Consistently inconsistent


Inconsistence is the only major aspect of my game I wish to change right now. I've played for about 12 years, from playing every day for hours on end to playing off and on when the bug bit me. Now I play once a week for about two or three hours for league and that is it. I'd like to play more, but work and other responsibilities dictates when I get to play most of the time. I have to chuckle at the differences in my game week to week. Our league is only two players per team due to lack of interest and people that signed up and never showed up, last time we met to play I broke and ran two racks, and ran the other two racks after my opponents broke and failed to drop a ball. The week before that I didn't win a game. And it was not the team I was playing that caused me to lose, I had several chances at the table each game. It just was not there that night.

In no way do I consider myself one of these billiard Gods, I will never be seen on TV playing, I will never make a significant amount of money from playing, my name will never be known outside of the fact that it is on a plaque hanging on the local pool hall wall. Even though any dreams of grandeur I might have had at one time will remain nothing but dreams, I will tell anyone who asks if I am good that yes I am good, not awesome, but I can hold my own against most competitors. I will say this with confidence if for no other reason because I can run racks, because I can go into the local bars with enough change for a rack on the bar table and hold that table till I am tired of playing. Of course, this is the times I am playing to my potential.

I don't do anything different when I play, I use the same stroke, I use the same cue, same tip, same cue ball (that I carry, and when applicable) and try to play on the same tables that I normally play on in the hall. I wear the same shoes even, just to be sure that my stance is solid, ever since a tournament while wearing smooth soled shoes I slipped, and lost the match. If they let me wear golf cleats I would. But man, some nights I just can not sink a damn ball. I'll miss ball in hand shots, I'll shoot too soft when I need to put a lil umph behind it and too hard when I need some finesse. Over cut, under cut, miscue, set balls loose all over the table, hook myself, you name it I'll do it. Then the next time I play, I'll get down, not changing anything about my game style and not miss a shot, I could put a mark on the table where I want that cue ball to go and it will sit right on it...

Horribly frustrating to me.

This post serves no other purpose but for me to vent a bit about this. I'm sure others have experienced those nights when you cant do anything right except setting up your opponent.

Ah well, still I love the game and the competition, even if I usually am competing against myself!

And wow, two posts in one day, can you tell I'm bored at work and really didnt feel like coming back after the holidays?


You sound exactly like me, i go though the same thing week after week, sometimes i'm on and sometimes i'm off and i can't explane why.

However i do believe in my case that most of the time it's caused by a change in my mood, when i'm in a really good mood i play much better but alot of the time i feel shitty and low on confidence which causes me to play bad. I change moods like a women with PMS and it really affects my game.


AZB's own 8-ball jihadist
Silver Member
I find I run into the same problem alot. I recently went on a streak of 3rd, 8th, and 3rd place in a 9-ball tournament here in Calgary that is very strong competition, alot of master level players and afew that are semi-pro/pro. It is a 48 player field and each night I went through 2 or 3 strong players and shot very well. Last night I chopped it up against the worst player in the tournament, beat one shortstop, and then again chopped it up against another guy I am supposed to beat that was shooting terrible, I lost 5-3 missing a 9. The thing is I know what the problem is, physical condition. I have found that I play my best pool when I work out abit and have a consistent cardio regime. I am not sure if it is strictly mental or if the excersise actually helps keep things clear and gives me the stamina and proper bloodflow for the game, I think it might be both but mostly the latter, good shape really helps. I know the old timers (Hoppe, Mosconi, Greenleaf era) used to train like boxers and keep themselves in good shape by jogging and such, even during tournaments. I have played my best pool and had my best finishes when I have been in good shape either due to my job, or keeping myself in shape at the jym.