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More aim and "grooving the stroke" issues and questions - 05-19-2020, 02:29 PM

Furlough and stay-at-home lockdown are a mixed blessing. Been practicing more trying to make my aim and stroke more automatic and thoughtless. Not having much success.

Last week had some success with tweaking my stance to ensure I am more consistent lining up with my vision center. But it was a very uncomfortable stance.

Today, that didn't work for me. I fell right back into my old problem: vast majority of my misses are CB right. So I worked on it.

Here's the setup: dead straight shot. OB 3.5' from the corner pocket. CB 3' from the OB, so a fairly long shot.

Took 100 shots. Results:

54 made
34 missed CB right
12 missed CB left

Most made in a row 10
Most missed in a row 8
Most missed right in a row 5
Most missed left in a row 2

Of the 54 made, 10 of them were "iffy": OB almost clanged out, and all of these 10 were slight misses CB right, even though the OB was pocketed.

From these stats, it's obvious I have a fundamental problem.

Encouraging was that the 10 in a row made came near the end, as I was maybe figuring it out, shots 89-98 (missed shots 99 and 100, dammit).

So, with these stats, what should I be looking for as root cause for so consistently missing to the right? Assume I have found my vision center. I'll withhold my observations on my stroke and how I achieved the 10 in a row toward the end, so as not to taint the responses.

Any assistance is most appreciated!

Also, are there any coaches in the Central Florida area near Orlando strong in fixing mechanics? I took one lesson (geez, is it almost a year ago already?) but I didn't find that coach to be able to work on this problem with me. He gave me great drills and otherwise was a good coach, but none of the drills really helped with my root problem, my mechanics.

I want to know WHY I'm missing, so I can fix it. Drilling will just continue to confirm that I AM missing.

Thanks!!!
  
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05-19-2020, 03:11 PM

Head SW on I-4 to Largo, Fl. Look up Scott Lee.
  
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05-19-2020, 03:24 PM

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Originally Posted by Buzzard II View Post
Head SW on I-4 to Largo, Fl. Look up Scott Lee.
Thanks. 2 hour drive. Will ponder this.
  
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05-19-2020, 03:56 PM

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Originally Posted by dquarasr View Post
I want to know WHY I'm missing, so I can fix it. Drilling will just continue to confirm that I AM missing.

Thanks!!!
Have you tried videoing yourself (maybe with your phone or laptop)? It can be revealing.

Whether you do that or not, I agree with the suggestion to go see Scott Lee - he'll video you, diagnose your problem and show you how to fix it. You even get to keep the video.

pj
chgo
  
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05-19-2020, 04:02 PM

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Originally Posted by Patrick Johnson View Post
Have you tried videoing yourself (maybe with your phone or laptop)? It can be revealing.

Whether you do that or not, I agree with the suggestion to go see Scott Lee - he'll video you, diagnose your problem and show you how to fix it. You even get to keep the video.

pj
chgo
Yes I have, which is one reason I was sort able to try some things to correct my problem. But again, I'll withhold my observations while I solicit some ideas on root causes for consistently missing right with the CB.

Thanks. Scott Lee sounds like a perfect coach but it is not an insignificant investment in drive time and $$ (I reviewed his website. Question I need to ask myself: "How serious are you in getting better and is it worth the investment required?")
  
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05-19-2020, 05:30 PM

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Originally Posted by dquarasr View Post
... some ideas on root causes for consistently missing right with the CB....
Maybe your head is in the wrong place to see the shot accurately.


Bob Jewett
SF Billiard Academy
  
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Talking 05-19-2020, 06:08 PM

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Originally Posted by Bob Jewett View Post
Maybe your head is in the wrong place to see the shot accurately.
That's one consideration I've been working on. I only recently found my vision center via instructions and videos found here on this forum. My vision center is slightly left of the center of my nose. That helped a lot. I'm still learning how to make that alignment more consistently.

What seemed to help (at least most recently - I seem to find the key then the next time I play it suddenly doesn't work any longer. Maddening to have so many things to get right) has been to use what I think of as a "quiet" elbow. I noticed today that if I really concentrate on keeping my elbow very immobile, and relaxing my forearm, I can hit the center of the pocket on my reference drill shot, the straight-in shot I described above.

Maybe now it's more mental than it is physical. I seem to have found at least a couple of the keys to aiming and pocketing balls, but I'm inconsistent in my execution. That's why I've been trying to find the holy grail for me, which is a natural stance and aim so it becomes more automatic. For now I have to concentrate first on aligning my vision center to get down on the shot, then switch my concentration to following through to my aim point, all the while remembering to relax my forearm and keep my elbow very still. When I can do all of these, I am pocketing balls (and as a by-product to a nice, smooth stroke, I suddenly find that I can draw from distances I could only dream about just a few weeks ago).

