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View Full Version : In a slump - how do I get out?



Buckster_uk
08-02-2003, 11:10 AM
I am from the UK, and play 9-ball most weekends and play on the UK Tour and most other events around the UK.

I started losing my game about a month back, and have not regained it. I think for some reason I was trying TOO hard, aiming the cueball exactly where I wanted to hit it, meaning I was changing my game completely. This last week I went back to how I used to play, and in practice I have been hitting the balls well. Today I played a tournament and lost first round, I am worried that for some reason I will never regain some form back and I think I am losing my bottle in tournament play.

Advice? Is it simply just practice and my game will hopefully come back?

bluewolf
08-02-2003, 11:48 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Buckster_uk:</font><hr>
This last week I went back to how I used to play, and in practice I have been hitting the balls well. Today I played a tournament and lost first round, I am worried that for some reason I will never regain some form back and I think I am losing my bottle in tournament play.

<hr /></blockquote>

I always feel for folks who come on here like you have, who are obviously good players. If you were hitting well in practice, that sounds good to me.

I would jettison those negative thoughts of never becoming what you were once. Just throw those thoughts out of the trash hatch on your 'pool vessel' which is you.

Sounds like you are a winner, and need to think of yourself that way.

Sorry if that sounds like giving advice, but it does sound to me like you are being too down on yourself.

Laura

Nightstalker
08-02-2003, 11:56 AM
Sounds like your mind is getting in the way of your ability. Doubt is a killer for a competitor. Keep practicing and build your confidence back up, the doubt should go away. If it does not, you may have a more serious problem.

dg-in-centralpa
08-02-2003, 02:50 PM
Be careful of overconfidence. I had this problem where I was overconfident and practice was great but I couldn't win a game during league. I stopped practicing for 2 - 3 weeks and didn't play except league. Then I started practicing by doing fundamentals and then I came out of the slump.
Good Luck!

DG - who's had more ups and downs than a rollercoaster

Irish
08-02-2003, 05:59 PM
Bluewolf is correct, your mental attitude is not helping you in the slightest. You are not in a physical rut, you are in a mental rut and you need to get out of it and believe in yourself. I used to have problems like this but nowadays I shoot pretty confident and consistent pool due to the fact I refuse to let mental problems affect me. If I miss a shot then I did something to cause that miss. If I lose a set I look back at why I lost. Was it bad safety play, did I miss afew shots, did the guy run a 5 pack on me, ect...

Why are you losing? Was the guy you lost to in the first round a good player, was he better then you, was he worse, why did he beat you? I dont mean mentally, I totally mean what happend on the table that caused you to lose the match, that is all that matters. Why you are shooting pool you have one chance and one chance only to make the shot, you have to shoot that shot with confidence and with extreme purpose. You have to know that you are making the ball and getting the shape you need when you stroke the ball. If you stroke the ball without knowing it is going in and the shape is going to be perfect then you should not have stroked that ball at all. Take some time, walk around the table and analize the required shape for the next 3 balls, analize the out and whether there are any trouble balls (if there are none, get out or lose), look at the contact point on the object ball (even top players will do this when the pressure is on to reafirm the perfect contact point to make that ball in the heart). All of this helps you focus on the task at hand, focus and confidence in your actions at the table are the key to winning matches. Oh, and dont play with any emotion, what you are doing is a job and until the match is over dont go patting yourself on the back for a good shot or getting down on yourself for a bad one.

Fred Agnir
08-02-2003, 06:15 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Buckster_uk:</font><hr> I am from the UK, and play 9-ball most weekends and play on the UK Tour and most other events around the UK.

I started losing my game about a month back, and have not regained it. I think for some reason I was trying TOO hard, aiming the cueball exactly where I wanted to hit it, meaning I was changing my game completely. This last week I went back to how I used to play, and in practice I have been hitting the balls well. Today I played a tournament and lost first round, I am worried that for some reason I will never regain some form back and I think I am losing my bottle in tournament play.

Advice? Is it simply just practice and my game will hopefully come back? <hr /></blockquote>I'd hate to be jumping on the happy mental thoughts band wagon, so I won't. Ever think about checking your fundamentals?

Fred

Fran Crimi
08-02-2003, 06:16 PM
Just a guess here because everyone is different, but it sounds to me like you need to clear the clutter out of your head and put things back into perspective about your game. Your best game didn't go anywhere. It's just a little jumbled up in your head right now.

I've found that nothing beats clearing your head than good old fashioned physical exhaustion. (No, not exertion...exhaustion.) It's summertime. Do you enjoy the ocean and riding the waves? Do something outdoors and forget about your game for a couple of days if you can. Get some oxygen in your lungs.

It shouldn't take long to find your game again if you're willing to let it go for a short while.

Good luck,

Fran

griffith_d
08-02-2003, 10:17 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Buckster_uk:</font><hr> I am from the UK, and play 9-ball most weekends and play on the UK Tour and most other events around the UK.

