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marek
03-25-2002, 07:12 PM
Hi to all!
Id like to ask for advice and I really hope anyone can help me here...
First of all Id like to say I play pool seriously for 2 and half years and I became solid B+ player and I am still improving. However I realized problem which may cause me serious troubles if not solved.
My practice sessions take place 4-5 times a week 3-4 hours each in local poolhall. It used to be 2 hours each session half year ago but since my improvement has almost halted I prolonged my training sessions so my game could start to improve once again. But recently I realized that I need much more time to warm up to "working" temperature. When I come to poolhall I start to hit the balls quite good but not as good as I know I could. The feeling is like driving a good car but with the handbrake applied. It takes me approximatelly 30-45 mins to warm up. My body awakens very quickly, my muscles warms up fast(5-10mins) but it seems that my head doesnt work properly. It seems like there is some kind of a switch that needs to be flipped to make my game work. And its matter of seconds I realize that this has been done. Once I flip the switch my game becomes fluent and smooth.
The problem is that when I go to play in a tournament basically I dont have so much time to warm up. So I have to depend on my "cold" game for the duration of my first match which is not the way Id like to go all the time.
So here is my question: are there any ways to shorten this "flip-the-switch" time?
Id like to say that this problem is the same with my practise sessions and tourny play as well.
Thanks for any advice!

cheesemouse
03-25-2002, 08:36 PM
Marek,


first off http://www.animation-station.com/anigifs/anim1884.gifto the ccb, I see this is your first post. I'm kind of the class clown but I am a serious player.
You maybe over training. You know how weight trainers do heavy workouts on like Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Try that kind of schedule with your pool workouts and on the off days just pretend when you walk in the pool hall that your first match begins in 15 minutes so you get use to the feeling... Once again welcome to a nice bunch of pool folks.

03-25-2002, 09:45 PM
You need proper instruction. If you have the drive and love of the game, time at the table always produces better results because you overcome you problems with fundamentals by playing more. You NEED to find out what your basic execution problems are and your playability will improve without this HEADY thinking your time lines for pracitice are needed. KIS BF

phil in sofla
03-26-2002, 02:51 PM
One thing I think may be the best way to quickly and fully warm up is to shoot out an open table (whether from an open break, or just spreading out the balls), without regard to numerical order or any game rules. If there's still time after one rack, another couple in a row are better still.

Doing it that way, you can get the most repetitions in, with the most easy shots (to drill in the confidence that comes with successful results). If you play game rules, your shot selection gets dictated by that, and you may end up with harder shots or longer shots, which isn't the point of warming up.

My best shooting in league (which situation also short-shrifts warmup time and quality) has been preceded by this kind of warming up, and it seems to put me in good stroke as efficiently as anything I've tried.

If you want to get some fine-tuning in as to speed and shape during this table clearing, approach it as you might in straight pool, staying in a zone of the table to clear it out before moving to another group of balls. Alternatively, decide to play a group of balls into one pocket, until finished with them, and then play another group into another pocket.

But don't take away from the repetitions to shoot hard shots that take more time to execute well. Easy shots, and a lot of them, as many as possible in the time available, are what will both groove your mechanics for the match and give you pocketing confidence, in my opinion.

marek
03-27-2002, 02:32 AM
Hi Cheesemouse!
I will try it but I am not quite sure if its the best time to experiment with my training routine as there are straightpool nationals in my country on saturday which I have qualified for. I have been quite lucky to qualify - played my best straightpool ever on that day with high run of 59 which is my PB /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gifAnyway I will try your advice! Thanx
BTW maybe you can help more.. Here is my question on straight pool: what is best solution for running rack? First I run balls near the far rail and the balls which are obstacles to other balls. Then I break clusters. But sometimes its quite hard to protect my chosen break ball while breaking cluster. What do you think, is it wise to protect break ball at all cost? Is it wise to choose break ball as soon as the rack is broken?
Thanks for any input!

cheesemouse
03-27-2002, 05:34 AM
marek,
I have to be brutely honest here. I'm a nine-baller and though I use 14.1 as a practice tool, some call it the teacher , I will defer in answering any questions on the strategy of the game for fear of looking like the complete idiot. There are guys and gals on this board that are fair more qualified to answer your 14.1 questions.
I wish you good fortune in your nationals on Saturday. Be prepared, play the table and dance with what brung ya. Good luck.

