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Drake
03-27-2002, 01:42 PM
Just about two years ago I posted a thread like this one. It had a wonderful response with a lot of good information that helps new players. This thread is intended to list the KEYS to playing great pool. This thread SHOULD ONLY contain these keys....If you would like to debate the KEY posted, start another thread. I'll start: #1. Keep it simple stupid.

JimS
03-27-2002, 01:52 PM
#2 NO THINKING! Tell the analytical little twerp in the back of your haid to shut the hell up so you can shoot pool.

I am a severe example of analysis paralysis.

03-27-2002, 01:55 PM
#3 key to shooting perfect pool:

forget about shooting perfect pool. just shoot well enough to beat the other guy.

dan...perfecting my imperfections.

Doctor_D
03-27-2002, 02:16 PM
# 4 Key to Perfect Pool!

A strong offense is your best defense. No Prisoners! No Prisoners!

Dr. D.

phil in sofla
03-27-2002, 02:32 PM
- Minimize the need for cue ball travel and/or 'action' (by getting the right line/proper 'side' of the shot)

- Minimize object ball speed (hit softer)

- Stay down until the shot is over (ball pocketed, cue ball comes to a stop)

03-27-2002, 03:15 PM
You need to understand why musicians practice scales and not songs. Put the work horse in front of the sled full of goods. Terry

Fred Agnir
03-27-2002, 03:20 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Drake:</font><hr> This thread is intended to list the KEYS to playing great pool. This thread SHOULD ONLY contain these keys....<hr></blockquote>

Maybe this should be renamed "Myths people think are keys to perfect pool, but are usually traps for mediocrity" or something like that. I disagree to all of them so far. All but one. Maybe I should've started a different thread for each one? Nah.

Fred &lt;~~~ has never played perfect pool

stickman
03-27-2002, 03:28 PM
One of the most important things for me: Being relaxed!

03-27-2002, 03:30 PM
In response to NO THINKING i think one key to playing better (not perfect) pool is to think harder, then concentrate on your shot. I'd like to see someone play one pocket or 14.1 without thinking.

03-27-2002, 03:33 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Terry:</font><hr> You need to understand why musicians practice scales and not songs. Put the work horse in front of the sled full of goods. Terry <hr></blockquote>

well, there is nothing more boring than listening to a "technically perfect" musician. ya gotta get some style in there to make a bunch of notes into "music". listen to carlos santana. he absolutely cannot do the same tune the same way twice. can't and won't.

dan

Kato
03-27-2002, 03:34 PM
Fred, I've never played perfect pool nor has anybody in the world (except Patrick). What is it that you disagree with? With me, I have no idea what I'm thinking about when I play pool. I know this because people ask me why I did something and I just drool on my shirt. The above ideas are probably some peoples keys to playing their best pool. When playing my best pool I don't do anything special, more or less cut the table into 4's and go.

Kato~~~~don't know much from good pool

jjinfla
03-27-2002, 03:36 PM
concentrate - concentrate - concentrate Jake

Fred Agnir
03-27-2002, 03:51 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Kato:</font><hr> Fred, I've never played perfect pool nor has anybody in the world (except Patrick). What is it that you disagree with? With me, I have no idea what I'm thinking about when I play pool. I know this because people ask me why I did something and I just drool on my shirt. The above ideas are probably some peoples keys to playing their best pool. When playing my best pool I don't do anything special, more or less cut the table into 4's and go.

Kato~~~~don't know much from good pool <hr></blockquote>

Hey, Kato gave me the go ahead to disrupt the thread more than I already have. Good.

The KISS principle is fine for beginners. Advanced players often do not keep it simple. Or, at the very least, their notion of "simple" is beyond the average player. To excel at this game, you often have to go beyond "simple."

Although I beat the physical drum when it comes to pool, in no way shape or form do you win at this game without thinking. I don't think that the poster meant "strategy" but rather "analytical stroke analysis." I agree that no true pool player should be thinking about the finite elements in their stroke, but the multitude of top professionals in any sport have "checks" of sorts. That may or may not be thinking, but it isn't a braindead activity. Then, there's the strategy of the game. Who wins without thinking strategy?

