Mosconi Cup -- At Least We've Proved the Coach Doesn't Matter

BasementDweller

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I could really do a "see I told you so" post about the Mosconi Cup and all the posts I've written about it in years past but that wouldn't be very modest of me would it? ;)

One thing is for sure -- the coach has so little to do with the outcome that it's not even funny or maybe it is funny to some. Anybody that was putting their hopes in our European savior was being foolish.

Oh maybe it's team chemistry some would say. Ah nope that's not it either. Well -- what about how all the European players get together throughout the year and practice together -- ah no they don't really do that.

They are just better players. Much better.

I think it may be time to wave the white flag or throw in the towel on this whole thing because we just don't have the players. Our actual best 9 ball player under this format is Justin Bergman (and I don't even think it's close) and he's not even on the team. I like Woodward and Thorpstein but what proof is there that they can play on the international stage? About the only thing we could do at this point would be to encourage all of the foreign players that live here to truly embrace their new home, become citizens, and show us Americans how to bring the Cup back. Short of that happening we have no hope.

The hard truth is -- pool in America is just too tough! It chews up and spits out it's young players. Most of them by the time they hit their mid 20's. The decent players that don't totally quit the game realize that they are much better off laying low and playing in the amateur leagues, hitting up the bar table events, and just playing regionally. I don't think people realize how many really good players go this route. Playing professional pool at this point is like chasing the end of the rainbow searching for the pot of gold even long after you know there will be nothing there.

(On a different note)
One last thing, for everybody that thinks the problem with pool is our amateur bar table leagues, I got news for you -- YOU'RE dead wrong! This past week I just played in the Grand Rapids Open and it was all on bar tables and guess what? Everybody had a blast! Amateur pool is about having fun -- and bar tables are fun. Get rid of the bar tables and the only thing that would happen is 95 percent of all these players would just give up the game. They would just disappear. POOF and they'd be gone! Pool is VERY DIFFICULT to play, especially if you aren't totally dedicated to the game. Bar tables give part timers a chance to accomplish something on the table. In other words, it's just not a zero-sum game when it comes to big tables and bar tables.
 

Get_A_Grip

Truth Will Set You Free
Silver Member
I will admit, I thought that a new coach with a new approach involving lots of practice time with as close to event conditions would help. It looks like the practice part will never happen, so I now agree that the coach doesn't matter much on its own.


Sent from my iPhone using AzBilliards Forums
 

benjaminwah

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
As I said previously, You have Alan Hopkins, Jim Rempe, Mike Seigel, Johnny Archer, Mike Massey, Nick Varner and Rodney Morris here, why do we need a European team captain?
 

spartan

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It was discussed here in previous threads and has ben said that the MC coach matters little. Probably less than 20%.
Johan had many more months of preparation, Team Euro had much less time plus Johan was like coaching mentor to Chamat. All that didn't matter.
Kim K coaching Europe will still win. :thumbup:
 

TheLoneSilencer

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The truth has always been that this event is nothing but an overrated exhibition. I don't care if USA won 10 years in a row, I would still feel the same way as races to 5 prove absolutely nothing.

You have Europe filled with tournament mindset players versus a USA team that is pretty much always filled with good tournament players versus much better gambling players.

The biggest sham is why is this even called the Mosconi Cup? He hated 9 ball and really did not even play the game. I actually fell asleep watching the event the last 2 days as it truly is boring beyond belief from the game being played down to the actual format.

I could find 2 cans of fresh paint drying out that would provide better entertainment.
 

Get_A_Grip

Truth Will Set You Free
Silver Member
When I saw that the coach couldn't even apparently get team USA to practice enough to win at least half the lags, it was a lost cause.

In a short race the lag is critical.
 

Poolplaya9

Tellin' it like it is...
Silver Member
I don't care if USA won 10 years in a row, I would still feel the same way as races to 5 prove absolutely nothing.

