Can you learn concentration?

brigeton

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I sometimes miss shots because I didn't concentrate fully. Either I'm careless about my pre shot aiming or not concentrating my aim during the final stroke. Sometimes on long shots I don't see exactly where I need to hit, just the general area. I have read different books but I don't recall anyone advising how to increase, or maintain good concentration.
 

bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
play in situations that make missing have a penalty
 
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evergruven

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
you can do it
I'm no zen-master
but when I started
I found it difficult to focus
still do sometimes
but I've improved a lot
and you can too!

breathe
practice
breathe
practice
breathe...
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Google search "learn to concentrate". About a gillion tips/methods. You'll probably learn to concentrate better just by doing this search. Lots of info. out there on this. For me breathing is big as is blocking out external distractions. It won't happen overnite.
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
One idea that I especially like is having a "trigger" that reminds you to narrow your focus. The one I remember best is putting the chalk down - you do all your walking around and thinking while chalking, then when you put your chalk down all thinking stops and you're in "performance mode".

pj
chgo
 

BC21

Poolology
Gold Member
Silver Member
It all depends on what you mean by "concentrate". Once you are down on the shot, the more you try to pay attention to every little thing that needs to happen, the less concentration you are using.

Once you decide where the cb needs to go, where it needs to be in order to pocket the ob and get position on the next ball, nothing else should be on your mind. As PJ posted, having a "trigger" that puts you in performance mode is a great technique.

The psr provides all the input you need -- visualizations, strategic options, logic, etc... It's all gathered through conscious effort. The actual body mechanics used to shoot the shot, however, are automatic. It's like a program ready to run, waiting in que for the start command. The program requires no amount of conscious effort. In tennis, for example, to return a lightening fast serve would be impossible if the player consciously focused or "concentrated" on any part of the mechanical process involved with swinging the racquet. So all the focus is directed toward one focal point, like the server's racket or the server's body or head. Nothing else matters. They focus on this with complete concentration, not letting anything else interfere, and the brain gets all the input it needs to automatically put the body and racquet in motion for the return. If the brain gets cluttered up with any other sensory input/data, like someone moving in the background, or a noise, or a feeling or an emotion, then it could affect the outcome.

So to "concentrate" is to ensure that no unwanted conscious inputs can influence the process that your subconscience mind is fully capable of pulling off on its own. This is where breathing comes in. Seeing what needs to happen, visually focusing on how it needs to happen, then letting your mind do the work uninterrupted by all distractions, can be accomplished by concentrating on your breathing. You are always concsciously looking/focusing on the shot, feeding your subconscious all the visual input it needs, but by concentrating on your breaths you keep your conscious mind from wondering about, where it has the potential to gather unnecessary inputs that may sabotage the subconscious mind's mechanical process.

Concentration takes practice. You have to lock in, visual focus on the shot, and at the same time you have to keep your conscious mind occupied (concentrated) on something that doesn't allow it to interfere with the mechanical process needed to actually shoot the shot. And it's tough. There will always be distractions. The key is to acknowledge all distractions and nip them in the bud before pulling the trigger, before sending the run command to that internal program waiting in que. The more you do this, the better you get at it. Eventually, you won't even notice most distractions. By concentrating on your normal breathing pattern, everything else will eventually seem normal, not distracting.
 
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mfinkelstein3

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Learning to concentrate

Take a pen and see how long you can focus on it without distracting thoughts. Repeat. Over time you will develop the ability to focus on the shot, or anything else for that matter, for quite a long time.

Concentration is like a muscle that you have to develop.
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If you look up the word 'concentration' it means exclusive attention on one thing. I don't think that's the word you're looking for.

Set up a pre shot routine check list and then train yourself to do everything on the check list in the right order. The order is very important.

Eventually, you won't need to consciously think about it and you won't leave anything out.
 

BC21

Poolology
Gold Member
Silver Member
Want to learn to do anything it takes time.

It's not so much the "learning" that takes a lot of time.
It's the consistent "application" or "performance" of what you learn that takes time. For example, you can learn very quickly by taking a lesson in anything. I mean you can learn everything you need to know to be able to do whatever it is you've been taught, but if it requires fine motor skills/muscle memory then you'll have to develop those skills before you can consistently apply what you've learned.
 

brigeton

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I don't really have trouble with distractions. My mind just wanders sometimes and after I miss I realize I quit aiming on the final stroke or didn't aim carefully in the first place.
 

TEAM SLO

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
One idea that I especially like is having a "trigger" that reminds you to narrow your focus. The one I remember best is putting the chalk down - you do all your walking around and thinking while chalking, then when you put your chalk down all thinking stops and you're in "performance mode".

pj
chgo

Theres are so many methods for people out there. But what was mentioned above also was recommended similarly by Charlie Bryant. He had mentioned when you get off your seat, to click a pen open/closed.
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I don't really have trouble with distractions. My mind just wanders sometimes and after I miss I realize I quit aiming on the final stroke or didn't aim carefully in the first place.

What you just described is the meaning of the word 'distraction.'
 
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