I am a musician. I am from a musical family. No professional musician I know practices scales. They may warm up with scales, but song practice is indeed paramount. Beginners may practice scales. That seems to be the going theme of these "keys to perfect pool." They all seem like tips for beginners.

I like the idea of "the best defense is a good offense", but you've got to be able to weigh both. Sometimes, offense is not the right choice.

Does hitting softly fit in with "perfect pool"? Not by a long shot. Again, this is good advice for beginners, but that immediately disqualifies power shots, which are certainly necessary to execute when playing "perfect pool." I for one am glad that I include power shots of every imaginable spin in my practice "routine."

I think the idea of minimizes the cueball travel has merit, but certain games demand a lot of motion. Attempting to keep the right line is good advice, so this one I partially agree with.

And finally, should we forget about shooting perfect pool? I think so. The paradox is that in order to shoot perfectly, you must have the ability to shoot your way out of mistakes. Which of course means you have to make mistakes to play perfect pool.

Fred &lt;~~~ sorry Drake

Kato
03-27-2002, 04:13 PM
Ask a guy a probing question and he flops right out gives us his theory of playing pool. I happen to agree with you on your points about pros or superior level players Fred but what of ME? When I play well it is obvious to me that my stroke is really working that night. When floundering and doubt of stroke creeps in or there is a hitch in my stroke I will rethink my mechanics, where the cue ball lays in refrence to my bridge, ect., become more mechanical in my approach.

There is a vast void of space where Joe First Timer and Efren Reyes reside. I believe we all take something from what we perceive is good advice and try to apply it. Getting in dead stroke is fine and playing nothing but stop shots would be wonderful but then we wouldn't be here grinding it out would we?

Kato~~~going to Hooters in 40 minutes. YAHOO!!!!!!!

Drake
03-27-2002, 04:19 PM
I see that you have a great deal of logic to back up your thinking process. Yes, there is no such thing as Perfect Pool. Even Earl's famous Million dollar string of racks was not perfect pool. For all of the newcomers on the board, Fred's post are always logical and his play is very advanced. My first KEY was Keep it simple. For advanced players, this only applies when you take that little harder shot on the NINE ball instead of drawing the ball three rails for shape on the Nine. Or, You don't jack up on the rail to shoot that draw shot that allows you to follow the angle for shape on the nine ball...(Like Mika did against Buddy in the finals this year at Derby). He missed the Eight and almost lost the set because of that one shot.&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;Anyhow, This thread has been renamed to Tips to playing great pool. For those of you with many years of experience, Give back a little knowledge to the beginers.

Kato
03-27-2002, 04:24 PM
Well, that leaves me out. I'll await the responses.

Kato~~~not good enough to give good advice

03-27-2002, 04:25 PM
I always try and tell myself to have fun. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy the challenges. There was an article in Inside Pool in which Buddy Hall basically says that this is the key to playing good pool. I agree with him.

cheesemouse
03-27-2002, 04:25 PM
I lost count:

<font color=green>Find your best shot and
then shoot it in the pocket.
repeat as needed</font color=green>

Rod
03-27-2002, 04:46 PM
Perfect pool? If enough elements work together, I'd think one could play real good. The word perfect puts a little strain on the mind, trying to acomplish something that really isn't possible IMO.
But to answer the question, here is one of my key elements.

"Hold the cue light", feel the weight of the instrument and let the free swinging weight work for you.

03-27-2002, 04:47 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Kato:</font><hr> I have no idea what I'm thinking about when I play pool. I know this because people ask me why I did something and I just drool on my shirt. Kato~~~~don't know much from good pool <hr></blockquote>

i thought i was the only one.

i've got a theory that you get all the analysis you're going to get in the first second after the tip hits the ball. any more thinking about it than that just messes you up. i hate it when people ask me why i did this or that shot? shot?? what shot?? i've completely forgotten about it as soon as it's over and i'm off into the next shot. that's the only one you can actually do anything about.

dan...sometimes has the attention span of a 3-day-old kitten.

Kato
03-27-2002, 04:49 PM
Wish I could forget, make my life alot easier.

