Pre Shot Routine

dougster26

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I was watching Jayson Shaw shoot this weekend and was wondering what he is thinking about on each shot. He shoots fast and is extremely accurate in pocketing balls and gets great position. I really believe that doing too much thinking can get you into a whole lot of trouble. I would like to hear some comments on routines that some of you adhere to or recommend. Lets say the game is 9 ball, you break, make a ball and are left a shot on the one ball. I know you need to look for trouble balls or clusters, but lets say the table is wide open with no problems. When looking at the one ball, you decide how you need to shoot it to pocket it and get onto the next ball. My point is, if it is me, I start looking at all the balls and if there is one that is in a precarious position, say on the rail an inch or two from the side pocket, I may be too concerned with that shot and it could hamper me making the one or getting position on the next ball. How many balls should I be looking at when establishing a rhythm or routine and eliminate some of the thinking in my pre shot routine? The few times that I have been in a zone and have run a rack, it seems like you are on automatic pilot and are just executing and not thinking. Seems like when you let your subconscious take over it knows what to do. It's my conscious self that gets me into trouble and its not long before I am out of line. Hope I am clear in what I am asking.
 

ENGLISH!

Banned
Silver Member
I'm not a big 9 ball player nor am I a certified instructor but I have been playing mostly 8 ball for 48 years & I have some time to give you my 2 cents.

When there is a relatively easy run the conscious mind does not get in the subconscious mind's way.

When you consciously see a bit of trouble & your conscious mind is thinking about it, it CAN sabotage your subconscious or at least inhibit it.

So...what I would suggest is that you make a decision where you need or want to be to shoot that trouble area or ball & see where you need to be on the ball before that to get there. Then forget the trouble & focus on getting to the ball before it which is the easier shot & just let the subconscious do it's thing to that point. If it does it's job properly you should be in a good position to handle the problem when you get to it.

I have found myself totally forgetting about a problem if it is late in a run until I get 2 balls from it & then it pops back into my mind.

I hope this can be of some help to you. I'm sure others will be along & if Ms. Crimi offers anything, take it to heart or the bank, as she was a top 10 professional player.

Best Wishes & Shoot Well,
Rick
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I was watching Jayson Shaw shoot this weekend and was wondering what he is thinking about on each shot. He shoots fast and is extremely accurate in pocketing balls and gets great position. I really believe that doing too much thinking can get you into a whole lot of trouble. I would like to hear some comments on routines that some of you adhere to or recommend. Lets say the game is 9 ball, you break, make a ball and are left a shot on the one ball. I know you need to look for trouble balls or clusters, but lets say the table is wide open with no problems. When looking at the one ball, you decide how you need to shoot it to pocket it and get onto the next ball. My point is, if it is me, I start looking at all the balls and if there is one that is in a precarious position, say on the rail an inch or two from the side pocket, I may be too concerned with that shot and it could hamper me making the one or getting position on the next ball. How many balls should I be looking at when establishing a rhythm or routine and eliminate some of the thinking in my pre shot routine? The few times that I have been in a zone and have run a rack, it seems like you are on automatic pilot and are just executing and not thinking. Seems like when you let your subconscious take over it knows what to do. It's my conscious self that gets me into trouble and its not long before I am out of line. Hope I am clear in what I am asking.

Your sub conscious mind knows only one thing: What you taught it to do. Only your conscious mind can analyze a situation and make a decision.

The zone is the perfect mix of both, happening in the correct order.

For example: If you're down on a shot and catch yourself wondering where the nine ball is on the table, you're thoughts are out of order, and you just distracted yourself.

I think the best way to train yourself is to make a specific list in the exact order you want to analyze the table and shoot. Then practice thinking in that order. In time, you will keep adding to the list and filling it it based on new things you come up with.

Here's an example how I analyze a 9 Ball table after the break:

1.) Where's the 9?

2.) Any problems? What are they? Can I see the one?

3.) My next decision will be based on the answers to 1 and 2 above.

4.) I may decide to stop at a certain point and play safe. I may decide to try to run into a cluster to break it open. It all depends on the rack, but so far I am still standing up.

5.) Next I look at the 1-4 balls. Where are they? Can I run them?

6.) While this seems like a lot to take-in, it only takes a few seconds, usually about 10-15. (The more advanced you are, the quicker this information comes and in the right order.)

