View Full Version : Finding your "Center" at the table

Voodoo Daddy
04-07-2003, 10:36 AM
Disclaimer; This post was not written so the published could feed their ego...end of announcement.

Havent been playin much the past few weeks due to the weather {its so good I choose to ride}. Anyway, hadda fill a promise to my friend that roped me into BCA league {I'd rather read every Fast Larry post than play any league anything} and play in the playoffs. Found myself surrounded by fish...with the occasional shortstop in the room and KATO, who came to hang for a bit. I got to the table my first match and felt very uncomfortable...like I couldnt find my "center", You know that thing that makes standing over the table as natural as breathing? Well...it came a lil too late and the team didnt make it to the next round. On my way home I thought of this. How many of you really know where your "center" is at the table? If you know, how can you tell your in the groove and if you cant wouldnt you like to know?...Its just Voodoo jogging the senses....

04-07-2003, 10:41 AM
at the following link, I have an article that covers this.

Blackjack David Sapolis (http://www.8ball.org/blackjack.htm)

Also read the articles on "Breathing" and "Stance" as all three go together.

04-07-2003, 11:40 AM
"...That thing that makes standing over the table as natural as breathing." --Hey, I like this.

Good to hear that you're riding and enjoying the spring weather. You gotta take advantage of the opportunities the world offers. It isn't all pool, is it?


04-07-2003, 11:51 AM
I count on you to answer these kinds of questions for me big man.

Kato~~~not in Voodoo's league in pool mentality

04-07-2003, 12:25 PM
I'm not sure if this will help but I'll tell ya what works for me:

Always line up the same way- rear foot, shoulder, elbow, grip hand, head over cue.

Try to have a comfortable "3 point" stance- kinda like Football (for you big lineman anyway), I try to have a balanced stance with my legs and bridge hand forming a tripod.

Also, make sure there is no stress on any one body part i.e. lower back doing all the work or stretching too much to bridge.

Personally, this helps get me in stroke fast. Now it doesn't work ALL the time(I have my blind days too) but it does seem to simplify the whole enchilada and give me the best chance to come out firing.

Eric >now if I only took my own advice..

04-07-2003, 07:16 PM
I have heard here about the 'inner game of tennis' and seen links posted here and on other pool forums relating to mental aspects of golf and tennis, so have concluded there is some commonality across sports in terms of mental aspects of the game.

I have not been in pool as long as I spent time in other sports but in those I played most, I felt most in tune with myself in when I finally get fed up from so much analyzing and so little results that I get this 'dont give a sh#t' attitude. Just play and dont care. I know it sounds weird and I dont really understand it, but I have played my best matches, won more trophies in karate, drilled the golf ball farther, driven home more aces in tennis in this state than at any other time.

Like I say, dont understand it, will leave it for sports psychologists, but is a good topic and glad you brought it up.


04-10-2003, 05:40 AM
Voodoo: I'd really like to hear what you have to say about this, when you get the time. I've got the feeling that you were going someplace interesting. Ride smooth.--D.M.

04-10-2003, 08:21 AM
Steve, (Been there and Done that and overcame the yipes)

I get myself in a very positive attitude when I play.

My mental thoughts go something like this:

"Now I get a 'chance' to perform"

"I really love this game"

"Now is the time for me to prove to myself that I can play this game"

"Competition is one of the most intence and relaxing things I can do to separate the 'day to day' from the 'here and NOW', Its why I play pool"

"I am extremely happy to be here"

"Playing pool (competing) is what makes me feel good about
all the time I've put into practice"

My 3 words each time I approach the table...

Routine (pre-shot), Trust (what I am about to do) and Accept the consequences (good or bad) and continue without afterthought.

I have no doubt that Big Daddy will be in the winners circle again. He's that type of guy..

04-10-2003, 08:46 AM
"Because I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it people like me."

04-10-2003, 08:57 AM
I got to the table my first match and felt very uncomfortable...like I couldnt find my "center", You know that thing that makes standing over the table as natural as breathing? <hr /></blockquote>

IMHO no player has played his/her best pool in a team situation. That nagging feeling in the back of the mind "what wiil they think of this shot" puts a lid on that 'centered' feeling you talk of. I like team pool for the social aspect but never expect my 'A' game to appear during team events. In it's pure form pool is an individual sport were you are totally responsible for what you do and only have to answer to your 'center'; by difinition when you are on a team you relinquish that control.