Kato~~~remembers all 567,986 shots he's missed and only 9 of the 17 he's made.

Fred Agnir
03-27-2002, 05:24 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Drake:</font><hr> This thread has been renamed to Tips to playing great pool. For those of you with many years of experience, Give back a little knowledge to the beginers. <hr></blockquote>

Okay. You may want to print this. Logical Fred will give way to Pool Player Fred:

Treat the easy shots with the same respect you give to the harder shots.

Don't get caught up in the science of pool. Of the six people in the world who care anything about it, three of us talk about it for chain-pulling purposes only.

Be open to new/different techniques. At the very least, you'll know what doesn't work for you.

If you play best in sneakers, play in sneakers.

Every once in a while, ride the nine. If you don't do it in practice, you won't be able to execute the easy combination on the 9 in the big tournament.

Watching higher level matches induces more knowledge than racking and getting smoked by someone who out guns you. That is, at every opportunity, watch intensely and intently better players competing. If you can't compete, there's no reason to get drilled at the local pro tournament.

Never believe you are as good as your best game. That's a recipe for daily disappointment. Strive to play your best game more often.

Here's some original philosophical fluff - accept today's failures as ways to forget about yesterday's mistakes. For amateurs like most of us, your skill level is measured by mistakes, unfortunately.

You'll never know how good you can play unless you play for something other than the pleasures of small motions. A tournament, a coke, dinner, etc. Sometimes, you just gotta get your heart pumping.

Never underestimate the importance of the physical side of this game. At the same time, never underestimate the mental side of this game.

I've often said that poor table conditions hurt the better player more. I'd like to amend that opinion by saying that it hurts the player who cannot or will not change their approach in order to manage the table better. That goes with overly tight tables as well. Often times, when good players cannot play up to speed because of the table conditions, their ego forces them to tank it. I'm guilty of this and am making efforts to change.

With ball-in-hand, the straight-back draw shot is too often taken for granted. I discourage my teammates from this practice of shooting a straight-back draw with BIH.

Leaving hangers never does anyone the good they think it does.

The second-ball break is not restricted for "trying to make the 8-ball."

Depending on the shot, sometimes a bank is higher percentage.

Don't wait until the tournament to find out that you have no idea how to shoot the power 3-railer with inside english.

Don't say "chalk is free." (Lack of) Chalk is almost never the culprit for a miscue. Related, try everything in your power to not let people say "chalk is free" to you.

Just because people laugh at you doesn't mean you shouldn't pull out the jump cue. Buy one. Learn to use it. Have a good chuckle.

"Able to draw well" doesn't mean "able to draw far." The short draw shots from varying lengths and speeds are one "key" to playing good position, and are by far more impressive.

Correlated to that, the short follow shot at varying *speeds* is another one.

Remember that the ball only has to drop in the hole. It doesn't have to split the pocket. Use the entire pocket. This is pool, not snooker.

Try shooting with a loose wrist. That goes for draw shots, english shots, jump shots, and even break shots. If it helps, use it. I don't know anyone whom it didn't help on at least some of these shots. If it works, don't ask why. It doesn't matter.

Buy a better cue. You deserve it.

Learning to play on poor conditions IMO, is a good thing. You learn just how bad your stroke can be on a rug. Playing only on slick Simonis can fool people as to how good/bad they're stroking.

If you've never played one-pocket, try it. Additionally, buy a one-pocket match from Accu-Stats.

Practice the break. I don't know why people don't.

Re-incorporate the open-hand bridge. If for nothing else, a good open-hand bridge looks cool. Tucking a finger helps.

Take a lesson. Or three.

Emulate today's top professionals. The ones with good form like Mika, Troy, Cor(e)y. Don't be like me who had nothing but the Mike Sigels, Allen Hopkinses, and David Howards to emulate. These guys have the worst forms possible. Yet they won everything in the late 70's, early 80's.

Floss.


