View Full Version : Earning the Free-wheel

03-26-2002, 12:36 PM
How many times have you heard these words or words to the same effect?
<"man, I just free-wheeled on him">
<"He free-wheeled on me">
<"I wish I could free-wheel all the time">
<"He's a free-wheeling monster">
<"He could out free-wheel Jesus">
<"I had him beat and then he just free-wheeled out too win">
<"You can't beat him/her free-wheeling">
<"If I could live in the free-wheeling zone I'd be a champion">........
Well, anyway you get the picture. We've all been there and then it's gone. What is this state of being? How do you get there and better yet how the hell do you stay in this most pleasant place?

03-26-2002, 12:51 PM
You have to learn to play first

03-26-2002, 01:00 PM
We all know unregistered Anonymouse'es can't free-wheel. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

03-26-2002, 01:17 PM
This is about the only credible (written by someone with an understanding of psychology, who was researched the subject extensively) book that I know of that deals specifically with this subject.


If anyone knows of others, please post.

03-26-2002, 02:08 PM
Cheese, I consider it the state of mind when what your doing comes natural, "without conscious thinking".
You can't free-wheel if your conscious thinking is under control, because you know your thinking, and over thinking clutters the mind. This can happen because you placed a value or importance on any given shot. When you were free-wheeling that value wasn't there to clutter your mind.

Why ask me, what the hell do I know about this stuff?
Now you got me thinking, it hurts!

phil in sofla
03-26-2002, 03:45 PM
I think free-wheeing might be different from dead stroke somehow, not sure. But close enough for this discussion.

A casual game I picked up last week found my opponent in 'can't miss' mode, so much HE remarked about it amazement, and then amazingly, after naming the state, he CONTINUED in it as long as he played. (I say amazingly, since in my experience, just identifying it, either yourself or if someone else says it, tends to make it go away just as mysteriously as it came). I got to break maybe 3 times in 2 hours of 9-ball play. He'd say he was going to play a kick to a ball frozen to the short rail, to combo in the 9 in the middle of the table into the side pocket (!?!?!), only because everything was going for him that night, and then make that shot! I couldn't even get upset, I thought it was among the most remarkable things I've seen at the pool table.

One thing that helped my opponent get/stay there, I believe, was that it was a no-lose situation, playing for recreation with nothing on the line to prove or any penalty for failure-- sans souci, without a care. I think that's a part of the mind set that's involved with this-- eliminating the fear or anxiety of the outcome of the shot, in order to give it the best execution you can. No judging, no internal voice critiquing yourself as a dog or failure, very little if any left brain (logical thinking) at all. Don't need it, since it is pattern recognition and motor control skill, which don't require verbal thinking.

That's fairly hard to do when something is riding on the shot/game, but yet the kind of bemused benign indifference to (potentially bad) results that is required to free up your 'expert shooter within' to do what he can do to the limit of his capability, WHICH IS EXTREMELY HIGH.

As well as you've ever shot, or better than that, is how well you CAN shoot right now, if you could take out the distractions, internal and external (assuming you have consistent stroke mechanics). And a fair amount of the difference when you're in that zone is an instinctive feel for speed and resulting shape.

'See it' (mentally), trust your inner player to make it happen, and then step out of the way to let the man through.

03-26-2002, 03:53 PM
I think the Peter Principle applies here. Some players have that loose play by choice but only to a certain extent. It is not totally mindless. Earl appears to freewheel but he really doesn't. A true freewheelers level of play is all over the board. They have as many bad days as good, and some days are so far below their best days you can't believe it is the same player. What may appear to be freewheeling may be a player just letting it happen. You may be fooled sometimes. I played a player years ago named Steve Gumphries (The Gump). I refused to quit. I was waiting for him to come down. By the forth night I was a believer. One of the nights he beat me wearing sun glasses. We played from 4 in the afternoon to 3 or 4 the next morning and he never took them off.

03-26-2002, 04:06 PM
You mention you were playing for nothing, but you will see this kind of play most often for money and almost never in a tournament. Playing for money can be an endless competition, where if you make a mistake it is no big deal. You can keep playing, raise the bet, play some more tomorrow whatever. Contrary to popular belief, there is not really much pressure playing for money at all. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Tournaments are another deal. They can be a complete head trip. I have a hard time quieting my mind in a tournament. Playing for money seems like nothing, it's fun.

