Do You Have an Internal Monologue?

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Some times when I have a good couple of racks and run em out at will, I think back and it's almost like I was never there and never shot a single shot. Sort of like when you drive somewhere and once you get there you can barely remember the drive because you were in a state of "autopilot"... Typically, if I'm talking to myself in my head, it's because there are problems. It seems like my best pool gets played in "autopilot" mode as well... now I'm thinking on it too much and that's probably detrimental at this point!

I can relate to this, since this is what has become more common for me after I started to understand what Markova was saying. In the past, on some shots, I would get all lined up and then a doubt would emerge. I learned to simply shut it down and with my mind on no particular thing, I would just shoot, trusting the process. It bothered me that I wasn’t particularly aware of the shot. But they went in. Awareness was not necessary for the actual shot.

Now I strive for it. When totally focused on something happening that combines subconscious and unconscious processes, I am very comfortable with only a distant background conscious awareness. The visuals are always there, but take a soundtrack free, front row seat for a change, when this happens correctly. Watching a silent movie can trigger a version of that experience, a trancing effect. There is even a mental fist pump when a plan comes together and the balls disappear.

There is a neurological phenomenon called Synaesthesia - crossovers in the senses. Richard Feynman, a Nobel prize physicist reported seeing colors in his equations. A famed painter, Wassily Kandinsky, experienced music while painting and tried to create orchestral masterpieces. These are rarely reported cross sensing experiences. In athletics champion teams have reported connections between teammates of string like connections or light streams. That said, although these are interesting, I think this is a fish asking “what is water” moment. It’s something we miss under our own nose.

“Cue ball on a string”, is such a crossover. Feeling a visual line physical connection is part of what we term hand/eye coordination. It happens frequently between those senses, a type of activity in one sensory modality, such as vision here, that evokes automatic and involuntary perceptual experiences in another, an increased cross-talk between the sensory pathways in the brain. When it happens between other senses though, clinicians define it, give it a name and study it, because it is not part of a normally shared reality. In actuality it is likely just an unrealized capability in the rest of us.

I feared not having conscious awareness during certain shots especially key ones. We fear the unknown. Knowing now that this is likely a sign of the zone puts those fears to rest.

Raise a glass to ”being on autopilot”.
 

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think, if you can do it, the best option when playing pool is an on/off switch.

I don't actually have to think about doing so but s I've noted, when playing, my IM goes into silent mode, which I consider a blessing.

Lou Figueroa

In the past I developed a coping strategy for off table distractions. Most of the time I was distracted off table it was about conversations going on that I get tuned into. Also I’m sensitive to the physical presence of a player beside or behind me. That one is easy, just wait for it to clear. The other distractions were another matter. So I developed a strategy.

Don’t try to ignore, it fails. Pay full attention. It’s either important or not. If not, let it subside naturally or wait until it gets boring. The second tactic is what got my focus back on the shot. I use my outer voice to direct me to the physical and visual elements of the shot. My dialogue goes “ok, where was I? ... So, I need to get my cue ball here so I can ... Creating my own external audio draws my attention outwards and the content of the narrative directs my other senses outwards onto the elements of the shot.

There is no reason I can think of not to use it for inner voice distractions too. If the inner voice is not interfering with the planning and execution and rather just focused like an observer/consultant on the elements of play it is likely a natural part of your peak performance state. Don’t fight what you don’t need to fight. You can decide, and be prepared.

Develop a plan to deal with the inner voice when it is an issue. This is mine.
 
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VVP

Registered
Internal monologues are very common in trapshooting. It is part of your pre-shot routine. It is what helps you to see the shot before even pulling the trigger. Very similar to what Mark Wilson was describing when he said the pros make the shot before even setting up for the shot. One thing is you never use the word "don't" in your monologue. If you say "don't miss" you miss that shot. Sure everyone here agrees.
 

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Internal monologues are very common in trapshooting. It is part of your pre-shot routine. It is what helps you to see the shot before even pulling the trigger. Very similar to what Mark Wilson was describing when he said the pros make the shot before even setting up for the shot. One thing is you never use the word "don't" in your monologue. If you say "don't miss" you miss that shot. Sure everyone here agrees.

Old wisdom. Trying to ignore the water on the right on the golf course. Controlling the narrative applies to internal dialogue as well. It also applies to leaving missed shots behind. Going over misses and asking “how did I miss that” engages the brain in generating ways to miss that way. Bad mental rehearsal territory. Better to ask “what does that look like when it’s done right?” Even asking how would Effren, Alex and Albin, etc do it?

