Keep missing key shots

mgonfishn

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
i dont know why this is happening but its getting me closer to wanting to quit the sport in frustration. Lately ive been playing some of the best pool I ever have. Ive had about 10 break n runs in the last week. A combination of big and bar tables, however, in the past few tournaments ive dogged 3 eight balls, and 4 nine balls. When it comes down to the last shot ive been literally sweating and i just cant keep my nerves down. My mental game was never the best, but after i missed that first 8ball ive been terrified to shoot game winning balls. If people can give me some insight on if they have ever dealt with something like this, and what they did to get out of this key ball slump.
 

dr9ball

"Lock Doctor"
Silver Member
How are your pre shot routines before these game balls compared to the other ones?
If they are different, try to make them the same for every shot.

If they are the same, my guess is that you are possibly rushing these shots on the 8 and 9, gripping your cue too tight or a combination of both.

If you have access to a camcorder and a tripod, try filming yourself in competition, ask your opponent if they are ok with this first before you do it. You can probably see what's going on by doing that. If you can't see it, send the link to me or another instructor and we may be able to offer our viewpoint.
 

randyg

www.randygpool.com
Silver Member
Here's a little tidbit that has saved my pool life over the years.

"When you are on the last ball make sure you play shape on an imaginary ball."
Says Jerry Breisath, my Mentor

SPF=randyg
 

kevpull

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
stay down

i dont know why this is happening but its getting me closer to wanting to quit the sport in frustration. Lately ive been playing some of the best pool I ever have. Ive had about 10 break n runs in the last week. A combination of big and bar tables, however, in the past few tournaments ive dogged 3 eight balls, and 4 nine balls. When it comes down to the last shot ive been literally sweating and i just cant keep my nerves down. My mental game was never the best, but after i missed that first 8ball ive been terrified to shoot game winning balls. If people can give me some insight on if they have ever dealt with something like this, and what they did to get out of this key ball slump.

Try focusing on staying down on the game winning ball...
 

mgonfishn

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
thank you for your replies, please keep them coming, id like to impliment whatever i can that can make me more comfortable in those situations. Pool is a tough game to not play down to your opponents skill level, and those that are better than you, you want to beat so bad that you, or atleast myself i lose my concentration and only think about how great it is to beat this person, and i lose focus on the shot.
 

greyghost

Coast to Coast
Silver Member
Here's a little tidbit that has saved my pool life over the years.

"When you are on the last ball make sure you play shape on an imaginary ball."
Says Jerry Breisath, my Mentor

SPF=randyg

haha.....thats a super fantastic idea randy......awesome advice
 

Scott Lee

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Mark...This is exactly why I suggested to you that getting a lesson with a qualified instructor would help you a LOT. As I mentioned, I'll be in NYC next week (Wed and Thurs), and I will come out to Long Island if you want. It's an investment in your game that will pay big dividends in years to come. One thing you'll learn is why you keep missing these key shots, and how to self-correct that error immediately. Call me if you want to schedule something, as my time is very limited.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com
773-551-7473

thank you for your replies, please keep them coming, id like to impliment whatever i can that can make me more comfortable in those situations. Pool is a tough game to not play down to your opponents skill level, and those that are better than you, you want to beat so bad that you, or atleast myself i lose my concentration and only think about how great it is to beat this person, and i lose focus on the shot.
 

PaulieB

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Here's a little tidbit that has saved my pool life over the years.

"When you are on the last ball make sure you play shape on an imaginary ball."
Says Jerry Breisath, my Mentor

SPF=randyg

This is great advice that I've used when I've been tanking on the money ball ... takes the pressure away because you are thinking about something other than making the ball, you are playing for position.

Also, another dumb trick that helped me for whatever reason ... when I would play the ghost on my home table for practice, I would swap out the 9 ball for the 4 ball. Basically, just hit the 9 when it's time for the 4 ball and then when you are going for the game winning shot you are shooting at the 4 ball instead of the "dreaded" nine. I'm not sure why this helped me, but it took away the jitters for me in practice and made me realize it was "just another shot".
 

randyg

www.randygpool.com
Silver Member
I know a guy who went out and purchased 15 eightballs. Any ball he shot was the game ball......SPF=randyg
 

greyghost

Coast to Coast
Silver Member
I know a guy who went out and purchased 15 eightballs. Any ball he shot was the game ball......SPF=randyg

lol....I was telling my friend the other day to just switch out the money balls for other ones.....i also like to mix up the balls (use the stripes) that way you HAVE to look over at the layout and plan it.
 

mgonfishn

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Last night in league i was playing for easy position on an imaginary ball and i didnt miss any 8balls :) thank you all for that, tonight i may try some real tough competition in a local tournament, hopefully it will continue to work! thank you.... Scott im sorry but i truly just dont have the funds right now.. .investment or not i just cant put myself in that postion. However, once a month i do see a certified instructor for an hr. I will go over with him on my next lesson what i have been struggling with. And Come up with some pre shot routine of some sort...
 

randyg

www.randygpool.com
Silver Member
Last night in league i was playing for easy position on an imaginary ball and i didnt miss any 8balls :) thank you all for that, tonight i may try some real tough competition in a local tournament, hopefully it will continue to work! thank you.... Scott im sorry but i truly just dont have the funds right now.. .investment or not i just cant put myself in that postion. However, once a month i do see a certified instructor for an hr. I will go over with him on my next lesson what i have been struggling with. And Come up with some pre shot routine of some sort...



What Instructor are you seeing????
SPF=randyg
 

mgonfishn

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
mark finkelstein, he was an instructor working with tom simpson in a weekend clinic i went to.
 

larry732

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Many years ago I was playing in an A tournament in New York and was playing lights out until the 9-ball and either missed or bobbled the ball. Finally realizing I had changed my stroke on the nine ball and started steering the ball instead of my usual stroke and missing the shot. You have to maintain your stroke on every shot and not change on the eight or nine ball. Have the courage to use the same stroke on every shot. Larry Gendler
 

poolplayer2093

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
give up pool for a month & gofishn.
guaranteed you'll feel better after a month of anglin' !

That's a bad idea. he's missing key shots because he's afraid. in his head he's probably thinking "don't miss this ball" which leads to him missing. the brain doesn't recognize the word "Don't". every time you think "don't" miss the shot all your brain really hears is "miss this ball"

taking time off won't fix that.
 

IrishInMaine

Registered
key ball syndrome

ive noticed everyone telling you about the ball but not the nervousness i used to be nervous everytime i was on the winning ball this is something i do first for the nerves i drink iced cold water, i step back at least 2 feet from the table check my breathing then when it comes to the shot i dont use the ghost ball i think of were my cue ball is going after i pocket the 8 or 9 and i take my stick and point to the table where the cue ball is going be after i make the shot this helped me.
 

mgonfishn

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
so the last few weeks since i wrote the post ive missed a lot less shots.. mark finkelstein also worked with me saturday on a pre shot routine.. i played a money game tongiht against a pretty strong player, and i was down 6-4 and won 7-6. missed one key shot that was very difficult to begin with. Only thing is to consciously go through my routine it takes me like 30 seconds a shot. got him out of stroke but hopefully ill speed that up. thanks for the advice.. especially about a pre shot routine!
 
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