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07-09-2019, 04:52 AM

My routine starts with a clue I can identify with. Everything is built around
my first clue. Then focusing on a delivery, that when executed does the job. I give
myself 3 seconds on every shot to fine tune. If something isn't right. I back up and
start over. Most of us know if we've set up a little wrong, trust that instinct.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Imac007 View Post
With the advent of the use of Sabermetrics in baseball, statistical analysis has ballooned in sports. Joan Vickers started the trend years ago with her recognition that success in targeting skills were related to visual behaviors she called "quiet eyes". While Sabermetics was more about big data comparisons of players and putting a dollar value on how often players got on base, quiet eyes measured timing variables.

A company, DeCervo, has been bringing new neuroscience findings into baseball. By analyzing batter decisions theyíve found that a key difference between good at bats and poorer at bats is related to swinging or not swinging. Theyíve used their findings to help train batters to start to swing earlier on pitches in the strike zone and to lay off pitches outside the zone. There initial findings were that better batters were better at laying off bad pitches. It was the decision to not swing that intrigued me.

Other research scientists in neuroscience made a different but related finding. They found out that in players who were successful in executing a skill, the part of the brain related to prediction, lit up prior to and during execution. This finding was true of hits and misses by the same player or compared to other players.

The question that emerged was since pool is more self paced and not reactive, like baseball, if a decision making matrix could be developed that allowed players to use the science. If a player doesnít have a definitive sense of success when down, donít both findings, the ability to not pull the trigger and the need for a sense of a positive outcome, seem relevant?

If so, when during the time at the table, should it occur? In fact, was there more than one relevant decision point to pass through?

Descriptions by pros suggest at least three decision points. First is the away from the table, deciding on the shot moment. That decision should be made from a horizon sighting position and needs to be decisive. Iíve seen Efren at this stage get down to "try on" a shot then get up and start over. In fact, Iíve seen him do it multiple times on the same shot. The point is to pick a shot, then commit. Donít stay down if you havenít picked and committed (donít step up to the plate/ask for time).

Next comes the alignment and aim decision. The player decides where to bridge and how. Maybe an extension or rest is needed. Once again, success certainty and commitment are key. Without them, "take the pitch", get up or donít get down.

Finally, the execution phase needs time to assess the delivery through the ball. That assessment must include a certainty of success prediction component, if we are using the neuroscience to guide us. Once that is felt, the eyes need to re-find the target and focus in on the exact impact needed, to control both balls. If all elements are in place, the sensed stroke is allowed to happen. Without certainty, donít pull the trigger.

Is this not the old trio of ready, set, go - reinvented?

Itís more than making three commitments or transitional mindsets. The commitments emerge from the certainty level reaching a tipping point for the decisions. That predictive nature is based on level of certainty. Unless it is high enough it is time to re-assess.

Being willing to stop and start over or re-group, to me, is the equivalent of the baseball hitter being able to be keyed up to hit but then disciplined enough to take a pitch. Not swinging when itís not right is as important as swinging when it is.

Arenít we all guilty of pulling the trigger on some shots when in fact we should get up and start over? Discipline of this sort is recognized in baseball. Isnít it just as important in pool? We need to recognize it as part of an arsenal of skills necessary in development of an expert game.


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Not near as many as think they do!
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Not near as many as think they do! - 07-09-2019, 04:55 AM

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Originally Posted by AtLarge View Post
"Cue ball last vs. object ball last" has been the subject of many threads on AzB over the years. Here's one from 2 years ago:
https://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=453555.

The majority (but by no means all) of the top pool players on most shots are looking at the object ball at the moment the cue tip contacts the cue ball.

Just an interesting observation from real world and video of the few shots you can see their eyes when they shoot. Many players that would insist they look at the object ball last have their eyes shift to the cue ball as the stick is moving forward the final time.

I found the same thing with world class benchrest shooters. Most, well over ninety percent, said they shot the popular style of free recoil. I walked behind the line of the relays I wasn't shooting in and found that well over 75% were not shooting free recoil!

What people think they do and what they really do is often two different things. That is what makes instructors and video so valuable.

I did my observations of pool players about ten years ago but I think you will still find the same thing, the eye tends to shift as the stick starts forward on the final stroke. Probably what causes some misses. I focused on cue ball last for three or four weeks along about the same time period I was watching other players. I found that I could lock on the object ball last, cue ball last, or any spot on the path or extended path of the cue ball and get the same result with a little practice.

