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View Full Version : "Rabbit Ears".....How do you overcome them?



Tommy_Davidson
04-14-2002, 03:29 AM
> Does anyone elses sense of hearing perk up when playing serious pool,the kind you play when gambling or in tournaments? Mine does,and I have a big problem with it. I have read articles about Buddy Hall where he said that the amount of background noise he hears when playing is increased tenfold,due to a heightening of the senses similar to what we all experienced when we first started driving. That's why Buddy is known to get very irate about crowd noises and voices during his matches. His senses all peak out,and because of that he hears everything,good or bad. The same goes for me. When I'm playing,I really bear down on listening to the sound of my steel jointed cue hitting the cue ball. If I hit it good, the noise tells me I hit it good,and the opposite is also true. My problem with this is I also hear things that are very detrimental to the effort I am giving on the table. I tend to hear voices more clearly,and at a slightly elevated volume,making them stand out more,in addition to hearing more voices than normal,foot shuffling,extraneous noise etc. This really hurts when I am playing an "old school" player,the uneducated type that will deliberately and repeatedly shark people without remorse. These players use the tactic as much than their draw stroke. They were probably taught the tactic by osmosis. They learned to play in a redneck bar or small town "old-timer's" poolroom,saw all the others talk trash to their opponent,and thought it was a viable technique. They may even think it's supposed to be done,similar to the way fun players look at the practice. We've all seen people come in to just play with friends. They draw little x patterns in front of the pocket while their opponent is down on a ball,they stand in front of the pocket,wave their hands to distract the opponent,and so on. In my case,the player that has finally made me search for a countermeasure was really working me over with the technique. I had just been beating him senseless for over 3 hours,then we jacked the bet and he started talking trash,which worked because I starting playing BAD when he started. He was talking the whole time,because he knew that his game by itself was as outgunned as the Taliban,and had to do something to compensate. I have to give him credit,it worked,as I played the worst I am capable of playing. Guess what? He still only came out 1 game ahead. What this taught me is that I need to do something different to reduce or eliminate the effect these tactics have on me. What I normally do is mock whatever they last said to me in my head,or say the exact opposite thing to myself. This is not working! I used to try really hard to ignore it,that was also unsuccessful,because it's already happened and I can't seem to erase it from memory. In a more civilized room I would make it perfectly clear that this tactic is not acceptable. Telling this particular individual to "shut the f##k up" is only going to start a fistfight or let him know it's bothering me,which causes him to double his efforts to bother me. If I didn't hear it at all,it would have no effect on me,but with the way my hearing perks up during play that is impossible. I have been having a terrible time with ear infections the last few months,so I am bearing down to hear the hit even more,due my ears being clogged. Is this a case of my "zone" not being deep enough to totally silence the world except the hit,or a mental toughness issue? Does anyone have a reliable tactic to combat people that just don't know enough to reduce the conversation to "push out","shoot it","it's froze","good/bad hit" or "you're on two"? Tommy D.

CarolNYC
04-14-2002, 04:53 AM
Hi there,
If Im reading this correctly, it seems your opponent is a very disrespectful person!If someone ever started talking to me while I was shooting,I'd STOP,go to my chair and say "When your finished,I'll continue shooting and we'll have a wonderful conversation AFTER the match!":)Good luck!
Carol

Rich R.
04-14-2002, 07:15 AM
I don't believe your opponent should be talking to you while you are shooting. Carol's suggestion should help solve that, but you say that other sounds bother you too.
If shuffling feet and other conversations bother you, you are being too sensitive. There will always be noise in a pool room and you have to block it out. When at the table, you should not hear anything past the edge of the table.
Try practicing in the noisiest pool room you can find. It may cure you of this problem. Rich R.

Ward
04-14-2002, 07:56 AM
Try ear plugs

Later

Sid_Vicious
04-14-2002, 08:49 AM
Tommy...I'm going to post to clarify in order to get this thread in proper direction. I feel that you are not particularly stating that your opponent is your "sharker" but that your story here was just an example that the sensitivity of pressure alters everything coming into the hearing(all senses.) I, like you, hear far more than I want to when the pressure is on, your post grabbed my attention immediately. I am going to be anxious to hear the feedback you get for the solution.

