Misses Begat Misses

dquarasr

Registered
Not really a question, but an observation that I'm sure all of you here already know, but sometimes we need to come to these conclusions on our own in spite of others having emphasized it ad nauseam.

The value of mental and emotional control cannot be overstated. Misses begat misses. Confidence and relaxation begat more confidence and better results.

Once beyond a certain skill level, where fundamentals are essentially solid, the ability to go off the rails because of one or two misses boils down to control of emotions. That slight squeeze of the cue. That tensing of the shoulder and forearm. The lack of focus on speed control for shape. Etc.

The ability to put misses behind us is one of the major keys to success. Analyze, correct for the next shot, relax, and mentally start over. So much easier said than done.

I'm sure the opposite is true, but maybe not as much as misses: confidence can lead to over-confidence, maybe trying to execute shots against a good player where prudence might dictate playing safe, or trying a more difficult-to-execute shot for shape when an easier but possibly not-as-ideal leave might have a much higher chance of potting the OB.

I have so much to learn. This sport is as high on the list for mental and emotional control as any other sport (golf comes to mind).
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
One key is to understand why you missed. If it was simply a low percentage shot, go about your business, but if it was due to loss of concentration or some other mental game ailment, it's time to figure out a new plan quickly! CJ has a video on youtube about a toothbrush, I've not tried that method, but it's a fun story.
 

dquarasr

Registered
Sigh. Would it were that I lose mojo after 5-6 hours. How about the first few racks? I am only to the point where I can even sniff at winning a ghost 6-ball race to seven. But most of my failures have to do with inability to stay focused *every* *single* *shot*. I (mostly) know what to do and how to do it, but mental toughness is my usual weakness. I will continue to endeavor to overcome that by making more and more of my game thoughtless.
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think it all comes down to confidence. If you have confidence you can accept your misses easier. I also think that confidence is a personality trait that goes beyond just hard work. It's a mindset. If I were a psychologist, that would be my focus of study.
 

evergruven

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
One key is to understand why you missed. If it was simply a low percentage shot, go about your business, but if it was due to loss of concentration or some other mental game ailment, it's time to figure out a new plan quickly! CJ has a video on youtube about a toothbrush, I've not tried that method, but it's a fun story.
Sigh. Would it were that I lose mojo after 5-6 hours. How about the first few racks? I am only to the point where I can even sniff at winning a ghost 6-ball race to seven. But most of my failures have to do with inability to stay focused *every* *single* *shot*. I (mostly) know what to do and how to do it, but mental toughness is my usual weakness. I will continue to endeavor to overcome that by making more and more of my game thoughtless.

gag reflex will wake a person up, for sure
boogie, saw your blog re: progressive practice (right on btw)
and think it could apply here

not an instructor- but if you're stuck in a rut with the 6-ball ghost
why not try the 5-ball ghost, etc.?

start will a level you can succeed at
get your stroke grooved and your confidence going
then move up-
go up and down in difficulty as you see fit
could be less intrusive than sticking a toothbrush down your throat
but hey, whatever works right ^_^
 

BilliardsAbout

BondFanEvents.com
Silver Member
Not really a question, but an observation that I'm sure all of you here already know, but sometimes we need to come to these conclusions on our own in spite of others having emphasized it ad nauseam.

The value of mental and emotional control cannot be overstated. Misses begat misses. Confidence and relaxation begat more confidence and better results.

Once beyond a certain skill level, where fundamentals are essentially solid, the ability to go off the rails because of one or two misses boils down to control of emotions. That slight squeeze of the cue. That tensing of the shoulder and forearm. The lack of focus on speed control for shape. Etc.

The ability to put misses behind us is one of the major keys to success. Analyze, correct for the next shot, relax, and mentally start over. So much easier said than done.

I'm sure the opposite is true, but maybe not as much as misses: confidence can lead to over-confidence, maybe trying to execute shots against a good player where prudence might dictate playing safe, or trying a more difficult-to-execute shot for shape when an easier but possibly not-as-ideal leave might have a much higher chance of potting the OB.

I have so much to learn. This sport is as high on the list for mental and emotional control as any other sport (golf comes to mind).
To end a practice session, shoot a shot and make it, even if a relatively easy one. Leave on a good note, lock in those good fundamentals and feelings.
 

Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Sigh. Would it were that I lose mojo after 5-6 hours. How about the first few racks? I am only to the point where I can even sniff at winning a ghost 6-ball race to seven. But most of my failures have to do with inability to stay focused *every* *single* *shot*. I (mostly) know what to do and how to do it, but mental toughness is my usual weakness. I will continue to endeavor to overcome that by making more and more of my game thoughtless.
I don't know anything about your game but is it possible that you just aren't a seasoned player? By this I mean every routine shot should not require intense "focus" that may be draining your mental battery prematurely. A seasoned player will pocket balls without much mental effort because the PSR has become an automatic process not requiring mental energy. Maybe you are still having to try too hard to do everything "right"?
 

Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
One key is to understand why you missed. If it was simply a low percentage shot, go about your business, but if it was due to loss of concentration or some other mental game ailment, it's time to figure out a new plan quickly! CJ has a video on youtube about a toothbrush, I've not tried that method, but it's a fun story.
What CJ didn't know is that his friend laced the toothbrush with cocaine. Just kidding.
 

dquarasr

Registered
I don't know anything about your game but is it possible that you just aren't a seasoned player? By this I mean every routine shot should not require intense "focus" that may be draining your mental battery prematurely. A seasoned player will pocket balls without much mental effort because the PSR has become an automatic process not requiring mental energy. Maybe you are still having to try too hard to do everything "right"?
Yes, this is true. I'm trying to put time in at the table to make things more automatic requiring less thought. Some days it's there; others not so much. As others have stated, it takes the time at the table. Some are faster at it than others at internalizing skills. I suspect I'm either average or below average when I comes to pool. But at least I can notice improvement. Took me a long time get pretty proficient at bowling back in the day, and at performance driving.
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I agree that practice and improvement will add to a player's confidence and ability to deal with misses, however, I've taught a lot of players and here's what I learned: Some players are brimming with confidence because it's in their personalities --- and they are rank beginners who can hardly play. They look at the learning process, including missed shots as a challenge to be overcome. Others who come in at the same level and are lacking confidence, tend to get more upset with themselves when they miss. While the player who lacks confidence views his missed shot as a failure, the confident player is in a much better frame of mind and is able to analyze and learn without chastising himself.
 

Geosnookery

Active member
To end a practice session, shoot a shot and make it, even if a relatively easy one. Leave on a good note, lock in those good fundamentals and feelings.
Basically this. It’s what is taught in Snooker school. Barry Stark has a video on it about pre tournament preparation. Don’t practice difficult shots but knock in some easier balls.

To add... shoot lots straight in shots...Make up some type of game. Be able to knock them in with 100% confidence. There’s no excuse if we miss a straight shot and it’s like having a big Black mark stamped on the forehead. If I ace 98% of straight in shots and then miss one, I can at least laugh it off as a senior’s moment. However, if missing straight in shots every game then it saps the confidence.
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Basically this. It’s what is taught in Snooker school. Barry Stark has a video on it about pre tournament preparation. Don’t practice difficult shots but knock in some easier balls.

To add... shoot lots straight in shots...Make up some type of game. Be able to knock them in with 100% confidence. There’s no excuse if we miss a straight shot and it’s like having a big Black mark stamped on the forehead. If I ace 98% of straight in shots and then miss one, I can at least laugh it off as a senior’s moment. However, if missing straight in shots every game then it saps the confidence.
I'm sorry to say that I think all of that prep may help increase confidence by about 2%. The real confidence was probably there since childhood.
 
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Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Basically this. It’s what is taught in Snooker school. Barry Stark has a video on it about pre tournament preparation. Don’t practice difficult shots but knock in some easier balls.

To add... shoot lots straight in shots...Make up some type of game. Be able to knock them in with 100% confidence. There’s no excuse if we miss a straight shot and it’s like having a big Black mark stamped on the forehead. If I ace 98% of straight in shots and then miss one, I can at least laugh it off as a senior’s moment. However, if missing straight in shots every game then it saps the confidence.
I watched Mike Sigel warming up one day. He was hitting easy shots, really easy. He said, "No reason to shark myself, right?".
 
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