As Experienced Pool Players

NewStroke

Screamin Monkey
Silver Member
is it possible that we already know how to make the shot and where the cueball will go long before we actually "think" about it? I am guessing we do but would like opinions.

Secondly, I believe active thinking can mess up a shot or leave as well.
 

9BallPaul

Banned
As an experienced player, I'm convinced I have more knowledge in my subconscious than I'm generally aware of. Tapping into that subconscious storehouse is closely connected to playing at your top speed, whatever it is.
 

Tokyo-dave

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I speak for myself, and possibly many others, when I say yes to your question. I have always played my best pool when I didn't know what I was doing.....and just did it. (if that makes any sense).
Some of the best pool I ever played was running a 5 pack (on a very generous table) in a tournament race to five. In Japan, they usually play with the rule that you mark your win before breaking the next game, or the other player has the option of calling you on it, and you not being credited with the game you forgot to notch. I ran all five racks not only forgetting to mark my score, but had to be stopped after the 5th rack and reminded that "we were only playing to 5." My opponent joking pulled the score rule card on me, but gave it to me anyways.
I have no recollection of anything that happened in all five racks.
I've never understood how a guy might ask me after an out something like "we're you trying to play the 6 like you did, or did you just end up that way?" If I was in the zone, I have no idea where the 6 was or what I did with it.
dave
 

GeoEnvi

Diamond System Enthusiast
Silver Member
Agreed.

Anyone that relies on the "arm-brain computer" or "muscle memory" instead of analytical equations and mid-stroke decision making is bound to play at a faster "speed".


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Johnnyt

Burn all jump cues
Silver Member
When you get to a certain level in pocketing balls and trust your stroke to be true, you should not have to think once your down on the shot. When you start questioning your aim once down on the shot only bad things can happen.
Most people can relate to this. You are doing a task that you never have to think about. You've done this task 1000's of times. Let's say you are filling your glass coffee pot at the sink. This time you think to yourself "I better be carefull not to hit the glass pot on the metal sink". All of a sudden you bump the pot against the sink. Or when your carrying a full cup with no problem, you think, "I better be careful with this full cup", then all of a sudden the coffee is spilling out of the cup while you walk. Most of the time over thinking is a bad thing. Johnnyt
 

lastminutepanic

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
90% of pool is played in the 6" between your ears.

That being said, if you aren't confident in your shot decision before you get down to address the ball, I think your chances of making a good shot are right around Gerald Laird's batting average lol. And it gets even lower if you're changing your speed, spin, bridge or stroke once you're down on the ball.

I know I've said it (and heard it so many times) 'ugh, i KNEW i was gonna get hooked/scratch/miss/miscue/jump the CB/OB off the table and into the large, scary mans back at 100mph'.

I like to say they (or I), put some 'i don't know' on the cue ball. Where you can't figure out the correct shot so you just wing it, with typically bad results.
 

measureman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
is it possible that we already know how to make the shot and where the cueball will go long before we actually "think" about it? I am guessing we do but would like opinions.

Secondly, I believe active thinking can mess up a shot or leave as well.

I agree. The only time I have to stop and think is when I have to "thread" the cue ball thru other balls. Other then that it is mostly cruise control.
 

cigardave

Who's got a light?
Silver Member
If I am playing essentially without thinking, I am almost necessarily playing zone position instead of pinpoint position... and sooner, rather than later, I will get out of line and pay the price for trying to play on auto-pilot.

It's tough to play 3-balls ahead without thinking.

Also, if I am playing either one-rail, two-rail or three-rail position I need to establish my rail target(s). I cannot do that without thinking.

Properly balancing the amount of thinking with being in the "thinkless" zone is the key to success for me. It usually takes about four to five beers.
 

i4pool

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
is it possible that we already know how to make the shot and where the cueball will go long before we actually "think" about it? I am guessing we do but would like opinions.

Secondly, I believe active thinking can mess up a shot or leave as well.

