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Keeping / Logging Stats this year for my 14.1 practice sessions
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Keeping / Logging Stats this year for my 14.1 practice sessions - 01-02-2020, 01:16 PM

I’m determined to work hard this year to try to improve my 14.1 offensive game. I’ve decided to log all of my sessions so that I can look back and analyze my stats, to see if I’ve improved and to be able to more accurately pinpoint areas that I need to improve. My practice sessions are generally 4 times a week, all dedicated to 14.1.

I just thought I’d share this for any others who may wish to undertake something similar. You are also welcome to comment or offer opinions on any other categories of stats I might consider adding. To clarify, my opening breaks always consist of various opening break shots – the standard in to the side of the pack break with object ball going in the corner pocket, both sides, various angles of difficulty, behind the pack break shots, both sides, various angles of difficulty, and side pocket break shots, both sides, various angles of difficulty, with the cue ball going in to the top of the rack.

My sessions will consist of 10 inning sets, and I try to get in either two or three sets per session, with the goal of trying to get in 10 separate 10 inning sets - 100 total innings per week.

After each inning comes to an end with either a miss or a scratch, the balls are re-racked for another break, but before starting, I record the total balls run for the previous inning and also whether the run ended as a result of an obvious error/mistake on my part, or just a bad roll / bad luck. I know that’s one of the stats that is certainly a bit subjective, but I try to be as totally honest as I can and I tend to err on the side of being hard on myself in that judgement. At the end of each 10 inning set, I total up 6 different categories of stats as follows -

1) average balls per run
2) percentage of runs ending due to a clear avoidable error
3) percentage of opening break shots executed successfully
4) percentage of innings I’ve successfully run 14+ balls
5) high run average for my 2 best innings out of the 10 innings
6) my overall high run for the 10 innings

Then, at the end of the week or whenever I have completed a total of ten 10 inning sets - 100 total innings, I average the above stats for my last 100 innings, with the exception of stat / category 5 in which I average my 20 best high runs of the 100 innings, and stat / category 6, in which I single out my single highest high run for the 100 innings.

I’ll post back after doing this for a few months to report if my hard work has resulted in any noticeable improvement in my stats.

Last edited by ChrisinNC; 01-02-2020 at 03:31 PM. Reason: edit
  
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01-02-2020, 05:08 PM

One of the stats you should also keep track of is safeties and failed safes. If during a game you play a safety and your opponent is able to pocket a ball it is a failed safe. I found needed to work on my safety game after keeping this stat.
Andy


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01-02-2020, 05:30 PM

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Originally Posted by Demondrew View Post
One of the stats you should also keep track of is safeties and failed safes. If during a game you play a safety and your opponent is able to pocket a ball it is a failed safe. I found needed to work on my safety game after keeping this stat.
Andy
To clarify, this is only for my practice sessions, and it is strictly offensive. Even when faced with a lower percentage shot I’d never consider shooting in a match, I still attempt it in this format.

Believe me, I realize the value of having a strong defensive game in any pool discipline, but I’m just not incorporating safeties in this effort.

Last edited by ChrisinNC; 01-02-2020 at 05:31 PM. Reason: Edit
  
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01-02-2020, 09:37 PM

Another good idea is to record the reason your runs ended. There is always more than one reason, but what was the chief reason your run ended:

For example, you might use this system to record your reason.

1) Missed something easy
2) Position play error due
3) Missed breakshot at beginning of rack
4) Made breakshot at beginning of rack but got stuck
5) Missed midrack breakshot
6) Made midrack breakshot but got stuck
7) Speed control error
8) Pattern play error
9) Something else

You'll get a greater sense of where you are going wrong this way, which will help you determine what you most need to work on.
  
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01-03-2020, 06:59 AM

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Originally Posted by sjm View Post
Another good idea is to record the reason your runs ended. There is always more than one reason, but what was the chief reason your run ended:

For example, you might use this system to record your reason.

