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m79a
06-17-2010, 02:55 PM
I am on this sickening streak of choking. I play a lot of 9 ball. I look like a pretty decent player until I get to the 9. Don't get me wrong I make it a lot of the time. But too often I am missing routine shots on the 9 that if were any other ball I wouldn't miss. It's really starting to get in my head. Anybody else gone through this? I'm at a loss and it's really pissing me off. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

TheNewSharkster
06-17-2010, 03:00 PM
Play in tournaments as much as possible. You will become acclimated to the higher amount of pressure on those shots.

TheOneGnat
06-17-2010, 03:02 PM
I had this going a while ago in eight ball. Best advise that I got was to play your last ball like you had one more. Pick a place where you want the cue ball to finish to pocket this imaginary ball. Obviously don't make it a four rail position shot. It helps your mind stay focused to the end.

Tramp Steamer
06-17-2010, 03:05 PM
The best way to stop choking is by employing the Heimlich maneuver. It's saved thousands of lives. Glad I could help. :)

tucson9ball
06-17-2010, 03:08 PM
If you find out, could you tell my wife.....:sorry:

woody_968
06-17-2010, 03:14 PM
The best way to stop choking is by employing the Heimlich maneuver. It's saved thousands of lives. Glad I could help. :)

I always thought that was the hind lick maneuver? :p

theyonger
06-17-2010, 03:14 PM
if you find out, could you tell my wife.....:sorry:

looooooolll

woody_968
06-17-2010, 03:18 PM
A couple good suggestions already. Playing shape with the cueball off your last ball can really help, as that is how you play all the other shots (I hope :) ). Putting yourself in that position as much as possible also helps. You have to learn to love that nervous feeling you get when competeing.

But the best answer I think I could give you is having a solid pre-shot routine. If you get to where you instinctively do the same thing on every shot then your last shot will be just like your first.

Woody

mullyman
06-17-2010, 04:27 PM
It sounds to me like it's gotten so far in your head that you're almost expecting it to happen. That's a bad place to be in. Everyone has given good advice so far so I'm just going to toss in one more, the mental game. If you see yourself missing the shot, more often than not you will. Look at this diagram and tell me if you've done this one a billion times......just like everyone else I might add...

You get this slightly back cut on the 9 into the corner. Not a really tough shot shot but in no way is it a "gimme". So, you get down on the shot and you tell yourself "Don't over cut it." or "Don't under cut it" but in your minds eye you're seeing either one of those misses (I just put them both there as an example. Some people tend to over cut it and others tend to under cut it. I tend to over cut these shots) Anyway, in your minds eye you're seeing that over cut and seeing the 9 hitting that long rail before the pocket. But you tell yourself "Nah, not gonna happen" you take your warm up strokes, let her rip and *BAM* the 9 rolls right into that side rail and you leave a decent shot for the other guy. I'm going to tell you this, in that situation you made a great shot. Oh, you screwed up it royally, but you did *exactly* what you set your mind on. Bravo! So, when you get down on that 9-ball, whatever negative situation pops into your head, try like Hell to erase it and picture that 9-ball going in the hole. If you're down on the shot and you're imagining anything other than splitting that pocket, stand up, shake it off, look it over again and get back down. If the same crap creeps up again stand up and start over. Do not shoot that 9-ball until you are seeing it in your mind going into the hole. Sure, there are still going to be times when you're confident you're going to make it and you'll miss, you're human, it happens. But it will happen less often.
MULLY

http://CueTable.com/P/?@3AQjR3IQjR2PVCD3UQjR3UVlh3dQjR3dasp2kVCD3kPUC3kP UC@

Mike in MN
06-17-2010, 04:39 PM
The best way to stop choking is by employing the Heimlich maneuver. It's saved thousands of lives. Glad I could help. :)

Damn you, you beat me to it.

ThePoliteSniper
06-17-2010, 05:12 PM
It is a good idea to approach every shot in the same way including the game- or matchball. You don't want to make the 9 to win the game, you want to make the 9 because it is fun to put balls in the hole.

Obviously the 9 always appears to be more difficult than any other shot in tense situations. There is no magic pill. But the right mindset and good funamentals always help.

JoeyA
06-17-2010, 05:36 PM
http://CueTable.com/P/?@3IYpB2PBWG@

I once watched a GREAT 9 Ball Player make this shot. It was in the middle of the set. He was leading the match.