I agree. Active thinking CAN mess up a shot/leave. I believe that all the "thinking" should be done before getting down on the shot. Commit, get down, then "Just Do It"! :D

I believe we do know how to make the shot and where it will go before thinking about it. But we still need to think about it. Just shouldn't do it while down on the shot.

Good thread! :thumbup:
 

scrappy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
don't think when you shoot and don't shoot when you think

like when someone takes forever to shoot a shot then misses i usually think yup think long think wrong
 

lorider

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I speak for myself, and possibly many others, when I say yes to your question. I have always played my best pool when I didn't know what I was doing.....and just did it. (if that makes any sense).
Some of the best pool I ever played was running a 5 pack (on a very generous table) in a tournament race to five. In Japan, they usually play with the rule that you mark your win before breaking the next game, or the other player has the option of calling you on it, and you not being credited with the game you forgot to notch. I ran all five racks not only forgetting to mark my score, but had to be stopped after the 5th rack and reminded that "we were only playing to 5." My opponent joking pulled the score rule card on me, but gave it to me anyways.
I have no recollection of anything that happened in all five racks.
I've never understood how a guy might ask me after an out something like "we're you trying to play the 6 like you did, or did you just end up that way?" If I was in the zone, I have no idea where the 6 was or what I did with it.
dave
i agree with you. other night in the playoffs i was hill-hill . my opponent broke and ran 5 balls before he missed. i got up and ran 6 balls without thinking , was shooting like that all night with the help of a few beers lol. anyway on my last ball i started to shoot then stopped and thought about where the 8 was. bent down to shoot and missed. it was probably the easiest shot i had all night and i missed because i stopped to think. lost the match because of it.
 

justnum

Principal Investigator of Magic Trick Shots
Silver Member
I agree most experienced players know what happens to very common shots.

(The hard part is when the shots are uncommon and some guess work is involved. Unless that issue makes me an inexperienced player? )
 

Tom In Cincy

AKA SactownTom
Silver Member
I am a firm believer that when you play in the "ZONE" it is just a glimpse of what you would normally play like if you kept practicing and competing on a regular basis.

And, I also believe that you can actually play better than being in the "ZONE" if you maintain a practice ritual including learning new and exciting drills. Of course, you also need to keep testing your skills by regularly competing.

I don't know anyone that doesn't think about what they do at the table. But, the better players seem to forget (accept) what just happened and start over again on the next shot and almost all of those good players have a solid preshot routine.
 

sfleinen

14.1 & One Pocket Addict
Gold Member
Silver Member
Leveraging your most powerful tools: the subconscious mind and muscle memories

is it possible that we already know how to make the shot and where the cueball will go long before we actually "think" about it? I am guessing we do but would like opinions.

Secondly, I believe active thinking can mess up a shot or leave as well.

Great post, bud.

I'm a firm believer that you should let your mind and body's natural "built memories" do the work for you. All too often, I see all these aiming system threads, and I'm thinking to myself, "Folks, you've got it all wrong. You're overthinking this stuff. You're not supposed to be making this a cerebral endeavor. You've already got the built-up and built-in memories -- both subconscious mind and 'muscle memories' -- to make that shot."

But unfortunately, many of us want "control" and to "stay in control." We think that if we're not cerebrally thinking about every aspect and nuance of the shot, that we're not "putting all we can" into the shot. And nothing could be further from the truth. We're actually short-circuiting and end-running our most powerful tools -- the subconscious mind and muscle memories. Granted, good fundamentals need to be committed to muscle memory, and there's something to be said about cerebral practice to "commit" those fundamentals to muscle memory. But practice is one thing; matches (whether tournament, league play, or gambling) is quite another -- that is then SHOW TIME! Time to shut the cerebral/analytical mind off (at least when you're down on the shot), and play from the subconscious. Trust your massive storehouse of "how to play the shot" -- your subconscious mind.

It may be a shameless plug, but I wrote an article about this very topic that I keep bookmarked, that seems to be well-received:

"Leveraging your subconscious (read: don't let your conscious get in the way!)"
http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=216564

Give it a quick once-over, and see what you think.