If anyone has any mechanical tips on how to execute a stroke while keeping the elbow very still, more automatically, I'm all ears. Other than any physical alignment fix, I suppose I'll now need to shift my focus to the mental aspect.

Geez, this game is hard. LOL
  
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05-20-2020, 07:07 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dquarasr View Post
Furlough and stay-at-home lockdown are a mixed blessing. Been practicing more trying to make my aim and stroke more automatic and thoughtless. Not having much success.

Last week had some success with tweaking my stance to ensure I am more consistent lining up with my vision center. But it was a very uncomfortable stance.

Today, that didn't work for me. I fell right back into my old problem: vast majority of my misses are CB right. So I worked on it.

Here's the setup: dead straight shot. OB 3.5' from the corner pocket. CB 3' from the OB, so a fairly long shot.

Took 100 shots. Results:

54 made
34 missed CB right
12 missed CB left

Most made in a row 10
Most missed in a row 8
Most missed right in a row 5
Most missed left in a row 2

Of the 54 made, 10 of them were "iffy": OB almost clanged out, and all of these 10 were slight misses CB right, even though the OB was pocketed.

From these stats, it's obvious I have a fundamental problem.

Encouraging was that the 10 in a row made came near the end, as I was maybe figuring it out, shots 89-98 (missed shots 99 and 100, dammit).

So, with these stats, what should I be looking for as root cause for so consistently missing to the right? Assume I have found my vision center. I'll withhold my observations on my stroke and how I achieved the 10 in a row toward the end, so as not to taint the responses.

Any assistance is most appreciated!

Also, are there any coaches in the Central Florida area near Orlando strong in fixing mechanics? I took one lesson (geez, is it almost a year ago already?) but I didn't find that coach to be able to work on this problem with me. He gave me great drills and otherwise was a good coach, but none of the drills really helped with my root problem, my mechanics.

I want to know WHY I'm missing, so I can fix it. Drilling will just continue to confirm that I AM missing.

Thanks!!!
I've been paid well to fix this kind of issue, but in most cases, no lesson is required.

Most people who miss to one side have a feel that they fight with for the miss.

THE FIX: Get in your stance and take a few practice strokes. Come to a complete stop, aka the checkoff point for the final stroke. Feel/look to see if you're "on" or "off". If you're off, get up, stand erect and run through your aim and stance process. Repeat. If you're "on", shoot.

The Fix solves this problem for yourself, often in mere minutes.

I live less than two hours north of Orlando in Gainesville. The earliest I can come by for a lesson is . . . tomorrow. But do THE FIX regardless.


-- Matt Sherman

Guide to Pool and Billiards, About.com
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Author, Book & DVD, Picture Yourself Shooting Pool (Named to the 25 Best Billiards Books of All Time by Bookauthority) and Picture Yourself Shooting Pool Like A Pro
  
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05-20-2020, 08:56 AM

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Originally Posted by dquarasr View Post
If anyone has any mechanical tips on how to execute a stroke while keeping the elbow very still, more automatically, I'm all ears.
Try a distinct pause at the back of your final stroke - “isolate” the shot stroke from the backstroke.

pj
chgo
  
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05-20-2020, 04:12 PM

dquarasr...No poolrooms open over here in Tampa, but you have two rooms open in Orlando...Raxx in Sanford, and Cuephoria. I will happily drive to you to give you a lesson, and I guarantee to fix all of the issues you seem to be having trouble with...or the lesson is no charge. Call me for more infomation. 773-551-7473.

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Thanks. 2 hour drive. Will ponder this.


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05-21-2020, 02:04 PM

I've already been applying both a slow(er) backstroke and/or a pause at the end of the backstroke. Both have helped.

I've been concentrating on my elbow position, keeping it from flapping it around, and so far so good. I was able to make a significantly higher percentage of my shots yesterday afternoon, and more importantly, I was able to walk away from the table a few hours then come back to it with my accuracy still there. To top it off, today I was able to replicate that performance, so I believe I may have identified the root cause of my wild inconsistency. As with other seemingly solid "breakthroughs", I have practiced enough to know that this week the "Eureka" may be misplaced, and that next week I can be back to square one. Hoping this time that's not the case.

My reference shot, the long straight shot I described above, is now close to 90% whereas just a few days ago was between 50-60%. So solid progress. And I'm making them with a very comfortable, natural stance and stroke, nothing forced.

