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View Full Version : Does practice make you lacksidasical?


Johnny "V"
05-04-2009, 05:00 AM
I was doing my drills and got to the third set and noticed that I was not focusing at all. As a matter of fact I wasnít even caring if I made it or missed. I tried changing it up and doing my 5th set instead but just didnít care. So I threw some balls out and started playing the 5 ball ghost.

Does doing the same mundane practice session get you to the point of boredom?

paksat
05-04-2009, 05:20 AM
Too me.. I realize that I get in this state of mind when I have a big lead on an opponent. I also get in this state of mind when I do what you just described.

That's why I remind myself that NOW is the time to get down and focus and to push through it.

Bigjohn
05-04-2009, 05:34 AM
Take a break from the stick for a day or so and watch Efren DVD's...

Blackjack
05-04-2009, 05:48 AM
It is a good idea to mix it up a little. Routines are usually abandoned out of repetitive boredom. By following the same old routine, you aren't really pushing yourself to the next level, you are just putting in your time.

The best way to avoid falling into this rut, is to pay attention to the following:

1) Know Your Weaknesses
2) use your "practice time" to develop your weaknesses into strengths
3) Establish clear, concise, realistic goals.

Know your weaknesses
By knowing your weaknesses, you can plan a pattern of attack during your practices. This means you have to pay attention to what happens when you are competing. Take notes, or have a journal of shots that you miss - situations that trouble you, or make you nervous. Also, be sure to keep a journal of the things that you are doing well, or situations and circumstances that lead to "the zone".

Turn Weaknesses Into Strengths
If you are having trouble controlling the cue ball, or missing certain shots, you can develop and employ remedies during your practices to attack and strengthen these parts of your game.

It is one thing to miss a shot and lose a match. However, missing a shot and losing a match - finding out why and doing something about it - that is completely different. There is always something to work on - take advantage of that.

Establishing Goals
If you do not have goals, you are just drifting out to sea. To be successful at anything, you need to have direction. Goals keep you geared in the positive direction of constant improvement.

I recommend having short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals. Envision your goals as a ladder that you need to climb. Make sure you climb that ladder at a pace that you can keep up with. By establishing goals, then you eliminate the pitfall of "not knowing where you are going, but getting there fast."

Goals establish direction, focus and purpose. Pool players with direction, focus, and purpose are double tough to beat IMO.

I have a shot journal available. I'll be out your way in a few weeks, just let me know if you want one and I'll bring it out to you.

Fool 4 Pool
05-04-2009, 06:01 AM
Blackjack, those are excellent ideas you listed! I hadn't thought about a shot journal, but it makes great sense. I will start doing that immediately. Thanks for the pointers.
F4P

Johnny "V"
05-04-2009, 06:18 AM
Ahhh c'mon blackjack you know that I have a journal... You chuckled when I took notes during your training :)

I have actually developed a system for recording shots that not only is easy to remember but allows you to put them in a spread sheet and analyze them to find your weak spots.

One thing I noticed on doing this tho is I was recording shots that I miss. Most of the time hard cut shots or long green shots. I was surprised by how many of these I was taking. I figured out my big problem was I was documenting the wrong shot. The shot I missed was the one before it where I was leaving myself horrible position that forced me to take that shot in the first place. :P

JV

randyg
05-04-2009, 06:45 AM
One of the things that have improved my practice is cutting down my practice time. I limit myself to 20 minuts max per workout. Like Blackjack posted, I also have a goal set for each 20 minutes......SPF=randyg

BryanBpool
05-04-2009, 06:51 AM
One of the things that have improved my practice is cutting down my practice time. I limit myself to 20 minuts max per workout. Like Blackjack posted, I also have a goal set for each 20 minutes......SPF=randyg

Bingo.

Shorter, focused, sessions will help you keep your sanity and will give you better results.

Running a drill hours and hours and hours and hours isnt going to do you any good if you aren't tuned in.

JoeW
05-04-2009, 07:12 AM
Blackjack and Randy have good ideas. I get physically tired from practice because I concentrate so much. I practice for about 20 / 30 minutes then watch a video or log on a forum for ten minutes, then back to the table. After about two hours of this I am ready for the hot tub. Short sessions allow me to put everything I have into whatever I am practicing.