While a single race to 5 doesn't mean much, a bunch of races to 5 most certainly does. And that bunch of races means even more if there is some separation in the scores instead of it being a bunch of really close matches.

For a format that supposedly "proves absolutely nothing", we have to admit that it has done a pretty damn good job of allowing the better team to emerge victorious year after year after year with almost no exceptions and so I find it pretty hard to argue that the format has no validity. Part of the reason the format works pretty well is because as previously mentioned there are a quite a few matches, and partly it is because the alternate break format does a better job of sorting out the superior player/team than winner breaks does (and this is even more true in this format because the shorter the races the better it does in comparison).
 

AtLarge

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
... In a short race the lag is critical.

Well ... sometimes.

USA won 8 lags to Europe's 6 last year and lost the Cup 3-11.

Both teams won 9 lags in 2015 and USA lost the Cup 7-11.

[But USA lost 23 of 29 lags the prior 2 years, losing the Cup 5-11 and 2-11.]
 

hotelyorba

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
As I said previously, You have Alan Hopkins, Jim Rempe, Mike Seigel, Johnny Archer, Mike Massey, Nick Varner and Rodney Morris here, why do we need a European team captain?

I am as disappointed with USA's performance and with whatever Johan has achieved with this team as anyone, but I don't believe any one of the guys you mentioned would have done any better.
 

hotelyorba

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
While a single race to 5 doesn't mean much, a bunch of races to 5 most certainly does. And that bunch of races means even more if there is some separation in the scores instead of it being a bunch of really close matches.

For a format that supposedly "proves absolutely nothing", we have to admit that it has done a pretty damn good job of allowing the better team to emerge victorious year after year after year with almost no exceptions and so I find it pretty hard to argue that the format has no validity. Part of the reason the format works pretty well is because as previously mentioned there are a quite a few matches, and partly it is because the alternate break format does a better job of sorting out the superior player/team than winner breaks does (and this is even more true in this format because the shorter the races the better it does in comparison).

Excellent point.

What strikes me as odd though, is that the pool world keeps calling the Mosconi Cup the biggest, most important pool event in the year while it has a format that has no comparison to lots of other real big tournaments all year (the WC's, the US Open, China Open, all the Eurotours, DCC or SBE). It's strange because you work hard all year to be on a team to play in a totally different format (exception maybe the other Matchroom stuff like the Masters and the World Cup).

Maybe we should collectively start calling it an end-of-year-bonus-tournament after a job well done. Not like that solves anything, but maybe helps to find perspective.
 

M.G.

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
With both a sad and a happy eye (can you say it like that?) I saw the results.

I'm quite happy that we puny, old-europe guys can beat the hell out of the Americans at something they think they are the best in, with all the crappy old gambling stories "to prove it".
Alternate break also is very balancing, and a "short" race means you need to deliver or play dead on safeties.

Even more so, that we do with the very old values of trust, friendship, support and practise, modesty (tactics).

Under the new trainer you see more support, but in the end every and each one of your players falters under pressure or when he's starting to lose.
You tactics are also absent, i.e. , always the same.

Don't mean to insult.

Cheers,
M
 

Kimmo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Having been coached by Johan myself, I can vouch for the guy.
However anyone who was expecting Johan to single-handedly Change the outcome of this MC just has to be delusional.

Coach is not alone going to make your game better. It takes two to Tango!
Coach is there to help the Player help himself! What Johan has done in Europe (and obviously not only him) but they have created a completely different pool-culture. A culture where pool is taken as a serious Sport requiring the same Level of commitment. This is tattooed inside the skulls of Players from early on. If you want to succeed, you've got to be prepared to put in a boatload of hours on table doing, what might seem menial, drills. This is all done with full Analysis and understanding on what happens and why it happens.
Johan is by no means a world-class Player himself (although he can shoot pretty mean pool himself as well), but it is not his Job either. He is there to help you understand why things are Happening the way they do and how could you Change it.

