Key Words
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luilu
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Key Words - 07-21-2014, 07:11 AM

I saw the interview after Rory McIlroy's won yesterday and he indicated he repeated key words to stay focus.

Wonder if any pool players do the same thing. And if you do what are your key words?
  
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07-21-2014, 07:18 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by luilu View Post
I saw the interview after Rory McIlroy's won yesterday and he indicated he repeated key words to stay focus.

Wonder if any pool players do the same thing. And if you do what are your key words?
I would assume they have several, a little something like this...

"don't", "miss", "this", "or", "I'm", "going", "hungry" and "tonight".

But seriously, I've heard other sports people mentioning they had key words they used at time of need, never heard of it in pool though. Interesting topic.
  
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07-21-2014, 08:15 AM

I do. It helps with concentration by letting you focus on the game and not your basics. The idea is to take your routines and assign a key word to remind you of them, so that you are not using "baby steps" throughout your game. You decline as you challenge your endurance, which is why you might play great in the beginning but get worse as you go along. The key words get you back on track without distracting you with every nuance of the game.

I use the word slick to subconsciously get me using my preshot routine. This word used to remind me of a certain player from my past. Doesn't matter what the word is, once you associate your preshot routine to it, you don't need to go over every step in your head, and can focus on other things.

I haven't thought of it until now that I have another issue that can be dealt with by using a key word. My stress and anxiety in games that I deem important. I can play the weekly tournament just fine, and money games (what I can afford to lose) aren't a big deal, but as I recently found out, bigger tournaments cause me a bit of excitement and stress. I will pick a word to associate all of the things like breathing and going to my happy place etc. that I should be doing to deal with it. After I am confident that I have the routine down, while also thinking about the key word, I can stop concentrating on the routine and just tell myself the word to keep me using it.

Two words is a lot easier to remember than all the steps of the two routines. If you find that you start leaving out any part of your routines you should go back and start again.


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07-21-2014, 08:26 AM

To add a little more:

This process also helps you do what you should be doing with any skill you want to acquire, getting it into your long term memory and developing motor memory.

If you concentrate on each step you take while walking, you won't get any good at it, and could get worse in the long run. Walking while juggling might not be easy for you to do, but not thinking about it (while you are doing it) is the best way to get better. I have read articles that say that thinking about it (while you aren't doing it) helps even further.

Concentrating on where your back foot lies on the shot line, how far your front foot extends when you step into the shot, whether or not you are stepping into the shot, how far down your shoulders go, where your dominant eye lies on the shot line, etc. will deter you from making the shot. Not to say that those things aren't important, they are. But you shouldn't have to think about it when going to make a shot. It should just happen. Even when they do happen most of the time, sometimes they don't. That is where the key words come into play.


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07-21-2014, 08:42 AM

Those are good points Careyp74. I may have to come up with my key word.
  
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07-21-2014, 08:44 AM

When I won my first big tournament, I had written in the palm of my hand, "One Shot at a Time", so I would see it, each time I chalked.




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07-21-2014, 09:29 AM

I use 3 words: able, play, better, said silently and then aloud.

It's from one of the Dead Stroke series of hypnotic tapes, one of which suggests that using that as a mantra in a specific way will induce dead stroke. That re-triggers the induced hypnotic suggestion that it will work for that purpose, so you need the hypnotic induction/suggestion part for it to work. Whether psychological or not, I've played my best game at critical crunch times using it, like hill-hill games in league. It calms and focuses me, giving me the expectation I'll play my best. I'm told such hypnotic tapes were big in the '70s, and that "St. Louis" Louis Roberts used them to great effect.

The SPF guys at Pool School recommend the use of a personalized mantra to assure focus on getting the pre-shot routine executed as well, which is a different thing.

Last edited by Sofla; 07-21-2014 at 09:33 AM.
  
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Keywords
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Talking Keywords - 07-21-2014, 11:02 AM

I have a key phrase I use in pressure situations, very simple "still as a statue, solid as a rock" gets me back to the basics see ball, make ball!
  
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07-21-2014, 11:14 AM

I had two mantras under heat....
..'Hit the ball with the cue'
..'Whatever moves is what makes the cue move'


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07-21-2014, 11:17 AM

I recommend that any words you use are positive. Avoid thinking about "don't do XYZ."

It's the theory of Target Aquisition Syndrome -- the sniper acquires the target in his sights but waits for the order to shoot. He tells himself "don't shoot, don't shoot, don't shoot" and ends up accidentally pulling the trigger.

Motorcycle riders know TAS well, or least they should. Approacing an intersection, a car driver sees the motorcycle and says "don't hit the motorcycle, don't hit the motorcycle, don't hit the motorcycle" and then turns into the intersection and hits the motorcycle head-on.

Motorcyclists, in the emergency room, often say "he was looking right at me!"

How many times have you told yourself "don't scratch" and focused your mind on the angle/speed/spin that will cause a scratch? You're focusing on it to make sure you don't do it. But since that's what your mind is focused on, it's what you end up doing. Focus exclusively on what you need to do; don't think about what you shouldn't do.


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07-21-2014, 12:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdorman View Post
I recommend that any words you use are positive. Avoid thinking about "don't do XYZ."

It's the theory of Target Aquisition Syndrome -- the sniper acquires the target in his sights but waits for the order to shoot. He tells himself "don't shoot, don't shoot, don't shoot" and ends up accidentally pulling the trigger.

Motorcycle riders know TAS well, or least they should. Approacing an intersection, a car driver sees the motorcycle and says "don't hit the motorcycle, don't hit the motorcycle, don't hit the motorcycle" and then turns into the intersection and hits the motorcycle head-on.

Motorcyclists, in the emergency room, often say "he was looking right at me!"

How many times have you told yourself "don't scratch" and focused your mind on the angle/speed/spin that will cause a scratch? You're focusing on it to make sure you don't do it. But since that's what your mind is focused on, it's what you end up doing. Focus exclusively on what you need to do; don't think about what you shouldn't do.
That was a very good read, cheers for that. The amount of times I've spotted the route I want to take, only to find it comes close to scratching if I over hit it and rather than thinking I'm going to land the white right there, I think don't hit it too hard. What do you know, more often it either goes in the hole, or winds up short whereas if I just picked a spot without noticing it was on line to scratch, I would rarely over hit it.
  
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Keywords
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Keywords - 07-21-2014, 01:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by str8shtr View Post
I have a key phrase I use in pressure situations, very simple "still as a statue, solid as a rock" gets me back to the basics see ball, make ball!
Makes me think of the Bob Seger song, and that Chevy commercial!


In no particular order :

Focus, Execute,Control, and pi-ano <----- no , not the big thing with keys, It's Italian for "relax" (dunno if I spelled it right)


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T a p - 07-21-2014, 01:26 PM

Mine is 3 words

Trust (trust what I am doing)
Accept (accept the results no matter what)
Pre-shot routine (always go through my pre-shot routine


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07-21-2014, 01:27 PM

Accelerate


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07-21-2014, 02:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by luilu View Post
I saw the interview after Rory McIlroy's won yesterday and he indicated he repeated key words to stay focus.

Wonder if any pool players do the same thing. And if you do what are your key words?
I haven't read any of the other posts. What he is doing is avoiding self talk that can be negative. He is using positive affirmations geared to his golf game. It most certainly works.
  
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