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P O O L    S H O O T E R

The Adventures of FastMikie
in search of Truth and Beauty in the art of pocket billiards.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Action items for improvement

Thinking more deeply about missing shots,
I am reminded about thoughts I have had
but never followed up on...

Long ago, El Maestro told me of a player
who, when he missed a ball in a match,
would then go home and do that same shot
until he could make it 50 times in a row.
At the time, that seemed excessive,
but now I'm thinking it could be right-on.

To highlight that concept,
there is a saying I've heard,
I think it was on AZ Billiards forum,
"An amateur practices until he can make a shot.
A pro practices until he can't miss the shot."

Following this line of thought,
I have some practicing to do!

Now, as to some of the details of practice:

It seems that I have developed a
favoritism for some balls:
I like stripes because they have
more markings to help line up shots.

And, I dislike some balls:
The edges of the 6 ball blend in with the rails
and it's difficult to see the edge on a long thin cut.
The 4 ball seems to hide from my color vision,
and sometimes I overlook it entirely on the table!
And of course, the 8 ball is the worst,
because it is the same color as the shadow
under the rails, so the edges disappear
on long thin cuts along the rail.

I'm not alone in this dislike for the 8 ball.
In the summer of 2006, on my road trip,
I met up with a hustler/pro named "Georgia Boy"
who gave me a few lessons
and he also confessed to a rabid dislike for the 8
and for the same reasons.

It is not good to think negatively
about any ball in particular
as it may effect my accuracy.
I must make these enemies my friends.

I'm thinking of getting a full rack of 8 balls,
and shooting them exclusively until
they lose their negative identity.

And, while I'm at it,
order 7 solid blacks, 7 solid reds, and a yellow
for practicing 8 ball pattern recognition
and reduce the favoritism of stripes.

Help Wanted:

Finally, my practice would be much improved
with the assistance of a ball spotter / scorekeeper
who would set up the same shot relentlessly
so I could spend more time shooting and
less time emptying pockets.
They could also keep records and notes
so that I could see improvements over time.

Is there is anyone out there who wants
to takle this minimum wage job?
There are some great fringe benefits
such as ocean view, free snacks
and an opportunity to learn the game!

Preference given to cute mutes.

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Blogger Robert Johnson said...

The Monk had a useful suggestion that I use. I gather all the balls to one end of the table, and practice over and over shots to the diagonally opposite corner. When one pocket gets full (8balls) I shoot to the other pocket. When both pockets get full, I go to the other end and shoot back the other way. But the TIME SAVER is this... when you hit a ball in with a stop shot, your previous cue ball can be your new object ball. No set up time is required! Sometimes you might need to draw/follow/cut slightly to get your "cue ball" to end up in the right place. Some people object to hitting colored balls with your cue stick, but you can clean them later.

Small stroke and sighting imperfections can affect those long shots. If you have a friend can watch your aim, elbow, backhand, eyes, they might see something you had no knowledge of. Some BCA instructors use video cameras with freeze frame and slow motion that can pick up the imperfections.

Yeah, I need to work on my consistency too.

Monday, May 07, 2007 12:21:00 PM  

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