Lately I have been working on cue ball control. Start .5 diamonds from the OB, pocket and move the CB .5 diamond forward, then 1 diamond, then 1.5, etc. Next place the OB one diamond away and repeat. After an hour or so I am whipped. Repeat for draw shots.

If I have a good practice session I play the 9-Ball ghost three or four games as a personal reward. Of course I diagram the missed shot each game. The diagrams are used to setup my next set of practice routines.

When I was younger and running for cardio workout I ran telephone poles, run one walk one. Great for the lungs. Now I swim short busrts against a 5 HP jet and do the same thing 50 strokes, rest, another 50 etc. The good things about short busrts include the improvement in concentration, you are more willing to put forth all of your effort because it is for a short period of time, and in the case of physical things, you maintain / build muscle.

berry
05-04-2009, 07:35 AM
It is a good idea to mix it up a little. Routines are usually abandoned out of repetitive boredom. By following the same old routine, you aren't really pushing yourself to the next level, you are just putting in your time.

The best way to avoid falling into this rut, is to pay attention to the following:

1) Know Your Weaknesses
2) use your "practice time" to develop your weaknesses into strengths
3) Establish clear, concise, realistic goals.

Know your weaknesses
By knowing your weaknesses, you can plan a pattern of attack during your practices. This means you have to pay attention to what happens when you are competing. Take notes, or have a journal of shots that you miss - situations that trouble you, or make you nervous. Also, be sure to keep a journal of the things that you are doing well, or situations and circumstances that lead to "the zone".

Turn Weaknesses Into Strengths
If you are having trouble controlling the cue ball, or missing certain shots, you can develop and employ remedies during your practices to attack and strengthen these parts of your game.

It is one thing to miss a shot and lose a match. However, missing a shot and losing a match - finding out why and doing something about it - that is completely different. There is always something to work on - take advantage of that.

Establishing Goals
If you do not have goals, you are just drifting out to sea. To be successful at anything, you need to have direction. Goals keep you geared in the positive direction of constant improvement.

I recommend having short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals. Envision your goals as a ladder that you need to climb. Make sure you climb that ladder at a pace that you can keep up with. By establishing goals, then you eliminate the pitfall of "not knowing where you are going, but getting there fast."

Goals establish direction, focus and purpose. Pool players with direction, focus, and purpose are double tough to beat IMO.

I have a shot journal available. I'll be out your way in a few weeks, just let me know if you want one and I'll bring it out to you.

Have some comments on this that I would like to discus...

How do you like to determine the goals. Competition wise (win this tournament), practise wise (at least 8 out of 10 mighty x follow trough), game wise top (14.1 high break >100), game wise average (25% 8-ball run outs) ect. ect. Just your vision on this I would like to know.

Know your weaknesses... I would like to say, know your strenghts and practice them next to that work on your weakness. (sounds the same maybe but is different). Lets say I can shoot follow shots very good and draw shots very bad. Now I practice all the time on my draw and insert a lot of negativity, next to that I am neglecting my good part the follow shots. In a match I take on a draw shot (and now I know I suck at it) and miss, but looking at it the same position was posible with a follow shot where I had a lot of confidence in (before I started to practice my bad stuf).

Generalizing a bit, but you get the picture I hope.

Journals are great, setting goals the same, working on your weak points good, but talents do seem to act differently same goes for the players with lots of feeling... How to handle them...

Hope for your respons!

Regards,

Berry

real bartram
05-04-2009, 07:42 AM
Bingo.

Shorter, focused, sessions will help you keep your sanity and will give you better results.

Running a drill hours and hours and hours and hours isnt going to do you any good if you aren't tuned in.

true find how long you can practice for me 2hours tops then i stop.

Eruditass
05-04-2009, 07:45 AM
its even hard for me to stay focused in cheap sets!

i envy people like SVB who say they can practice all day without getting bored.

Big Perm
05-04-2009, 07:52 AM
Blackjack recommended the same to me before, have found it to be completely true.....30 mins max of practice....

I've been taking one shot, or one concept, that I need to work on....focus for 30 minutes on improvement.....then have fun, play whatever games you want, but try to incorporate that shot or comcept immediately...