Hope this helps,

Fred Agnir

Chris Cass
03-27-2002, 05:43 PM
For the middle players, don't over think a shot.
Do your thinking standing up.
Don't dwell on a miss or a loss.
Try not to get position on the short side of a shot unless, it's necessary.
Don't try to play perfect, it's not a perfect game.
Don't shoot with emotion.
Don't strangle the cue.
Walk over and look at every possible shot to take and concider your pecentages to get back in line, when you mess up and get out of line.
Play one shot at a time when concidering a carom. If you don't you'll shoot both and miss both.
Look atleast three balls ahead.
Notice what's happening, if your opponents running 3 balls at a time, let the guy run the first 3, not the last.
If you get ball in hand, don't put the cb a foot away. Get close so you can play whitey, to get easy shape for the next shot.

For the beginners, try to keep the stupid stick level.
For the beginners, don't put your thumb on the cue pointing to the tip. Geez, that makes me cringe.

For the advanced, control the cb, the game speed,
intimidation techniques, check the racks, if losing change the game, the table, the spot or your rhythm of play. Chances are you already know that anyway. Just shoot relaxed and take everything with a grain of salt.

Not sure if this helped?
C.C.~~I english every shot.

Rod
03-27-2002, 06:01 PM
Chris, A very good player I know does point his thumb towards the tip. Thats in the follow thru, very strange!

03-27-2002, 08:10 PM
Once you've decided what you are going to shoot and where you would like the cueball to end up. Go through with it right, wrong , or indifferent. If you are not sure of what you want, stand up and regroup! If there are doubts in your mind it will put a hitch in your stroke. This philosophy works well in business, life, and sports as well!

03-27-2002, 10:45 PM
in response to Fred's last message about the form of past players, I think Mike Sigel has excellent form. He has a beautiful stance and an amazingly sharp and straight stroke. He follows through perfectly and freezes. My opinion is to stick with your form as long as it doesn't interfere with your comfort and being able to move freely. If you change your stroke, stance, or anything else you may hurt your game. That's just what i think.

Cuemage
03-27-2002, 11:05 PM
Drake, I have to say I'm a little surprised that no one has hit it on the head yet. While some of the info is useful, the key to perfect pool is the perfect EXECUTION of FUNDAMENTALS. No one has mentioned alignment, which is paramount to consistency. Stance, which must be a solid base. Others include: grip location, grip tension, rhythmn of stroke, and aim to name a few.

The Cuemage

Tom_In_Cincy
03-28-2002, 12:46 AM
Fred,

I think I have read this before.. recycled info is still better than no info. Good work as usual...

Ralph S.
03-28-2002, 01:34 AM
Just try and remember to execute the fundamentals properly, relax and have fun. As far as playing perfect, I don't believe that is possible as we are all human and prone to make mistakes. Executing properly just minimizes those mistakes we tend to make from time to time.JMO.
Ralph S.

Fred Agnir
03-28-2002, 08:37 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: kimmel:</font><hr> I think Mike Sigel has excellent form. He has a beautiful stance and an amazingly sharp and straight stroke. He follows through perfectly and freezes <hr></blockquote>

You must have been watching a totally different Mike Sigel. The Mike Sigel I watched in the early 80's didn't do anything that could be described as following through and freezing.

Fred

03-28-2002, 10:16 AM
You must have been watching a totally different Mike Sigel. The Mike Sigel I watched in the early 80's didn't do anything that could be described as following through and freezing.


If you watch any of his 1992 U.S. Open 14.1 Championship matches I believe you will see a much finer stroke and style of play. I haven't seen too many of his early matches, but during the late 80's and early to mid 90's his stroke was looking flawless. Besides, I have to take is side here because he's my favorite player of all time.

03-29-2002, 02:19 PM
well, there is nothing more boring than listening to a "technically perfect" musician.
ya gotta get some style in there to make a bunch of notes into "music". listen to
carlos santana. he absolutely cannot do the same tune the same way twice. can't
and won't.

dan

Dan I agree with the best sounding music coming from within. One of the best performances of " Mack The Knife" i've heard was sung by Ella Fitzgerald in Berlin ( I think ) in which she forgot the words and just made up her own as she went along.
The anology I was making between music and pool was that I think you have to learn and practice the different techniques and drills of both that will build the complete player. You can't do nothing in a game or song unless you can do it in practice first. Terry