1) Missed something easy
2) Position play error due
3) Missed breakshot at beginning of rack
4) Made breakshot at beginning of rack but got stuck
5) Missed midrack breakshot
6) Made midrack breakshot but got stuck
7) Speed control error
8) Pattern play error
9) Something else

You'll get a greater sense of where you are going wrong this way, which will help you determine what you most need to work on.
Stu, I appreciate your suggestions. I'd also thought about breaking down my misses specifically in to about 10 categories of reasons - very similar to yours. Then I just figured it would be simpler to just notate if a run ended due to an error I made as opposed to just bad luck. Most of your list I'd note as an error, except possibly for your reasons 4 and 6. I feel I'll be able to remember what my most common reasons are for my runs ending.

So far, sadly many of my runs often end as a result of my clear mistake - either a missed relatively easy shot or a positional mistake leading to a harder shot, which I missed. I know automatically if I score a 0 for an inning that I've missed the opening break shot, and I know automaticaly if I score a 1 for an inning with no error noted, that I've made the break shot but left myself stuck with a tough shot. If I leave the cue ball stuck to the pack, I consider that as an error on my part, but if the cue ball unluckily ends up stuck against an object ball or just no relatively easy shot which I miss, I don't consider that as an error in my scoring.

All of my sessions are on our 10-foot table with 4-3/16" corner pockets. Yes, I realize that makes this a far tougher undertaking - certainly specs not meant for 14.1 success. Once in a while I may switch it up for a week and do my 100 innings on our 9-foot table with the same size pockets, just to see how much difference that makes in my performance averages.

Last edited by ChrisinNC; 01-03-2020 at 07:42 AM. Reason: Edit
  
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01-03-2020, 09:21 AM

The most important stat for you is ................... 9.

[get off that tight-pocket 10-footer]
  
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01-03-2020, 10:03 AM

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Originally Posted by AtLarge View Post
The most important stat for you is ................... 9.

[get off that tight-pocket 10-footer]
Haha! I know it’s hard to explain, but I’m addicted to the challenge. I went through a year’s worth of trouble and expense to procure that 10 foot table, so I have to get my money’s worth out of it!
  
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01-05-2020, 05:41 AM

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Originally Posted by ChrisinNC View Post
Stu, I appreciate your suggestions. I'd also thought about breaking down my misses specifically in to about 10 categories of reasons - very similar to yours. Then I just figured it would be simpler to just notate if a run ended due to an error I made as opposed to just bad luck.
I think the reasoning is wrong here, Chris. There are errors in judgement and errors in execution and they require two very different approaches to ridding yourself of them. If you can be your own toughest critic and are willing to decide where most of the blame lies when a run ends, you'll learn far more than otherwise.

For example, when you get stuck to the rack on a primary or secondary break shot, it's often because you hit the wrong part of the cluster of balls you ran into, which often displays a lack of knowledge concerning where you should have tried to hit it.

I suspect as many runs end because of bad planning/judgement as bad shot execution among capable players. Not that many players, however, believe they are ever guilty of an error in judgement. Those who do learn the most from their mistakes.

Different types of errors require different types of remedies, so to treat all errors as the same is very shortsighted.
  
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01-05-2020, 08:05 AM

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Originally Posted by sjm View Post
I think the reasoning is wrong here, Chris. There are errors in judgement and errors in execution and they require two very different approaches to ridding yourself of them. If you can be your own toughest critic and are willing to decide where most of the blame lies when a run ends, you'll learn far more than otherwise.

For example, when you get stuck to the rack on a primary or secondary break shot, it's often because you hit the wrong part of the cluster of balls you ran into, which often displays a lack of knowledge concerning where you should have tried to hit it.

I suspect as many runs end because of bad planning/judgement as bad shot execution among capable players. Not that many players, however, believe they are ever guilty of an error in judgement. Those who do learn the most from their mistakes.