One thing I once heard and tried which seemed to help was to stop and associate all of the things surrounding you at that time and deem EVERYTHING as friendly. The neon lights, the bullish players which you may not particularly like, the breeze from the ceiling fans, all the smells and sights, the feel of the cloth, everything in your surrounding atmosphere at that moment. It might take some slight meditation(no chants or extended periods of closed eyes) but I believe that you will see yourself settle into a "tune" with yourself and the game afterwards.

I admit that I am not the best at fortitude, and by being that way I "know the walk but don't do the walk." I will try the idea now that I've re-surfaced it from memory next time I get down for serious stroke. Thanks for the post, it may get me back into remedy mode...sid

stickman
04-14-2002, 10:07 AM
One session in league, I had a teammate just blow my game. I was probably shooting as good as I've ever shot this session. We had a great team, and had a lot of fun. We always got to our matches early and practiced with the other team members. One of the other members was close to my level, but just couldn't quite beat me. One night during practice, while I was playing him he started counting my practice strokes aloud, while I was preparing to shoot. The other members were laughing about it, we teased and kidded each other a lot. It totally destroyed my game. It would have been funny, but he kept it up. It lasted for several weeks. It got so that even when I was playing someone else, I was concentrating on how many practice strokes I was taking instead of my shot. There was no easy solution to it, it finally just became a matter of mind over matter. The more he jeered me the more focused I became. Once he figured out it had no effect, he stopped doing it. It turned out to be a pretty good lesson.

Tom_In_Cincy
04-14-2002, 10:16 AM
Rabbit Ears?
good description.. I too, use to hear everything that my opponent said.

Now, I barely hear the juke box. It takes a very loud schreeking sound to distrub my play..
I owe the "shutting down of the Rabbit Ears" to the Pre-shot routine I have learned. I will not get down on the shot until I am ready. All my thinking is done standing up. All my decision making is done while I am standing up. All my strategy is completed while standing up.. That's a lot of work for anyone.. and while doing this standing up, it starts to eliminate the distractions. The more you are thinking about, while standing up, the less the distractions influence your game.

If, while I am down on my shot, I am distracted, I have learned to "get up" and start all over again. The punishment I have imposed on my self for not "getting up" is usually a MISS. The reward is making the shot and possibly winning the game.

Harold Acosta
04-14-2002, 10:41 AM
I just saw a TV commercial last night where a bull and a bear were playing 9 ball. The bull is sharking the bear with talk about how bad a day he's had or something to that effect. The bull keeps ranting on while the bear is running the table. On the last ball, the bear banks the 9 three cushions to the pocket, and the bear then replies to the bull "were you saying something?. The bear had totally ignored everything the bull was saying while the bear was shooting. The next frame is the bull racking again the balls and saying to the bear "if he had told him about his day."

I cannot remember the company who done the commercial but the bottom line here was that the bear had not heard a word the bull was saying since he was concentrating on his game and not on the "bull" the other player was giving him.

Great commercial, I might add.

Harold Acosta
04-14-2002, 11:03 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Harold Acosta:</font><hr> I just saw a TV commercial last night where a bull and a bear were playing 9 ball. The bull is sharking the bear with talk about how bad a day he's had or something to that effect. The bull keeps ranting on while the bear is running the table. On the last ball, the bear banks the 9 three cushions to the pocket, and the bear then replies to the bull "were you saying something?. The bear had totally ignored everything the bull was saying while the bear was shooting. The next frame is the bull racking again the balls and saying to the bear "if he had told him about his day."

I cannot remember the company who done the commercial but the bottom line here was that the bear had not heard a word the bull was saying since he was concentrating on his game and not on the "bull" the other player was giving him.

Great commercial, I might add. <hr></blockquote>

If I remember correctly, the commercial is for AmeriTrade...

Rod
04-14-2002, 12:54 PM
I like that, Carol. I never said it that way but I have stopped play, and stood at the table. The other guy finally says are you going to shoot? My reply is usually, yes when your done talking, or sometimes I say when your finished flapping your lips! In the long run the other person gets more frustrated, because they know they can't get to the table unless they shut up!

Chris Cass
04-14-2002, 01:05 PM
Hi Tommy,
I also hear everything when the pressures on once in a while. I do notice when my mind is in deep concentration and I'm totally focused, I hear nothing but the ball hitting the back of the pocket.

