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03-21-2003, 09:03 PM
Hi, im new here and having seem some of the posters i know there is a great amount of knowledge here. Im wondering if anyone can help me. Ive been playing for quite a while and i have a problem that happens to me time and time again, not too often but often enough that it drives me to the brink of quitting the game.
I start off playing and am doing fine. Then after a bit my whole game goes to hell. I cant make a ball no matter what and i really get irritated.
Is this due to concentration or what ? It drives me absolutely nuts. I would figure if im going to have a bad day i would start off bad and it would continue but i start off playing good and it deteriorates.
Any theories ?? Anyone at all ???
Thanks

fast_eddie_B
03-22-2003, 06:36 AM
There is a million excuses you can make. Oh i hate the hit of this stick. or the table is not level or the rails are so dead or stuff along this nature. Now, some of these things may be true, some not, it all depends on the class of pool you are playing, i mean if you are in a class A room, with perfect tables and a fast felt, then my opinion would be that you must blame it on yourself, your fundamentals, your focus, or even your knowledge.
Now, I don't know at what level of game you play, but I am sure everyone game has gone to hell at one time or another. It's just a matter of figuring out what you are doing wrong and fix it. It also helps if you have pros around and are used to seeing world class pool on a regular basis. I say this only because, at least in my opinion, when i am around great players, i start to feel a little greater and i guess it's a mental thing, I play better then normal too, in their company. A heck of a lot of ppl play or shoot pool, though it seems not many ppl will actually sit and watch it being played, enless you have pros around. You can't learn everything be yourself.

NH_Steve
03-22-2003, 09:10 AM
I have a few serious nagging bad habits that can sabotage my game like that:

1) Jumping up on the shot
2) Getting my shoulder into my stroke
3) Death grip on the cue stick

The more you develop good fundamental habits of stroke and shot routine (including pre-shot routine), you should develop more consistency -- now if only I could /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Sid_Vicious
03-22-2003, 09:22 AM
Three questions: 1. How old are you? 2. How long are the sessions you see this happening? 3. What general condition are your your shoes in? sid~~~I'm going somewhere with this, trust me

Wally_in_Cincy
03-22-2003, 11:35 AM
Sounds like you lose interest after a while. This problem should tend to dissipate with experience IMO.

How long you been playin' ?

Vapros
03-22-2003, 12:08 PM
Tommy, all of us - especially those of us below the level of the tough players - have certain elements of our motions and procedures that we have to keep a close eye on if we want to play our best. I'm saying these elements need our continued attention.

Attention to these elements tends to wane as you go along, and your play suffers accordingly. Often, the trouble will be that you spend less time between taking your stance and hitting the cue ball. You may be skipping over some of the parts of your game. Next time this problem grabs you, back up and pretend that you have just jointed up your stick and begun the day's play, with the same care that you exercise in the first minutes of each playing session. Your capabilities are probably still there, but they are not automatic yet. Maybe, in time, they will achieve that status, but until they do, your attention will be required. I hope there is some help here.

03-22-2003, 01:49 PM
Ok, first of all thanks for the input to everyone.
Im 43 years old, i usually play in sneakers, and i usually play 3-4 hour sessions. I been playing about 8 months this time around, i layed off for quite a while so i guess i had to go thru a re-learning stage so to speak.
It starts usually about 1/2 hour after i start playing sometimes i can even tell whats going to happen, meaning i know im going to have an off day. But i almost always start off strong pocketing balls, then the roof caves in. I miss straight in shots that Ray Charles could make. Yesterday this happened and i after 15 mins i just unscrewed it and left, i figured why go thru all the aggravation again. Only one time i can recall that i ever got back IN stroke.
The best thing i can figure is my stroke is going off somewhere ,somehow. But i try almsot everything i can think of to correct it and nothing helps. Then i think i start second guessing my aim also, cause im already in doubt anyway. lol
There arent any instructors out here to turn to either so its frustrating to say the least.

John G
03-22-2003, 03:44 PM
Hi Tommy, it sounds like paralysis by analysis. Not meant to be funny. Sometimes as we practice we begin to 'think' about the act we're performing. Without realizing it this 'analysis' builds up tension in the shoulder and tricep. When this happens you're no longer capable of a smooth pendulem stroke. Instead of just releasing the cue we begin to PULL it through. It's the pulling that causes the deviation (inside or outside) in our stroke and causes us to miss evan the simplest of shots.

My suggestion is when this happens instead of fighting it, relax and begin firing loosely at the balls. Keeping in mind you're having fun, that you're enjoying your self. You will begin to stroke more free. Make a mental note of how this feels without analyzing it. It's subtle, but after a time your body will recoognize the difference.

