View Full Version : Feel vs Technical

03-18-2002, 06:43 AM
After reading the dissertation on the theories of breaking on the board, then going and slamming my head against a wall I wanted to start a thread along the same lines of thought. As in all other sports there are "Feel" players and "technical" players, for the record I'm a feel player. The difference in the player types is the feel player (Efren for instance) will throw the balls out on the table and start shooting them off with no particular care to shape or technique, just trying to get a feel for how the table rolls, and how they feel that given day. The technical player (Alison for instance) will set up shots, check alignament, wrist position, stroke, elbow angle, bridge, humidity, barometric pressure, longitude+latitude and whatever else they need to get into the playing mode. That being said here's how I teach the break to players that come to me for help. I keep teaching stupidly simple because analysis paralysis can creep up on you when you get too technical. When teaching the break I start by having the player hit a 1/4-speed stop shot at the head ball. Iíll set it up 100 times til this 1 simple BASIC of the break is burned into the subconscious. This stop shot is the baseline for the break and once learned 1/2 the battle is over. From there speed/power is increased as long as the cue ball is being parked at the rack, or popping back towards the center of the table. If the cue ball isnít being parked a large majority of the power is lost from an off center hit, so trying to generate more power without increasing accuracy is a mute point. After reading some of the other posts on the quantum theory of breaking my simple learning technique may seem too simplistic, but no matter what you say, simple is better, and easier to perfect.... Later. Gerry

03-22-2002, 09:37 AM
Tom Simpson has written a nice piece on feel v. technical players called "Mechanical Players vs. Feel Players." You can find it, and other articles, on a billiard instructors site at www.wbia.org. (http://www.wbia.org.) Click on the "newsletters" icon.

03-22-2002, 10:07 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr>
When teaching the break I start by having the player hit a 1/4-speed stop shot at the head ball...

It's stuff like this that makes me happy I found this place. I'm about to publicly humble myself when I say I was taught a long time ago to put follow on the break, and not being a physicist, it's always seemed plausible, so I kept doing it. Thanks for teaching me something new.


03-22-2002, 10:50 AM
I just read the article and it makes sense. I wonder though if it is really a choice? It may be more the player. Some players are MP (Mechanical players) Some are FP (feel players). I think all FP were at one time a MP but once gaining a confidence unique to them they no longer play that way. While a MP feels better playing that way and could not begin playing by feel if they wanted to. I don't believe one way is necessarily better. Every player plays the way they feel most comfortable and that is how they will probably reach their own best potential. I believe each player looks at the other and wonders how they can play like that. That is not to say either player could not try playing like the other and see if it does not suit them better. I think in the end, it is not really their choice. Thus is life.

03-22-2002, 11:10 AM
Glad to help!....you know, advise is something I have trouble with sometimes also. I guess we just have to consider the source at times....later...Gerry

03-22-2002, 01:57 PM
Thanks Q-Guy, You've said what I was hoping I'd hear...i.e. that at least some feel players were mechanical players who have, shall we say, evolved.

I, for all practical purposes, just started playing 3 yrs ago (played for 2 years as a teen, none for 40 yrs). I've learned about the game and how to play by taking lessons, working with and truly listening to my coach, and in the beginning a lot of reading and video watching. Naturally I became a mechanical player.

Now, after 3 yrs and a ton of hours at the table, my game is changing into that of a feel player. I've learned to count on "feeling" the angle on cut shots to the extent that I seldom have to search for a contact point or ghost ball. I learned through doing drills how to play multi-rail position shots and now I don't have to "think" so much about how to do it, as to stop thinking a nd let my "body sense" calculate how hard to hit and what degree of english is needed.

I think that this "feeling" the angle and letting my "body sense" play the postion is what is meant when a player is described as a "feel player". Am I correct?

Coach uses terminology which centers on talk about left brain and right brain. The left brain in his description being that which intellectually figures out the shot and the right brain being that process that executes the shot.

I do find it difficult to trust the feeling game process and still tend to try to think my way around the table and it causes me to miss and get out of line. I'm just learning to trust that the right brain has been well trained by the left brain, now knows how to play the shot and once the shot is looked over and a method of attack has been devised, then the left brain needs to let go and "let" the right brain..."body sense" do the work it knows how to do. I find I have to talk a little to me..."Hey...Mr. Anal! Shut the hell up and let me shoot the dammed shot boy!"

Given the limitations of terminology, does this fit the process of evolving into a feel player?