Something I found interesting yesterday....we played a format where we kept switching out games....I would highly recommend this....play a few games of the 5 ball ghost that you mentioned....then shoot a few racks of straight pool....then some 1 pocket....then the 8-ball drill.....then some short rack banks....even playing these games for just a few hours, I found new shots I could carry over into other games that I would not have seen or considered before....

schon267
05-04-2009, 08:24 AM
chris, you don't know me but I watched u play some sets at the derby 2 years ago. your a great player with a heart as big as the state of fla!!

a question, when u practice for that 2 hrs, u playing the ghost, or drills, or what things do you do to keep it focused and fun?

thanks, steve

Blackjack
05-04-2009, 08:48 AM
Have some comments on this that I would like to discus...

How do you like to determine the goals. Competition wise (win this tournament), practise wise (at least 8 out of 10 mighty x follow trough), game wise top (14.1 high break >100), game wise average (25% 8-ball run outs) ect. ect. Just your vision on this I would like to know.

Goals need to be set realistically and within the players ability to achieve them. Many players confuse goal setting with self induced pressure. If the player puts too much emphasis on the unrealistic outcome, that will ultimately lead to frustration.

Putting pressure on yourself is fine, but if the player is expecting results outside of his/her capabilities, they tend to focus more on the outcome rather than the process. When this happens, the player ignores the basic fundamentals that are required to perform the smallest tasks, and therefore the goals drift farther out of reach.

The player has to be realistic in looking at what is within his grasp, and what is not. The player also has to be careful and establish performance goals, and not outcome goals. Setting a goal to "win" a tournament, is not the same as breaking the tournament down into segments and establishing sub-goals that are designed to lead you to an ultimate goal.

Many goals are abandoned after a setback, mainly because the focus was on a specific, ultimate outcome. When we do that, sometimes we forget to see how far we got in our quest, as opposed to focusing on how far we fell short.

Know your weaknesses... I would like to say, know your strenghts and practice them next to that work on your weakness. (sounds the same maybe but is different). Lets say I can shoot follow shots very good and draw shots very bad. Now I practice all the time on my draw and insert a lot of negativity, next to that I am neglecting my good part the follow shots. In a match I take on a draw shot (and now I know I suck at it) and miss, but looking at it the same position was posible with a follow shot where I had a lot of confidence in (before I started to practice my bad stuf).

Generalizing a bit, but you get the picture I hope.

(I may or may not get what your question is - but here is my response)

It is important to work on your strengths and to make them stronger. I completely agree with you. It is important to take inventory of our abilities, as well as our inabilities. It is also important to remain within our comfort zone when choosing shots, position routes, etc. It reminds me of the old joke - nobody knows how good Buddy Hall is because we've never sen make or have to take a difficult shot. There is a good reason for that, and it is because Buddy plays to his strengths.

During practice, it is also important to pay attention to your results. If you try the same shot and miss it 5 times in a row, move on to something else before your frustrate yourself. Many players will keep shooting the same shot, and the zap their energy. The frustration will creep into other areas of your game, and then its just a downhill slide. If you find yourself getting frustrated, it is a good idea to move onto something that you can achieve so that the frustration does not lead to a lack of confidence. You can always go back to that shot when you feel more confident with it.

Journals are great, setting goals the same, working on your weak points good, but talents do seem to act differently same goes for the players with lots of feeling... How to handle them...

Hope for your respons!

Regards,

Berry

Journals are only useful if the necessary information is recorded correctly. If you diagram a shot - it important to know the following information -

What was the situation?
What action did I take?
What were the factors that led to my decision?
What was the outcome?
How did I process the outcome?

If it was a negative outcome:
What can I do in the future to strengthen my game in this particular area?

What must I do to keep this experience from weakening my confidence?

In the future:
How can I use this experience to strengthen my confidence and to grow as a player?

Generally, this is the way I look at these issues. If you have any other questions - or if I just went off on a tangent about something you didn't ask me - let me know.LOL. Hopefully someone out there can put this information to good use.

JoeW
05-04-2009, 08:48 AM
I practice until I feel confident that I can make it the next time I see it. However, sometimes the shot is very difficult and after 10 – 15 trials I am not satisfied. Then it has to wait until tomorrow if I am losing interest. I have also found that it is interesting what the mind can do when I "sleep" on a difficult problem. Works for intellectual and fine motor control as well.

If I were going to play professionally I would keep a log of what I practiced and then go back a week later and check to see if I have retained what I think I learned.

