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View Full Version : Your Secrets of Pool when the Pressure is on.



HOWARD
12-04-2002, 04:05 PM
I believe we all have an internal trick or two that we use when we are lock in a match that we have to have because the person we are playing we have strong dislike for or the match will put our team over the top. Or what ever reason you have. It is your case money and I don't wanta go home broke> etc.

So let those secrets out. If it only over coming the demons
or going some other way.

I have one simple secret when I am in tough: I make up my mind no matter what happens, why it happens or when it happens - I am going to win.

Well lets hear the them.

HOWARD

Tom_In_Cincy
12-04-2002, 04:56 PM
Pressure is self induced.

If you think about the situation, rather than do what you are suppose to be doing.. its a distraction. That's why so many of us miss or dawg the shot.

I have found that if I use my pre-shot routine, it makes me focus on the shot much better.. less distractions from the "dark side..".

I also do all my thinking standing up. I never get down on the cue ball until I have decided what I am going to do. If, when I do get down on the cue ball, I start thinking of something else, I get up.. If I don't get up.. the dawg has been let out again..

Pressure is self induced, its just another shot.. Trust what you want to do, accept the results, and remember to use your pre-shot routine..

SPetty
12-04-2002, 05:27 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> Pressure is self induced, its just another shot.. Trust what you want to do, accept the results, and remember to use your pre-shot routine.. <hr /></blockquote>Oh yeah, but you forgot to mention - it's easier said than done!

Hey Tom, this works for me for the first five balls while playing 8-ball, but then I see that there are just two more and the eight and I've done a break and run! And from there, no matter how much I try or what I do, I can't get rid of that. I try to get back to just shooting the shot, but I can't lose that blasted thought that got in there and interrupted me!

HOWARD
12-04-2002, 06:23 PM
Tom,

I did not expect a "canned" answer from you. I have seen your posts. You usually have a great deal of thought behind them.

Yes, pressure is internal. Yes a pre shot routine can get you to the table without as much stress as normal.

No, the human element, always comes in to play. Therefore thoughts that one does not wish do come into play. So I am
disappointed in your "canned answer".

Internal resources you call on to answer the demons. I am looking for the nitty gritty that brings home your pork chop.

Howard

Tom_In_Cincy
12-04-2002, 06:29 PM
SPetty,

Its not all that easy.. but if you think the same way from the 1st shot untill the last, it can be.

When you let that 'blasted thought' into your head... its going to influence your focus and concentration. Practice your Pre-shot routine and remember to do all your thinking standing up.. (that's where that 'blasted thought' does the least harm) then get down, only when you are ready, and perform.

I love it when my opponent says "nice break and run". And, I would be unaware of the accomplishment.. "Damn.. I missed it.. but, my opponent didn't" LOL

You can practice this at the practice table very easily. You want pressure? Just put $10, $20 or more in your pocket, if you win, keep it, if you loose, it goes into the gift fund for your favorite charity, (I use to tip the waitress pretty heavy a long time ago)

Every shot is the same importance, you can't run out unless you make all the balls.

If you treat each ball as the winning ball, what's the difference?

phil in sofla
12-04-2002, 06:51 PM
Playing outside of league, there's nearly never any pressure, since it's either no money, or $5 a set, or $1 a game or something small like that. Still, I want to win, and if I'm down in the set, somehow just telling myself I will get to the hill tends to get me there. I intentionally don't tell myself I'll win on the hill, leaving that to the situation as it develops. I think I'll begin instructing my subconscious to win once I get there as well, LOL!

Playing in league, I often put myself up in the last game, which sometimes is the hill-hill determiner of the winner of the match. I don't imagine winning that game, but I do use a little post-hypnotic suggestion phrase I got in the Dead Stroke tape series ('able, play, better'), take a deep breath first, said silently with my eyes closed on able, then opened for the last two words, then spoken aloud with eyes open. The hypnotic suggestion from the tape was that saying those words, in that manner, would induce dead stroke enabling calmness and detachment, self-limited to about 45 minutes.

Since choking and jitters are mental, this possibly placebo trick, believed by me to work, appears to actually work. Not that I break and run out (although I certainly have in that situation), but that I don't do anything to lose, while the opponent IS giving me an out, losing himself, because of the pressure, and when I get an out, I'm able to execute, including when I'm left a very hard shot on the 8, more often than not.

Tom_In_Cincy
12-04-2002, 06:53 PM
HOWARD,

I have lots of pork chops using my answer..

