View Full Version : newbie on here saying hello and needin some advice
I just wanted to post a message up here, as I am new to the board, and say hi to everyone in here, I've read these boards for a little while and finally descided to post.
I need a little advice too though. I have found that I almost always play my best against a tough opponent (the step up or sit down philosophy I guess), but what I am wondering is if there is anything anyone can suggest about playing a weaker opponent. The other night I lost in a tourny to a kid I've known for a long time, and who I should not have even been on the table with me (granted sometimes they just don't fall too). All too often I find that I lose (or just don't play up to par) against a weaker player. How can I overcome this?
You ought to get alot of replies to this. Search archives for mental preparation. There has been alot of good suggestions/methods that help keep your game at its peak or instroke. It sounds like you are getting to the point of realizing the mental side of things.
For me, I use a similiar technique to making free throws in basketball....I mentally say cues to myself...."Breathe", "Relax", and most importantly "Focus"! The first two get me into a calm down relaxed mode, and the focus is what allows me to concentrate on the shot.
For it is the shot that you are playing, not the level of your opponent that is important! If ya prepare at each shot the same, it wont matter. Just my thoughts.
12-02-2002, 02:53 PM
Hi, cmac! Welcome to the board.
I have the same problem at times. In fact, I think this is pretty common. This is what happens when we take a game for granted. An example of this is a league match that I played against a SL2. She started out by running 8 balls on me, and had me on the defensive. By the time I got started, it was too late. I had started out thinking this would be an easy match.
The next time I played her, I was in a different mindset. I was determined not to let her to the table. If she couldn't get to the table, she could do me no harm. I killed her this time.
So to answer your question, I think it is mostly mental preparation. Don't ever take a game for granted, and start each match with the idea that you will have to play your very best, or loose.
If you play your best and the other person wins, they deserve credit for out playing you. Don't ever insult the other player by saying things like "I wasn't playing very good" or any other number of excuses. Keep in mind that your best won't be the same everyday, and don't get down on yourself if you don't play your best game everytime you play. Have realistic expectations of yourself. This helps you maintain the positive attitude that is necessary for consistant good play.
I would a=have agree here. Even though I go to the table with the same focus as I would against a higher level player, I tend to let the focus slip after a little while. Sometimes it takes a few games other times it only takes a few shots. I also have noticed that I do this when I have better player on the ropes, I tend to relax a little more and more often then not end up allowing them back into the match. Although I think you have made the first steps to fixing the problem by acknowledging there is a problem.
Still working hard to get the mental game in check.
phil in sofla
12-03-2002, 11:38 PM
A good local semi-pro told me once the key to pool is to treat EVERY shot as if it were the most important one.
In pool, almost any shot is missable, with the typical contact point allowance no thicker than a penny's height. For consistent results, you cannot take a mental vacation on the first shot of an open broke rack, or on a straight in last ball, or anywhere in between.
If you don't miss, you'll rarely be beaten. (The guy I mentioned told me when he was really practicing, he once went a couple weeks without missing a single ball. Sounds completely impossible, but maybe not.)
Obviously, to get to that point, you have to really bear down at all times, and overcome any tendency to play even one loose shot. Is that strict? Yes. But something like that kind of single-minded focus is necessary, or you'll lose to players well below you.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote cmac:</font><hr> I just wanted to post a message up here, as I am new to the board, and say hi to everyone in here, I've read these boards for a little while and finally descided to post.
I need a little advice too though. I have found that I almost always play my best against a tough opponent (the step up or sit down philosophy I guess), but what I am wondering is if there is anything anyone can suggest about playing a weaker opponent. The other night I lost in a tourny to a kid I've known for a long time, and who I should not have even been on the table with me (granted sometimes they just don't fall too). All too often I find that I lose (or just don't play up to par) against a weaker player. How can I overcome this? <hr /></blockquote>
figger that'n out and you win the prize. or lots of them. we all struggle with that. when we aren't struggling with about 50,000 other things.
12-04-2002, 12:45 AM
First, I'd like to welcome you to the board. Now, for my opinion of your post.