I think it is more important to know your weaknesses. These are shots to be avoided until you have mastered them. When you know what shots are less than 60% you know to look for an alternate route or an alternate shot. I have found that this can be the difference between winning or losing a game.

Knowing the shots that are difficult for me also helps me plan position in such a way that I try to avoid my weaknesses when possible. This also has a way of keeping my ego in check and that too is worth something. Somewhat like riding a motorcycle: there are some things I am just not ready for if I want to stay alive.

For me, practice is a lot of fun. I probably practice 90% of the time and play against others 10% of the time. The sense of mastery and learnig what I can do, while not up to professional standards, gives me a sense of accomplishment. BTW I am quite aware of what games to stay out of and what games will be too easy.

JoeyA
05-04-2009, 09:01 AM
I was doing my drills and got to the third set and noticed that I was not focusing at all. As a matter of fact I wasnít even caring if I made it or missed. I tried changing it up and doing my 5th set instead but just didnít care. So I threw some balls out and started playing the 5 ball ghost.

Does doing the same mundane practice session get you to the point of boredom?

I think you need some action to justify the reward ratio for your drills. It doesn't have to be gambling but I doubt that it would hurt.

Playing a former superior opponent or maybe a currently superior opponent could put the fire in your belly.

A trip to Capone's on May 23 to play in the Seminole Pro Tour stop could also eliminate the boredom you are experiencing. I think that would be my ticket if I were you. I would also set a goal for that tournament.

JoeyA

crawfish
05-04-2009, 09:04 AM
I try and try. More than fifteen minutes without an opponent, and my mind is elsewhere.

CreeDo
05-04-2009, 09:05 AM
One thing I wanted to add is that it's nice to have a specific drill where there's an end in sight. For example if you're working on 1 rail shape, do half of the "L" drill, unless you're good enough to do the whole thing within a few tries, in which case do that. Once all the balls are gone, you're done... at least with 1 rail shape.

To practice stun follow you can line up all the balls to go straight into various pockets and stun follow to whatever point you decide. Again once those balls are gone, you're done.

If you must set a goal, set a make % like "I will make this bank 12 out of 15 times". If you don't make it and you are really bothered by that, you can do it again (you have motivation) but if you felt you did pretty well and don't feel any burning desire to turn your 11 score into a 12... don't force it.

I think it can lead to boredom to have an 'endless fountain' of balls to shoot. There's hardly any shot you need to shoot more than 15 times in one session. So get out all 15 and set them up and don't take anything out of the pocket until all of them are gone.

Eruditass
05-04-2009, 09:40 AM
great point creedo, i think that is a major problem in my practice.

berry
05-04-2009, 11:30 AM
Thank you for your wise answers and time. (I already knew the answers but I guess you figured that out) Hopefully this can bring people further in their game. I would like to keep on discussing our knowledge and keep a high level topic on training. Cheers! btw sorry for my English gramar but I am Dutch native..


Goals need to be set realistically and within the players ability to achieve them. Many players confuse goal setting with self induced pressure. If the player puts too much emphasis on the unrealistic outcome, that will ultimately lead to frustration.

Putting pressure on yourself is fine, but if the player is expecting results outside of his/her capabilities, they tend to focus more on the outcome rather than the process. When this happens, the player ignores the basic fundamentals that are required to perform the smallest tasks, and therefore the goals drift farther out of reach.

The player has to be realistic in looking at what is within his grasp, and what is not. The player also has to be careful and establish performance goals, and not outcome goals. Setting a goal to "win" a tournament, is not the same as breaking the tournament down into segments and establishing sub-goals that are designed to lead you to an ultimate goal.

Many goals are abandoned after a setback, mainly because the focus was on a specific, ultimate outcome. When we do that, sometimes we forget to see how far we got in our quest, as opposed to focusing on how far we fell short.

Winning a tournament can never be a goal as we have no control over this. Our oponent can have a top day and never miss a single shot..Therefor personal performance goals work better and give you less pressure.

I once asked a frustating player how many balls he would allow himself to miss in a pressure match and still be satisfied. 6 shots was his anwser. I gave him six coins that he could flip after missing a shot. If he would flip all six he was allowed to act frustated (and mess up his game). Now at least he played well (for most of the game :wink:)
We worked on catagorize the missed shots and finding solutions for them in his strong points (instead of working all the time on this problems).


