Describe what if feels to play the game correctly (longish)


Registered User will do
Silver Member
Hey, folks. This is a little nostalgic and long so if you want to read the meat of the post, skip the first two paragraphs. Haven't posted in these parts in a while and I miss you guys. I check in every time and again of course, but I'm starting a business and I've been averaging less than 10 hours a week playing pool so I haven't posted much either.

As to be expected, I've been struggling with consistency issues because I'm not playing enough. What I've been trying to do is "practice" mentally, and concentrating on what if feels like to play the game correctly even when I'm away from the table.

I'd like to hear subjective descriptions on what if feels to play the game the way it should be played. A couple days ago I played two sets for nothing with a guy works at my local poolhall in Queens but isn't that great a player. Beforehand I had been watching Ronnie O'Sullivans 5 minute maximum (probably the best quality series of strokes I've ever seen) and Corey Deuel on and it was much like practicing. The outcome was that, even though I hadn't played in a week, I was in the zone and playing my best. I was surprised.

Here's a few things I concentrated on:

1) when I'm playing my best my acceleration always feels the same. I don't care if I'm drawing the length of the table, or rolling out two always feels the same. It is the natural speed of my arm from the elbow down, add nothing, take nothing. The difference is purely my backstroke lengthens or shortens depending on the shot. When I'm playing crappy I "add" to the stroke in muscle and body movement or I baby the ball on soft shots whereas when I'm playing well soft shots still FEEL "firm".

2) the cueball feels like it's made of silly puddy or something. I go straight through like thin air. I feel the tip at contact, obviously, but there is no resistence.

3) I always feel the weight of the cue resting on my finger pads.

4) the cueball moves around with spin (topspin and draw included), not with speed --- again, a subjective feeling. I start paying attention to little things like not only being on the right side of the ball, but the angle that makes it easiest on myself. I'm on the rail much less often. I'm on top of a ball less often. The speed of kicks and safeties improves.

5) My eyes always follow the OB to the pocket, and I hesitate on my final swing while locking my eyes on (not the OB in general) but where I want to strike it, or where I'm sending the cueball. When I'm down I concentrate purely on pocketing the ball, I don't care if a nuclear holocaust is in the making. The "clicking" sound of the OB and CB at contact has a distinct crisp and clean sonority.

6) My rhythm is always the same and it feels natural and effortless. I never rush through or lose patience with the preparatory steps and I feel the green light go on before shooting.

7) Mentally, little mishaps (like an award angle or a slightly tougher shot) don't bother me. I'm able to put down more low percentage shots, and miss easy shots much much less. I take recovery shots as a part of the game and adapt to my environment and conditions. My eyes rarely leave the table if ever.

8) I'm completely lacking in self-conscious direction; what other people do or think matters little and I'm concentrating on process rather than results. It's fun. Rolls are not a part of my vocabulary.

9) As far as speed and position, I get the feeling that I'm "pushing" the cueball where I want it to go rather than "guessing" the speed.

10) I also noticed that when I'm feeling well physically, and the remainder of my life is in order it's easier to get in the zone. In fact, pool teaches me to get in the zone at work or running errands, etc. And then fallout reverts back to the game and I play better.

Anything else you guys can think of? Thanks.

P.S. I'm again picking Engert to win it all this year.
Last edited: