04:30 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> I don't think it is a good idea to warm up playing games. Just hit some makable balls get some muscle movement going and loosen up. If you play games you run the risk of not winning or playing bad and bringing that to your match. <hr /></blockquote>

I warm up first by breaking and potting the rack, paying particular attention to my fundamentals, the stroke, follow through, personal eye pattern etc. Then I play whatever 4's or 5's or 6's are available to play. I really enjoy playing up in sl and it helps me to gage my improvement from week to week.

blu

Tom_In_Cincy
11-19-2002, 06:39 PM
Stickman.. tough break.
Why didn't you tell your team captin that you needed some warmup time?

I usually like to hit balls, go thru my drills and check the speed and rails of the tables I am going to play on.. but if I am playing at my regular pool hall.. I don't need much or any of that at all..

I trust what I know, my stroke and experience on these tables. I have been playing there for 7 years. I have been warm'ed up for a long time. I can walk in the door, and even play with my coat on, and with a borrowed cue, if I have to..

Nothing wrong with getting some table time, before a match, if it makes you feel better.. but its good to know that you can start, "right out of the gate" if needed.

stickman
11-19-2002, 07:10 PM
I'm not there yet, Scott. Of course, I only play twice a week on league nights. If I played more often, it might not take so many balls for me to wake up my stroke memory. LOL /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

phil in sofla
11-19-2002, 07:12 PM
Need is a relative term. I've played well in league with absolutely no warmup when I've arrived late, when the matches are single games, not races, so with little chance to warmup during the match.

However, I FEEL best, most comfortable, if I don't shoot games, but shoot out an entire rack or a couple of them by myself, no game to it, just shooting straight pool style after an open break. Getting ALL the shots in even a single rack is a lot of repetitions of the stroke and pocketing confidence, equal to many games' worth of shooting. Doing it that way, 10 to 15 minutes is plenty for me to feel comfortable at the table.

League gives us 1/2 hour worth of practice time for between 5 to 8 guys, and that is usually no more than 2 games for any one person. That is a little less than I need to feel most comfortable for the match.

dddd
11-19-2002, 11:07 PM
i will shoot a few balls to feel the speed, the roll of the table and sometimes some rail shots to check the rails and squarness of the table.
i will shoot some more when i am going to smaller table, checking more things due to size difference
i will also shoot a few more shots when i am going to play one-pocket to check my q ball speed is right. the speed q speed here is critical to have.
i will play games with others before i have to play, i dont feel as though it does any thing bad to how i play. i just do the same things while we play the game between us.

Rod
11-20-2002, 12:32 AM
Since I don't play a lot I need about 1/2 hour. When I played leagues, which was on 7 footers, I practiced on 9 footers first. Most 7 footers are similar, besides we played on most of them already at some time.

Paul_Mon
11-20-2002, 06:30 AM
Scott,
Generally at the PH I frequent there is no time for warmup. You walk in and someone wants a game and you start right up. Fortunately, all the tables play the same in the VIP room (all GC's) and they play great. If I do walk in and nobody is available I'll practice long straight stop shots and full table banks at pocket speed using no english. After that I may practice long thin cuts along the rail using inside and outside english. Since I play 1P more than anything else I may practice spot shots and 2 rail banks. But I still feel I'm able to walk in cold and play my best game because I trust my stroke and abilities. Also, like you I play every day and that tends to make me more comfortable about starting cold

regards........Paul Mon

Popcorn
11-20-2002, 07:11 AM
If you can actually do this, more power to you. But playing tournaments and especially 9-ball. You have to be 100% right out of the box. Playing top players, you falter, and bang, you are down 6 to nothing before you know it. Gambling is one thing, it doesn't matter, you just play another set and raise the bet. The sudden death aspect of tournaments though, does not allow you the luxury of a bad set. However someone does it, they need a method for being on top of their game, their first shot of the first game, it's powerful and a real secret to winning tournaments matches. In the upcoming Derby Classic tournament, I think the format, is race to 7 single elimination. No slow starter can win that kind of tournament.

bluewolf
11-20-2002, 02:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> If you can actually do this, more power to you. But playing tournaments and especially 9-ball. You have to be 100% right out of the box. <hr /></blockquote>

popcorn,

having taken a lesson from scott lee, his stroke looks perfect and he has been doing it for so long it is automatic to him, i am sure. it does not surprise me to hear scott say this.

blu

Ludba
11-20-2002, 03:47 PM
I've found that I can usually warm up in under 10 shots. I'm normally at the pool hall at least 30 minutes before league/tournament. However, if I have a table to myself, I can shoot Bert Kinister's shot number 1 about four or five times, and I've got my stroke in place. I've played cold a few times, and I can get into stroke within the match, but it's difficult to feel comfortable with this when every shot counts.