The bootcamps he did with Alex Lely were really a killer-Combo at the time I did them... Alex' understanding of the technique and the intricacies of the game combined with Johan's understanding of learning processes, performing under pressure etc. was something that any pool-Player would be fool to dismiss. When I was there (as a Hobbyist)...in the same camp there were NvdBerg, Stephan Cohen, Serge Das, Kurt DeClerq....just to Name some world-class Players that recognized they might actually learn something... It was a sight to watch NvdB playing Straightpool the last day of the camp against Stephan Cohen...Nick put together 291 series while Stephan sat and watched....only to go himself to win the European Championship in Straightpool some months later.

But I digress....I can not talk for the US Players....but if I understood it right from the other comments here drills were basically not in the vocabulary of the US Players. If this is the case, it will take a lot more time than just a few months. Basically they are literally years behind in development in comparison to the Europeans/Asians. Sure there are instinctively good Players (SvB) that can still shine on world-level....but overall...you guys are playing catch up. First learn to learn....then start practising correctly...and perhaps in some years to come you will see the fruit of the Labor paying off.
And this is ONLY if the Player himself is ready to commit! You could have the best Coach in the world, but if the Player does not believe in the method, he will never buy into the System and therefore never get the full reward either.

This is all also still on the individual Level. Coaching can help you minimise distractions...."how do you deal with a stress-Situation". All energy you use in being angry or cursing that "bad roll" is energy away from the next shot. Sure you could argue that some People perform better under such adrenaline-rush...but most of us not. Adrenaline in your blood is that your Body is getting ready to a threat....human bodies are deisgned for fight or flight....fight or run....both physically requiring big Body movements......pool is not about big Body movements however. How can you perform that delicate cut-shot when your muscles are full of adrenaline getting ready to bounce. This is where Coaching can help....Coach can identify techniques that help you relieve some of that stress and allow your Body perform the way you practised and not like you are about to get into a fight. For some People this might be breathing -technique...another it might be "sit down...get a sip of water...and move on"....or it could be "get those invisible threads off of the table and chalk your cue one more time"....to each his own.....but to ignore all of this is detrimental to you and your game.

anywhoo......I have rambled on long enough....just my 0.02 worth....
I know Johan has done some touring with the Team in the US.....and I can only hope there have been some Players, not only in the MC-Team, but Juniors in the halls that have actually listened to what he has to say. Taken it into heart and started practising. "I do not Need no stinking Coach..."-attitude is not going to cut it if you want to compete at the top....
 

TheLoneSilencer

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
While a single race to 5 doesn't mean much, a bunch of races to 5 most certainly does. And that bunch of races means even more if there is some separation in the scores instead of it being a bunch of really close matches.

For a format that supposedly "proves absolutely nothing", we have to admit that it has done a pretty damn good job of allowing the better team to emerge victorious year after year after year with almost no exceptions and so I find it pretty hard to argue that the format has no validity. Part of the reason the format works pretty well is because as previously mentioned there are a quite a few matches, and partly it is because the alternate break format does a better job of sorting out the superior player/team than winner breaks does (and this is even more true in this format because the shorter the races the better it does in comparison).

No, it does not as it is a different form of the race in every match with sifferent players to boot. A huge difference in a race to 30 in one setting versus 6 races of 5 spread out.
 

Cardigan Kid

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Having been coached by Johan myself, I can vouch for the guy.
However anyone who was expecting Johan to single-handedly Change the outcome of this MC just has to be delusional.

Coach is not alone going to make your game better. It takes two to Tango!
Coach is there to help the Player help himself! What Johan has done in Europe (and obviously not only him) but they have created a completely different pool-culture. A culture where pool is taken as a serious Sport requiring the same Level of commitment. This is tattooed inside the skulls of Players from early on. If you want to succeed, you've got to be prepared to put in a boatload of hours on table doing, what might seem menial, drills. This is all done with full Analysis and understanding on what happens and why it happens.
Johan is by no means a world-class Player himself (although he can shoot pretty mean pool himself as well), but it is not his Job either. He is there to help you understand why things are Happening the way they do and how could you Change it.