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07-09-2019, 05:20 AM

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Originally Posted by Black-Balled View Post
All the technical analysis and science forced into the process always makes me think of the guys I have seen that were completely whacked out of their minds on substances of all sorts...and played pool far better than I ever will.

Not sure I care about taking the apex of a turn at an additional 5mph, when it is still 1/2 the speed of a good driver's time.
Oh, that's for damn sure!
Still, within all of the technicalities and calculus lies the hard work. I love all the Hal Houle's Center-to-Edge converters and whatever wacky theories that they come up with these days, because in the scheme of all this comes down to putting the object ball into the dang hole. I don't care how they quantify the muscular movement down to the most quantum amount or how much force is required, blah blah. I took both Calculus and Calculus-based Physics. As fine, dandy, and functional as both are in applying it into billiards, it carries so much more mental weight that it really is formidable to just avoid all that scientific stuff and enjoy shootin' balls.
  
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07-09-2019, 06:31 AM

Great thread. A buddy recently shared something very similar with me that he has been working on getting up out of the shot at the first sign of ďConflictĒ. Whether the stance doesnít feel quite right, or not being committed to this shot, or someone walking by and distracting. GET UP. How many times do I know that Iím going to miss because something doesnít feel right when Iím down but I pull the trigger anyway. And in those cases I almost always miss. So, I have been working on this. Recognizing the feeing of ďConflictĒ and getting up. Not all the time but getting better.


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07-09-2019, 06:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mkbtank View Post
Great thread. A buddy recently shared something very similar with me that he has been working on getting up out of the shot at the first sign of “Conflict”. Whether the stance doesn’t feel quite right, or not being committed to this shot, or someone walking by and distracting. GET UP. How many times do I know that I’m going to miss because something doesn’t feel right when I’m down but I pull the trigger anyway. And in those cases I almost always miss. So, I have been working on this. Recognizing the feeing of “Conflict” and getting up. Not all the time but getting better.
I've been working on recognizing this in my own game. I'll get down thick on a
shot and I'll know I'm thick but I try to adjust and know I'm too thick to adjust it out. It
takes me getting all the way down and at least two pre strokes. The old me tries to spin
it in. The new me says dang, let's try this again. I think you have to realize (when) to
stop, because if you don't well you've seen that movie before.


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07-09-2019, 07:51 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Black-Balled View Post
All the technical analysis and science forced into the process always makes me think of the guys I have seen that were completely whacked out of their minds on substances of all sorts...and played pool far better than I ever will.

Agree i see it often , with the ol wallabushka as well


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07-09-2019, 12:53 PM

thanks for putting up this thread.

The brain-computer we all have working when we are shooting is a black box, we don't really don't know what's going on in there, but routine is clearly a given when we are talking a target sport that requires still objects being moved toward a target. Hand/eye coordination would seem to benefit from a small extension of quiet eye target perception time, but obviously you wouldn't want to stare at it; flow, rhythm, stillness all of these are involved in golf, archery, riflery, billiards, etc. Finding the right combination of all of these so that you're "in stroke" so things become automatic is I think what probably fascinates us all.

I've always wanted to ask Dr. Dave if he had ever come across any studies looking at improvement in hand eye coordination for players who had dedicated to playing with their offhand for some amount of time every practice session. I think it would be interesting to look at.
  
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07-09-2019, 02:24 PM

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Originally Posted by cptsprmkt View Post
thanks for putting up this thread.
I've always wanted to ask Dr. Dave if he had ever come across any studies looking at improvement in hand eye coordination for players who had dedicated to playing with their offhand for some amount of time every practice session. I think it would be interesting to look at.
Dr. Dave's website:

https://billiards.colostate.edu/faq/eyes/quiet/


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Modeling success
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Modeling success - 07-09-2019, 11:28 PM

We can only duplicate what is successful if we know what that looks like. Success leaves clues. This isnít about bringing a bunch of analysis to the table, itís about eliminating it. Itís said that experts need to make fewer decisions. They generate fewer options because they already know what to do in most situations. Knowledge letís us simplify. Uncertainty is the real enemy, it lives with ignorance. Learn to use information as a tool to get away from overwhelming options. It helps us sift for the nuggets.
  
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