Different types of errors require different types of remedies, so to treat all errors as the same is very shortsighted.
Stu, I appreciate your insight. I've played 14.1 long enough that I very well know when I've made a mistake particularly during a break shot if I'm not able to extract the cue ball from the pack to allow me a high percentage shot to continue the run - either not enough draw, not enough follow, not enough pace on the stroke, too much draw or follow causing the cue ball to end up near the far end rail, etc. I've even taken a few lessons from Ray Martin, basically focused on executing break shots. So far, most all of my mistakes ending a run have been avoidable and I know immediately what the mistake I made was.

There is one aspect from my original post I did not mention, and that is the tables I will be attempting these efforts on. In the order I've listed here, I will rotate my 100 inning (roughly 1 week) efforts between 5 different tables we have here of varying degrees of toughness - our 10-foot table with 4-3/16" corners, 9-foot with 4-1/2" corners, 9-foot with 4-1/8" corners, 9-foot with 4-3/4" corners and 9-foot with 4-1/4" corners. I will be curious to see and evaluate how my stats might vary based on the toughness of the tables I'm playing on. My assumption is the stats should show improvement relative to the toughness of the table I'm playing on.
  
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01-05-2020, 12:52 PM

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Originally Posted by sjm View Post
I think the reasoning is wrong here, Chris. There are errors in judgement and errors in execution and they require two very different approaches to ridding yourself of them. If you can be your own toughest critic and are willing to decide where most of the blame lies when a run ends, you'll learn far more than otherwise.

For example, when you get stuck to the rack on a primary or secondary break shot, it's often because you hit the wrong part of the cluster of balls you ran into, which often displays a lack of knowledge concerning where you should have tried to hit it.

I suspect as many runs end because of bad planning/judgement as bad shot execution among capable players. Not that many players, however, believe they are ever guilty of an error in judgement. Those who do learn the most from their mistakes.

Different types of errors require different types of remedies, so to treat all errors as the same is very shortsighted.
Truer words.......
In 14.1 if you have a decent breakshot and don't come out of it successfully it's very rare that luck was involved.
  
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01-05-2020, 09:32 PM

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Originally Posted by ChrisinNC View Post
… if I'm not able to extract the cue ball from the pack to allow me a high percentage shot to continue the run - either not enough draw, not enough follow, not enough pace on the stroke, too much draw or follow causing the cue ball to end up near the far end rail, etc.
You're kidding, right? Two errors you often see even from the best straight pool players in the world are a) selecting the wrong part of the cluster to hit and b) failing to hit the part of the cluster chosen. If these are errors that you never make, you are truly in a class by yourself and are the envy of every other player.
  
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01-05-2020, 10:45 PM

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You're kidding, right? Two errors you often see even from the best straight pool players in the world are a) selecting the wrong part of the cluster to hit and b) failing to hit the part of the cluster chosen. If these are errors that you never make, you are truly in a class by yourself and are the envy of every other player.
Stu, are you trying to make me feel better or worse? The break shot has been absolutely the most frustrating aspect of straight pool for me for nearly 50 years. There’s nothing worse than making it through an entire rack exactly as planned and setting up an absolutely perfect angled break shot, then making it, but screwing yourself by managing to leave a very tough or no shot.

It just seems to happen to me way more than I think it should, considering how long I’ve been playing for. Making the ball is not the problem, but being able to consistently predict where the cue ball will end up most of the time seems to be completely out of my control. It seems to be an incredibly slow learning curve for me.

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01-06-2020, 07:45 AM

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Stu, are you trying to make me feel better or worse? The break shot has been absolutely the most frustrating aspect of straight pool for me for nearly 50 years. Thereís nothing worse than making it through an entire rack exactly as planned and setting up an absolutely perfect angled break shot, then making it, but screwing yourself by managing to leave a very tough or no shot.