Rich R.
03-27-2002, 06:04 AM
There may be others with a better answer to your question, but I will try. There is nothing wrong with picking a break ball when you first break open a rack in 14.1, however, be flexible. As you progress through the rack and break clusters, you may get out of shape or a ball may move your intended break ball. Always keep watch for an alternative, and maybe better, break shot for the next rack. JMHO. Rich R.~~~welcome to the CCB.

marek
03-27-2002, 07:41 AM
Hi Rich R.!
Thanks for your input. The way of playing 14.1 you describe in your post is quite similar to one I try to play. However I find it quite hard to run more than two racks regularly. Yesterday it was my "normal" practice session. I was quite consistant in running 25-28 or so balls but got further only 3 times. First time I broke the rack and got cueball stuck with no choice of object ball. Second I broke the rack well but the cueball was kicked and it ended up touching the close rail with no apparent ball to shoot (I tried combo but the ball got jawed) And the last time I got over 28 was my best run that day as I run 55 with unlucky ball which rattled in the jaws and cue ball perfectly positioned for another break. One thing was funny on this run. It was at the end of my practice session (4 and 1/2 hours), I was quite tired so I was just shooting them with brain working at 25%, I just wanted to run one rack and finish. As I got good position on break ball I decided to continue. It was quite strange, I tried hard for 3 and 1/2 hours to achieve such run with no success then I made some drills and after another hour of shooting of those drills I was ready to go home...then such run, isnt it strange? Maybe it was this short position drill I practiced (line of 15 balls on third diamond - the goal is to shoot all balls in far corner pockets) which helped me. Maybe I think too much while my intuition is forced to be quiet /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif Well, the basic problem seems the position game for break ball which seems to kill my chances to make runs of 40-50 balls regularly. And I feel that if i could run 50 balls at regular basis everything is possible (like 100-150 balls).
Hopefully I will get my copy of "Play your best straight pool" by Phil Capelle in few days. That I hope will help my game tremendously as it did "Mind for pool" recently. Its a pity I wont probably get it prior to those 14.1 nationals... /ccboard/images/icons/frown.gif
Anyone can tell me his/her story reading Capelles books and improvement it caused in his/her game?
Thanx!

Rich R.
03-27-2002, 09:07 AM
It seems that you are well on your way to becoming a good straight pool shooter. Keep up the hard work and the longer runs will come. Breaking racks and multi-ball clusters is always a challenge because of the unpredictable roll of the balls. Try your best to maintain a little control of the cue ball and don't try to break up too many balls at one time. Just pick away at the rack, a little at a time.
I commend you for learning to play straight pool (14.1). Currently it is not a high profile game and many have forgotten how much talent it takes to be proficient in it.
Some members of the CCB have mentioned a video tape by Jim Rempe that is suppose to be excellent for straight pool. I have not seen it personally and the title escapes me, at the moment, but maybe some one else will help. Rich R.~~~more people should play straight pool.