I have to agree with Tom in Cincy about how to stop this from happening. It's excellent advice and it does stop all the nervousness. That's all it really is. Sometimes it will get to you especially when your down on a ball.

Once in tournament a guy tried taking a shot at me and stood on the side of the table whistling while I was down on a ball and was shooting it. I stood up and regrouped went through my pre-shot and made the ball and got out. Next it was his break and he was down ready to shoot and I stood right their and gave him the same crap.

He stopped, like Carol suggested sometimes you have to take control of your opponent. For men is another issue. We have to show our opponent, they can't win no matter what they do. It happened not to long ago in tourney for me and failed to get up and regroup. It cost me too.

No matter what the side bar is talking about or noises you hear. It doesn't matter, Tom in Cincy has the answer for this.

Best Regards,

C.C.~~used to where ear plugs and my opponent would stop talking. it got to be bothersome but I still have them in the case.

Rod
04-14-2002, 01:45 PM
Tommy, I think it is mental toughness. I wouldn't shoot if the guy is talking, wait till he is done, or just not play him at all. My friend and I use to make loud noises some times during practice, just for that reason. To stay focused. You need to go to the Tiger Woods Mental Toughness Training School. Actually his dad put him through situations of distraction to toughen him up. I think it worked!

Let me tell you a joke; Two golfers just met on the first tee. Bob knew Bill was a better golfer. When Bill asked if he wanted to gamble for $20 a side, Bob replied yes he would but he gets (2 got ya's). Bill looked confused and didn't know what that was, but said ok. Bill gets ready to tee off, and during his backswing, Bob comes from behind and reaches under his crotch. He then grabbed Bill's Testular Globola's (the new sientific term for nuts) and gave them a jank. Well Bill topped the ball off the tee, and at that time Bob says GOT YA!! During the rest of the round Bill was so worried about that last GOT YA he played terrible and lost the money.
Are you worried about that last GOT YA? In this case anticipating this guy to do or say something? Then your never really focused on your game. Your playing in a state of suspence.

I can identify with an inner ear infection. I had it so bad once that I couldn't walk for 3 days. When I tried I just got real sick and threw up. I swear my stomach lining was in my throat. Even if it's mild it's a bad condition to try to play pool.
Well I'm going to watch the Masters, I don't look for many mistakes by Tiger. Singh and Goosen better have their best game today. I like that guy Goosen, he has a great swing.

Ralph S.
04-14-2002, 06:19 PM
What works for some doesnt always work for others. One thing that does help me is that I usually shoot with some of my friends at an American Legion hall and with a loud band and raucous bar patrons in the backround you just learn to tune them out. Espescially if the band isn't that good. Being used to playing amongst that noise pays off when I shoot tourneys and serious matches.
Ralph S.

Alfie
04-14-2002, 06:53 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Ralph S.:</font><hr> I usually shoot with some of my friends at an American Legion hall and with a loud band and raucous bar patrons in the backround you just learn to tune them out. Being used to playing amongst that noise pays off when I shoot tourneys and serious matches. <hr></blockquote>
The decibels are no problem.

It's the words.

how they are put together

how they are said

what they mean

words

getting inside my head.

HELP MMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

Rod
04-14-2002, 07:51 PM
Ralph your one up on me if you can deal with a loud, bad band! I've never been to an American Legion, so that too would take some training.

Tommy_Davidson
04-14-2002, 10:27 PM
&gt; In this case,my opponent was my sharker. He is just a local player,only having played on a 9 foot table once,and flat out doesn't know any better than to use pathetic moves like this. I do not needle my opponent at all,none whatsoever. If I thought I had to do that crap to beat someone,I'd never leave the house. Confronting him about these moves would only cause a serious argument or an actual fight,as he is kind of a redneck,not to mention he is nearly always drunk or well on his way. To him,asking him to stop would be a sign that it's working,and would prod him to continue or really lay it on thick,so to speak. The people in this room are generally purebred country people,the kind that laugh and make jokes about people that check their opponent's racks,wipe their cues down,don't put their cigarette down on the rail,etc. These people would have a field day with my asking someone to stop talking s##t while I'm shooting,calling me a "priss" or worse. They also think that sharking is "just part of the game",and that anyone that can't deal with it is just a slang term for the area below a woman's beltline. In a room that actually had a jukebox or decent sound system this would not be an issue,as I never have a problem with it in places that do. This room has nothing but a TV. I usually keep a set of foam earplugs in my case just for situations like this,but on this occasion my wife stole them to help her overcome my alleged snoring,LOL. Tommy D.