7.) I will also decide when to stop and re-analyze. For example, I may see an easy run through the 4 ball and decide to stop and review the situation again after I pocket the 4.

8.) I may still not be clear on what to do about a particular problem. I then have to decide to commit to some action, knowing that it may wind up being a mistake, but so be it. I have to commit to something.

The worst thing you can do is to be down on a shot and not be committed to it, so you have to do your homework first and accept that you may be making a mistake.

Well, hell... the balls are round. Things happen.

It takes years of experience to be able to think of all the possibilities in any given situation, so you have to take that into consideration. If you're still learning, you have to accept that there are things on the table that you won't be able to see.
 

dougster26

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'm not a big 9 ball player nor am I a certified instructor but I have been playing mostly 8 ball for 48 years & I have some time to give you my 2 cents.

When there is a relatively easy run the conscious mind does not get in the subconscious mind's way.

When you consciously see a bit of trouble & your conscious mind is thinking about it, it CAN sabotage your subconscious or at least inhibit it.

So...what I would suggest is that you make a decision where you need or want to be to shoot that trouble area or ball & see where you need to be on the ball before that to get there. Then forget the trouble & focus on getting to the ball before it which is the easier shot & just let the subconscious do it's thing to that point. If it does it's job properly you should be in a good position to handle the problem when you get to it.

I have found myself totally forgetting about a problem if it is late in a run until I get 2 balls from it & then it pops back into my mind.

I hope this can be of some help to you. I'm sure others will be along & if Ms. Crimi offers anything, take it to heart or the bank, as she was a top 10 professional player.

Best Wishes & Shoot Well,
Rick


Thanks for the advice Rick. I'm sure part of my problem is even though I have thought out what I am going to do in my PSR, I'm thinking about the position or where the next ball is while shooting the OB. Kind of like looking out of the corner of my eye figuratively. I need to work on my focus and concentration.
 

dougster26

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Your sub conscious mind knows only one thing: What you taught it to do. Only your conscious mind can analyze a situation and make a decision.

The zone is the perfect mix of both, happening in the correct order.

For example: If you're down on a shot and catch yourself wondering where the nine ball is on the table, you're thoughts are out of order, and you just distracted yourself.

I think the best way to train yourself is to make a specific list in the exact order you want to analyze the table and shoot. Then practice thinking in that order. In time, you will keep adding to the list and filling it it based on new things you come up with.

Here's an example how I analyze a 9 Ball table after the break:

1.) Where's the 9?

2.) Any problems? What are they? Can I see the one?

3.) My next decision will be based on the answers to 1 and 2 above.

4.) I may decide to stop at a certain point and play safe. I may decide to try to run into a cluster to break it open. It all depends on the rack, but so far I am still standing up.

5.) Next I look at the 1-4 balls. Where are they? Can I run them?

6.) While this seems like a lot to take-in, it only takes a few seconds, usually about 10-15. (The more advanced you are, the quicker this information comes and in the right order.)

7.) I will also decide when to stop and re-analyze. For example, I may see an easy run through the 4 ball and decide to stop and review the situation again after I pocket the 4.

8.) I may still not be clear on what to do about a particular problem. I then have to decide to commit to some action, knowing that it may wind up being a mistake, but so be it. I have to commit to something.

The worst thing you can do is to be down on a shot and not be committed to it, so you have to do your homework first and accept that you may be making a mistake.

Well, hell... the balls are round. Things happen.

It takes years of experience to be able to think of all the possibilities in any given situation, so you have to take that into consideration. If you're still learning, you have to accept that there are things on the table that you won't be able to see.

Hi Fran,
I like your comment on my thoughts being out of order which leads to being distracted. I feel that I see the table and have a good idea of what I need to do. I try and align myself properly and get down on the shot. I think this is where I start to interject problems into my game. I need to train myself to stop thinking about what I am doing and let my subconscious shoot the shot. I really think that a lot of the things that I am seeing and thinking about while standing follow me down into the shooting position. So, I not only am thinking about where to contact the OB, I am thinking about my grip, tight or loose bridge, speed I'm going to hit the CB, and where the CB is going to go. Based on what you are saying, any one of these things can distract you. I need to work on focusing on particular aspects of my game. I think I am too serious and too much of a perfectionist.