03-27-2002, 12:14 PM
As far as running racks DO NOT forget the importance of the
shot right before the break shot. Ideally this ball ( key ball ) would be in such a position that a stop shot will leave you a perfect break shot. You'll many times find a ball or more next to the side pocket which lend themselves very nicely to setting up the classic break shot.
Hope this helps

03-27-2002, 12:26 PM
marek, no doubt you're headed in the right direction but i'll offer an idea or 2 for you to think about:

picking a key ball or break ball early is way overrated. advanced 14.1 players are always 'rearranging the furniture' by bumping balls a little bit here and there. trying to protect that chosen break ball too early will force you to do some strange things.

as you know by now, the guy with the high run isn't necesssarily the guy who wins. if you are practicing by yourself you are probably not working on safety play as much as you could and it for-sure takes practice to play good safes.


dan

Wally_in_Cincy
03-27-2002, 12:40 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Rich R.:</font><hr>
Some members of the CCB have mentioned a video tape by Jim Rempe that is suppose to be excellent for straight pool. I have not seen it personally and the title escapes me, at the moment, but maybe some one else will help. Rich R.~~~more people should play straight pool.
<hr></blockquote>

"How to run 100 balls" by Jim Rempe available from accu-stats.com

Rich R.
03-27-2002, 12:53 PM
I knew some one would come through. Thanks Wally. Rich R.

Wally_in_Cincy
03-27-2002, 02:31 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: marek:</font><hr> Hi Cheesemouse!
I will try it but I am not quite sure if its the best time to experiment with my training routine as there are straightpool nationals in my country on saturday which I have qualified for. I have been quite lucky to qualify - played my best straightpool ever on that day with high run of 59 which is my PB /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gifAnyway I will try your advice! Thanx
BTW maybe you can help more.. Here is my question on straight pool: what is best solution for running rack? First I run balls near the far rail and the balls which are obstacles to other balls. Then I break clusters. But sometimes its quite hard to protect my chosen break ball while breaking cluster. What do you think, is it wise to protect break ball at all cost? Is it wise to choose break ball as soon as the rack is broken?
Thanks for any input! <hr></blockquote>


Never leave the table on a miss (A quote from Q-Guy). If you can run your rack and protect the break ball do it, but don't try to shoot very difficult shots in order to do that. If you need to shoot the break ball to finish the rack do it and then set yourself up for a good safety to begin the next rack.

IMO the best chapter in "Play Your Best Straight Pool" is the one on safeties.

Get 2 more books-"The Straight Pool Bible" by Babe Cranfeld and Laurence Moy and "Advanced Pool" by George Fels.

Good Luck at the Nationals! What country are you in?

marek
03-28-2002, 09:05 AM
Hi Wally!
I live in Czech Republic, central Europe. Pool is quite new sport here so I was able to get among top 8 here in 14.1 in quite short period of time. Not many people like this wonderful game here. Mainly 9-ball and 8-ball. There are 2 players here who can run 100+ balls and group of approx. 10 people who can run 50 balls. There will be 8 players at nationals (me included /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif ). I am going to play one of those two monster shooters in first round but its double elim. format so I am going to play at least two matches. In worst case I am going to be victim of 100 balls run...which is not so bad if i want to learn how to shoot 14.1 properly /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif Think positive, dont be surprised by your opponents good game, watch and learn! These are thoughts which arise in my head right now. These are from "Mind for pool" and I think this book is really blessings to my game and for enjoying myself even when i am sentenced to sit in chair /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif Well....anything may happen....after all I may win the lag, he may break the rack and I may run 60 balls then to make him little nervous.... /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif Its quite funny how little carelessness may be helpful to your game.Anyway thx for input!

marek
03-28-2002, 09:12 AM
Hi jimWNY!
Good idea on that key ball near side pocket! Thx on input! /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

marek
03-28-2002, 09:47 AM
Hi houstondan!
The term "rearranging the furniture" is really as cool as it is important to do it on the table. But it also true that I do it as little as possible. If there is "classic" break ball I try to keep it as it is much easier for me to protect it than create new one.
And you are absolutelly right about those safeties, I dont practice them as much as I could... To be honest I dont practice them at all.... I feel embaraced now....... /ccboard/images/icons/blush.gif I just rely on my standart position game when playing safeties which is not probably the right thing to do but I just feel more need to create proper pattern game right now. But I really DO understand importance of good safety at right time in 14.1 It is true that good safeties have won me 2 really important matches to qualify for those nationals! /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif Especially there was one match which I won MAINLY because of safeties, in fact it was my most comfortable win during those qualifying tournaments. Man, this guy was really MAD, as he hasnt got more than 2 opportunities to shoot open ball in the entire match! And I won this match (race to 100) in 13 innings which is my personal best. I know its not really brilliant performance but I was quite happy with it.
You are right when you say that protecting chosen break ball force me to do some strange thing - well, sometimes yes sometimes no. Maybe its good to recognize possible problems with protecting that ball at the beginning of the rack and to accomodate with conditions.
Thx houstondan! Great input!