(I may or may not get what your question is - but here is my response)

It is important to work on your strengths and to make them stronger. I completely agree with you. It is important to take inventory of our abilities, as well as our inabilities. It is also important to remain within our comfort zone when choosing shots, position routes, etc. It reminds me of the old joke - nobody knows how good Buddy Hall is because we've never sen make or have to take a difficult shot. There is a good reason for that, and it is because Buddy plays to his strengths.

During practice, it is also important to pay attention to your results. If you try the same shot and miss it 5 times in a row, move on to something else before your frustrate yourself. Many players will keep shooting the same shot, and the zap their energy. The frustration will creep into other areas of your game, and then its just a downhill slide. If you find yourself getting frustrated, it is a good idea to move onto something that you can achieve so that the frustration does not lead to a lack of confidence. You can always go back to that shot when you feel more confident with it.

hmmm but sometimes they just need to work through your frustration as this also happens in their matches. Therefor it is good to set a time for an excersice (max 50 minutes for trained persons and 30 for starters) and stick to this even if your frustated.



Journals are only useful if the necessary information is recorded correctly. If you diagram a shot - it important to know the following information -

What was the situation?
What action did I take?
What were the factors that led to my decision?
What was the outcome?
How did I process the outcome?

If it was a negative outcome:
What can I do in the future to strengthen my game in this particular area?

What must I do to keep this experience from weakening my confidence?

In the future:
How can I use this experience to strengthen my confidence and to grow as a player?



Generally, this is the way I look at these issues. If you have any other questions - or if I just went off on a tangent about something you didn't ask me - let me know.LOL. Hopefully someone out there can put this information to good use.[/QUOTE]

The problem here is that most of these mistakes are not lay out things but mental (pre shot routine, focus, frustration, thinking about winning / losing, thinking about how bad the table is ect.) These things need to be trained as well. How can it be that we call this a mental game for the biggest part and we always train on the table.. and how can we train the mental game?

With great respect,

Berry

MitchAlsup
05-04-2009, 01:04 PM
I was doing my drills and got to the third set and noticed that I was not focusing at all. As a matter of fact I wasnít even caring if I made it or missed.

When you get to the point you are not (or cannot) give complete focus to the ball and shot at hand, you are undoing the practice that came before. Stop and take a break until you can focus.

Batting balls around is neither fun, nor productive.

TX Poolnut
05-04-2009, 03:32 PM
There is no pressure. Play 14.1. Lots of pressure once you get past 14 or 28.

DelaWho???
05-05-2009, 03:58 AM
Two words..... Q Skills. Allen Hopkins Q Skills Challenge.

Rack all 15, break from the head spot. Miscue, or scratch is -1 CB off the table is -2. If you scratch you can put the ball on either spot and shoot any direction on the table, or in the kitchen shooting out of the kitchen. If you break and come up dry you can take a drop -1 and either put the rack around the CB and move it anywhere in the rack, or treating it as a scratch and using the above stated rules.

Pocket the balls in any order calling ball and pocket. Score 1 for each ball pocketed until you are down to 5 balls on the table. The last 5 must be shot in rotation and are worth 2 point each. Total points in a rack 20. The rack ends when you miss. 10 racks is a set, and 10 sets gives you your skill level (max 2000)

Below 300 recreational player
301-600 intermediate
601-900 advanced
901-1200 developing pro
and so on

This gives you a good look at your shot selection, shot making, problem solving, and especially position play. It is also sobering to put yourself on a scale and see where you are. My best is a 458, I have also scored a 433, and a 452, so I know where I stand. It is frustrating and motivating to see that all I could muster was 25% of the possible points.

Focus is the name of the game here



:thumbup:

maldito
05-06-2009, 06:55 AM
I was doing my drills and got to the third set and noticed that I was not focusing at all. As a matter of fact I wasnít even caring if I made it or missed. I tried changing it up and doing my 5th set instead but just didnít care. So I threw some balls out and started playing the 5 ball ghost.

Does doing the same mundane practice session get you to the point of boredom?

it depends on the drill - if you have to repeat the drill when you miss then it does not get boring only sometimes - the best drill for me is the 5 ball ghost - if you get 3 ahead then you advance to 6 ball ghost - if you lose the you go down to 4 ball ghost etc., this drill keeps me grinding away - if I am working on a drill I will alternate it by playing a rack of cribbage pool as I never get bored playing this game as a solo practice.