I value your opinion and appreciate the time you put into your answers. Thanks for the info Fran,

Doug
 

Scott Lee

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
First of all Doug, realize that there are 3 "pre shot routines" (think, see, do), not just one...although most people only think about the shooting routine, once the bridge hand touches the cloth (that's the "do" routine). This lasts about 10-12 seconds. The other two are just as important for overall success. The first routine is the 'study' process. This is where you make all decisions on what, where and when (the "think" routine). This lasts 30-45 seconds for most players. Next, when you're done decision making, and move towards the table (the "see" routine), you find your way to line up and step into the shotline (this is different for many folks, so there is no one "correct" way to do this (the "see" routine lasts about 2-3 seconds, and is done when your bridge hand hits the cloth (no more decision making or changing your mind...if you do, get back up and start over). It's not just what you, but how you do it, and most importantly that you do it the same way on every shot, every time. That's how something is built in the conscious mind, and then moves to the subconscious mind, through disciplined practice, where it can work as an "auto-pilot" routine and rhythm.

Scott Lee
http://poolknowledge.com
 

dougster26

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I've tried twice to answer answer a reply from Scott Lee and it won't take. Even though both have been long answers, it says my answer is too short and must be 10 characters long. I don't know what is going on. If this works then I'll answer this way instead of replying directly.
 

dougster26

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This is a reply to Scott Lee's post. As I said, I don't know what I am doing wrong, I have replied to a lot of posts in the past and haven't had any problems. This is my 3rd attempt at answering.

Hi Scott, Thanks for replying. I think I have a good handle on the think and see portion of the PSR. It's when I get to the do, that I get screwed up. I start thinking about too much and it throws me off. I think a lot of it is due to not focusing and not having confidence in oneself. Once in a blue moon when I run a rack of 9 ball, I step back and analyze, and what I usually come up with is, I didn't spend anytime thinking but just executed. Unfortunately this doesn't happen very often. When I get down into the do portion of the PSR I start thinking about my grip, bridge length, back stroke length, eye pattern, head position, etc, etc. As you can see, I have too many demons running amok.
I need to work on trusting my thinking and and see portions so that I feel comfortable that everything is right and just execute in the do position. I shoot fairly fast and am not spending too much time in the down position. Sometimes I think that it might be a little too fast but I don't want to bore my opponent as I don't want them doing the same to me.

I appreciate you trying to help out. I ask questions because every once in awhile something clicks and I have that aha moment. I love this game and will continue to try and figure it out as long as I can.

Thanks again and Happy New Year!

Doug
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Hi Fran,
I like your comment on my thoughts being out of order which leads to being distracted. I feel that I see the table and have a good idea of what I need to do. I try and align myself properly and get down on the shot. I think this is where I start to interject problems into my game. I need to train myself to stop thinking about what I am doing and let my subconscious shoot the shot. I really think that a lot of the things that I am seeing and thinking about while standing follow me down into the shooting position. So, I not only am thinking about where to contact the OB, I am thinking about my grip, tight or loose bridge, speed I'm going to hit the CB, and where the CB is going to go. Based on what you are saying, any one of these things can distract you. I need to work on focusing on particular aspects of my game. I think I am too serious and too much of a perfectionist.

I value your opinion and appreciate the time you put into your answers. Thanks for the info Fran,

Doug

I hear you, Doug. You can't do it all at once. Just pick 3 or 4 things to focus on and you can fill in the rest as you go along. For example: I like the word 'smooth.' When I think of a smooth stroke, it encompasses several things about the stroke into one thought.

Sometimes all you need are the right buzz words to trigger the right actions.
 

dougster26

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I hear you, Doug. You can't do it all at once. Just pick 3 or 4 things to focus on and you can fill in the rest as you go along. For example: I like the word 'smooth.' When I think of a smooth stroke, it encompasses several things about the stroke into one thought.

Sometimes all you need are the right buzz words to trigger the right actions.


That's an interesting concept Fran, I've never thought of it like that before. Could cut down on some of the unnecessary thinking that goes on. I'll give it a try.

Happy New Year Fran and thanks for your advice,

Doug
 

CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
Gold Member
Silver Member
see if you're making any drastic changes going down on your shot.

Try getting down in your BEST shooting position and then just raising up without changing any of the positioning of your body from the waist up.