cheesemouse
03-28-2002, 11:15 AM
I wonder if the producers of the Saturday Night Live show are picking up on this thread....I'll just apologize right now...I'm a sorry little mouse.

Tom_In_Cincy
03-28-2002, 11:45 AM
marek,

23 years old and a personal best run of 59 balls is impressive. We have a 14.1 league here in Cincinnati and after 5+ years and 13 sessions, we just had a kid (23) run 56 for the league's highest ever run during league play.

Running racks in 14.1 is certainly a good goal for the game. In a race to 100, two runs in the 20+ can get you almost half way to 100. But, if you win racks 8-6 you win in 13 racks.
Safety play can make your numbers of "wins" increase but not your personal runs. Runs of 30 or more are always impressive and usually against a better player, a sign that they can't take the usual risky shots (cluster breakups) and leave you lots of balls to make on their miss.

Phil Cappells "How to play Straight Pool" is a great reference book for practice drills, table strategy and just a good read. I recommend it to anyone that wants to learn more about 14.1

Larry Moy and Babe Crainfield authored the "Straight Pool Bible" and is another wonderful book.

George Fels' "How would you play this?" is a book we should all have read by now.. and a must.

marek
03-28-2002, 05:54 PM
I take it you are quite entertained so far... /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif 20 mins ago I have finished my training session and I feel really tired. My game preparation for those nationals are over. Tomorrow I will rest. Probably I will go out with my girlfriend to see some movie.....lets see what they got........Rush hour 2...no no no..too much of Chris Tucker /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif... hmmm....E.T....THATS IT! That one will tune me for my best game!
Then I will kiss my girlfriend goodbye (there will be many many kisses) and will go home, turn on my PC to listen some good music for a while...Mozart or Tschaikovski....not sure yet......this kind of music keeps my mind open....then I will go to bed (11:00pm). I got no problems with falling asleep so I will kiss my blue elephant goodnight (gift from my girlfriend /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif) and my thoughts will fade away just like clouds in the wind... On Saturday morning I will get up at 8AM. From 8:30AM to 9:00AM I will be warming up in my poolhall. And at 10:00 I will shake hands with my opponent......
I am pretty nervous by now but I know I have made everything to give my best on Saturday. 80 hours of training in last month are more than enough for me, I cant give it more. PEOPLE...tell me I have done enough,pls!!! Maybe its those neverending doubts about myself and my game that keep me hungry for training.. The moments of satisfaction with my game are rare but these are the moments I strive for..... get in dead stroke, win the heartbreaker, lose with dignity...
Man do I really LOVE pool!

P.s.: Awaiting another commentary from Cheeeeeeeeeeesemouse /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

cheesemouse
03-28-2002, 06:06 PM
marek,
I love it!!!! I think your great and if I was there I'd be betting on you cause you got it going on. I think the guys your up against are in for an ass whipping and I would love to see it but will have to be satisfied with your story after it's over. I can't wait /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif Kick some rump you wild and crazy guy. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

Wally_in_Cincy
03-29-2002, 08:29 AM
I'm sure ypu will do well, especially after all the great advice you've gotten from us! /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

Please let us know how it turns out.