This player took the exact same amount of time to shoot this shot as any other shot. He didn't just pot the ball and pat himself on the back.

He went through his ENTIRE pre-shot routine and shot it just like any other shot. You have to do this for the tough shots as well.

Until you have the discipline to treat each and every shot with the same amount of respect, no more and no less, you will continue to play the choking game.

It is critical for you to have an even emotional balance, not patting yourself on the back for making a tough shot, not getting down on yourself for missing an easy shot. ALL SHOTS HAVE TO BE TREATED THE SAME. You have to do the SAME THING ON EVERY SHOT.

There is no end in the match until the last ball falls and that means that making the 9 ball in ONE GAME is just that; a ball made in ONE GAME. There are lots more games to be played in your life.

All that being said, you should practice any shot that you miss in a match or a tournament or while gambling. Until you "OWN" that shot that gave you that choking feeling you will continue to fear it even if it is subconsciously. When you "OWN" it because you have made it hundreds of times, you will be confident when the shot comes up in a match and only then. Until then, you are hoping that you will make it.

This is a journey and it is not for the weak or timid. You have to be a MENTALLY STRONG FKIN BEAST. You can become this by developing your powers of concentration.

Face your greatest fear and make it your greatest strength.

--------------------------------------------------
OK, I took the time to RESPOND, now I'll ask you A QUESTION:
DO YOU HAVE A COMPLETE PRE-SHOT ROUTINE?
Don't be afraid to be honest and admit that you do not have one. MOST people do not have one.

If you do not have a COMPLETE pre-shot routine, google it up, find one, hire an instructor to teach you one, read about it in a book or on the Internet, talk to a good player and record their pre-shot routine, develop your own and use it on EVERY SHOT.

G'Luck!

Philthepockets
06-17-2010, 05:40 PM
shift your focus to the task at hand and the mechanics of the shot like the speed, where you want the CB etc.

12310bch
06-17-2010, 05:45 PM
you find the answer and your a rich man. Of course I struggle with the same problem Sometimes it's not just dogging the 9 but screwing position up on what should be an easy out of 3 or even 4 balls. What blows me away is that I can't even say it's nerves. we all get nerves. The extra kick of adrenaline is one reason we play the game.

So. I'm going to try another theory. This is me and I not saying it's you but if the shoe fits........... What is my feeling when my opponent misses and leaves me an easy 3 or 4 ball out? What is my feeling when I run a difficult first 6 balls and have nothing but the cream to take care of to finish the run?
What is my feeling when my opponent misses a 9 he should have made and he leaves me a makeable winner? Nerves? Fear? Doom? NO! What about stress, sweat, lack of confidence ,etc., etc. No! That's not what I feel

I feel joy, happiness, relief, the game is over and I am going to win! Yay!
BUT, and it's a big BUT, the game ain't over yet. That's what is missing
then. The relief is replacing my focus, concentration, drive, or whatever it takes to compete. It's not over confidence , I know this sounds crazy but I suddenly feel entitled to win. " I'll just pop these balls in and collect the dough,"

So I am going to start making sure that I am still bearing down when it looks like I can easily finish the game. I've got to keep competing even though it looks like my opponent has no chance. Winners do not accept what APPEARS to be the inevitable as the inevitable itself.

That's my new game plan. Oh yes! I just ordered a hypnosis tape too. (Just in case)

victorcubed
06-17-2010, 05:46 PM
In regards to focus.. use the Quiet Eye!

http://www.poolstudent.com/2008/12/15/quiet-eye-improves-shot-making/

Tramp Steamer
06-17-2010, 05:55 PM
I always thought that was the hind lick maneuver? :p


No woody. The infamous hind lick maneuver has cost thousands of marriages. :wink:

Blackjack
06-17-2010, 06:07 PM
Dale

If you are serious about overcoming this frustrating mental flaw, send me your phone number in a PM. I will give you a call and we'll work through it.

Be prepared to work harder than you ever have before in your life.

m79a
06-17-2010, 06:15 PM
Thanks everyone for your responses. I've read some things on here I can work on that I think will help me.

Fatboy
06-17-2010, 06:19 PM
Dale

If you are serious about overcoming this frustrating mental flaw, send me your phone number in a PM. I will give you a call and we'll work through it.

Be prepared to work harder than you ever have before in your life.


thats the best deal I have seen in a long time. Dave knows his stuff, you wont get a sales pitch. He is triples mart and triple generous to make that offer.

