Slump
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Slump - 01-22-2018, 11:05 AM

Do yall ever go through periods where you feel like you are getting better, perhaps about to turn a corner, then wham, you regress?
Six months ago I felt like I was really starting to get it. Not that I had arrived or was a good player, but my shot making was getting very consistent and I would run a rack or two every night. Now Im lucky to run a rack at all. I practice drills as well as play every day and yet when I get into competition I am finding myself losing to guys I should be handling. It seems like I get in my own way in the middle of a rack every time. I either dog a shot or I leave myself hooked and I give it away. Im so frustrated with my play over the last 2 months and Im just looking for some advice.


I do a hell of a job working around the holes.
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01-22-2018, 11:11 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CGM View Post
Do yall ever go through periods where you feel like you are getting better, perhaps about to turn a corner, then wham, you regress?
Six months ago I felt like I was really starting to get it. Not that I had arrived or was a good player, but my shot making was getting very consistent and I would run a rack or two every night. Now Im lucky to run a rack at all. I practice drills as well as play every day and yet when I get into competition I am finding myself losing to guys I should be handling. It seems like I get in my own way in the middle of a rack every time. I either dog a shot or I leave myself hooked and I give it away. Im so frustrated with my play over the last 2 months and Im just looking for some advice.
Even for pro level players, going back to focusing on a few key fundamental thoughts during your practice sessions, as you start your preshot routine, will often help. A lot of it can be mental as well, and you can only get your confidence back with successful execution in your practice sessions, which should hopefully carry over to your matches.
  
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01-22-2018, 02:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CGM View Post
Do yall ever go through periods where you feel like you are getting better, perhaps about to turn a corner, then wham, you regress?
Six months ago I felt like I was really starting to get it. Not that I had arrived or was a good player, but my shot making was getting very consistent and I would run a rack or two every night. Now Im lucky to run a rack at all. I practice drills as well as play every day and yet when I get into competition I am finding myself losing to guys I should be handling. It seems like I get in my own way in the middle of a rack every time. I either dog a shot or I leave myself hooked and I give it away. Im so frustrated with my play over the last 2 months and Im just looking for some advice.
Could it be that your new found confidence is making you try to run out more aggressively?

Between 8-ball and rotation, each shot you make without getting out, makes your opponents job much easier.

But yeah I totally get the frustration. I'm having the same problems myself. If you practice a lot, you're constantly introducing new things that can break down, or that you have to focus on. It's very easy to struggle against someone who has been at w.e their level is for a long time. If you're always operating slightly outside your comfort zone, and they are always operating firmly withing theirs, you'll get punished.

I find you'll struggle if they're around your skill level because it's hard to go toe to toe. Once you've gone past w.e level that is, they quickly lose all hope of ever beating you. But you will struggle with the new people that are at your new level.

I guess moral of the story, is keep practicing, don't take it too much to heart that you're losing to people around your skill level. You're trying to accomplish more stuff so there's more to screw up.

I also think playing poorly, is the absolute perfect time to pay more attention. It teaches you to deal with your emotions, and to learn which shots you actually feel comfortable with, and what stroke actually works, and it's quite humbling. Being able to cobble something together, turn a night around, or just finish strong are all useful skills to have.

If you're shooting light out, no one's going to beat you anyways. I think it's being able to win, even when you're struggling that's important. So pay more attention to what's happening when nothing's clicking.
  
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01-22-2018, 02:28 PM

I used to go into slumps and I would fight my way out of them by just playing.
Now when I go into a slump I find its easier to just stay put.


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Me a slumper........
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Unhappy Me a slumper........ - 01-22-2018, 02:44 PM

I am in a slump now and find as I age and my mediocre skills diminish I slump more often and stay in a slump longer.

One of my problems is there is very little real competition in my hick town as far as playing by real rules and good tables.

The only pool playing around here is on crappy bar box's with crappy bar rules, like no safeties or ball in hand fouls, crazy. Some players unfairly exploit that to there advantage.

Even when I win I don't feel much pride or satisfaction playing under those conditions.

It is frustrating and I loose interest and here comes the slump.

I feel your pain............
  
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01-22-2018, 02:59 PM

It's all part of the game.

Some times you get a time period where you get some rolls and most runouts seem easy. Then you get a couple of tournaments where everything goes against you and you have only tough shots. Then there are players that get you out of your rhytm and comfort zone. All of this causes you to tighten up and play worse, and on and on it goes.

If you genuinly play worse, struggle with your stroke or your aim, I believe it's best to go back to basics. Set up some shots and hit them over and over until you feel like you are striking the ball well. So much of this game is mental, I believe it's nearly 90%. Without trust in your stroke and abilities you are doomed.

I build up my confidence with draw shots. I like to set up some medium length ones, straight in. Then I try to draw the cueball straight back, softly as it is possible. When you feel like you are hardly touching the ball and it comes screaming back, you know your stroke is good. Then I try to implement this stroke in my game.
Watch how Stephen Lee hits these draw shots. This is what I aim for:
https://youtu.be/KMmVJi78m2g?t=135

I've been in a bit of a slump myself, having struggled a bit in a couple of tournaments, so this is what I'll do to get my stroke and confidence back.
  