03-29-2002, 09:34 AM
I really am thrilled to read posts about people that see value in practicing straight pool.I was raised on that game and believe it to be a far superior game to nine ball.In order to run 100 balls you need great shotmaking,cueball control,tremendous concentration,focus,and stamina,and obviously a great analytical mind to play patterns and to keep out of trouble.In nine ball the break is such a huge factor and there is a fairly large amount of luck on the break even for the best breakers.For those of you who want to learn to run more balls in straight pool Im going to give some of my opinions from playing and watching a great deal of it.Firstly,I learned the most basic secret of the game from Mike Sigel DONT MISS!!!I dont care how shrewd you are at position play and patterns if you miss the run ends and believe me Mike Sigel never missed.Whenever I would watch him practice at a tourney site I would see him shooting all kinds of long hard shots and he would rarely miss any of them.He mastered a good solid center ball hit by doing this and when he played straight pool most shots that showed up for him were absolutely simple compared to the hard shots he grew used to in practice.Advice number two,hit your break shots firm and get them open just as in nine ball.Yes cue ball control is important in straight pool but if you have a nice break shot learn to hit it with power and hurt that rack.It will make it far easier to get a rhythym and to clear the racks off smoothly.Yes there have been great players who finessed break shots but very few people have the cue ball control and analytical skills necessary to play that precise of a game.The next opinion i have to running lots of balls is to slowly learn to build up your endurance and focus.What is the differnce between a 40 ball run and a 120 ball run?A lot more energy and effort goes into the longer run.It is brutally hard to run 100 or more balls especially on a snug pocket table because it takes tons of energy.Just like when one jogs for exercise,it is easier to run 2 miles than 5.As one toughens up ones mind it becomes easier to be focused longer and the high runs will come.I believe that being in good physical shape is a huge benefit to those who want to run balls cause it allows one to maintain energy and focus longer.If you practice straight pool and become very proficient at it you will become good at all games.It will hone all skills necessary to play any game in pool.Is it a surprise that Mizerak,Sigel,Hopkins,Varner,And Rempe were the best in the world at 14.1 and easily mastered 9 ball.A great 9 ball player would have a far more difficult time mastering straight pool.I saw 2 time US Open champ David Howard play straight pool once.He has the biggest break imaginable in 9 ball and as a result is extremely dangerous in that game.When he played straight pool he was almost purely lost.I do not intend to derogate his game or any 9 ball players game.I am simply saying that the complexities of straight pool are by no means trained for via 9 ball proficiency.Well thats enough for now.But promise me that you will keep practicing straight pool until you can run 50 balls and if that is fairly easy for you then bust your ass until you get to 100. You are a true pool player when you get to 100.Also do yourself a favor and call accustats video and ask Pat Fleming to send you a copy of Mike Sigel running 150 and out against Mike Zuglan and another time against Jim Rempe.Also Rempe has a tape in which he runs 100 balls and talks you through it.All are excellent.A recap!!!Dont miss,hit your break shots aggrassively,and develop stamina and focus.I am a bit verbose arent I?I hope this is of help to someone out there.Have a good one

MikeM
03-29-2002, 11:30 AM
Good luck. I'm looking forward to hearing from the "NEW NAIONAL CHAMP"!

SpiderMan
03-29-2002, 11:50 AM
Hi, Welcome -

I tend to have the same problem, a rather slow warm-up to full potential. One thing I have found to help me is that I have four standard drills that I use in practice which have both pocketing and position goals. I shoot these as a warm-up exercise. Because they are extremely familiar and I know what they should feel like when done properly, doing them seems to get me into the groove faster. These familiar drills also help me get used to strange equipment.

The remaining problem I have is league warmup, though - I can never have the table all to myself to do these solo drills because there are other players waiting. We end up rotating in and out of games.