As far as the lay of table goes, that only takes a few strokes, but when you have tables like ours that have serious roll problems (as in rolling a lot left in one corner and rolling a little right in another), I can miss "bad roll" spots, so thirty minutes playing definitely helps with the feel of the table and with getting mentally ready. However, I could probably gauge the table rolls more efficiently and effectively by just doing long, slow kicks to each corner pocket. That's just what I've found works well.

Popcorn
11-20-2002, 04:31 PM
I am sure he is a friend of yours, but if he is playing in a tournament and declines his turn to warm-up at the table before the match, he would be nuts. We have to deal in reality here not macho stuff. If you reread what I wrote you will find some very solid real world advice. You used the term "looks perfect" referring to his stroke. Let me tell you, if you go to a tournament and sit in the practice room. You may have a hard time telling many of the locals from the pros if you don't know who anybody is. Everybody looks good till you see them play head to head. Then you will see a vast difference in their skills. Like I said in the other post, you can make one error and all of a sudden be behind 6 to nothing. You have to be 100% however you manage to do it, your first shot at the table. Anyone that shows up, just takes off their coat and lags for the break, I assure does not win many matches. The prepared player wins. I don't honestly think he really meant it the way it sounded.

Voodoo Daddy
11-20-2002, 04:51 PM
I normally hit about 4 short rail banks, 2-3 long straight draw shots and I'm ready. I dont want waste good shots in practice...HAHAHAHAHA

SPetty
11-20-2002, 05:01 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Voodoo Daddy:</font><hr> I dont want waste good shots in practice...HAHAHAHAHA <hr /></blockquote>Hi Daddy,

You may laugh, but I think there's probably something to that! How many times have you (okay, maybe not you in particular...) made outstanding shots and great position during the warm up games, only to lose it later during play? Me? Oh, I'd have to admit that it's happened to me, oh, more than once... /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Tom_In_Cincy
11-20-2002, 05:15 PM
/ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gifFigures.. a one pocket player, in a 9 ball tournament, practicing banks and long draw shots..

The post was about <font color="red"> warmup </font color> needs.. not getting <font color="brown"> HOT!! </font color> right out of the gate..

Wouldn't it be something to see /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gifVoodoo Daddy /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif in an 8 ball league on bar tables?

/ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Voodoo Daddy
11-20-2002, 05:36 PM
You get your wish fella...Voodoo has been drafted to a BCA team in Miami. I know the end result is Las Vegas in May so beware, I'm bringin it "Old School". But first is L-ville, the true test of ones skill, stamina and ability to hang with Tom, the Tx crew and my 'lil bald corn-shucking brother C.C. /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif without going busted at the table or the bar /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif!!!

bigbro6060
11-20-2002, 06:09 PM
I can also play close to full bore straight off the bat

If there is time and resources, of course i will warmup, not playing games, just potting random balls

I find if i play warmup games, i either put too much mental effort into them and then leave less for the actual matches or i put no mental effort into them, end up playing rubbish and then doubting my ability

Scott Lee
11-20-2002, 06:29 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> Anyone that shows up, just takes off their coat and lags for the break, I assure does not win many matches. The prepared player wins. I don't honestly think he really meant it the way it sounded. <hr /></blockquote>

I meant it exactly as I said it. I also purposely said that I would be in the minority...maybe even the ONLY one! LOL That has never bothered me before!

As for the importance of the warmup...Ralph Greenleaf, on many occasions, showed up, lagged for the break, and ran out 125 points in straight pool routinely with no warmup whatsoever. So, it CAN be done. I do not disagree with your statement that most players require some kind of warmup. I happen to be one that does not!