The bootcamps he did with Alex Lely were really a killer-Combo at the time I did them... Alex' understanding of the technique and the intricacies of the game combined with Johan's understanding of learning processes, performing under pressure etc. was something that any pool-Player would be fool to dismiss. When I was there (as a Hobbyist)...in the same camp there were NvdBerg, Stephan Cohen, Serge Das, Kurt DeClerq....just to Name some world-class Players that recognized they might actually learn something... It was a sight to watch NvdB playing Straightpool the last day of the camp against Stephan Cohen...Nick put together 291 series while Stephan sat and watched....only to go himself to win the European Championship in Straightpool some months later.

But I digress....I can not talk for the US Players....but if I understood it right from the other comments here drills were basically not in the vocabulary of the US Players. If this is the case, it will take a lot more time than just a few months. Basically they are literally years behind in development in comparison to the Europeans/Asians. Sure there are instinctively good Players (SvB) that can still shine on world-level....but overall...you guys are playing catch up. First learn to learn....then start practising correctly...and perhaps in some years to come you will see the fruit of the Labor paying off.
And this is ONLY if the Player himself is ready to commit! You could have the best Coach in the world, but if the Player does not believe in the method, he will never buy into the System and therefore never get the full reward either.

This is all also still on the individual Level. Coaching can help you minimise distractions...."how do you deal with a stress-Situation". All energy you use in being angry or cursing that "bad roll" is energy away from the next shot. Sure you could argue that some People perform better under such adrenaline-rush...but most of us not. Adrenaline in your blood is that your Body is getting ready to a threat....human bodies are deisgned for fight or flight....fight or run....both physically requiring big Body movements......pool is not about big Body movements however. How can you perform that delicate cut-shot when your muscles are full of adrenaline getting ready to bounce. This is where Coaching can help....Coach can identify techniques that help you relieve some of that stress and allow your Body perform the way you practised and not like you are about to get into a fight. For some People this might be breathing -technique...another it might be "sit down...get a sip of water...and move on"....or it could be "get those invisible threads off of the table and chalk your cue one more time"....to each his own.....but to ignore all of this is detrimental to you and your game.

anywhoo......I have rambled on long enough....just my 0.02 worth....
I know Johan has done some touring with the Team in the US.....and I can only hope there have been some Players, not only in the MC-Team, but Juniors in the halls that have actually listened to what he has to say. Taken it into heart and started practising. "I do not Need no stinking Coach..."-attitude is not going to cut it if you want to compete at the top....

This is a good observation and I envy you for being able to train under that mentality with Johan.

This thread is a needed thread because it can get to the heart of the problem and yes, it is through, not just the coaching, but the commitment to the coach.

When Johan brought team USA to play team Russia a month back, it was the ultimate example of preparation that I have ever seen by any USA coach. To not just have your team isolated in a foreign country months ahead of the Mosconi Cup, but to have them isolated, training, and playing in a complete Mosconi Cup style tournament against a very young, but rather strong European country team.

But what happened? Skylar totally missed the trip because of a family emergency, and Corey Deuel played in his place.
The US has a great come from behind victory over Russia and they won as team, but more importantly bonded as a team. Confidence was high.

Corey goes on to make a stellar appearance at the US open, obviously impacted from his motivation under coach Johan and the training.

At that point, Skylar should have been permanently replaced by Corey Deuel. I understand it would have been a harsh movement at the time, because we can't help family emergencies. However, team USA and their players have to go above and beyond in their training and preparation to even have a hint of catching team Europe.

That means full surrender to the coach and the elements of training and mental preparation in the months prior to the Cup.

I understand Europe doesn't have that luxury, but they already have the training and mentality engrained into their system. Not to mention the utmost respect and support for one another (watching filler explain that Jayson Shaw was his idol and he looked forward the most of all to play a doubles match with him was quite eye opening and a glaring example of how much team Europe puts into every match).