It just seems to happen to me way more than I think it should, considering how long Iíve been playing for. Making the ball is not the problem, but being able to consistently predict where the cue ball will end up most of the time seems to be completely out of my control. It seems to be an incredibly slow learning curve for me.
Worse. You are ignoring a key ingredient in evaluating your break shots, so your troubles are less surprising to me than to you.

As you have stated, you think that the only reason you ever get stuck on a made break shot is , as you put it, "either not enough draw, not enough follow, not enough pace on the stroke, too much draw or follow".

You are ignoring the entire subject of break shot angle conceptualization, meaning, once you have left a break shot, selection of the exact attack point in the pack/cluster and then hitting the precise part of the pack you have selected.

On a standard front of the pack cut break, you can still slightly modify exactly where you will hit the pack depending on what stroke you choose. If you choose wrong, you can get stuck or scratch. Similarly, if you select an angle of attack but fail to produce the same, it doesn't mean you hit the wrong stroke. Sometimes, you just misevaluated the break shot itself. This kind of error is common, even among world class players. Hopefully, this kind of error will come onto your radar at some point.

I think I'm going to walk away from this tug of war. Good luck with your game, Chris.
  
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01-06-2020, 09:10 AM

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Worse. You are ignoring a key ingredient in evaluating your break shots, so your troubles are less surprising to me than to you.

As you have stated, you think that the only reason you ever get stuck on a made break shot is , as you put it, "either not enough draw, not enough follow, not enough pace on the stroke, too much draw or follow".

You are ignoring the entire subject of break shot angle conceptualization, meaning, once you have left a break shot, selection of the exact attack point in the pack/cluster and then hitting the precise part of the pack you have selected.

On a standard front of the pack cut break, you can still slightly modify exactly where you will hit the pack depending on what stroke you choose. If you choose wrong, you can get stuck or scratch. Similarly, if you select an angle of attack but fail to produce the same, it doesn't mean you hit the wrong stroke. Sometimes, you just misevaluated the break shot itself. This kind of error is common, even among world class players. Hopefully, this kind of error will come onto your radar at some point.

I think I'm going to walk away from this tug of war. Good luck with your game, Chris.
Stu, I appreciate your insight and obvious knowledge of the game. You are sounding a lot to me like Ray. When I had my lesson, the one thing Iíll never forget is how absolutely precise he is in planning exactly what shot and what angle he leaves himself on every single shot. Clearly my thought process for running racks and the exact spot Iím coming into a break shot with the cue ball is not in the same universe as his.

Stu, just curious and if you prefer to respond via PM, I completely understand. What are your top five lifetime high runs? For myself, I had a 98 nearly 20 years ago, around 80 5-6 years ago, maybe one run in the 70s and nothing else higher than the 60s. Unfortunately I donít recall having broken 50 in the last 4 years, and I just turned 63 years old. I realize itís not helping me that Iíve always made these attempts on very tight tables, and I do plan to switch it up and start attempting my efforts on more normal size pocket tables, at least once in a while.
  
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01-06-2020, 09:38 AM

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Stu, I appreciate your insight and obvious knowledge of the game. You are sounding a lot to me like Ray. When I had my lesson, the one thing Iíll never forget is how absolutely precise he is in planning exactly what shot and what angle he leaves himself on every single shot. Clearly my thought process for running racks and the exact spot Iím coming into a break shot with the cue ball is not in the same universe as his.

Stu, just curious and if you prefer to respond via PM, I completely understand. What are your top five lifetime high runs? For myself, I had a 98 nearly 20 years ago, around 80 5-6 years ago, maybe one run in the 70s and nothing else higher than the 60s. Unfortunately I donít recall having broken 50 in the last 4 years, and I just turned 63 years old. I realize itís not helping me that Iíve always made these attempts on very tight tables, and I do plan to switch it up and start attempting my efforts on more normal size pocket tables, at least once in a while.
Is that Ray Martin?
  
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