04-14-2002, 10:31 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Tommy_Davidson:</font><hr> I usually keep a set of foam earplugs in my case just for situations like this,but on this occasion my wife stole them to help her overcome my alleged snoring,LOL. Tommy D. <hr></blockquote>

they make up that snoring stuff just to get the upper hand on you. i never heard myself snore. not even when someone elbowed me at 3 am to help her listen to it.


dan

04-15-2002, 07:50 AM
Any man who chooses a woman as dumb as that deserves what they get.

Fran

04-15-2002, 08:31 AM
I'll give it to you straight, Tommy. You played that guy for one reason. You wanted his money. You allowed yourself to be in a situation that no decent person in their right mind should have to tolerate, all because of money. The people you describe in that town sound sub-human.

I'll tell you the truth, Tommy...no money in the world would put me within 50 miles of those types of people. There's no solution in how to cope with it because it crosses all boundries of decency. If you want their money then you have to play it their way. I'd be on the first bus outta there.

Fran

CarolNYC
04-15-2002, 08:46 AM
Absolutely,Rod,when its your turn, you control the table and not shooting till someone is quiet totally frustrates them!ha ha ha and its even better when you win , like 7-0,ha ha ha,then he wont have much to talk about /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
Take care!
Carol

CarolNYC
04-15-2002, 08:54 AM
Ah,ha ha ha ha-that is a good one!
Carol

SpiderMan
04-15-2002, 09:05 AM
Rod,

I sometimes play a tournament in a loud C&amp;W/Mexican Disco called "The Neon Cowboy"
in South Dallas. On tournament night, they have Karaoke. Not only is it loud, but it's
usually the worst of worst as far as music is concered. Twist a bull's balls and he'd
bellow a better tune. I have a set of the cheap pink sponge rubber shooter's earplugs in
the console of my truck that I put in when it's really bad. I find that I can hear the
other shooter's calls just as well as without the earplugs, because everyone's speaking
loudly anyway to get over the music.

SpiderMan

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Rod:</font><hr> Ralph your one up on me if you can deal with a loud, bad band! I've never been to an American Legion, so that too would take some training. <hr></blockquote>

Ken
04-15-2002, 09:27 AM
Earl is now wearing headphones while he plays and listening to something coming from a player he wears behind his back. Probably a CD player.
Ken n CT

04-15-2002, 11:55 AM
Tommy, about the snoring thing...I don't know if you're aware of this but there are a few really good products out now that are over-the-counter (and more are coming out soon) that you can take for your snoring. Maybe you can help her out a little...after all, she is the woman you chose to live the rest of your life with and the mother of your child. Yes, she chose to be with you too, but you're the one in the better position to do something about it.

I mean this with all due respect and sincerity. Help her out.

Good luck.

Fran

04-15-2002, 12:06 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Fran Crimi:</font><hr> Tommy, about the snoring thing...I don't know if you're aware of this but there are a few really good products out now that are over-the-counter (and more are coming out soon) that you can take for your snoring. Maybe you can help her out a little...after all, she is the woman you chose to live the rest of your life with and the mother of your child. Yes, she chose to be with you too, but you're the one in the better position to do something about it.

I mean this with all due respect and sincerity. Help her out.

Good luck.

Fran <hr></blockquote>

Actually Fran,

The only product that has been proven to work is: The Spare Bedroom

04-15-2002, 12:14 PM
Haha! That's OK too, Eric, as long as the attempt to at least give some of these products a try has been made. Gestures from the heart go a long way when people care about each other.

Fran

04-15-2002, 12:20 PM
That's true, Fran. Remember one thing though, I'd rather work smart than hard! Speaking of working...

