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




Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Most Important Thing About Pool, by Max Eberle

This month’s challenge by my friend “Fast Mikie” McCafferty is to impart the secret of pool into a concise phrase, if possible.

This has special meaning to me because my Grandfather Charles “Pop” Eberle once asked Willie Mosconi what is the most important thing about playing pool. Willie told my Grandpa one word, “Touch.” So little and so much all at once. This had to be true for Willie as Pop reported that when Willie wanted to draw the cue ball 6 inches, he drew it 6 inches…when he wanted to draw it 8 inches, he drew it 8 inches.

Even though I never really got to watch Willie play except a few trick shots and on tape, I knew it was possible because that’s the kind of control my Grandpa had over the cue ball, and that I got to watch plenty of. Pop ran countless one hundred plus runs in his career as well as innumerable racks of rotation, both games that require a high level of cue ball control.

After developing my game and ability to make shots and control the cue ball with accuracy, my phrase for the most important thing about pool is: “Decide that you will make the shot, and exactly where you want the cue ball to go, then focus only on achieving that result until it happens.” This will require the luxury of focused practice, and persistence in the long term. In the short term on your current shot, it is what will create success time and time again.

This is really the same thing as “touch” as Willie describes, because it is impossible to have touch towards something if you don’t know what you are touching towards. Once you know your outcome, then you can implement your talent into the touch category and develop it.

Knowing your outcome will also produce the results you want more often in the competitive arena. Know that you are playing to win. Know that you are playing to run out. Know that you are playing to make this shot and land the cue ball “right there”.

When you play with this kind of clarity, the details will take care of themselves. You will find the answers, the teachers, the success, the wins, and the pure enjoyment from shots, games, and tournaments well played.

Stay In Stroke


Max Eberle

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