Scott Lee

Scott Lee
11-20-2002, 06:33 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Paul_Mon:</font><hr> But I still feel I'm able to walk in cold and play my best game because I trust my stroke and abilities. Also, like you I play every day and that tends to make me more comfortable about starting cold

regards........Paul Mon <hr /></blockquote>

Paul...I think you hit the nail on the head. You must be able to TRUST your stroke implicitly. Playing every day certainly helps!

Scott

Popcorn
11-20-2002, 06:50 PM
I will take your word for it. But if I ever stake you, like it or not, your hitting some balls first.

bluewolf
11-21-2002, 06:25 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> I am sure he is a friend of yours, but if he is playing in a tournament and declines his turn to warm-up at the table before the match, he would be nuts. We have to deal in reality here not macho stuff. If you reread what I wrote you will find some very solid real world advice. You used the term "looks perfect" referring to his stroke. Let me tell you, if you go to a tournament and sit in the practice room. You may have a hard time telling many of the locals from the pros if you don't know who anybody is. Everybody looks good till you see them play head to head. Then you will see a vast difference in their skills. Like I said in the other post, you can make one error and all of a sudden be behind 6 to nothing. You have to be 100% however you manage to do it, your first shot at the table. Anyone that shows up, just takes off their coat and lags for the break, I assure does not win many matches. The prepared player wins. I don't honestly think he really meant it the way it sounded. <hr /></blockquote>

I read what scott put,if that is who you are referring too, and also have met him personally and have him on videotape from the lesson i took from him.that is about all i can say about that.

i, on the other hand, do need a little warm up to groove my stroke, and test out the speed of the cloth. while others said playing games before a match wasnt a good idea, it gets me excited about playing. but i am not too good,maybe that will change when i am better. who knows?

i did read everything,it gets filed somewhere in my brain and pulled out when i need it.when i get into tourament play, i will remember what you and others said about warming up.

blu

Wally_in_Cincy
11-21-2002, 08:07 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> I am sure he is a friend of yours, but if he is playing in a tournament and declines his turn to warm-up at the table before the match, he would be nuts. We have to deal in reality here not macho stuff. If you reread what I wrote you will find some very solid real world advice. You used the term "looks perfect" referring to his stroke. Let me tell you, if you go to a tournament and sit in the practice room. You may have a hard time telling many of the locals from the pros if you don't know who anybody is. Everybody looks good till you see them play head to head. Then you will see a vast difference in their skills. Like I said in the other post, you can make one error and all of a sudden be behind 6 to nothing. You have to be 100% however you manage to do it, your first shot at the table. Anyone that shows up, just takes off their coat and lags for the break, I assure does not win many matches. The prepared player wins. I don't honestly think he really meant it the way it sounded. <hr /></blockquote>

Howdy Popcorn,

Scott has probably hit about a million and a half balls in his life. That might have something to do with it /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif.

And he probably doesn't need a stakehorse. Just trying to help. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Popcorn
11-21-2002, 09:32 AM
You are right, he probably has hit a million balls, and so has the other guy. When you are dealing with top players, very little is required to separate them. I will still put my money on the prepared player. Scott may be in a minority of one on this. I have hung with some of the best players in the world and believe me the winners are prepared, it is no accident they play like they do. I was in Vegas when Earl won that televised tournament a few years back. It was the week following the BCA trade show and Earl stayed in town rather then leave and come back. We were at the poolroom every day and he practiced. Before the tournament, he said he was so prepared he guaranteed me he was going to win. Even a player like Earl with all his natural talent, when he is really prepared, becomes an even better version of himself. You don't win tournaments with an "Oh that's good enough attitude." Although that may be the attitude of 99.9% of players in general. Maybe it is laziness, or maybe they just don't know any better, who knows. This is not meant to be a debate with Scott, just an objective exchange of ideas. I have valid sources for my opinions and I doubt Scott takes any offense to anything I have said, even if he disagrees.

#### leonard
11-21-2002, 01:06 PM
Two true warm-up stories. Warming up for a tournament game and I didn't make two balls in a row and one my first shot I ran 115. I hadn't played pool in two years and the workers at the company I worked for went on strike. One fellow suggested that we go to the Albany Golden Cue. On my first shot I ran 94 balls and the fellow said to me I hate you, my whole life I have been trying to run just 50 balls and never have and you run 94 without having played for two years.####

Perk
11-22-2002, 06:19 AM
Wally...you a military veteran also? Just wondering...you referred the good ole "Jon" as a Head still... /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif