Missed the money ball. Why?

Mustardeer

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I was just up 3-0, then after his 2 pack I ran & missed the money ball and he flipped the switch. Felt like playing the ghost after that.

I haven’t had an issue with money balls in years usually fire them in.

But this feeling hit out of nowhere: a super easy shot looked and felt DIFFICULT. Uncomfortable. I set up that shot after the match and couldn’t believe it was the same shot, how easy it looked and felt. Went home and made it 27 times in a row before stopping.

He was so dramatic after he won. Annoying.

Fascinating how the same shot can feel really difficult or really easy depending on state of mind. Even pros get that feeling once in a blue moon. Why exactly do we get that feeling? I’m not embarrassed, we’ve seen Lion get it. I know how to deal with that feeling. But why does it even occur to the players with solid mental game. I wasn’t feeling the heat at all. Just can’t believe that shot looked hard to me.
 

philly

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I was just up 3-0, then after his 2 pack I ran & missed the money ball and he flipped the switch. Felt like playing the ghost after that.

I haven’t had an issue with money balls in years usually fire them in.

But this feeling hit out of nowhere: a super easy shot looked and felt DIFFICULT. Uncomfortable. I set up that shot after the match and couldn’t believe it was the same shot, how easy it looked and felt. Went home and made it 27 times in a row before stopping.

He was so dramatic after he won. Annoying.

Fascinating how the same shot can feel really difficult or really easy depending on state of mind. Even pros get that feeling once in a blue moon. Why exactly do we get that feeling? I’m not embarrassed, we’ve seen Lion get it. I know how to deal with that feeling. But why does it even occur to the players with solid mental game. I wasn’t feeling the heat at all. Just can’t believe that shot looked hard to me.
It can be a head game.
Run all the balls and miss the money ball.
Call it lack of focus, doubt in your mind, or whatever.
All I know is that it is not supposed to happen that way but it does.
If you have never missed with ball in hand please raise your hand.
 

GentlemanJames

Well-known member
That's tough luck, my friend; and it happens to EVERYONE; even the best-of-the-best - EVERYONE.

Trying understand Why and When the Brain does what it does is way beyond my ability to know or explain. Saying this with no disparity towards you at all:

At some point under pressure - even if we've faced more pressure/difficulty at other times - for whatever reason at the moment of truth, the Dog in us comes out - in ALL OF US - and we choke.

One thing about pool, eventually EVERYONE chokes or misses; that's why the game is based on 'turns at the table'. Otherwise, a Champion would open a rack and never relinquish the table to anyone for the rest of their career - and THAT isn't going to happen, EVER.

I love Willie Mosconi. His ways, what he did for the game, etc; BUT, the ONE THING I don't care for is Willie's quote that he ended his hi-run, not because he missed, or the pressure got too high for him and he eventually choked as his score hit the ceiling; but, that he 'got bored and quit' - this quote, even if true, does not serve the Billiard Community-at-Large, because it perpetuates, by inference, the false idea that their exists a person who doesn't choke or miss EVENTUALLY.

And, we all know, that simply isn't true.

So, here's the deal: Worse Case Scenario for you MUSTARDEER: You are in the same boat as the rest of us are in; it just happens that on that day, during that game, for whatever reason, your brain selected a seat in the leaky life-boat which gave out on you before getting you to the safety of the beach.

It's what makes us Human. - GJ
 
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GentlemanJames

Well-known member
On a serious note a well known and knowledgeable pool guy once told me the reason some people fade under pressure is that they are scared to win.
Never made any sense to me but thats what he thought.

A well-know and knowledgeable pool guy named Bert Gordon said the same thing:

BERT
Eddie, is it all right if I get
personal?

EDDIE
Whaddya been so far?

BERT
Eddie, you're a born loser.

EDDIE
What's that supposed to mean?

BERT
First time in ten years I ever saw
Minnesota Fats hooked, really hooked.
But you let him off.

EDDIE
I told you. I got drunk.

BERT
Sure, you got drunk. That's the best
excuse in the world for losing. No
trouble losing when you got a good
excuse. And winning! That can be
heavy on your back too. Like a monkey.
You drop that load too when you got
an excuse. All you gotta do is learn
to feel sorry for yourself. It's one
of the best indoor sports: feeling
sorry for yourself -- a sport enjoyed
by all, especially the born losers.

There is a lot of Human psychology in Bert's speech, even if it is bad tasting medicine to swallow. - GJ
 

dquarasr

Registered
On a serious note a well known and knowledgeable pool guy once told me the reason some people fade under pressure is that they are scared to win.
Never made any sense to me but thats what he thought.
THIS!!!!

My father was a very talented jazz musician. He ALWAYS managed to sabotage his career when he had opportunities. Example: he was on numerous recordings in the late 50s but refused to let his name to be listed in the personnel credits. I looked back and realized that he was afraid of success. I think he feared that success brought with it higher expectations for future performances and having to live up to a higher standard, which, with his lack of confidence (projected onto me! thankfully I overcame) paralyzed him.
 

gregcantrall

Center Ball
Silver Member
When I first started playing, I found comfort when I saw a pro miss an easy shot. The optimistic thought was, "see they miss easy shots too." Of course then the realistic thought was, "yes but look how many more balls they make between misses."
History tells me that my missed easy shots fall into 2 categories.
1. I took it for granted and was mentally on my way to the handshake when I pulled the trigger.
2. I was so nervous I couldn't remember my name, no less aim and shoot.
Diligence in following my protocol is my best solution. For #2 -Through practice I seek to develop habits so strong that I still function even when brain dead. For #1- Through discipline following the protocol on even the simple shots is just as important. Forced following each step and the timing of my routine on every single shot, even the hangers, is my method.
Still not 100% but doing better.😁
 

gregcantrall

Center Ball
Silver Member
When I first started playing, I found comfort when I saw a pro miss an easy shot. The optimistic thought was, "see they miss easy shots too." Of course then the realistic thought was, "yes but look how many more balls they make between misses."
History tells me that my missed easy shots fall into 2 categories.
1. I took it for granted and was mentally on my way to the handshake when I pulled the trigger.
2. I was so nervous I couldn't remember my name, no less aim and shoot.
Diligence in following my protocol is my best solution. For #2 -Through practice I seek to develop habits so strong that I still function even when brain dead. For #1- Through discipline following the protocol on even the simple shots is just as important. Forced following each step and the timing of my routine on every single shot, even the hangers, is my method.
Still not 100% but doing better.😁
So the mental dialogue that works best for me to overcome the nerves starts with, "STOP! Take a deep breath. Slowly now. Just follow the steps." 1-2-3, 1-2-3 just like the dance steps. Works best but not always. Each success builds confidence. Which can easily slide into oops I took it for granted and was mentally ahead of myself. So just like driving I must keep it between the lines. Attention without the nerves.
 

couldnthinkof01

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
So the mental dialogue that works best for me to overcome the nerves starts with, "STOP! Take a deep breath. Slowly now. Just follow the steps." 1-2-3, 1-2-3 just like the dance steps. Works best but not always. Each success builds confidence. Which can easily slide into oops I took it for granted and was mentally ahead of myself. So just like driving I must keep it between the lines. Attention without the nerves.
This really does help. Taking the extra second when you know it isn't right.
 

GentlemanJames

Well-known member
When I first started playing, I found comfort when I saw a pro miss an easy shot...
^THIS^ I feel is incredibly important!

I watched a video once which was nothing but a continual stream of muffed-shots by big time Pros edited together into one video - over and over, miss after miss, as the clock ticked on.

Watching Pros miss the same shots we all miss, humanizes them, puts our own skill-set into accurate perspective, and, imho, is critical to our mental game and how we view ourselves as Players.

The other thing I discovered by studying THE MISSES of big time Pros, is that while we all may not have the same skill level to pot balls and play position; BUT, we all miss exactly the same.

The other cool thing to do, was stop the video and set-up the exact same shots the Pros missed, and put the ball in the pocket and make good position.

Great feeling and a Great Confidence Builder during training. - GJ
 
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gregcantrall

Center Ball
Silver Member
. So just like driving I must keep it between the lines.
Which has no guarantee of success. Just improving my chances of survival.
When the left turning car took me off my motorcycle, I was between the lines and through no fault of my own in the hospital. The skills I had developed as a Rider kept me out of the morgue, by the thinnest margin. Skills that improve my enjoyment of pool cover a broad range. With people skills being the most critical in avoiding the hospital.😉
My practice mantra is. Protocol and Discipline.
 

PracticeChampion

Well-known member
On a serious note a well known and knowledgeable pool guy once told me the reason some people fade under pressure is that they are scared to win.
Never made any sense to me but thats what he thought.
Doesn't sound like the case here, just lost focus for a min but Alot of truth in what your saying... I see it in my high school golf team too often, some don't want the spot light on them. I hear the term in pro golf especially alot "Gotta learn how to win"
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
I was just up 3-0, then after his 2 pack I ran & missed the money ball and he flipped the switch. Felt like playing the ghost after that.

I haven’t had an issue with money balls in years usually fire them in.

But this feeling hit out of nowhere: a super easy shot looked and felt DIFFICULT. Uncomfortable. I set up that shot after the match and couldn’t believe it was the same shot, how easy it looked and felt. Went home and made it 27 times in a row before stopping.

He was so dramatic after he won. Annoying.

Fascinating how the same shot can feel really difficult or really easy depending on state of mind. Even pros get that feeling once in a blue moon. Why exactly do we get that feeling? I’m not embarrassed, we’ve seen Lion get it. I know how to deal with that feeling. But why does it even occur to the players with solid mental game. I wasn’t feeling the heat at all. Just can’t believe that shot looked hard to me.
Don't feel too bad. Pool has a way of making us all humble at one time or another. I have literally felt like I forgot how to play pool more than once. It happened when someone was just running over me. Petey Margo did it to me first and Buddy Hall second. It was a helpless feeling where I couldn't do anything! I was unsure on even the simplest of shots on how to hit the ball and play position. Basically I was lost on the pool table. Yes, it can happen! The weird thing is that the next day I was fine and able to run racks of 9-Ball.

I think it may be our body's fight or flight mechanism at work. If we don't know what to do, we freeze. And I have frozen on a pool table, and so did you. At least for one shot you did. I wish I knew the cure, but I don't. Probably some of these other answers here are much better. Stop and take a sip of water, take a deep breath, remember your protocol, etc. Or maybe dance around the table singing one time before shooting. Works for the Japanese player Oi. Maybe it will work for you too, or me. :)
 
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