Canned or not, they work for me. And, others have used this way to approach and deal with what you define as 'pressure'.

I don't have any 'secret' ways to deal with this, I only have what I just shared with you.

You will still have to work hard to overcome your demons, regardless of mine or anyone else's answers.

Good luck.. an I hope you 'can' get your share of 'pork chops'

bigbro6060
12-04-2002, 08:21 PM
Pool, like Golf and Basketball fre throws is very mental because of the time you do have

It's not like Boxing, soccer or many other sports where you can often rely on instinct

It is hard i know, i have the same problems as many

I am now trying to breakdown my shots into 2 phases

Phase 1 Surveying and Decision making - this is where i work out what needs to be done with the shot, what needs to be done with the cueball, what speed and tip placement are required . I look at my three shots in advance etc, everything is taken into account

Phase 2 - Execution - Once i've decided what needs to happen with the shot from Phase 1, i try to put everything out of my mind and concentrate on making the shot. In the past i've had a habit of literally watching the space where i want the cueball to end up whilst taking the shot!

Confidence is also very important when the pressure is on

You know from practice which shots you can make easily, which ones are testers for you and which ones are pipedreams.

another thing which happens when you want to win badly is to play too defensively and not go for shots you should be making. Playing 'not to lose' doesn't work in any sports. Same thing used to happen to me in tennis, i would get tentative and end up playing worse

The mental development i went through when i did play a lot of tennis has helped me with my Pool. The Inner game of tennis is often recommended as a book for any sportsperson, tennis or not

stickman
12-04-2002, 09:49 PM
I'm finding out that the way I start the match has a lot to do with how I finish. You know how there are some players that typically are better players than you, but you always play them very tough, and often beat them? First off, I start these matches with the thought in mind that I will need to be extremely focused. Secondly, I am confident that I can and will prevail. In these situations I seldom ever clutch on the money ball. In my mental preparation for a match, I try to mimic this attitude. I want to start the match very focused, with a positive mental attitude, and maintain it thoughout the match, just as I would if I were playing one of my friends with a higher skill level. As Tom suggests, I do all my thinking standing up. After I am down, if any doubt enters my mind, I stand back up and reaccess the situation. When I am sure of what I want to do, I bend over the table, take my practice strokes, and execute the shot. You cannot allow any doubt or negative thoughts to enter your mind, during the execution phase. If you do, it is a sure recipe for disaster. (otherwise known as clutching or dogging the shot) For now, this works fairly well for me.

Wally_in_Cincy
12-05-2002, 08:14 AM
<ul type="square"> Never give up

Know that you are prepared (from proper practice)

Visualize the shot [/list]

Wally_in_Cincy
12-05-2002, 08:17 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr>
...no matter how much I try or what I do, I can't get rid of that.
<hr /></blockquote>

Maybe you're trying too hard. Is that possible?

Chris Cass
12-05-2002, 10:17 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr>
Hey Tom, this works for me for the first five balls while playing 8-ball, but then I see that there are just two more and the eight and I've done a break and run! And from there, no matter how much I try or what I do, I can't get rid of that. I try to get back to just shooting the shot, but I can't lose that blasted thought that got in there and interrupted me! <hr /></blockquote>

Hi SPetty,

Well, the way I see it is, your overwhelming your self. Like a boxer that throws a good punch and then for some reason, steps back and admires their work. When they shouldn't be stopping to begin with.

Another, would be that your thinking in the future instead of the present. Tough to say but, I think deep inside you know.

In order to forget a thought, you must replace it with another. Now, you realized your near the end of the game. Once this pops into your mind. Say to yourself, I'm in a key position to win now. Then, think only one thought. I have only 2 options. Those are, either I play safe or I run out. Then, your total focus should be on your decision.

In 8 ball, when you have only 2 balls left before the 8. You know you can't pocket one without a chance of pocketing the other. That's a desaster as we all know. It's hook city from there. LOL

Safety, doesn't always mean hidding whitey. It could be locking up the pocket, locking up the 8 or other means. Now, if you have a way out and feel these are easy? That's wrong also. Because, nothing is easy. You must totally be focused on your evaluation, commit to the shot and do it. So, the final thought in your mind should be make the ball and get whitey where it needs to be. If, that was your decision? Hope, I made some sense.