I hope your good Dave, I tried to REP you but it wouldnt let me, sorry. check in with me sometime when you havre some time-next week or anytime after, I'm buried the next 6-7 days.


best regards

eric :)

gunzby
06-17-2010, 06:26 PM
A bit of advice I got years ago was that some ppl miss the 9 because they stopped playing shape. In other words there isn't a ball after the 9 to shoot so a part of your routine stops.

He told me to play the shot to make shape on an imaginery ball. I never had a problem so it wasn't an issue, but when I am practicing I play to leave the CB where I break from.

genomachino
06-17-2010, 06:52 PM
A couple good suggestions already. Playing shape with the cueball off your last ball can really help, as that is how you play all the other shots (I hope :) ). Putting yourself in that position as much as possible also helps. You have to learn to love that nervous feeling you get when competeing.

But the best answer I think I could give you is having a solid pre-shot routine. If you get to where you instinctively do the same thing on every shot then your last shot will be just like your first.

Woody

100% correct. The other part is the whole shot routine. Many great players just don't seem to get there for the cash or the final match. Just like aiming a gun you need to know where the sights are and how to line them up.

There really is a perfect place to have your eyes on every shot. The natural sight is there. Knowing where this is on every shot can cure alot of misses. Especially when it comes to the shot for all the bananas.


Usually the pplayer doesn't choke on the shot, they choke on the aim. The eyes are simply not in the most correct position.

backplaying
06-17-2010, 07:25 PM
Everyone has choked more than once.Anyone who says they haven't are lying. No aim system will cure choking,but puts a good plug in for them i guess. I know people who play par golf for a couple of dollars a hole and can't break 80 when betting more.These same people are good five dollar pool players,but can't beat anyone betting twenty. If you haven't always choked on 9 ball shots,i would say you just have a lack of confidence at the moment. Missing several can do that. I would think you can play yourself out of it.You might try playing better/ closer shape on the nine. I think as others stated it can also help to play shape on a ghost ball while shooting the 9 as long as you still hit the cueball where you have the most confidence to make the ball.

woody_968
06-17-2010, 07:27 PM
No woody. The infamous hind lick maneuver has cost thousands of marriages. :wink:

Now THAT was funny :eek:

Snapshot9
06-17-2010, 08:35 PM
Sometimes, in a pressure filled match, you will be so glad to get a shot, that you concentrate hard on making the run. You are trying so hard on the run that after you make the 8 (in 9 ball), you have an physical and emotional letdown, or type of body exhale.

You shoot the 9 saying to yourself I got it when you really don't until the 9 goes in the pocket. Some guys race through a run, bam bam bam, but my suggestion is after making the 8 stand up, breathe a couple of times, go over to your table, take a drink of water or soda (not alcohol), breathe deep a couple of more times, then approach the table relaxed but focused on the 9 ball.

Make sure your form is correct and your stroke is straight, and then make the 9.

(I won my first $1,000 set doing this, and the shot I had on the 9 was not an easy one).

cuetechasaurus
06-17-2010, 10:39 PM
Here are two things to help you stop choking that work wonders for me:

Before your execution stroke, pause about 3 seconds with your tip at the cue ball. Look back and forth, and make sure your tip is in the right place, and your aim looks right. Then take a nice smooth stroke and make the ball.

Make sure you keep your head down. It will keep the rest of your body down. If you pop up on the shot it will ruin this whole routine.

Black-Balled
06-18-2010, 06:51 AM
...you screwed up it royally, but you did *exactly* what you set your mind on. Bravo! So, when you get down ...picture that 9-ball going in the hole. ...Do not shoot that 9-ball until you are seeing it in your mind going into the hole.

What he said. I woulda told you you to slap yourself first...just do it an all that...

Though what Mully says is true. You have to visualize success.

A similar instance of this is in bike riding, they say you hve to look where you want to go, not where you don't want to go. Coz you gonna crash!

Tramp Steamer
06-18-2010, 07:03 AM
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Become tournament seasoned.
Choking, buck fever, the yips, stepping on your weenie, are only names we give the all to human condition of folding like a cheap suit. It is part of our mental processing that is closer to subconscious behavior rather than conscious, and as such cannot be practiced away. Only controlled.
Everyone, at one time or another has choked, or will choke. You, me, the Prez, even the great Efren. It's just the way it is.
So what do you do? Play in as many tournaments as you can, remembering that tournament pressure can indeed cause a choke, but that tournament pressure can also (as you become seasoned) reduce and contol them.
Now get out there and choke one for the Gipper, ya big lug. :wink:

muddawg
06-18-2010, 07:09 AM
How do you reduce the chances of choking while eating? Eat slowly.

