Do you think too much?

Sloppy Pockets

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Is it possible that the scientific and mathematical knowledge that so many of us pursue is actually detrimental to our ability to solve problems at the table? Do we have too much "crystalized intelligence" vs. "fluid intelligence"? Can that be what is actually holding some of us back from reaching our true potential?

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blo...ystallized-thinking-lowers-fluid-intelligence

I'm really interested in the thoughts of some of the better players here about how accumulating large amounts of knowledge affects their game, either for the better or for the worse. How about the best in the world? Is it possible that the lack of in-depth knowledge of the science behind the game actually helped them to achieve their level of play by letting their fluid intelligence develop unencumbered by scientific fact?
 

DAVE_M

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
19er4kk5hw5z1jpg.jpg


The majority of pool players think too much, because they don't have the experience. Experience comes from playing and most players don't play as often as they should. I laugh every time I hear or read about a PSR (Pre-Shot Routine). That should be natural and have no thought to it. Pool is a good cross between a mental sport and a physical sport. It's similar to the mental side of a chess game, but it takes the physical motion of the cue ball, to win the game. Knowing what to do and execution are the two biggest problems pool players face.

If you think you need a DVD or lessons to show you what you are doing wrong, you're thinking too much.
 

Patrick53212

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Over thinking

I would say yes, you can over think. I do it and that is when I miss. Typically, I would say it is best to not even start getting down on a ball unless you are ready to shoot. So long as you have your mechanics down and you know how to shoot the shot, you don't need to really think about it. You should be able to see the pattern, trouble spots, etc from your first shot and proceed accordingly. Adjustments really aren't needed unless for some reason you get out of line. I think that when you are shooting well, it just comes natural and is like you are in a zone. Some people will say I shoot too fast...but that is me. I see the shots and angles and know how and what to do....I square up on the shot and everything is in auto-pilot mode. When I miss, it is because I have deviated in that process. I feel like I zone in on the aiming point very quickly and if I take too long in practice strokes, looking at the shot several times, etc...I lose that crisp, clear picture and focus. The only times where I may take a bit of time is trying to visualize kick shots or multi-rail bank shots. Even on carom shots and combos...I tend to shoot rather quickly after I determine the tangent lines for the carom or the angle and aim for the combo. Table time practicing is what allows for this to happen though. The more times you see a shot the more likely you are to execute it with precision and accuracy.
 

336Robin

Multiverse Operative
Gold Member
Silver Member
To a degree...

Is it possible that the scientific and mathematical knowledge that so many of us pursue is actually detrimental to our ability to solve problems at the table? Do we have too much "crystalized intelligence" vs. "fluid intelligence"? Can that be what is actually holding some of us back from reaching our true potential?

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blo...ystallized-thinking-lowers-fluid-intelligence

I'm really interested in the thoughts of some of the better players here about how accumulating large amounts of knowledge affects their game, either for the better or for the worse. How about the best in the world? Is it possible that the lack of in-depth knowledge of the science behind the game actually helped them to achieve their level of play by letting their fluid intelligence develop unencumbered by scientific fact?

I think to a degree that technical assistance could be viewed as a hindrance but from the aspect of holistic approach we could do two things:

1. We can propel pool balls into the direction of the pocket with no assistance until we start hitting the spot and hit a million balls until we stop missing without knowing really knowing what is causing it or.

2. We can use some parameters by which we learn to operate if we know certain variables.


The more I play the more I start to understand that the pathway to excellence hasn't been accurately accounted for in words, diagrams and thoughts. The accurate representation of which can be subjective at best.

What to me spells success is simplification of the process in many regards. How else would one learn the excellence required to throw a baseball in a mitt at a hundred feet using a curve, a slider, a fastball or a screwball? Pool is much the same way.

Visualization and alignment are key factors but the description as to how to do them, their true roles after all if you are aligning for center ball shots how are you possibly going to play English from that setup?
 
Last edited:

philly

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
19er4kk5hw5z1jpg.jpg


The majority of pool players think too much, because they don't have the experience. Experience comes from playing and most players don't play as often as they should. I laugh every time I hear or read about a PSR (Pre-Shot Routine). That should be natural and have no thought to it. Pool is a good cross between a mental sport and a physical sport. It's similar to the mental side of a chess game, but it takes the physical motion of the cue ball, to win the game. Knowing what to do and execution are the two biggest problems pool players face.

If you think you need a DVD or lessons to show you what you are doing wrong, you're thinking too much.