04-10-2003, 09:07 AM
Maybe you're just finding out why you don't like league. In league (tournaments also), you have to come out of the gate shooting your best. You don't have the option to lose a little while getting in stroke and then make it back. I try to show up for leagues early, and shoot drills for a while, as I tend to be a slow starter also.


04-10-2003, 09:13 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Voodoo Daddy:</font><hr> Disclaimer; ...like I couldnt find my "center", You know that thing that makes standing over the table as natural as breathing? <hr /></blockquote>

Huh? Your "center"? Oh, I get it, you're talking about a belly. Mine gets in the way too when I eat and drink too much between matches. Sure is a pain, isn't it? And beware of fish, some are sharks. LOL. Just yanking your chain Steve, ya shudda been a philosopher. Jake~~~if you have to ask if you're in the zone then you ain't in it. It either is, or it ain't, and you can't will it to be.

04-10-2003, 09:24 AM
When I tell you Voodoo ain't a league guy you can take it to the bank. I just figure he wants to better understand how to deal with it. How to walk into your "A" game in that situation.

Saturday was the first time I've seen Steve in a while. Sure we talk on the phone but until you hang out with him you can't really understand his "presence". He was jovial and happy and one of the few people in the universe that is geniunely happy to see me.

Steve, you wanna know where your center is? It's right where you left it between the circutry of all that knowledge in your brain and that large muscle in your chest that the medical community calls your heart. You know all the answers, you always have, you always will. Trust yourself.

Kato~~~trusts Voodoo

04-10-2003, 09:26 AM
Mine comes from not trying. Like Harrison Ford in 6days, 7 nights when replying to the subject about the couples coming to the tropical island paradise "Looking for the magic they've lost in their relationship", Ford saying, "Darlin' it's an island, if you didn't bring it then it ain't gonna be here."

Center is developed over time, and is better some days than others. Try too hard and it will allude you(imo) I liked one of the replies though...if I turn myself into a happy, "I like this" attitude, I'll play better...sid

04-10-2003, 09:45 AM
I guess this is why I have always been a better money player than tournament player. I can get there early and hit a zillion balls but it takes a few games of intense play against a real player to get me going. I try to pretend it is important but it just takes the few minutes of real competion to get me going. This causes me to almost always go by the way of the loser's bracket! Most owuld say I just can't play in the winner's bracket but I do fine if I get that far before I "warm up".

Anyway, some call it a Zone or in-stroke but I feel a comfort or "centered" when I get going. It's a focus you (or at least I) can't manufacture but have to play in to. I have never had a problem playing in team events, however, as the level of skills seem very low (in the cases I have played) and no one notices a little of a slow start, except me!

I even "see" the nap of the felt sharper and clearer after a few games. I can manage cheating the pocket at much higher speeds and almost "see" the position tracks!!Is it a trance? Is it a drug induced stage? (not in my case!), is it predictable? Yes. I'll go there at about 9:00p.m. tonight!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

04-10-2003, 02:10 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Kato:</font><hr> When I tell you Voodoo ain't a league guy you can take it to the bank. I just figure he wants to better understand how to deal with it. How to walk into your "A" game in that situation.

Kato~~~trusts Voodoo <hr /></blockquote>

It isn't easy for a lot of people, me included. Unless he's pretty unusual it will take him a while. I often seem to play better after a few hours.


04-10-2003, 02:36 PM
Neither I Spidey, neither I.


04-10-2003, 03:29 PM
This is very simple:

Find the center diamond on the short rail, draw a chalk line to the opposite center diamond on the other short rail.

Now find the center of the side pocket on the long rail, draw a chalk line to the center of the opposite side pocket.

Where these two lines intersect is the center of the table.


04-11-2003, 07:04 AM
I know the answer and you told me it!And the riddle is"What is greater than God, more powerful than the devil, the rich dont need, the poor have alot of it and if you eat it you die?"

Ralph S.
04-11-2003, 07:46 AM
Hey Voodoo, I'll tell what helps me find my center and usually it comes quickly. What that thing is, is when I am going out to play be it league or singles or practice, I just walk in like I dont have a care in the world. I dont think about anything, not even pool. I just clear my head and get in a care-free mood and it all falls into place. Try it, it may help and may not. You just never know.

04-12-2003, 03:06 AM
Hi Ralph,
Bingo! Thats the answer-NOTHING-the ability to think of nothing and just shoot with confidence and with what you know!
Stay well!