Regards,

C.C.~~enjoying a cracker breakfast with tylenol #3's as appetizers. /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

Popcorn
12-05-2002, 10:44 AM
I think you have to sometimes take a reality check. You can begin going off the air for no apparent reason. If you can, take a break when you feel you need to, or if things seem to be going out of control, you need to reorganize. I once lost a $1000. set because I did not go to the bathroom when I needed to, I kept saying to myself just one more game. If you run around with a partner, it amazing how having someone to talk to that is on your side really helps. I have traveled a lot playing and being with players and I feel better with someone there I can depend on, then being by myself. I know this is not an answer to your question but it is something that is interesting. I remembering playing a guy one time in Buffalo, I was playing good but could not seem to finish this guy off. My wife was sleeping out in the motor home. I swear to God, I went and woke her up to come sit with me, I needed a baby-sitter. That was all it took to get some of the tension out of me, we were betting pretty big money and I just needed someone to talk to. Sigel does it all the time. He will begin talking to who ever is sitting closest to him at tournaments, even total strangers. It is funny how nutty pool players can be, even the champions.

Perk
12-05-2002, 11:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> (I use to tip the waitress pretty heavy a long time ago)

Probably married her too... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif j/k

<hr /></blockquote>

Chris Cass
12-05-2002, 12:50 PM
Hi HOWARD,

This is a good question. Most will say reley on your pre-shot routine. Which is text book and a good answer. I reley on this too, very heavily. However, the thought's I have to help me through in key situations after all my decisions standing up that help me the most are these.

When, I'm down on the ball and making sure I'm perfectly balanced. I've already determined the english to send whitey where she needs to be, if any. That I've done already, along with my speed while standing up. I think of being perfectly still and then, making sure I make the ball or safety I planned on already, while down in my stance. This, I double check on my final stroke before I let the cb go. It takes about 1 sec. sometimes more.

I don't think into the future at all. I see my pattern from start to finish and reevaluate as I go along on each shot. I see the table in clusters of three. I take notion of the final ball in the first cluster to the beginning of the next.

I don't let my feelings about my opponent enter my mind. If they do, I'll quickly replace those thoughts. I play a game with the table. I try to beat the table. I try to master it as quick as possible. I also, keep one thought in mind. That's coming out of the gate as soon as possible too.

I make that my foremost goal. Now, with leagues where you only play 3 games and 30 being all wins. I take a particular goal in meeting this challenge. The next week I find the list of people who have their averages listed and get all the averages with the exact number of games played and try to beat them. Well, I have done this and stand alone. Kind of a neat little game with myself.

In 8 ball, I set my pattern from start to finish. Then, trace back from last shot to the beginning. Now, this pattern might change and usually does with safety play or cluster breakouts. If I am unable to do so because of certain layouts? I just play to the points that will give me back the control and often don't lose it.

Now, when I'm playing a guy like David Matlock or Heide then, I consider every shot as equally important. I will focus on one ball at a time and don't ever sweat about what their gonna do. That I know already. LOL So, you better believe I know what I have to do first. I did manage to make him shake on our match too. Now, Heide is another story. I just tell her, "I never hit that ball! I didn't foul." Then, after she takes BIH I think she's shook up enough./ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif I think I've babbled enough. Hope this helps someone..lol I think I've incriminated my self enough for one day. hahahah

Regards,

C.C.~~good post Howard... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif feels like I've been kicked in the tummy with jump boots... /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

HOWARD
12-05-2002, 02:16 PM
Chris Cass,

Thank you for well written post.

I believe my personal devil is the person I do not like very much. That person is woofing - look at me - to the whole room.

This the set, the match, the game I am fear of losing and I want very much. It does not matter if it is free or $100. my
reaction is the same. The heat the pure- I have no description of the feeling- I just want to have to etc. beat this person.

This is the one that is the biggest challenge. I have lost to this type more than I care to admit.

The funny part is when I have won - I feel nothing??

In any case CC - the very best with your health problems - I think when you have beaten that incovenience - that there will be no pressure for you in any situation on the pool table, golf course etc.

I also believe you will beat it. I have friend - and neither of our ages are as young as you are - and he came down with lung cancer last year. He has now beat it. And he did now take too much care of himself in over 50 plus years on this green and blue jewel.

If I may now name you "the supreme puh bah". LOL - Howard

Stretch
12-05-2002, 02:46 PM
Hi Howard. Hmmmmmm secrets of pool when the heats on eh? Your going to love this, it's, it's "uncanny!"