Agreed! Get on the table. Play better players and ABSORB and ask questions. Practice with purpose and practice and play often. Very few of us can actually transfer the science ie. physics of the game into useful knowledge. Whether we want to admit it or not 95% of us are feel players.
 

krupa

The Dream Operator
Silver Member
I think there are players that have trouble making decisions and then committing to those decisions. That's not necessarily the same as thinking too much. This trait is usually caused by players who are too worried about making the wrong decision, which is usually exacerbated by the arrogant player who is waiting impatiently to tell the insecure player just what exactly they did wrong.

I think the bigger problem (and one that i have) is that people don't think enough. I don't take enough time to walk around the table to check that my planned route/position is actually a good one. I don't take enough time to aim my shot and think about how much power the shot really requires. I don't take enough time to take good practice strokes. I don't think about the shot after I missed it, which will guarantee that I will make the same mistake again.

What is good practice except a deliberate, thoughtful effort to improve? If you miss a shot, shrug and walk away, what's the f***ing point? You have to think about why you missed and then the next time you're at the table, you have to think and intentionally correct.

If you want to improve but you're not thinking, what are you expecting?
 

JeremiahGage

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I like to make the distinction between training, practice, and play.

Training is building new habits and working on your routine. This can range from fundamentals to strategy, but the important part is that training is deliberate. You must intentionally focus on one or two pieces of your game to elevate those skills.

Practice is the process of going from training to play. I view this as an integration step, where you learn how to combine all of the skills from training.

Play we are all familiar with, and this should be mostly automatic. Your focus will be on strategy or just the sensation of shooting, but it shouldn't take much effort.
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
You're asking two separate questions:

Can you think too much at the table? Sure, but it depends on the person.

Can "too much knowledge" make you think too much at the table? I seriously doubt it.

Anyway, it's easy enough to avoid gaining too much knowledge. Most pool players do it effortlessly.

pj
chgo
 

336Robin

Multiverse Operative
Gold Member
Silver Member
The Thoughtful Process

I think there are players that have trouble making decisions and then committing to those decisions. That's not necessarily the same as thinking too much. This trait is usually caused by players who are too worried about making the wrong decision, which is usually exacerbated by the arrogant player who is waiting impatiently to tell the insecure player just what exactly they did wrong.

I think the bigger problem (and one that i have) is that people don't think enough. I don't take enough time to walk around the table to check that my planned route/position is actually a good one. I don't take enough time to aim my shot and think about how much power the shot really requires. I don't take enough time to take good practice strokes. I don't think about the shot after I missed it, which will guarantee that I will make the same mistake again.

What is good practice except a deliberate, thoughtful effort to improve? If you miss a shot, shrug and walk away, what's the f***ing point? You have to think about why you missed and then the next time you're at the table, you have to think and intentionally correct.

If you want to improve but you're not thinking, what are you expecting?

Absolutely and I think that some practictioners of the Hit a Million Balls believe that you can send a million balls out without some thought and the shot making fairy will one day just bless them. I don't think it works exactly that way. Now devote some thought into what you are doing and I believe you get there and the best thoughts work better yet.
 

poolhustler

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think there needs to be a balance in order to achieve a higher level of play. Having an understanding of basic physics can only help.
 

Sloppy Pockets

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You're asking two separate questions:

Can you think too much at the table? Sure, but it depends on the person.

Can "too much knowledge" make you think too much at the table? I seriously doubt it.

Anyway, it's easy enough to avoid gaining too much knowledge. Most pool players do it effortlessly.

pj
chgo

No, I'm not, at least not in the body of the post itself. But perhaps I should have worded the title better. "Can you know too much?" is more what I was after. Sorry for the confusion.

And I don't think you read the article if you are going where you seem headed. The question I asked has nothing to do with how much we are thinking at the table because of that knowledge, it has to do with whether or not prior knowledge interferes with seeing novel approaches to problems that arise.
 

ronscuba

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
19er4kk5hw5z1jpg.jpg


The majority of pool players think too much, because they don't have the experience. Experience comes from playing and most players don't play as often as they should. I laugh every time I hear or read about a PSR (Pre-Shot Routine). That should be natural and have no thought to it. Pool is a good cross between a mental sport and a physical sport. It's similar to the mental side of a chess game, but it takes the physical motion of the cue ball, to win the game. Knowing what to do and execution are the two biggest problems pool players face.

If you think you need a DVD or lessons to show you what you are doing wrong, you're thinking too much.