Who, ever said this game was fun? It's not! You'll lose more times, than you win. This game is work. I used to say when I was working, "I'd shoot better if, I just shot pool." Well, it's not as easy as that. You must practice and play diligently. This game isn't easy. To make it look easy, it takes hard work. You must sacrafice time. You have to pay the price to get anywhere.
The stroke is the only thing that matters. Get the stroke smooth and straight and you will win. It's not about making balls. That will come in time. It's about a consistant stroke and execution. You want to beat the kid you should win against? Go to work. Drill, get your stroke smooth and feel confident in your ability to shoot straight and smooth.
It's not whether you should have won or not. It's about whether your willing to work, to win. Do you want to win? Are you willing to set goals and take that win? I roasted a guy the other day giving up the 7 out, in a race to 7 9ball. I beat him 7-2. He got upset and acted stupid. I felt sorry for him and asked, "How much do you play?" he told me 3 days a week. Then, asked him if he drilled? Does he kept records of the things that need work? Is he matching up, mostly? He told me he practices mostly by throwing out balls and shooting them.
Now, there's nothing wrong with this accept, there isn't any pressure to keep your focus maintained. What is the meaning of it? This is purpose without direction. That isn't work, that's repitition. This works over time but time is everything to a pool player. I see talent at a young age and everyone says, yaa give him time and he'll get serious. There is no time about it. The time is now.
Now, he's a "B" player with potential. He's smart and has a nice stroke. He can make balls and I can't leave him a thing or he's out. The problem is, he has no goals. He has no direction. He has worked at the game to get to the level he's at now, but got lazy. Why would he get mad? It's his own fault. You simply can't get depressed or angry if it's not justified. Did he think this game should be served on a platter?
I know I can't leave him anything. I work hard on learning the table, my stroke and cb control. This is why I know I can give him the 6 out but I too like to be lazy and just gave him the 7 out.
It's all about being lazy. If I was working now? I'd spend my 2 days off drilling in the areas I need to improve. Keep records and small obtainable goals. Work on a smooth stroke and not expect more from the game, that I've put into it. Some might find this post offensive and a general statement but you should, realize that nothing is ever free. If your not happy with your game then, you have to work. If it's the mental side then, I say work on the mental side. The better player doesn't always win in the tourneys. You may have underestimated him or got lazy? You know why, I'm sure.
Please, I mean no disrespect but I here it all the time and it's a shame. It's about respect for the game. When, I lose I feel like dog poop. That fires me up and I get to work. I will lose but a lot less than I used to. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
12-04-2002, 12:58 AM
I write a freaken book and you get it all in two lines. HAHAHAHA
12-04-2002, 04:50 AM
Hey, ya know ... right after you lost that match, he told 10 other players that he just beat 'cmac'. Next time he'll tell 20 players. The time after that he won't have to tell anybody, they will already know it before the match starts.
Play the table, forget about your opponent.
12-04-2002, 12:12 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chris Cass:</font><hr> The stroke is the only thing that matters. Get the stroke smooth and straight and you will win. It's not about making balls. That will come in time. It's about a consistant stroke and execution. You want to beat the kid you should win against? Go to work. Drill, get your stroke smooth and feel confident in your ability to shoot straight and smooth.
C.C.~~ /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif <hr /></blockquote>
cmac...Welcome! Take THIS advice to heart (coming from a professional instructor)! Chris has hit the nail on the head. First, you need to be certain that you know what a 'stroke' IS! It continues to amaze me, that students who are CERTAIN they know what a stroke is, and that THEY have one...are many times way off base! Just because you can pocket balls, and move the CB around pretty well, doesn't necessarily mean you HAVE a stroke...a REAL stroke! I would search out a BCA instructor and take a stroke lesson. If the teacher doesn't focus on THIS issue as the majority of your first lesson (which is what I do), then find another instructor. They should also videotape you, so that you can see your faults, and work to correct them.
Those students that already HAVE a stroke, have the opportunity to move through that quickly with me, and get on to more complicated things. MOST, do not! LOL
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