Just raise up at the waist...check out what position your in and adjust it a bit until it's more comfortable, but try to keep the same body angles.....of course there's going to be some changes going down, and it's good to do this just to see if you're making any drastic changes going down on your shot.

If you are changing your upper body angles, I'd wager there are days that you aren't in sync and play like "a different person" - you are when your body positions aren't the same as usual....I can show this on video, however, in writing I can just give you the "general idea"...for more free info go to www.cjwiley.com - Play Well in 2015 and Happy New Year.

I was watching Jayson Shaw shoot this weekend and was wondering what he is thinking about on each shot. He shoots fast and is extremely accurate in pocketing balls and gets great position. I really believe that doing too much thinking can get you into a whole lot of trouble. I would like to hear some comments on routines that some of you adhere to or recommend. Lets say the game is 9 ball, you break, make a ball and are left a shot on the one ball. I know you need to look for trouble balls or clusters, but lets say the table is wide open with no problems. When looking at the one ball, you decide how you need to shoot it to pocket it and get onto the next ball. My point is, if it is me, I start looking at all the balls and if there is one that is in a precarious position, say on the rail an inch or two from the side pocket, I may be too concerned with that shot and it could hamper me making the one or getting position on the next ball. How many balls should I be looking at when establishing a rhythm or routine and eliminate some of the thinking in my pre shot routine? The few times that I have been in a zone and have run a rack, it seems like you are on automatic pilot and are just executing and not thinking. Seems like when you let your subconscious take over it knows what to do. It's my conscious self that gets me into trouble and its not long before I am out of line. Hope I am clear in what I am asking.

 

dougster26

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Try getting down in your BEST shooting position and then just raising up without changing any of the positioning of your body from the waist up.

Just raise up at the waist...check out what position your in and adjust it a bit until it's more comfortable, but try to keep the same body angles.....of course there's going to be some changes going down, and it's good to do this just to see if you're making any drastic changes going down on your shot.

If you are changing your upper body angles, I'd wager there are days that you aren't in sync and play like "a different person" - you are when your body positions aren't the same as usual....I can show this on video, however, in writing I can just give you the "general idea"...for more free info go to www.cjwiley.com - Play Well in 2015 and Happy New Year.




Hi CJ,

Thanks for chiming in. When I get a chance I'll check that out. I wouldn't be surprised if I am doing something like that to throw me off.

I don't know if I ever told you or not but I play out of the room where the Maine Event was held in 1995 that you played in. The owner, Kerry Herbert, unfortunately passed this year.

Thanks for the info and Happy New Year back at ya!

Doug
 

justadub

Rattling corners nightly
Silver Member
Doug, you get all this sorted out, and I'll make a road trip down 95 so you can get me in the right order, too :)

Haven't played in that room for a few years, I'm overdue. (I have visited recent;y, took a short break while on a work visit in that plaza.... pool room and a drum store, they never have to ask me twice to go help there! Tho I heard the drum store moved, sigh)

I love reading the instructors responses here, even if the question wasn't mine originally. Great stuff as usual, folks.
 

dougster26

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Doug, you get all this sorted out, and I'll make a road trip down 95 so you can get me in the right order, too :)

Haven't played in that room for a few years, I'm overdue. (I have visited recent;y, took a short break while on a work visit in that plaza.... pool room and a drum store, they never have to ask me twice to go help there! Tho I heard the drum store moved, sigh)

I love reading the instructors responses here, even if the question wasn't mine originally. Great stuff as usual, folks.

That's quite a haul from Bangor. Maybe we could meet up sometime up to TJ's. I've trucked up there a number of times when they have had some of the State tournaments. Strictly as an observer and lover of the game. Not up to that calibre of play.

Speaking of TJ's, monday night Mike Dechaine and Taylor Reynolds were in. I hadn't seen Taylor since she was 11 yrs old. Mike is a great guy and one helluva pool player.

Don't plan on me getting this all sorted out. Hell, at my age I need something to work on, and if I ever figured it out I don't know what I would do with my spare time :)

We are lucky to have people on this forum that are willing to answer your questions and help you out. Big shout out to you all, or as they say south of here y'all. Ayuh!

Let me know if you want to try and pull this off sometime.

Happy New Year!

Doug
 
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