Does this apply to players at all levels or B+ and above ?
 

krupa

The Dream Operator
Silver Member
No, I'm not, at least not in the body of the post itself. But perhaps I should have worded the title better. "Can you know too much?" is more what I was after. Sorry for the confusion.

And I don't think you read the article if you are going where you seem headed. The question I asked has nothing to do with how much we are thinking at the table because of that knowledge, it has to do with whether or not prior knowledge interferes with seeing novel approaches to problems that arise.

Ok. Worded that way, I have another answer: it depends on the person.

There are definitely people who can't see novel approaches because they become locked into a strict way of thinking based on their past knowledge and experience. And then there are people like Corey Deuel who have that same knowledge but are also very creative players.

There are very smart people who are very creative and very smart people who are very... not creative. (what's the opposite of creative?)

In pool, I think you can maintain creativity by playing different games. A game like Cowboy (where you score points by caroming or pocketing balls or both) requires different thinking and that leads to developing different shots and approaches to other games.
 

DAVE_M

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Does this apply to players at all levels or B+ and above ?

All players.

Obviously it takes practice to get comfortable using any form of a bridge with your hand and to make balls, but it can be done without watching a DVD, getting lessons, or reading an online forum.
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
No, I'm not, at least not in the body of the post itself. But perhaps I should have worded the title better. "Can you know too much?" is more what I was after. Sorry for the confusion.

And I don't think you read the article if you are going where you seem headed. The question I asked has nothing to do with how much we are thinking at the table because of that knowledge, it has to do with whether or not prior knowledge interferes with seeing novel approaches to problems that arise.
No, I didn't read it, but from your description it sounds like it might suggest that any amount of knowledge can have that effect.

Anyway, I hope all of my opponents stop learning before they have "too much" knowledge.

pj
chgo
 

krupa

The Dream Operator
Silver Member
All players.

Obviously it takes practice to get comfortable using any form of a bridge with your hand and to make balls, but it can be done without watching a DVD, getting lessons, or reading an online forum.

You're conflating two ideas: the knowledge of what a good bridge should be and the physical act of making a good bridge. You get the knowledge from a lesson or a DVD. But knowing what makes a good bridge is useless if you don't pick up a cue and practice doing it.
 

336Robin

Multiverse Operative
Gold Member
Silver Member
Know too much? no

No, I'm not, at least not in the body of the post itself. But perhaps I should have worded the title better. "Can you know too much?" is more what I was after. Sorry for the confusion.

And I don't think you read the article if you are going where you seem headed. The question I asked has nothing to do with how much we are thinking at the table because of that knowledge, it has to do with whether or not prior knowledge interferes with seeing novel approaches to problems that arise.

Absolutely not. I find the more I know about what Im doing the better I get on shots altogether. I know my travel lanes, banking angles, cue ball control well enough that I know more of what is possible...much better game the more I know.
 

Sloppy Pockets

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Absolutely not. I find the more I know about what Im doing the better I get on shots altogether. I know my travel lanes, banking angles, cue ball control well enough that I know more of what is possible...much better game the more I know.

Of course you know all that stuff, you have to in order to be able to play the game, even at a rudimentary level. But you can learn all that just by playing and watching other great players, you don't have to get it from a book, or a DVD, or Dr. Dave's website, or even though lessons.

Look at how fast a child learns things. There is a youngster not 10 miles from me who learned how to shoot pretty good at 2 years old just by sitting in his high chair watching his dad run hundreds of racks of 9-ball every day since he was an infant. He learned how to stroke and shoot balls in the hole before he even learned to talk! At five years old he was pretty damn impressive, and his dad claims he is still improving. Another Shane (who also claims to have largely taught himself the finer aspects of the game)? Who knows?

I don't think it's so much how much you know that could stand in your way, but maybe how you came to know it. That's the gist of the argument in the article as best as I understand it.
 

DAVE_M

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You're conflating two ideas: the knowledge of what a good bridge should be and the physical act of making a good bridge. You get the knowledge from a lesson or a DVD. But knowing what makes a good bridge is useless if you don't pick up a cue and practice doing it.

Who decides what a good bridge is? You have to decide that for yourself.

I know of a few players that use less than traditional bridges and can run around a table with no problem.
 

bdorman

Dead money
Silver Member
My take-away from the article: Next time someone tells me I spend too much time playing pool, I can say "I'm developing my fluid intelligence."

But seriously, all the fluid intelligence in the world is pretty useless without enough data intelligence to make it work.
 
Top