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01-22-2018, 04:40 PM

Everyone goes through a slump now and then, it happens to all of us. I think that those
are the time that we have the greatest potential to improve.

No one likes a slump but it's how we react to it that is the telling thing.

Mine are almost predictable, I play poorly during the winter months. Sure, I have my
moments, or my highs and lows, and it doesn't matter how much I practice, there are just
ups and downs.

Practice in fact, for me during those times has to be taken very carefully and it's far better
for me to practice to little than too much, and during a league match when I'm slumping I'll
try to extend the match and get back to the very basics. Safes, smart shots, careful, dull,
boring play.

Winning is really a secondary concern when I'm slumping. I'll look for things I've done well
and I'll try to build on those.

No one likes to be in a slump, but look at it like an opportunity to work on the mental side
of your game. It's not always about just making shots, sometimes the shots just aren't there
and you have to be able to out think an opponent.

Or of course there's always this:
Attached Images
 

Last edited by Celophanewrap; 01-22-2018 at 04:49 PM.
  
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01-22-2018, 05:28 PM

I just keep playing. Get frustrated and cuss myself out more then usual... but I keep playing.


-H

Disclaimer:
I'm really a sh!t pool player and you probably shouldn't listen to any advice I may give.
  
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01-22-2018, 06:55 PM

First, play drills that penalize non-completion.
As an example, two of the drills I do every other day require that i complete them successfully, three times. If I miss on the last ball I have to set the whole thing up again until I run it. This puts skin in the game. You may also try playing the ghost. I find it puts match-like pressure on me.

I typically find that when I begin feeling like I'm in a slump it is due to unrelated stress or I'm getting lazy with my fundamentals.
I have forever thought that I would one day get to a level where pocketing balls and running out would come automatically. That I would not need to think about stance, grip, aim, stroke, etc. quite so intently. It is only recently that I realized that no player is at that level. However, top players are at a level where their stance, grip, aim, stroke, etc. that gives then the ability to run out DOES come automatically. I hope that makes sense.
The shot itself does not come without thought, but doing all the things that maximizes your degree of successfully executing the shot, does.


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01-22-2018, 08:30 PM

I will take the last 2 and that is my final offer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CGM View Post
Do yall ever go through periods where you feel like you are getting better, perhaps about to turn a corner, then wham, you regress?
Six months ago I felt like I was really starting to get it. Not that I had arrived or was a good player, but my shot making was getting very consistent and I would run a rack or two every night. Now Im lucky to run a rack at all. I practice drills as well as play every day and yet when I get into competition I am finding myself losing to guys I should be handling. It seems like I get in my own way in the middle of a rack every time. I either dog a shot or I leave myself hooked and I give it away. Im so frustrated with my play over the last 2 months and Im just looking for some advice.
  
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01-22-2018, 08:49 PM

Robert Byrne on slumps...

https://books.google.ca/books?id=tA_...zWC8UQ6AEISzAE


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01-22-2018, 09:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CGM View Post
Do yall ever go through periods where you feel like you are getting better, perhaps about to turn a corner, then wham, you regress?
Six months ago I felt like I was really starting to get it. Not that I had arrived or was a good player, but my shot making was getting very consistent and I would run a rack or two every night. Now Im lucky to run a rack at all. I practice drills as well as play every day and yet when I get into competition I am finding myself losing to guys I should be handling. It seems like I get in my own way in the middle of a rack every time. I either dog a shot or I leave myself hooked and I give it away. Im so frustrated with my play over the last 2 months and Im just looking for some advice.
You say you play every day. Do you mean literally every day? Sometimes taking a few days or even a week's break can be the best thing you can do for your game (both mental and physical) if you're getting frustrated and burned out.
  
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01-22-2018, 11:06 PM

IMO slumps come from a lack of confidence in your routine...which is both physical and mental. If you really "know" your routine, you can make an error, sit down and evaluate what part of your process failed you, and just concentrate on the one thing that didn't work correctly. When you get back to the table, you focus on correcting that one part (since everything else worked fine in that shot), and you self-correct, going back to playing at the high level you were. A slump lasts one shot...

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01-23-2018, 05:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Lee View Post
IMO slumps come from a lack of confidence in your routine...which is both physical and mental. If you really "know" your routine, you can make an error, sit down and evaluate what part of your process failed you, and just concentrate on the one thing that didn't work correctly. When you get back to the table, you focus on correcting that one part (since everything else worked fine in that shot), and you self-correct, going back to playing at the high level you were. A slump lasts one shot...

Scott Lee
http://poolknowledge.com
Yup. Agreed. The more I play the game my slumps last a shorter time. I personally think it's all confidence. It's difficult to play well when your mind is swimming in doubt. A good PSR (routine) cures a multitude of evils. Yeah I know the discipline of have a constant PSR is tough. Hitting a million balls doesn't hurt either.


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01-23-2018, 05:51 AM

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Originally Posted by ChrisinNC View Post
You say you play every day. Do you mean literally every day? Sometimes taking a few days or even a week's break can be the best thing you can do for your game (both mental and physical) if you're getting frustrated and burned out.
Yes, I play every day. I cant help it I am hooked. I think I tend to over think situations a lot of times and that is what causes me to dog shots. I let my over analytical left brain take over when I should let my right brain just play. Im just going to keep on shooting and have fun.


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