sticking with the plan

just a quick story.  the other day i was down at my fave PH practicing by myself.  i got bored, so i asked one of the gents to see if he wanted to practice together a bit.  i shall call him OB for now.  OB was very cool and readily agreed, and i moved over to his table to practice.  we ended up playing 9-ball races to seven for fun.  although we didn’t gamble, i learned a valuable insight from the practice session.

OB is a fair player; not great, but pretty decent in his own right.  based on my observation, even if i didn’t play well against OB, i could still keep up with him; OB isn’t the type of player with a lot of firepower, so i knew didn’t need to worry about getting run off the table.  still, OB could make good shots and run out if given a chance.  well, i was making good shots in the first set, but my speed control was off, & i gave away five or six games.  (horribly bad!)  so the first set OB torched me 7-1.  somehow, i wasn’t worried; i knew that if i stuck with my system and my preshot routines, i could make shots and run out.  putting this to practice, i didn’t change my approach in the second set and stuck to my routine: sight the shot, firmly plant my feet, loose grip, loose swing, pause, and fire.  sure enough, i started making better shots and getting out, and i won the second set.  i wanted to play some more, but dinner plans forced me to quit.  still, i enjoyed the practice; i said my goodbyes to OB and left feeling my pool addiction satiated for the day.

moral of the story?  once i find a routine that works for me, stick with it and trust that it’ll work for me.  don’t panic and deviate from the plan, even if you’re getting a bad beating.  ignore the score and concentrate on the routine, and focus on the shot.  if you stick to your guns, the game will come to you.

if your routine doesn’t work for you, then you should probably get a coach.  or figure out a heck of a research plan to find a new routine.

8 comments on “sticking with the plan

  1. Same thing in chess. Find what works and stick with it. Too many players try to play too many openings. Pick solid openings, learn the lines, stick with them, and your rating will go up 100-200 points just by doing that.

  2. You forgot to mention what your routine was. Can you share with us what your routine is from the time your opponent is done with her/his shot?

    • i do the pretty basic stuff.

      1. mad-dog stare at the opponent if he/she is an a~*. if not, skip to step two
      2. survey the shot/table
      3. decide what shot to take
      4. get into stance
      5. plant firm bridge on table if the table allows me; if not find the most comfortable bridge to use
      6. loose arm/grip
      7. warm-up strokes
      8. execute

      if the shot doesn’t feel right, i get up & repeat the steps. 🙂

    • yeah. the pause is built into my stroke so i don’t really think about it; to me it’s the execute part. but you’re right about the pause.

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