Of course it could be a physical problem, poor posture, knee or feet problems. But you said you usually know when it's going to happen which prompts me to believe you're trying to hard. Best of luck to you and have fun. John G /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

03-23-2003, 03:34 PM
I wondering if shoulder dropping is my problem. I mean does even slight shoulder dips throw a shot way off ??
I was looking at my stroke in a mirror and noticed a slight dip at times, not very noticeable but enough. Im wondering if i do this those times when i go off stride and if its the major cause of me missing altogether.

Alfie
03-23-2003, 03:42 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> Sounds like you lose interest after a while. This problem should tend to dissipate with experience IMO. <hr /></blockquote> ... or increase, depending on whether he grows to believe his endeavor to be absurd or trivial

Alfie
03-23-2003, 03:48 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tommy 504:</font><hr> Im 43 years old, i usually play in sneakers, and i usually play 3-4 hour sessions.

It starts usually about 1/2 hour after i start playing sometimes i can even tell whats going to happen, meaning i know im going to have an off day. But i almost always start off strong pocketing balls, then the roof caves in. <hr /></blockquote> Are you a big fat guy? Heart disease? Diabetes? Could be you get fatigued rapidly.

Alfie
03-23-2003, 04:00 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tommy 504:</font><hr> i have a problem that happens to me time and time again, not too often but often enough that it drives me to the brink of quitting the game.
I start off playing and am doing fine. Then after a bit my whole game goes to hell. I cant make a ball no matter what and i really get irritated.
Is this due to concentration or what ? <hr /></blockquote> Hell if I know, Tommy 504. Try putting something on the game, just enough to focus you.

Also, quit doing drugs and alcohol. You could be coming down with pickled brain disease, IMO.

03-23-2003, 04:43 PM
Pickled brain disease ? Sounds like something you have experience with. Good thing you know the symptoms.

qSHAFT
03-23-2003, 05:20 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tommy 504:</font><hr>sometimes i can even tell whats going to happen, meaning i know im going to have an off day<hr /></blockquote>

I don't think anyone can really tell the future, but if you visualise loosing enough you can make it happen. Remember that every shot is a new opportunity so don't get frustrated and give up.

Cheers - qSHAFT

Alfie
03-23-2003, 06:40 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tommy 504:</font><hr> Pickled brain disease ? Sounds like something you have experience with. Good thing you know the symptoms. <hr /></blockquote>Well ya see, I have this friend.

Sid_Vicious
03-23-2003, 07:27 PM
I'm going back to the drawing board Tommy, you weren't an old fart like me, you didn't play 6-12 hours and your shoes seem generally acceptable(my thought was that you were "dog tired")

Back to you later, good luck...sid

John G
03-23-2003, 09:21 PM
Hi Tommy, a slight shoulder drop wont. But if you drop your shoulder with head and/or upper body movement it will. Try posting every shot. By that, I mean complete your stroke and freeze until the shot has ended. A guy told me once, when you shoot, nothing should move but your heart.

A slight inconsistant shoulder drop would be more likley to affect cue ball control because of variations in tip height contact with the cue ball. Problems with stopping the ball consistantly, consistancy of amount draw and/or follow.I hope this helps.

There are some excellent instructers that frequent here, I'm suprised one of them hasn't jumped in. Randy, Fran, Scott. Good luck, John G

Scott Lee
03-23-2003, 10:34 PM
It could also be that his timing is off. The stroke is all about timing, and without it, it becomes a poke. A poke stroke limits the accuracy, and the action on the cueball, due to not following through...or jabbing at the ball.

It's difficult to diagnose problems without seeing a person play. Your can describe all kinds of conditions, but I usually find that the flaw in the person's stroke is often something they are not even aware of...such as short stroking when they contact the CB. However, in just a few minutes of watching someone play, I can usually spot the things that are/may be out of whack...and show them how to fix them.

Scott Lee

03-24-2003, 01:18 AM
Well Scott, im pretty sure youre right and its the stroke but its just maddening that i start off well and deteriorate. It doesnt happen often but often enough to drive me nuts. Why wouldnt it happen all the time ?
Confusing.
Anyway, i checked and there arent any BCA instructors that i can locate in Vegas. If youre coming out this way in may or anytime for that matter, let me know and i will hire you for instruction.

bluewolf
03-24-2003, 04:56 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tommy 504:</font><hr> Hi, im new here and having seem some of the posters i know there is a great amount of knowledge here. Im wondering if anyone can help me. Ive been playing for quite a while and i have a problem that happens to me time and time again, not too often but often enough that it drives me to the brink of quitting the game.
I start off playing and am doing fine. Then after a bit my whole game goes to hell. I cant make a ball no matter what and i really get irritated.
Thanks <hr /></blockquote>

Tommy,

There are so many possibilities or combinations of possibilities. Since this happens so soon in your game, I would eliminate fatigue as a factor. But I am guessing it could be a glitch in your stroke somewhere as number one. Number two, since this happens over and over, you are mentally expecting it to happen, kind of like 'waiting for the other shoe to drop'. It becomes a kind of 'self fullfilling prophecy' where you are expecting your game to decline because that is what has been happening.