Eric &gt;wishing I could get paid for time spent here

04-15-2002, 12:33 PM
I was recently diagnosed as bebng afflicted with sleep apnea. This is a condition where during the sleep cycle breathing is stopped for periods in excess of 10 seconds. My condition is considered mild and I now use a CPAP machine at night. CPAP (constant positive air pressure) allows my airways to stay open and prevents breathing interuptions. It also eliminates snoring which is common with people that have apnea

Rod
04-15-2002, 12:59 PM
I'm glad you brought that up Fran. I've been on the receiving end of snoring. To say the least it frustrates me to no end. There is no way I can sleep, but the significant other at the time wakes up refreshed and wonders why I'm not in the best of mood. I went to another room or slept on the couch. By the time all of this happens I was lucky to get 4 or 5 hrs sleep as an average. Then of course they wonder why you don't sleep with them. I don't know how well those products work and at this time I don't care. I eliminated the problem! Some might think that's cold but I deserve a better life style. This was the short story! grrr
Ok I vented a little, breath deep, relax. It's ok now.

SPetty
04-15-2002, 01:19 PM
Hi Tommy,

Others here have talked of their own personal "mantras". I forget what they were, maybe they'll re-post. Anyway, when you start getting too sensitive, turn up the volume on your own personal mantra. I have two that I use, both are related to songs: "Get Over It" by the Eagles and a Dave Matthews song about "Suck It Up". I use these when I am being bothered by things that shouldn't be bothering me, much like the things you are hearing when you're in that sensitive mode. Gets me back into my own tempo/cadence and gets my mind off the other things.

Hope that helps.

04-15-2002, 01:28 PM
I sure do know how you feel, Rod. I guess for every snorer out there, there's a snoree. I think it's really important for both people to try to work together to come up with a solution that both can live with. But when you get hit with lines like, "It's not my problem," or "It's not my fault," it has to make you wonder why you're even there in the first place.

Fran

Rod
04-15-2002, 01:43 PM
Amen! and thanks Fran, I needed that.

Alfie
04-16-2002, 06:16 PM
Quote Eric: "Actually Fran,
The only product that has been proven to work is: The Spare Bedroom"

Yeah, Fran, put that snoring parrot in the other room.

04-16-2002, 09:19 PM
The parrot stays. The man goes.

04-17-2002, 02:32 AM
I have used ear plugs many times in larger tournaments. I always wear a ball cap to shield the "pocket walkers". As soon as they find out it doesn't work they just sit back down.
I was playing this guy one time who was surrounded by his buddies. This was really bothering me and caused me to miss, so my next turn I refused to shoot until the crowd dispersed. The guy called me a few names but I stood my ground. The shark tactics actually reversed on him and I beat him 4-0.

Doctor_D
04-17-2002, 04:49 AM
Good morning:

Over time, you can learn to focus your hearing in the same manner as you focus your vision. Working in Manhattan, where the daily noise level is deftning, you learn to tune out the noise. There are times while practicing, whether shooting racks or doing drills, when I will intentionally work in the middle of a crowded and noisy pool room. Great practice and discipline for when you are in a match and need to ignore all the noise and distractions around you. Also, since distractions tend to irritate all of us, try to harness and focus the energy which has been eminated from the source and put it to good use.

Dr. D.

04-19-2002, 04:48 PM
I think that there are many distractions in this game.I can remember a time when i was playing in a 8ball tournament.I had made it to the finals and this drunk redneck sitting behind me said ''your not going to win''and I JUST LOOKED AT HIM AND SAID THANKS FOR THE CONFIDENCE MOTIVATOR'''I WENT ON TO WIN THE TOURNAMENT. AFTER THE SHOW I TURNED TO HIM ANDSAID 'WHAT WAS THAT i thought u said iwasn't gonna win. And he said U GOT LUCKY ''' I asked him

04-19-2002, 05:04 PM
I GOT DISCONNECTED''''' ANYWAY I ASKED HIM IF HE WANTED TO PLAY SOME $10 A GAME ''HE SAID NO IOFFERED THE LAST 2 AND STILL HE DID NOT WANT TO PLAY''MY THEORY ABOUT ALLTHIS IS PLAYERS OR FANS WILL DO ANY THING TO MESS WITH U MENTALLY AND TRY TO F**K YOUR GAME UP PHYSICALLY..........