You see in pressure situations what happens. Your heart rate takes off, the adrenaline pumps, and the mind races. You can't be as effective in this state. So at the first tingle of excitement, BREATH! That's all. Big breath, long slow exhale, and reeeeelaaaax. Since you never get a chance to work on this (unless breathing cycles are part of your preshot routine) it's easy for you to slip out of your ideal shooting state and sucumb to tension related screw ups. Even when you become as cool as ice out there, there will be times when you'll want to take a minuite to gather yourself with a calming breath or two before taking the shot. It really works. Just ask any marksman. Best of luck to ya. St

SPetty
12-05-2002, 05:32 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chris Cass:</font><hr> In order to forget a thought, you must replace it with another. Now, you realized your near the end of the game. Once this pops into your mind. Say to yourself, I'm in a key position to win now. Then, think only one thought. I have only 2 options. Those are, either I play safe or I run out. Then, your total focus should be on your decision.<hr /></blockquote>Thanks, guys. When Tom says "don't think it" or says that that I let or allowed that thought into my head, what he's really saying might not be how I'm reading it.

Now that you've said this, I think I've got it.

It's O.K. to let the thought in, because you don't know you're thinking it until it's there and then it's too late, but then the trick is to just let it back out. Acknowledge the thought and move along.

Well, you'll be glad to know that that is my strategy. I just get confused with the directive to "don't think about it". I can't help it if it got in there! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif I actually didn't dwell on the original thought itself, but got hung up that I wasn't supposed to allow myself to think that thought! But I wasn't allowing it, it just did it itself! But I sure as heck can acknowledge it and keep on going.

Part of my problem was that I really thought you weren't supposed to think it. Now if you don't, that's great. I've been there, too. But if my stupid brain insists on interfering with thoughts of its own, all I gotta do is to acknowledge them and let 'em go!

I do that well enough, but was slightly disconcerted that I thought them in the first place because of the other advice that you're not supposed to think them but I didn't think them - the thoughts came on their own without me even thinking them! Doncha think??!? /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif So now I think I can think the thoughts, then think the other thoughts to out-think the thinking thoughts and, I think, think the unthinking thoughts. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif (Sorry, I guess I've had a brain-tired day...)

HOWARD
12-05-2002, 05:45 PM
STRETCH,

EXCELLENT!!!

HOWARD

Tom_In_Cincy
12-05-2002, 05:59 PM
SPetty,
I do believe you've got it.

There is a great book called "The Inner Game of Tennis" by Timothy Gallwey. It covers a lot of the mental side of competition. It also teaches you how to use the correct thought process during competition.

Its cheap, an easy read, and full of good information. I've read it many times, and have recommended it to others.

BTW, Jim Rempe recommended it to me in 1988

Chris Cass
12-05-2002, 08:36 PM
Hi HOWARD,

Now I get what your meaning. I listen to woofing all the time. Yes, in front of every railbird in the joint. Wanting to beat them goes without saying. Of course, you want to shove your game in their face and prove to them. You can trash them and their game.

This is what I do. I don't want to hate or dislike them. That will cause you to lose instantly. You can't beat someone you hate. It's ok to dislike them but it's really nothing personal. It's about finding your weakness. Tons of players have this weakness till they figure out what's up.

I play with players that make Scott Frost look like a gentleman. LOL Anyway, I woof right back. I also add some of the same moves too. They're looking to upset your focus and concentration. They would rather it be on being upset with them instead of concentrating on your game.

I have a guy woofing at me during the match. We were gambling and he's calling me names. It's all a move. I listened to this in front of everyone for like an hr. without replying. Then, when it got quiet I said, "Ya know, I would woof back at you but if I don't say anything? It makes you look bad. Besides, with your stance and the way your twisting your wrist when you stroke. You can't possible beat me. Heck, your not even stroking straight. Everything got really quiet then and sure enough, I crushed him.

I know he's got nothing against me. It's just the fact he can't win. He trys to use this as a move to undermine my concentration. They all do. Now, this can get around the ph and others will try the same move on you.

Just ask any player about another. They'll knock other players and call out there weaknesses. Once you see what they're up too. You've got them beat. They need these moves to win. Next time, you run across this. When, your opponent misses? Make a point of saying "WOW that's not you." Another, told by a dear friend to me say to yourself, loud enough under your breath so they can hear it. Can't believe he can make balls with his wrist turning like that.

One I like is saying, when they miss is, "Man, your a champion." Now, these things are used in self defense against the woofers. If it's done to others that respect you then, it's a low blow and true champions don't need this stuff IMHO. Your one of the good guys and sometimes you just have to give them a dose of their own medicine. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

JAT,

C.C.~~thanks for thinking of me.