Another good word is “yet”. Players who get frustrated and say “I can’t do it “ will hear me add the word “yet”. We all start out being unable to do, yet. Then we get past each yet and onto the next.
 
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Dead Money

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
So I recently read an article that was incredibly surprising to me -- that not every human being has the ability to conduct an internal monologue with themselves:

https://ryanandrewlangdon.wordpress...-internal-monologue-and-it-has-ruined-my-day/

IOWs, some people can't silently talk to themselves inside their brain.

How is this possible?!

So anyways, I was thinking about this as it pertains to pool and was wondering if, ferinstance, while I was playing Francisco Bustamonte at the DCC a few days ago, was I having an internal monologue during my runs during which I talked and debated with myself about what to do next on each shot.

And I came to the conclusion, that even though I can and do have internal monologues with myself, when I'm shooting pool, especially when running balls, I do not have an internal monologue going on and my thought process becomes unspoken and abstract. Crazy.

How about youz? Do you have or not have internal monologues, particularly when shooting pool?

Lou Figueroa

Monologue? No but a song...



I'm a little teapot

I'm a little teapot
Short and stout
Here is my handle
Here is my spout
When I get all steamed up
Hear me shout
Tip me over and pour me out!

I'm a very special teapot
Yes, it's true
Here's an example of what I can do
I can turn my handle into a spout
Tip me over and pour me out!


Works in the bedroom too:grin-square:
 

4scarecrow

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I definitely hear the internal monologue loud and clear. I try to never allow the word miss to enter it. As soon as I hear that a miss is possible I usually do.
 

Brookeland Bill

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
So I recently read an article that was incredibly surprising to me -- that not every human being has the ability to conduct an internal monologue with themselves:

https://ryanandrewlangdon.wordpress...-internal-monologue-and-it-has-ruined-my-day/

IOWs, some people can't silently talk to themselves inside their brain.

How is this possible?!

So anyways, I was thinking about this as it pertains to pool and was wondering if, ferinstance, while I was playing Francisco Bustamonte at the DCC a few days ago, was I having an internal monologue during my runs during which I talked and debated with myself about what to do next on each shot.

And I came to the conclusion, that even though I can and do have internal monologues with myself, when I'm shooting pool, especially when running balls, I do not have an internal monologue going on and my thought process becomes unspoken and abstract. Crazy.

How about youz? Do you have or not have internal monologues, particularly when shooting pool?

Lou Figueroa

Mine is STFU. Play with your subconscious mind.
 

painfullyslow

Registered
Very interesting thread!

I greatly enjoy learning about the different way that people's brains work and how there are many ways to get the same job done.

Personally, I have no monologue. During my normal day, my thoughts are going a mile a minute. The way my brain works is that even if I am speaking with someone, I have at least one or likely multiple other though processes going on in the background. It is actually quite maddening.

This is why I enjoy high concentration activities. Not too long ago it was racing motorcycles but currently it is shooting pool. During those times, my mind goes quiet...which is bliss by the way. All that white noise goes away and it is peaceful because my brain recognizes that I need all available function for the task at hand.

As for the monologue and how it pertains to running tables? I just 'see' the table. I know that is somewhat ambiguous but really that is how it works for me.

From the break I see the paths I will need to take to get around the table and pocket whatever needs to be pocketed, in what order, and whatever breakouts need to be done, etc.

I do not consciously think as I approach a shot 'ok, I need to hit this with 1/4 tip low and 1 tip right english at a medium-slow speed to get position on the next ball.' My brain simply recognizes it instinctively and does it. I trust myself.

It is interesting because when off the table, I am very much a calculating, physics-minded person who if you asked on paper how a shot needed to be performed, I could describe it in detail. When actually shooting though, nothing. Just pure concentration. I think the only thing going through my mind is an occasional reminder to follow through on my stroke.
 

sbk510

Registered
I don't have an internal voice whatsoever. Wow. Just tinnitus...

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I definitely hear the internal monologue loud and clear. I try to never allow the word miss to enter it. As soon as I hear that a miss is possible I usually do.


Yes, you definitely have to kill the toxic stuff if you want to perform well.

Lou Figueroa
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Very interesting thread!

I greatly enjoy learning about the different way that people's brains work and how there are many ways to get the same job done.

Personally, I have no monologue. During my normal day, my thoughts are going a mile a minute. The way my brain works is that even if I am speaking with someone, I have at least one or likely multiple other though processes going on in the background. It is actually quite maddening.