Hope it's helpful/useful!
-Sean
 

book collector

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Experienced

Have you ever been playing lights out and you have a tough shot and only one place on the whole table where you can't win from?
If thats the last thing you are thinking about, that is usually where you find yourself, sometimes you think of what an impossible shot it was, yet it gets there .
I have had only a few times in my life where I was playing so well I didn't think anyone had to beat me , guess that's why we always come back.
 

Ratta

Hearing the balls.....
Silver Member
Great post, bud.

I'm a firm believer that you should let your mind and body's natural "built memories" do the work for you. All too often, I see all these aiming system threads, and I'm thinking to myself, "Folks, you've got it all wrong. You're overthinking this stuff. You're not supposed to be making this a cerebral endeavor. You've already got the built-up and built-in memories -- both subconscious mind and 'muscle memories' -- to make that shot."

But unfortunately, many of us want "control" and to "stay in control." We think that if we're not cerebrally thinking about every aspect and nuance of the shot, that we're not "putting all we can" into the shot. And nothing could be further from the truth. We're actually short-circuiting and end-running our most powerful tools -- the subconscious mind and muscle memories. Granted, good fundamentals need to be committed to muscle memory, and there's something to be said about cerebral practice to "commit" those fundamentals to muscle memory. But practice is one thing; matches (whether tournament, league play, or gambling) is quite another -- that is then SHOW TIME! Time to shut the cerebral/analytical mind off (at least when you're down on the shot), and play from the subconscious. Trust your massive storehouse of "how to play the shot" -- your subconscious mind.

It may be a shameless plug, but I wrote an article about this very topic that I keep bookmarked, that seems to be well-received:

"Leveraging your subconscious (read: don't let your conscious get in the way!)"
http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=216564

Give it a quick once-over, and see what you think.

Hope it's helpful/useful!
-Sean

tap tap,

all in all i totally agree with sean-
about the aiming-systems.......this has nothing to do with the thread. no matter what kind of you re using, it doesn t matter at all!
All the things about the subconcisous are right and very important. most players underestimate it (or even don t know about it).

If you are a guy who has very much table time and playing/practicing a lot it will be usualy easier for you to choose *unconcsiously* the next shot without longer thinking/planning. That s also the reason when it is time to get down and make the shot.......-you can plan for sure a shot a bit longer if it s a difficult and important shot (final 8/9/10 ball or a breakshot), but if you re ready and made your decisions and plans, you JUST HAVE TO GET DOWN AND JUST DO YOUR JOB! If you re staying too much time *down on you shot* you begin to think again......and this is very often the cause for a miss.
No time for negative-

We all have such a big *library of pictures* in our brain......so just use it and play it :)

let it roll and have fun,

Ingo
 

BFrench501

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
There's a lot of great posts in here already, but for me the simple analogy I always try to use about pool and subconscious is close to what's been said, about doing something 1000's of times first.

When we are children we can count to 100 in order, but if we were given 15 minutes to study 1-100 in a completely random order, could we recite the numbers in the order presented? You'd have to be Rainman to even do that!

So we don't think about it when we count to 100 normally. Pool eventually gets to that same point. I'm not there yet myself personally, but I understand the very concept of the subconscious mind taking over and that it is easier to play when you are not actively thinking.

You shouldn't think when playing a match in an ideal world anyway, because any distraction takes you away from 100% focus on the game.

Great thread, enjoyed reading it sorry for the epic post :)
 

eyesjr

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Absolutely, we know it. And when you change climatic conditions, heat, humidity, etc, you have that programmed too. Ever notice people go different routes given the same shot? Pretty sure that's why.
 
Its easy to spread balls and whack at them without position and get that feeling that you are shooting better. But in actuality you're shooting at higher percentage shots when your practicing. So in game conditions, your percentages should decrease, which means you will have to focus more to achieve the same results.
 
Top