03-26-2002, 04:41 PM
Hey Q-guy,
Ironic thing is I am the exact opposite as you, I was always more comfortable in tournament matches, than I was gambling one on one, odd huh.

03-26-2002, 04:54 PM
I don't think its odd Scott. Some people just react differently to situations. I'm like Qguy, in the sense that tournaments are so permanent if you loose. Gambling there's always more bullets. Unless your broke or in over you head.

03-26-2002, 09:42 PM
It looks like this post is played out but I'm glad to hear it is a mystery to you guys also.
It was a great exchange of 'inside pool' stuff. I was hoping the replies would comfirm my suspicions that it is lightning in the bottle. It is a great mystery. It is the nectar of the pool gods and I'm glad you guys are pre-occuppied by the wonder of it all. With age I have come to just enjoy it when it's on and be thankful that it still happens.

03-26-2002, 11:57 PM
You might want to pick up a copy of "Golf is not a Game of Perfect" This book will help you understand the "Free Wheeling" and "Zone" experiences of execution of your desired sport.

In a nutshell, "Free Wheeling" and "Zone" experiences are glimpses of how you can play if you perfect your practice routines to match your execution in competion. Not an easy thing to do, but worth the effort.

03-27-2002, 02:44 AM
I don't think it's a mistery Cheese, but it's hard to put that stuff into text, without typing all night. It is for me anyway. I certaintly am far from all the answers and this board is not the place for real in depth conversation.
Since I'm a brick or two short of a full load, vocabulary speaking it is real difficult. I think it's a 1 on 1 or possibly a group, in person, conversation. Can you imagine several psychologists in this discussion? The text alone could be mind-boggling! I mentioned tonight to a guy, how I knew what the other guy was thinking while shooting. The guy that was shooting agreed that I did in fact know what he was thinking, and I did. It's not a hard concept to understand, because of experience, and especially knowing the person that is shooting, and the limit of their ability.
The CCB is good for exchanging ideas, but there is a limit.

03-27-2002, 06:09 AM
You mention how it is hard to put the zone into words. When you are the master of the universe it's hard to find a good conversation. heheheh!! I wonder if there is a pool team of psychologists somewhere, can you imagine.
One night I was playing nine ball and my girlfreind was sweating the match. I was deep in the zone when the guy chunks one up, before the cueball stops I had elbowed my girl and said "watch this, the guy is going to take a bathroom break", sure enough he did. My girl was impress but not enough to stick around and compete with pool. I can't even remember her name now.

03-27-2002, 06:42 AM
This subject hits very close to home for me. The ONLY way I play to my highest level is to "freewheel" as yous guys' call it. I call it letting go. The way I get there is to throw the balls out on the table and start rolling them in QUICKLY. It might be 14.1,9-ball,1-hole whatever,but if I play slowly with any second guessing or too much analysis I am the biggest dogmeister on the planet. I think I got this way from childhood, we had a table in the basement white GC-1 I got to play when nobody else was around,which was'nt that often being the youngest of 10 kids. So I shot as many in as fast as I could for the fun of it. Every time I have gone to the analytical approach to try to better my game I get all screwed up for about a month,then I go back to my natural ways and POOF deadpopland. The thought I try to keep in my head while playing is "What would Efren do here?". I'd love to tell you all that I play this way from years of perfect precise practice ,but I'd be lying. I don't do drills....never did. I have a whippy Phillipino type stroke that would make you sick to look at, and wonder how I don't miscue every shot. I had a guy last week at a touny ask me after the match how I hit a shot,He said he tried to pick up on it while I was shooting but couldnt tell where the hell I was cueing the ball!. The moment I pay attention to the cueball,my stroke,the score,the rails,whatever it all goes out the window. The worst part(and I hear the teachers cringing) I get down behind the shot THEN adjust and aim from there with my eyes,feel,body and whatnot. Believe me when I was younger everyone tried to change my style saying it wont hold up,so I tried to friggin change. I no longer listen to anyone about my game!...except maybe Efren if he would care to comment;)hope some of this rambling made sense:)...Later...Gerry