How do you reduce the chances of choking while playing pool? Play slowly.

Now, what I mean is that most of the time when you are going to choke, you feel it. The nerves become too much to handle. You may even start thinking something along the lines of "I'm going to miss this shot."

So, what you can try to do is take a little extra time on the shot. Take some deep breaths and try to relax yourself. And try to stay focused.

Other than that, just let yourself play like you know how to play.

JoeyA
06-18-2010, 07:40 AM
You can also read about a DIFFERENT Great Player who talks about a PRE-SHOT ROUTINE, being PARAMOUNT.
I think it is in post #71.

http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=187195&page=2

paksat
06-18-2010, 07:58 AM
I think you should take a step back and ask yourself if it's just bad luck.

Lately i've been having some real bad luck and it's gotten to the point where i've perhaps been taking it out a little on the people around me.

Now it'd help if those people around me weren't so damn sensitive to what i have to say but that's besides the point and just something i wanted to say lol :grin:

Anyhow, we all go through phases and we seldom remember the good ones. It's pretty much as simple as that.

Just remind yourself, there's a time and place for everything.

Lazy Ledy
06-18-2010, 07:59 AM
Try reading: Pleasures of Small Motions: Mastering the Mental Game of Pocket Billiards

This is a really good book and well worth the 15 bucks it cost me.

paksat
06-18-2010, 08:00 AM
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Become tournament seasoned.
Choking, buck fever, the yips, stepping on your weenie, are only names we give the all to human condition of folding like a cheap suit. It is part of our mental processing that is closer to subconscious behavior rather than conscious, and as such cannot be practiced away. Only controlled.
Everyone, at one time or another has choked, or will choke. You, me, the Prez, even the great Efren. It's just the way it is.
So what do you do? Play in as many tournaments as you can, remembering that tournament pressure can indeed cause a choke, but that tournament pressure can also (as you become seasoned) reduce and contol them.
Now get out there and choke one for the Gipper, ya big lug. :wink:

That's another thing right there... sometimes people make the mistake of thinking they're not up to the task when in reality they just need to get use to it.

I believe the word is "seasoning."

sausage
06-18-2010, 08:07 AM
I am on this sickening streak of choking. I play a lot of 9 ball. I look like a pretty decent player until I get to the 9. Don't get me wrong I make it a lot of the time. But too often I am missing routine shots on the 9 that if were any other ball I wouldn't miss. It's really starting to get in my head. Anybody else gone through this? I'm at a loss and it's really pissing me off. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

there's a simple solution. play your position even when shooting the last ball on the table and all will be well.

KSwiss10
06-18-2010, 08:10 AM
I know most people on here bash the APA, but playing in it this season has helped with this exact situation. Making the 9 in the APA is worth 2 points and that's it. If you make it you may win that rack but still lose the match, and if you miss, you may lose that rack but could still win the match. It's just two points on the way to whatever you need. Now when I play outside of leagues I look at the 9 like any other ball.

asn130
06-18-2010, 09:50 AM
take smaller bites

driz86
06-18-2010, 10:09 AM
Learn to fail, or fail to learn? Pay attention to what the ef you are doing and I bet that things will make a change for the better.

hang-the-9
06-18-2010, 10:38 AM
Something that has helped me a bit lately. When I get to any game winner, if I'm in perfect position or not, I don't even think about the ball being there to make. I get down like I'm just practacing my swing, get in line with the cue ball, focus on the contact point on the cue ball, then look at the object ball and do the rest of the shot as normal. I find that this gets me off the "oh crap, what a tough shot" or "hey, just one more ball and I win" thoughts and gets my hand and eyes to just focus on the contact point of the ball.

I found out a bit ago that when I approach the shot with either fear of missing it, or fear of scratching, or anticipation of winning, things usually go bad for me. I started focusing more on the mechanics of the hit and aim and blanking out everything else, what ball this is, who I'm playing, the hot asian chick with tight jeans 2 tables over (OK, OK, I still pay attention to that :wink: ). Soon as I started doing that, I turned into a mini-monster player, I started ripping through people I had a hard time beating before. Not just close games, before many games went hill-hill, now I'm looking at 5-0, 5-2 scores. I don't really think too much about what spin to use, how hard to hit, learn to trust your practice and experience and the cue stick will know what to do.

jfred0826
06-18-2010, 11:39 AM
Wow.....I can certainly relate to choking on the game ball. I have to fight that battle regularly.

