View Full Version : Slumps: Aim,Stroke, Speed or Fundamentals?

04-03-2002, 01:52 PM
When I'm hitting them not-so-crisp, it seems like my aim is off. I find the contact point the same way,set up the same way, stroke the same and miss. It seems like I can't hit my aim point-what seems right, turns out to be a hair off. I'm curious to hear what's lacking when other people slump.

Eric >Please, no tips from Alien Instructors, I have enough issues

04-03-2002, 02:06 PM
Eric, sounds like my situation. When my game is "off," some shots just don't go where I think I'm aiming. Been playing pool for 40 years, so I've had it happen a number of times. Sometimes it seems like it's something physical (like sinus problems with a stuffy head and headache or allergies flaring up). I suspect that sometimes I have positioning my head just a hair differently from normal so that my perspective on the shot changes slightly. Alien instructors?

04-03-2002, 02:08 PM
For me, its usually my alignment and/or my stroke (the two are closely related). Often, I'm not controlling my stroking elbow very well, and I'm letting it go all over the place during my stroke. Focusing on getting it under control and limiting the movement in my stroke to just my forearm, with a SLIGHT drop in my elbow at the end of my stroke usually helps get me back into the swing of things.

This usually happens because of stress. When I'm stressed out, instead of a smooth, compact stroke, I am more likely to put my whole arm into it and FIRE the cueball at the object ball. Pool is NOT a good thing for me when I am stressed.

04-03-2002, 02:35 PM
Oh yeah. Alien instructors on this site- there's a kid that used to post here. He says he knows all the secrets of pool and will share them for $. What do aliens need with $? Why don't I pay him in moon rocks?
BTW his initials are P A T R I C K.

Chris Cass
04-03-2002, 03:50 PM
Hi Eric,
For me when I get into a slump. It's more like the way you put it. Just off a little but enough to miss my target spot by a hair. It's like, I think I'm trying very hard to make balls, but not? It doesn't come natural. I'll check my stroke and my alignment, I go through my pre-shot routine and still, I'm not getting it.

I'd drive myself nuts trying to find the problem. It seems, I'm just going through the motions. This can be frustrating. We all know where that leads. I'll hit the balls harder and when I'm frustrated my back arm becomes more tense along with my grip. Not fluid.

I don't slump that often. I ran this problem through my head a million times and still come up with only one answer, "Concentration". I'm going through the motions, without it. Without it, I'll contain my stroke and not let that puppy out. I'd take two misses in a row and start obsessing over it. Carrying it to the next shot, till I'd lock myself into a losing mode. Rolls seem to go bad from there as I'd mentally place the cb, where I don't want it to go. It's like a avalanche, burying whitey everytime. I'd mentally tell myself, get past the 6 that's, in the way and place the damm ball right where, I didn't want it. I mentally played position, concentrating on where I didn't want to go instead of where I wanted to go. Strange how the mind works.

Now, for me to come out of it. I'll get relaxed though breathing exercises. Go through my pre-shot routine, but when I'm down on the ball this time I'll get a little lower on my cue. I'll concentrate on just making that one shot as if it was all I needed. I'll let my stroke out and shoot relaxed.

If it's not happening though, I'll just call it a day. There's usually too much on my mind other than pool. Hard to believe for me but those stupid things that come up during the week, just seem to get in the way of my concentration.

Now, the best thing is to drop the whole thing after leaving that day. No matter if it costs the tourney or some doe. You can't carry that baggage with you. You have to let it go. I don't shoot all that bad but entered a tourney at Jackpot Casino. Got beat 2 and out. This stuff happens and will continue, if your mind lets it. Last week I entered a tourney and took 4th out of 92 players. Not bad but had the stuff to win. Got taken by 2 players that banged to get out. Letting whitey go and got lucky. If I let Jackpot enter in my mind, I would have just as well not entered the tourney. Bad rolls and slumps are 2 different things but have 1 thing in common. You can choose to let them go or keep them going. JMHO

C.C.~~sorry so long but important stuff is long.

04-03-2002, 04:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Eric:</font><hr>
BTW his initials are P A T R I C K. <hr></blockquote>

well, now you done gone an did it pal. he's probably talking to his handlers at the planet zernon right now, working on a response.


04-03-2002, 05:03 PM
This is what seperates the big boys from the shortstops. As Scott pointed out in another thread, You don't have to own world championships to be a great teacher. Tiger Wood's swing coach doesn't even play on the tour but teaches 5 of the best players. Anyway, Back to the original thread. It's usually a very minor stance or stroke error. If you don't have a good local instructor, set up a camera and record one of your matches. Some of the common problems are gripping the stick to hard, moving your head before or during deliverly, steering the cue ball instead of stroking the cue ball, a short follow through, and lack of concentration. Just my 2 cents worth...Drake.

04-03-2002, 05:09 PM
Hey Chris,

I hear you. It may sound nuts, but I feel like my dominant eye may change slightly. I'm usually center vision with the cue, but sometimes(like you said, it doesn't happen often) I feel like I become slightly left eye dominant. I guess that tells you whats going on in my head(!) When it does happen,it will last a few days, then go away. This might happen once every couple of months. The only thing that seems to help, is to focus on something and stare at it from the top of my vision(head tilted down). Sometimes this snaps me out of it.

Eric &gt;needs a check up from the neck up

phil in sofla
04-03-2002, 07:09 PM
I believe that when I'm slumping, I'm losing strict control of my last backswing line, and forward line from there, because of momentum issues, and thus not hitting the cue ball where I'm trying to hit it.

Now I believe that I'm making the shot on my final backswing, that if I concentrate to bring back the cue absolutely straight and slow on my last backswing, and then pause slightly before going forward, I've grooved the line and will make the shot.

My teammates all state their best shooting is when they 'calm down,' take deliberate/slow strokes, keep stroke speed down to only what's required, and I think that's all related to the same thing-- control of tip impact position and the straightness of the line. The bigger or friskier strokes, the more chance for the stray deviation from the line/impact position, and a miss.

The other day, just warming up with free stroking, overly hard just to hurry up the warming up (I thought), I missed 8 or 9 shots in a row, including hangers!

It's staggering to think that for all the work we do to groove a repeating swing, the mechanics can go south on you for no apparent reason at virtually any time. But I think that is what happens.

04-03-2002, 11:58 PM
Slow your backswing down then pause now watch the balls find the hole, let me know how it works Thnx EZMark

04-04-2002, 12:13 AM
Eric I know exactly what you guys are talking about some days you seem to see every shot jsut perfect then other days you get dsown on the ball and all you see is fuzz at the end of your cue.. I think we think alot alike as i often try to move my head back and forth to see if im not over the CB the way i usually am but most times my alignment is just fine....some days I can cut a ball down the rail and hit the heart every time then some days i over cut the same shot by 4 inches every time.. I think cass is right about concentration.. some days you just dont have it... you feel gung ho enough to play but when you get down on a shot you draw a complete blank... usually this is only a one day affair for me and i usually end up getting pissed off with myself and go home but I come back the next day and realize that everything is just fine and I dont need to go to the optometrist (spell that right?) just yet. I have been finding lately that I can sustain my concentration for longer periods of time and the result has been alot more running and a lot less sitting.. hope you find the same

04-04-2002, 11:57 PM
One of the most consistant things that happens in a slump is the cue tip is way too far away from center. I have always had success getting out of a slump, after bringing my cue tip closer to center. Hope this helps..