SpiderMan

marek
03-31-2002, 05:16 PM
Hi everyone!
Here I am....still alive.....but not victorious. /ccboard/images/icons/frown.gif I ended at 7th place. Two matches, two defeats. Too much heat for me apparently.. I have done some mistakes which I shouldnt have done and have met formidable opponents too... I have lost my first match 100-53. My opponent was ahead all the time but when it seemed that I got my chance I wasnt able to capitalize it. I was 54-32 down and I went to table. I have made 22 balls and prepared another breakshot. I broke the rack quite good with cue ball in the middle of the table but that f.....g 6 kicked cb in the close corner pocket... MAN, that one really made me feel bad as my opponent was able to run out to 100. As I went to losers side my game seemed to become stronger and I felt quite confident. I got to lead 45-15 and played safety.I thought it was quite good safety and I was pretty sure I would beat my opponent with game like this... well...I was wrong...he analized the situation and decided to play VERY tought kickshot (kind of 5 percent chance to make it) as there was no possibility to play good safety... and he MADE it....and he made 30 balls run which equalized the score. The game became a battle of safeties in which I was on the losers side as i lost 100-78.
I know few things for sure:
1) those nationals was great experience for me
2) I know what mistakes I have done so I can do some work not to do them again
3) next time I play them I will be much more proficient in 14.1
4) CCB is great place to be! THANK YOU PEOPLE! /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

03-31-2002, 07:10 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: marek:</font><hr> I broke the rack quite good with cue ball in the middle of the table but that f.....g 6 kicked cb in the close corner pocket... MAN, that one really made me feel bad as my opponent was able to run out to 100. <hr></blockquote>

maybe i read what you said wrong but it's an especially bad idea to break the stuffins out of the rack and set the c.b. loose. some plpayers are proficient enough to read the rack and know where the c.b. and other balls will end up but that's very advanced stuff. generally, it's much better to chip off corners where you can control where the balls will end up. blasting at it just puts too much chance into the layout. watch some of the old guys dip in, set a couple loose, make em, then dip in again. not as much fun as blasting but much smarter.

dan

Wally_in_Cincy
04-01-2002, 09:37 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: houstondan:</font><hr>
maybe i read what you said wrong but it's an especially bad idea to break the stuffins out of the rack and set the c.b. loose. some plpayers are proficient enough to read the rack and know where the c.b. and other balls will end up but that's very advanced stuff. generally, it's much better to chip off corners where you can control where the balls will end up. blasting at it just puts too much chance into the layout. watch some of the old guys dip in, set a couple loose, make em, then dip in again. not as much fun as blasting but much smarter.

dan <hr></blockquote>

I couldn't agree more. There is absolutely no reason to blast the rack open. That anonymous guy who posted the "free 14.1 lesson" advocated that but I didn't feel like arguing with him. A medium (or easy)hit on the break ball is more than enough to open the rack.

04-01-2002, 10:18 AM
Wally and Houstan Dan,

Although I don't advocate blasting the rack open either, I think it should be mentioned that straight pool theory has undergone a pretty significant shift in the last twenty years or so.

Firmer break shots are more popular now, and, in my opinion, for good reason. I watch some older, B-level players in my poolroom, and they have difficulty running 30s. A main problem I see is that they routinely end their innings by getting safe after a break shot. They hit the rack with only enough force to loosen three or four balls. It's like they think they're Ralph Greenleaf or something :-) Well, guess what? There's not many Greenleafs out there. We mere mortals, who can't run 280s on 5x10s, need to open up more balls to ensure the continuity of the run.

With a lot of practice, you can "tell" which breakshots can be hit hard (and will still be controlled), and which cannot. And once you've determined that a breakshot can be hit firmly, by all means do so. You'll watch your average runs grow.

Just my opinion,
Steve Lipsky

Wally_in_Cincy
04-01-2002, 12:00 PM
Changed the heading to try and lure Cincy Tom and NC Chris into this.

Steve,

I guess I'm forming an opinion based on my own playing ability (somewhere between pathetic and average).

I favor an easier break shot because it decreases the chances of jawing the OB and it enables me to control the cue ball better. GOOD players would certainly be able to execute a firmer break shot with more confidence