Remember the Mosconi Cup is pretty much a doubles tournament. If team USA lost every singles match but won the majority of doubles matches in the first two days, they would be in a stronger position on day 3. (Edit, I checked the scores and they would be down 6-4 of they won a majority of the doubles, lost every singles match, but won the very important first match of team play) IMO team building is key, and that trip to Russia should have been the locked in team no matter what.
 
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Swighey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
No, it does not as it is a different form of the race in every match with sifferent players to boot. A huge difference in a race to 30 in one setting versus 6 races of 5 spread out.

It's a competition. That means you need to be better at the format in order to win the competition. A race to as long as it takes to work out who can play the best isn't a competition. A competition is when the player who actually does play the best at the format that is actually being played will be called the winner.

By all means, change tournaments to races to 30 or 50 or 100 or whatever. But there will be two downsides to that format for the players who are currently good at taking players out of their comfort zones and taking their E£$¥ money - 1) those long races will be boring for the casual spectator and there will therefore be no sponsorship and therefore no tournaments, 2) the players who are better at tournaments will adapt their game to peak in the longer race format and will still be the better tournament players.

3) it doesn't add up. Stop kidding yourself.
 

Ratta

Hearing the balls.....
Silver Member
Well said my friend- very well Chosen words Kimmo,

hope you and your lovley Family are doing great!

Having been coached by Johan myself, I can vouch for the guy.
However anyone who was expecting Johan to single-handedly Change the outcome of this MC just has to be delusional.

Coach is not alone going to make your game better. It takes two to Tango!
Coach is there to help the Player help himself! What Johan has done in Europe (and obviously not only him) but they have created a completely different pool-culture. A culture where pool is taken as a serious Sport requiring the same Level of commitment. This is tattooed inside the skulls of Players from early on. If you want to succeed, you've got to be prepared to put in a boatload of hours on table doing, what might seem menial, drills. This is all done with full Analysis and understanding on what happens and why it happens.
Johan is by no means a world-class Player himself (although he can shoot pretty mean pool himself as well), but it is not his Job either. He is there to help you understand why things are Happening the way they do and how could you Change it.

The bootcamps he did with Alex Lely were really a killer-Combo at the time I did them... Alex' understanding of the technique and the intricacies of the game combined with Johan's understanding of learning processes, performing under pressure etc. was something that any pool-Player would be fool to dismiss. When I was there (as a Hobbyist)...in the same camp there were NvdBerg, Stephan Cohen, Serge Das, Kurt DeClerq....just to Name some world-class Players that recognized they might actually learn something... It was a sight to watch NvdB playing Straightpool the last day of the camp against Stephan Cohen...Nick put together 291 series while Stephan sat and watched....only to go himself to win the European Championship in Straightpool some months later.

But I digress....I can not talk for the US Players....but if I understood it right from the other comments here drills were basically not in the vocabulary of the US Players. If this is the case, it will take a lot more time than just a few months. Basically they are literally years behind in development in comparison to the Europeans/Asians. Sure there are instinctively good Players (SvB) that can still shine on world-level....but overall...you guys are playing catch up. First learn to learn....then start practising correctly...and perhaps in some years to come you will see the fruit of the Labor paying off.
And this is ONLY if the Player himself is ready to commit! You could have the best Coach in the world, but if the Player does not believe in the method, he will never buy into the System and therefore never get the full reward either.