One thing I like to do during practice is just shoot with the cue ball and the nine ball. Shoot that nine over and over, and then shoot it some more..... each and every practice session. Seeing the nine go in the hole for you a hundred times a day builds an image in your mind that tells you that YOU can make that yellow and white ball any time you step up to shoot it. That can do wonders for your confidence level.

Naturally, if you play both 8 ball and 9 ball, then use both of them in your practice session.

Hope this helps. I know it works for me.

Joe

K Knight
06-18-2010, 01:05 PM
Wear a garter belt next time you play. It'll take your mind off it meat.

Scott Lee
06-18-2010, 02:06 PM
Actually there are 3 'pre-shot routines', not just one. Most players only think about (and post about) one...the shooting routine. The other two are just as critical for a consistent result.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

You can also read about a DIFFERENT Great Player who talks about a PRE-SHOT ROUTINE, being PARAMOUNT.
I think it is in post #71.

http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=187195&page=2

hang-the-9
06-18-2010, 02:14 PM
Actually there are 3 'pre-shot routines', not just one. Most players only think about (and post about) one...the shooting routine. The other two are just as critical for a consistent result.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

You're talking about 1. Hitchin' up your pants 2. yelling so the whole place can hear you "I'll try da 8 in da side!" 3. going through the shooting routine.

Scott Lee
06-18-2010, 02:27 PM
hang-the-9...Uh...nope. We call them chalking, stalking & talking.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

You're talking about 1. Hitchin' up your pants 2. yelling so the whole place can hear you "I'll try da 8 in da side!" 3. going through the shooting routine.

hang-the-9
06-18-2010, 02:33 PM
hang-the-9...Uh...nope. We call them chalking, stalking & talking.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Hey, I have seen many a pre shot routine, and that one is very common. The other one is saying "hold one, I gotta take this call" and heading outside to talk and smoke for 10 minutes right before their shot.

sfleinen
06-18-2010, 02:52 PM
No woody. The infamous hind lick maneuver has cost thousands of marriages. :wink:

"No woody" followed by "the infamous hind lick maneuver has cost thousands of marriages"? That doesn't make logical sense. Sounds like someone going through the motions.

Wouldn't the logical opposite of the first (i.e. "woody" instead of "no woody") then followed by the second, lead into the costing of thousands of marriages? :D

On a different note, they named a beer after that infamous maneuver. It's called Hind-lick-en. D'oh! :D

-Sean

JE54
06-18-2010, 04:09 PM
A lot of good suggestions...................

greyghost
06-18-2010, 04:18 PM
I am on this sickening streak of choking. I play a lot of 9 ball. I look like a pretty decent player until I get to the 9. Don't get me wrong I make it a lot of the time. But too often I am missing routine shots on the 9 that if were any other ball I wouldn't miss. It's really starting to get in my head. Anybody else gone through this? I'm at a loss and it's really pissing me off. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

this may sound stupid but switch the 9 ball out with another ball during pratice....that number gets in peoples head and they sweat about it....I know quite a few people that just replaced it and it helped them to learn to just address it as another ball....

Having to shoot the 15 ball for the money just doesn't sound as stressful as the 9 lol try it, it just could help you out....its all in your head anyways and it can be a useful trick to fool your brain into thinking correctly

tigerseye
06-18-2010, 06:20 PM
I am on this sickening streak of choking. I play a lot of 9 ball. I look like a pretty decent player until I get to the 9. Don't get me wrong I make it a lot of the time. But too often I am missing routine shots on the 9 that if were any other ball I wouldn't miss. It's really starting to get in my head. Anybody else gone through this? I'm at a loss and it's really pissing me off. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.


9-ball? i didnt know there were numbers on the balls??
Hope that helps..=)

m79a
06-19-2010, 01:14 PM
Thanks for the suggestions guys. Played in a tournament last night, didn't get in the money, but I hung around for a long time. I guess it's just been a lack of concentration when I get down to the 9. It seems like the harder the shot, the more likely I am to make it. That's been the case with me ever since I started playing. Make some of the most ridiculous shots and miss the easy ones.