Barbara
12-05-2002, 08:43 PM
Chris,

I see you giving back as good as you get!! And then some!!

I read your words and see this going on at the one ph I go to. Tacony's got the rail seats for all to watch. And it's something to watch!!!

This is why I was so impressed with your game in Vegas. You're a player. And if you ever come East, it would be a pleasure to take you anywhere and sweat your matches.

Barbara~~~can Chris handle riding in a T/A????

Tom_In_Cincy
12-05-2002, 08:57 PM
Barbara,

I understand that the women circuits in the NE can provide a little home grown woofing and sharking of their own.

Not that I would expect you to do that..

Liked you pic on insidepool.com (or was it azbilliards?)

Chris Cass
12-05-2002, 08:58 PM
Oh Barbara,

I like you so much. Man, your one heck of a woman. I would be honored to play with you and would really like going to your hall someday. Riding in the T/A? Well, today I'd have to pass but I love your car. That's even better than pool. Well, almost. OK, a real close second. hahaha

Regards,

C.C.~~misses agent 99.... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Barbara
12-05-2002, 09:13 PM
Tom,

The women I know don't really wolf at each other, even at regional tour events!! And I won't tolerate sharking moves at any RT event at all.

I was just telling CC that he'd fit in right at home in the ph I go to. Or used to go to. I haven't been there since Feb and they might be wondering what happened to me - probably not. It's a universe unto itself, honest to God. One of the best ph's in NorthEast Philly for the action!!!

Barbara~~~gotta see the cook before Christmas...

And what pic on what site???

Wally_in_Cincy
12-06-2002, 08:05 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Barbara:</font><hr> Tom,

The women I know don't really wolf at each other, even at regional tour events!! And I won't tolerate sharking moves at any RT event at all.

I was just telling CC that he'd fit in right at home in the ph I go to. Or used to go to. I haven't been there since Feb and they might be wondering what happened to me - probably not. It's a universe unto itself, honest to God. One of the best ph's in NorthEast Philly for the action!!!

Barbara~~~gotta see the cook before Christmas...

<font color="red">And what pic on what site??? </font color> <hr /></blockquote>

http://www.azbilliards.com/gallery/showpicture.cfm?eventnum=15&amp;photographernum=6&amp;picn um=558

9 Ball Girl
12-06-2002, 10:06 AM
I like this one better: http://azbilliards.com/gallery/showpicture.cfm?eventnum=15&amp;photographernum=6&amp;picn um=566

Wendy~~wondering what Barbara was wearing /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Barbara
12-06-2002, 11:36 AM
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!

I forgot that Harry was taking pics of us. The other one was taken the night before at the Charity event. I was wearing shorts.

Barbara

12-08-2002, 09:32 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote HOWARD:</font><hr> I believe we all have an internal trick or two that we use when we are lock in a match that we have to have because the person we are playing we have strong dislike for or the match will put our team over the top. Or what ever reason you have. It is your case money and I don't wanta go home broke&gt; etc.

So let those secrets out. If it only over coming the demons
or going some other way.

I have one simple secret when I am in tough: I make up my mind no matter what happens, why it happens or when it happens - I am going to win.

Well lets hear the them.

HOWARD
<hr /></blockquote>


I don't feel pressure after I start playing. I feel more pressure in the moments or days leading up to the match, than I do during and while I'm playing. The only thing I think about when I'm playing is like a broken record: "Take dead aim, don't forget to pause in your stroke, double check your aim, follow through, don't jump up.."

silverbullet
12-08-2002, 12:14 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Seattle-kid:</font><hr>

I don't feel pressure after I start playing. I feel more pressure in the moments or days leading up to the match, than I do during and while I'm playing. The only thing I think about when I'm playing is like a broken record: "Take dead aim, don't forget to pause in your stroke, double check your aim, follow through, don't jump up.." <hr /></blockquote>

In a way I am like this too, as long as my captain doesn't distract me. But, then, I haven't played in any tournaments either. That could change everything.

Laura

silverbullet
12-08-2002, 12:21 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr>
...no matter how much I try or what I do, I can't get rid of that.
<hr /></blockquote>

Now that I read s petty's response, I see what she means. Why else do so many miss an easy 8, self included. It is all kinds of tapes going on in ones head, depending on the person, imo

Laura

Maybe you're trying too hard. Is that possible? <hr /></blockquote>