I think that you need a change of attitude 'I am going to do well the whole match', but this jolt will only come when the original problem has been corrected.

Imagine going to the doctor and getting some medicine. Well, imo, a good qualified instructor who can diagnose the problem so that you can fix it is the solution, or a 'stroke doctor' if you will. At that point, you can get that mental jolt that you need and start to play well with consistency.

I just had a lesson yesterday with a great instructor who diagnosed a slight stroke glitch that I could not see in myself. This was also something that an inexperienced friend or even a good player who is not a good instructor might miss. This was not a big glitch but would have kept me from moving from an intermediate to a good player.

I missed where you live but some of us on here could recommend a good instructor in your area. It is money well spent and really not very much to bump the game that you obviously love up to the next level.

Good luck.

Laura

cheesemouse
03-24-2003, 07:55 AM
Tommy,

I've read all the replies and like Scott and others have said "it is hard to tell w/o seeing you hit balls" but: You said that you can do well so the skill to pocket balls is there. I would have to take a wild guess and say that you simply lose interest in what your doing. As soon as interest is lost the game tanks even for the highest level players.....JAT

Deniel
03-24-2003, 10:44 PM
Oh I had those days myself, not to often, but annoyingly enough. This is what usually happens to me:

I play good the first 4-5 racks, running out 4-5 balls (I'm a beginner, running 4-5 balls seems like a marathon to me /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif) And then I started thinking about positioning, I want to get better cue control, for that I started thinking about follow shot and draw shot with follow and draw shot I started thinking about bridge, stance and stoke, I shot the ball and miss it by a mile. Sweat starts to pour on my forehead, "How could I miss an easy shot like that!!" Then I begin to think about english to compensate for my not working draw or follow (mind you that I'm a beginner ^__^) When I think about english, I think about Squirt, after squirt comes deflection, followed rite by throw, how much to compensate how much english to apply, by that time I'll be too nervous cause I've spent what feel like an eternity on the table and decided to hit it anyway, like predicted I miss the shot again.

I think that's what Jim Meador (www.billiardworld.com) refer to as Jackass syndrom. What I'd do is, I'd try to relax little bit, and try to make a shot with center stroke, no follow, no draw, no english, dead center, I pour every energy, every concentration everything to make that shot. I don't make short straight shot though (because my brain would tell me that it's easy and I won't concentrate enough), I try to make an easy cut, a cut that I know I can make but I also know I can miss if I'm not carefull enough. I try to do that 3-4 times just to get myself back in the game. What happened if I can't get it in, I put the cue and call it a night and go home ^___^

Hope this helps

03-24-2003, 10:58 PM
Sounds real familiar, lol. Anyway, im going to try and get some real help and see what happens. A lot of good suggestions have been thrown out and i appreciate them.

03-24-2003, 11:01 PM
Scott's absolutely right about timing, and timing is highly dependent on the coordination between your stroke AND your eyes. Sometimes it's hard to do when you're really analyzing your stroke and trying to work out fundamental problems, but I've found the most important part of my stroke is my eyes. If you have good hand-eye coordination, you pretty much "shoot where you look". If you're a beginner/intermediate player, your stroke mechanics are going to require ongoing work for awhile. If you're relatively advanced, I'd recommend forgetting about the mechanics and focus on the balls. Hopefully this will improve your timing.

Rod
03-24-2003, 11:52 PM
Tommy,
Your on the right track getting help. You can ask around at the rooms for who is a good instructor. Until then follow the same pre-shot routine. Stand back, visualize what your going to do then walk into the shot and do it. You need a plan for every shot, no plan well then that's what you get. When we get out of our basic routine things go wrong, poor stance, alignment, stroke problems etc. When a person gets mad it can throw all of the above out of whack. You need to stay relaxed playing this game and I'd bet there is not a relaxed muscle in your body, especially between the ears. That is when things go wrong. You are allowed to make mistakes, try to let a mistake help you learn. If you never made a mistake, then how would you learn?

Rod

caedos
03-27-2003, 10:12 AM
The B.C.A. National 8-ball Tournament will be in Vegas at the Riviera Hotel &amp; Casino, from about May 10 to the 17th... thereabouts. There will be several instructors there, but you'd need to start e-mailing now to learn which ones and if they're available. Several of the Cue Tech Poolschool instructors will be there : Randy Goettlicher, Les Rogers, Jason Butler, Tom Payne, and myself among others. There's bound to be other instructors there as well.

Good luck!

Carl Oswald_______________214-732-2530
BCA - Instructor and Referee
The Billiard Studio_____________Plano, TX
Cue Tech Poolschool______Richardson, TX