I started losing my game about a month back, and have not regained it. I think for some reason I was trying TOO hard, aiming the cueball exactly where I wanted to hit it, meaning I was changing my game completely. This last week I went back to how I used to play, and in practice I have been hitting the balls well. Today I played a tournament and lost first round, I am worried that for some reason I will never regain some form back and I think I am losing my bottle in tournament play.

Advice? Is it simply just practice and my game will hopefully come back? <hr /></blockquote>

It is not you,...it is your cue. Send me your cue and I will analyze it on my electronic lathe and turn it down until I find the problem.

I will test it out until I get it right,...not matter what it takes.

Griff

Vagabond
08-03-2003, 07:02 PM
Hello mate,
No worries mate.All u have to do is that u stay away from pool hall for 5 to 7 days and everything will be all right.cheers /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif
vagabond

CarolNYC
08-04-2003, 05:50 AM
Hi there,
Did anything happen a month ago in your personnal life that may be on your mind?You say you "changed your game completely"-did you learn something new and are trying to apply it?Sometimes, trying to get" too perfect" position can mess you up-as long as your in the so-called "safe zone" of the next shot, you should be okay!
Im sure if you were "on" at one time, you'll be "on" again!
Good luck!
Carol:):):)

holls
08-08-2003, 07:50 AM
Sorry to hear about your slump. It's something anyone in any sport can symapthize with(look at Tiger). I've spoken w/many people (pros and amateurs) about slumps in pool. From what I've learned, slumps are 50% mental 50% physical. I view slumps this way, on some unconscious level, there's a part of your game that is needing some work and tweaking, you just don't know what it is (the most frustrating part of a slump). While in a slump, you begin to concentrate more on basics and you don't take anything for granted. Durning a slump it feels like you're shooting pool underwater. Every shot seems to take a herculean effort. But once you've worked out whatever it is, you actually shoot better and w/more confidence than you did before the slump. Just have patience and concentrate, take your beatings and know that it will eventually end...

landshark1002000
08-26-2003, 12:47 PM
Hi Buckster:

The experience of a slump can be like living in the past while worrying over the future.

Your "now" becomes a mess.

Exercising before tournament play will relieve tension.

Soul-searching (away from play) will help little... unless your motive for playing is a problem.

Why the sudden desire for approval (perfection)?

Life is never "ever upward".

Failure is not a life sentence.

-Ted

nhp
08-27-2003, 05:37 AM
I am 99% sure it is a problem in your mechanics. I went through the same thing for nearly a year, and until recently found (after checking my stance, stroke, grip, alignment, etc.) that locking up my wrist was causing me to hit balls bad.

Here is some advice: Take a break for about a week like the other guy said. When you come back, practice for a few hours for one or two days. If your game doesn't come back, start checking your mechanics. The day that you do get your stroke back, remember what you are doing and how it feels, and maybe take a few notes just so you don't forget. It is usually small things that go unnoticed, but make a pretty big difference in how you play.

Some more advice: Don't set your goal to play as good as you used to. Set your goal to play much better than you used to. Trust me on this, I've been through this for many more months than you have been in this slump, and I know how painful it is to lose to people you should beat. Once you get that "feel" back, set a schedule to practice often and fine tune your game. If you get it back one day, and don't practice for a while, it might go away for an even longer time.

Good luck,
Nate

magicman
08-27-2003, 10:43 PM
very simple, motor up to Scotland, Leave your cue at home, stay a week, play golf every day on a different course, come back, your pool game will be there for you.

HALHOULE
09-22-2003, 10:27 PM
POCKET BADLY AND HAVE NO GAME. POCKET WELL AND HAVE A GAME.

_jamesdean_
09-22-2003, 11:24 PM
Whenever i'm in a slump I try not to focus on Pool for a few days.

Qtec
09-23-2003, 12:42 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I think for some reason I was trying TOO hard, aiming the cueball exactly where I wanted to hit it, meaning I was changing my game completely <hr /></blockquote>

????????


Correct me if I am wrong.

You dont aim where you are supposed to.
You only 'aim' when you actually hit the ball.
You have had some success with this but you find that you are not improving.
You lack confidence when playing more difficult shots.

You have started analyzing what you are really doing and now you dont know what to do or even how you used to play.


Find a good instructor. Let him check your cue action out.

Qtec

Ralph S.
09-23-2003, 02:32 AM
Hi Buckster. It is hard to say wether the problem is in your mechanics or in your head. Either way, I can tell you what has always worked for me. What that is , is taking a break away from the game for a week or so. Do something else, anything except billiards of any kind.

pooltchr
09-23-2003, 06:09 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote HALHOULE:</font><hr> POCKET BADLY AND HAVE NO GAME. POCKET WELL AND HAVE A GAME. <hr /></blockquote>

Wow, it's so simple I can't believe I never thought of it. Just put more balls in the pockets more often and your game will improve! Try not to miss so many. I've been looking for the secret to this game for years, and there it is!