I played last night against my friend, APA 7, who usually soundly beats me (like 8 racks to 2) but last night he was off just slightly, while I was MUCH better. I actually beat him last night (I think it was something like 7 racks to 5). I missed many fewer shots; the shots I missed were more difficult ones, and the racks I didn't handle well were because of shape, not shot making. So that's solid progress.

I did notice that if I lost focus on my keeping my elbow still and staying relaxed, I missed, and yes, usually missed right.

I think I may have found something here, and I'll keep working on it. As of right now, there aren't any coaches recommended within a reasonable drive time, so I'll hang tight for now and continue to practice on my own. Thanks for all the suggestions, and offers for instruction.
  
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05-21-2020, 10:03 PM

You did read that I'll come to you, right? If you really want to get a handle on what you're doing or not doing, you need some definitive video analysis. Easiest way to say it is this...you don't know what you don't know!

Scott Lee
2019 PBIA Instructor of the Year
Director, SPF National Pool School Tour

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Originally Posted by dquarasr View Post
As of right now, there aren't any coaches recommended within a reasonable drive time, so I'll hang tight for now and continue to practice on my own. Thanks for all the suggestions, and offers for instruction.


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05-22-2020, 07:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dquarasr View Post
I've already been applying both a slow(er) backstroke and/or a pause at the end of the backstroke. Both have helped.

I've been concentrating on my elbow position, keeping it from flapping it around, and so far so good. I was able to make a significantly higher percentage of my shots yesterday afternoon, and more importantly, I was able to walk away from the table a few hours then come back to it with my accuracy still there. To top it off, today I was able to replicate that performance, so I believe I may have identified the root cause of my wild inconsistency. As with other seemingly solid "breakthroughs", I have practiced enough to know that this week the "Eureka" may be misplaced, and that next week I can be back to square one. Hoping this time that's not the case.

My reference shot, the long straight shot I described above, is now close to 90% whereas just a few days ago was between 50-60%. So solid progress. And I'm making them with a very comfortable, natural stance and stroke, nothing forced.

I played last night against my friend, APA 7, who usually soundly beats me (like 8 racks to 2) but last night he was off just slightly, while I was MUCH better. I actually beat him last night (I think it was something like 7 racks to 5). I missed many fewer shots; the shots I missed were more difficult ones, and the racks I didn't handle well were because of shape, not shot making. So that's solid progress.

I did notice that if I lost focus on my keeping my elbow still and staying relaxed, I missed, and yes, usually missed right.

I think I may have found something here, and I'll keep working on it. As of right now, there aren't any coaches recommended within a reasonable drive time, so I'll hang tight for now and continue to practice on my own. Thanks for all the suggestions, and offers for instruction.
Excellent! Now you can use the "on" or "off" suggestion to watch the elbow. If the elbow feels funny in your stance, stand up again and start again--retrains your brain to assume the best possible stance to begin.


-- Matt Sherman

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05-22-2020, 09:14 AM

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Originally Posted by Scott Lee View Post
You did read that I'll come to you, right? If you really want to get a handle on what you're doing or not doing, you need some definitive video analysis. Easiest way to say it is this...you don't know what you don't know!

Scott Lee
2019 PBIA Instructor of the Year
Director, SPF National Pool School Tour
Hi, Scott.

Yes, I saw that you could come to my location for a lesson, however, given my current furlough situation (no income since April 3 and the Florida DOE debacle where I have not seen any unemployment $), and your half-day fee per http://www.poolknowledge.com/pool_lessons/), I don't think it is in the cards right now. I was hoping for a local coach so I can keep it to one hour at a time, and not have to worry about either of us incurring transportation expenses.

Not saying your coaching isn't worth your half-day fee, as I am sure it is worth it, just that with today's situation, it's not possible right now.

I'll keep you in mind for when things change and we can move forward with more normalcy.

P.S. I tried to send this as a private message but says you have exceeded your storage limit and the message failed.

Last edited by dquarasr; 05-22-2020 at 09:17 AM.
  
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05-22-2020, 09:20 AM

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Excellent! Now you can use the "on" or "off" suggestion to watch the elbow. If the elbow feels funny in your stance, stand up again and start again--retrains your brain to assume the best possible stance to begin.
Thanks for the suggestion. I already try to do this. Many times I'll get down on a shot, not feel comfortable (for a number of reasons, including my foot / arms / eye alignment), stand up, spin around to ensure I am addressing the shot completely anew, and restart my PSR. I certainly know that when I fail to reset if I feel uncomfortable, it almost guarantees a miss.
  
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