This is why I enjoy high concentration activities. Not too long ago it was racing motorcycles but currently it is shooting pool. During those times, my mind goes quiet...which is bliss by the way. All that white noise goes away and it is peaceful because my brain recognizes that I need all available function for the task at hand.

As for the monologue and how it pertains to running tables? I just 'see' the table. I know that is somewhat ambiguous but really that is how it works for me.

From the break I see the paths I will need to take to get around the table and pocket whatever needs to be pocketed, in what order, and whatever breakouts need to be done, etc.

I do not consciously think as I approach a shot 'ok, I need to hit this with 1/4 tip low and 1 tip right english at a medium-slow speed to get position on the next ball.' My brain simply recognizes it instinctively and does it. I trust myself.

It is interesting because when off the table, I am very much a calculating, physics-minded person who if you asked on paper how a shot needed to be performed, I could describe it in detail. When actually shooting though, nothing. Just pure concentration. I think the only thing going through my mind is an occasional reminder to follow through on my stroke.


About seeing paths: I know that when I'm playing well my ability to visualize the path the CB will take after contact with an OB is much better.

There's no words and I'm not even sure I'm seeing a picture in my head. It's more like I can see the path on the table.

Lou Figueroa
 

Hoser

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
So I recently read an article that was incredibly surprising to me -- that not every human being has the ability to conduct an internal monologue with themselves:

https://ryanandrewlangdon.wordpress...-internal-monologue-and-it-has-ruined-my-day/

IOWs, some people can't silently talk to themselves inside their brain.

How is this possible?!

So anyways, I was thinking about this as it pertains to pool and was wondering if, ferinstance, while I was playing Francisco Bustamonte at the DCC a few days ago, was I having an internal monologue during my runs during which I talked and debated with myself about what to do next on each shot.

And I came to the conclusion, that even though I can and do have internal monologues with myself, when I'm shooting pool, especially when running balls, I do not have an internal monologue going on and my thought process becomes unspoken and abstract. Crazy.

How about youz? Do you have or not have internal monologues, particularly when shooting pool?

Lou Figueroa

Excellent post Lou,

I work in the field, as a psychotherapist who has worked closely with neurologists and neuroscientists for over 30 years. Many of my colleagues work in sport psychology utilizing brain imaging and quantitative electroencephalography which enables us to see some of the various ways individuals process information and execute for optimal performance.

I think the vast majority of people have an inner dialogue and am surprised at the number of people who report that they do not. Some form of inner vocabulary is necessary to write a simple post. There certainly are different ways in which the brain finds workarounds, especially when it is challenged. Einstein was mentioned who happen to be fascinated by billiards and reports having a unique inner voice. Anecdotally over the years the most unique inner voices that I've encountered have been people on the autistic spectrum. Brain imaging shows that parts of the brain responsible for prosody of voice and getting the internal dialogue out effectively is difficult for people on the spectrum.

But Lou asked about inner dialogue, optimal performance while shooting pool and individual differences. Elite players which are outliers on the bell curve on brain imaging show the ability to activate the sensorimotor strip responsible for feel and motor movement while quieting inner dialogue especially at the moment of execution.

For the rest of us, relying on a repeatable pre-shot routine, including visualization, having the right amount of arousal and simply positive as opposed to negative inner dialogue can go a long way towards optimal performance.

Negative inner dialogue produces and releases cortisol. Positive inner dialogue is been shown to release DHEA a performance-enhancing anabolic steroid which is banned by the Olympics for its performance-enhancing characteristics.

Some of you reported having difficulty with what we would call busy-brain. It can be challenging to quiet a busy brain. It is easier to focus on something then to try to quiet a busy brain. The old try as hard as you can not to think of a pink elephant routine. While playing pool the answer to what to focus on is right in front of you on the table. Keep it simple and have fun.:D
 

thaitom

Registered
Teachers Mantra

One of my first instructors in pool was a Brit who had taught pro snooker players including Jimmy White. Possibly because I was so inept he drilled into me to think through the following on every shot. 'See it, feel it (the cue movement), hold it (just before the shot), stay down , shoot it, go through it .

I talk to golfers who tell me they have a similar mantra for controlling (or attempting to control) their swing.

Obviously I don't go through that on every shot however I find that as the game gets tense, the shots get harder, I find I have a lot more success when I slow down and think through the mantra as I shoot. Unfortunately my old eyes are fading and I don't have a mantra for that.
 

jimmyg

Mook! What's a Mook?
Silver Member
The possibility occurs to me that people who must read to themselves aloud may not have the ability to communicate with their brain silently.