This is all also still on the individual Level. Coaching can help you minimise distractions...."how do you deal with a stress-Situation". All energy you use in being angry or cursing that "bad roll" is energy away from the next shot. Sure you could argue that some People perform better under such adrenaline-rush...but most of us not. Adrenaline in your blood is that your Body is getting ready to a threat....human bodies are deisgned for fight or flight....fight or run....both physically requiring big Body movements......pool is not about big Body movements however. How can you perform that delicate cut-shot when your muscles are full of adrenaline getting ready to bounce. This is where Coaching can help....Coach can identify techniques that help you relieve some of that stress and allow your Body perform the way you practised and not like you are about to get into a fight. For some People this might be breathing -technique...another it might be "sit down...get a sip of water...and move on"....or it could be "get those invisible threads off of the table and chalk your cue one more time"....to each his own.....but to ignore all of this is detrimental to you and your game.

anywhoo......I have rambled on long enough....just my 0.02 worth....
I know Johan has done some touring with the Team in the US.....and I can only hope there have been some Players, not only in the MC-Team, but Juniors in the halls that have actually listened to what he has to say. Taken it into heart and started practising. "I do not Need no stinking Coach..."-attitude is not going to cut it if you want to compete at the top....
 

tonyboy59

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You gotta have heart, dig deep and rise to the occasion...unless your team USA on the Mosconi Cup.:frown: Personally I would pay to see Archer, Varner, Strickland, etc compete again on this venue all wearing "Old Guys Rule" t-shirts.
 
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9andout

Gunnin' for a 2 pack!!
Gold Member
Silver Member
Well ... sometimes.

USA won 8 lags to Europe's 6 last year and lost the Cup 3-11.

Both teams won 9 lags in 2015 and USA lost the Cup 7-11.

[But USA lost 23 of 29 lags the prior 2 years, losing the Cup 5-11 and 2-11.]
I think USA has only won 2 lags so far this year. ??
Do you have a count?

With both a sad and a happy eye (can you say it like that?) I

Don't mean to insult.

Cheers,
M
Thanks? I guess.

You gotta have heart, dig deep and rise to the occasion...unless your team USA on the Mosconi Cup.:frown: Personally I would pay to see Archer, Varner, Strickland, etc compete again on this venue all wearing "Old Guys Rule" t-shirts.
I'm with ya. Not sure about the shirts lol.
 

jalapus logan

be all. and supports it to
Silver Member
With both a sad and a happy eye (can you say it like that?) I saw the results.

I'm quite happy that we puny, old-europe guys can beat the hell out of the Americans at something they think they are the best in, with all the crappy old gambling stories "to prove it".
Alternate break also is very balancing, and a "short" race means you need to deliver or play dead on safeties.

Even more so, that we do with the very old values of trust, friendship, support and practise, modesty (tactics).

Under the new trainer you see more support, but in the end every and each one of your players falters under pressure or when he's starting to lose.
You tactics are also absent, i.e. , always the same.

Don't mean to insult.

Cheers,
M

I really don't think that US fans by and large these days really think that our players are better than the Euros on balance. It's pretty obvious that the European players on average are just flat superior to their US counterparts. Can't argue with the stats, though some sure try.

Also, to those who say that races to 5 don't matter, I beg to differ. The Euros have beaten the US in the mosconi cup in so many races to five in the last decade that it is statistically significant, to the chagrin of US fans.

As for the US' players supposed superiority in gambling, I also believe that to be nonsense. Case in point, Oscar stepped up to the plate against Karl Boyes at last year's DCC for a large sum and he got drilled. Pretty sure any of the US team other than shane can't hang gambling with most of the Euros. Sorry, that's the way I see it.
 

jeffj2h

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I can not talk for the US Players....but if I understood it right from the other comments here drills were basically not in the vocabulary of the US Players...

Regarding USA players and drills: A lot of us amateurs here on AZB have benefited from many hours of drills. There are a lot of threads comparing notes on drills.

However, I've listened to many pro player interviews and I don't recall EVER hearing a USA pro player talk about drills. The closest is that Shane has invested thousands of hours over the years practicing his break. Hours a day.

It's interesting how other USA pro players respond to Shane's very well known breaking practice: They either act like it's a mystery how Shane got his break ("wow, Shane's just got a great break") or they acknowledge his practice but don't even consider replicating it themselves.
 
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