Just a thought.
 
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lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Excellent post Lou,

I work in the field, as a psychotherapist who has worked closely with neurologists and neuroscientists for over 30 years. Many of my colleagues work in sport psychology utilizing brain imaging and quantitative electroencephalography which enables us to see some of the various ways individuals process information and execute for optimal performance.

I think the vast majority of people have an inner dialogue and am surprised at the number of people who report that they do not. Some form of inner vocabulary is necessary to write a simple post. There certainly are different ways in which the brain finds workarounds, especially when it is challenged. Einstein was mentioned who happen to be fascinated by billiards and reports having a unique inner voice. Anecdotally over the years the most unique inner voices that I've encountered have been people on the autistic spectrum. Brain imaging shows that parts of the brain responsible for prosody of voice and getting the internal dialogue out effectively is difficult for people on the spectrum.

But Lou asked about inner dialogue, optimal performance while shooting pool and individual differences. Elite players which are outliers on the bell curve on brain imaging show the ability to activate the sensorimotor strip responsible for feel and motor movement while quieting inner dialogue especially at the moment of execution.

For the rest of us, relying on a repeatable pre-shot routine, including visualization, having the right amount of arousal and simply positive as opposed to negative inner dialogue can go a long way towards optimal performance.

Negative inner dialogue produces and releases cortisol. Positive inner dialogue is been shown to release DHEA a performance-enhancing anabolic steroid which is banned by the Olympics for its performance-enhancing characteristics.

Some of you reported having difficulty with what we would call busy-brain. It can be challenging to quiet a busy brain. It is easier to focus on something then to try to quiet a busy brain. The old try as hard as you can not to think of a pink elephant routine. While playing pool the answer to what to focus on is right in front of you on the table. Keep it simple and have fun.:D


Your post made me wonder if, as some of us do, focusing on what our body parts are doing in the lead up to pulling the trigger helps in making any internal monologues secondary or even non-existent at the moment of execution.

IOWs if you're focused on your PSR and have confidence it it, the shot and its success almost becomes an afterthought.

Lou Figueroa
or sumthin' like that
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The possibility occurs to me that people who must readto themselves aloud may not have the ability to communicate with their brain silently.

Just a thought.


Similarly, I was thinking that perhaps learning to read at a very young age might perhaps affect a person's wiring and whether they have an internal monologue.

I have no evidence for that... it was just an intuitive connection.

Lou Figueroa
 

Hoser

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Your post made me wonder if, as some of us do, focusing on what our body parts are doing in the lead up to pulling the trigger helps in making any internal monologues secondary or even non-existent at the moment of execution.

IOWs if you're focused on your PSR and have confidence it it, the shot and its success almost becomes an afterthought.

Lou Figueroa
or sumthin' like that

You've got it Lou

Inner dialogue can have it's place in the sequence of the overall PSR

I would suggest that your inner monologue's constructive usefulness could assist with shot planning,seeing and feeling before the confidence phase but should end once you've stepped into the shot.
 

JazzyJeff87

AzB Plutonium Member
Silver Member
A good topic this. I definitely have the voice going on. I am a very linguistic oriented person. I have conversations in my head all throughout the day. Sometimes I play out possible conversations I might have one day or have had but I have new thoughts.

I also do a “therapy” thing lol, as if running through what I’d say to a therapist. I don’t make up the answers part but just laying out my issues and all my honest thoughts seems to set the info in my subconscious in an easily digestible way and that’s how I work stuff out. I told my friend about this once and found out she does the same thing.

I have a hard time with visualization. When I was learning to count cards I realized how hard it was to conjure up pictures of numbers. Lately I’ve been trying to play pool in my head while I’m falling asleep, setting the balls on the table and running through them while keeping the others in their spot until it’s time. Very difficult.

About seeing paths: I know that when I'm playing well my ability to visualize the path the CB will take after contact with an OB is much better.

There's no words and I'm not even sure I'm seeing a picture in my head. It's more like I can see the path on the table.

Lou Figueroa

This kind of visualization I do have though. Exactly as you describe in the last sentence. It’s almost like I see a faint grey line that the CB will take or a ball will take on a bank shot. It doesn’t always happen of course but whenever it does it has never failed that I can remember. The mind is mysterious for sure.

I don’t know though if I really do a monologue or whatever while I’m playing. It’s more like lock picking. A little conscious thought...maybe pictures maybe words I don’t know and then feel the shot and what you need to do and do it
 
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