Stop Focusing on the Number!!

the420trooper

Free T-Rex
Silver Member
I've been on a quest to run 50 ever since getting a table at home about six months ago. I feel like I have the skill to get there, just not a lot of experience playing 14.1. I've been getting past 30 every day, often getting two 30's in a row, but never all the way to the magic number.

I ran a 33 this morning, missed and then ran 45, my high run so far. I had the fourth rack open, and then I realized how close I was to accomplishing my goal. My heart started pounding, my hands started shaking; I felt like I was in the finals of the US Open.

I quickly landed out of position and missed a long 4 ball, and I blame my overthinking the importance of the number 50. I played perfectly the first few racks, then blew it when I saw the finish line.

It's easy to say, "Just focus on the process and the numbers will come", it's a lot harder to actually believe that when your goal is sitting out there for the taking.

I'm going to be spending more time preparing myself for the reality that I'm going to run 50 soon, and stop overemphasizing the significance of the number.

Any hints, tips, suggestions, etc. would be appreciated. I really think I"m ready to take this game seriously, because nothing feels better than really "getting into" the balls, and moving them where you want them to go, for long periods of time.
 

sfleinen

14.1 & One Pocket Addict
Gold Member
Silver Member
I've been on a quest to run 50 ever since getting a table at home about six months ago. I feel like I have the skill to get there, just not a lot of experience playing 14.1. I've been getting past 30 every day, often getting two 30's in a row, but never all the way to the magic number.

I ran a 33 this morning, missed and then ran 45, my high run so far. I had the fourth rack open, and then I realized how close I was to accomplishing my goal. My heart started pounding, my hands started shaking; I felt like I was in the finals of the US Open.

I quickly landed out of position and missed a long 4 ball, and I blame my overthinking the importance of the number 50. I played perfectly the first few racks, then blew it when I saw the finish line.

It's easy to say, "Just focus on the process and the numbers will come", it's a lot harder to actually believe that when your goal is sitting out there for the taking.

I'm going to be spending more time preparing myself for the reality that I'm going to run 50 soon, and stop overemphasizing the significance of the number.

Any hints, tips, suggestions, etc. would be appreciated. I really think I"m ready to take this game seriously, because nothing feels better than really "getting into" the balls, and moving them where you want them to go, for long periods of time.

Ah, you're finally seeing what many short-rack rotation players refuse to see -- and that's the fact that in short-rack rotation, your mind "resets" after pocketing every money ball, and preparing to break open the next rack of 9 or 10 balls.

In 14.1, there is no "mind reset" -- you need to maintain concentration and FORGET about such notions as "this is the next rack." That's 9-ball thinking.

14.1 also has a former name of "continuous pool," and the lack of usage of this term has people "forgetting" that this is a continuous game, not a series of "racks" or "stages." Your break shot into the next rack, is just a shot in a long series of shots. It's not the "beginning" of anything.

The sooner you get out of this notion of "shoot rack, reset, shoot rack, reset, ...etc." -- the better.

-Sean
 

14-1StraightMan

High Run 127
Silver Member
Thumbs up

Sean's comment is right on. He made some important comments to take a hold of. With those comments, it sounds like you are on the right track. Think to yourself, how you feel about running 30 balls.... no problem. Within time you will move up to 40 balls & so on. You need to take one level at a time and other levels will follow as long as you learn as you go.
Good Luck & keep shooting.
 

gerard soriano

HIGH RUN STILL TO COME !
Silver Member
I think the problem with a # whatever it is 50,75 100 is most people (Including myself ) start to think of that # instead of just shooting the 43rd ball just the way you shot the 18th ball . You can't change things and expect the same results. If you are running 30's everyday no doubt you will hit 50 but I will bet you the day you run 50 you will be happy for a bit then you will say I know I can run 75 .Good luck on your goal That's why I love 14.1
 

Ratta

Hearing the balls.....
Silver Member
Sean and Mike "Rookie" Rosso nailed it already.
What i also say is, that you need to get the "mental stamina" also. Here i recommend my students to play for example endless drills- where it is all about the concentration-to sharpen the mental game/stamina. You have to run balls over and over again. And some day you will hit 50 and many more :)

lg
from overseas,

Ingo
 

Yoda4962

North Texas
Silver Member
Some of my recommendations

First off, better pattern play, produces EASIER runs. So get rid of balls behind the break ball (balls closer to the end rail where you rack), quickly, then go up table. This reduces the back and forth position play.

Next, concentrate on your ball pocketing skills, because once you get good at that, the racks become simple.

Next, spend time with the brainwash drill, as it leads to good 14.1 skills.

Next, george fels talked about the A,B,C and D balls in his book - mastering pool - and i think he is right... you must analyze each rack before starting to remove balls.
 

stevekur1

The "COMMISH"
Silver Member
If i could i would like to reccomend a helper.

Since you are consistantly running 30s, and if you are starting from a breakshot. maybe what you can do is, take a breather either whil the 3rd rack is being racked or after you rack your own. take a moment to towel down your cue, have a drink of water. just enough time to forget the 2 previous racks, to make room for the new sets of balls to resolve.

I have had real good success with this, and i am sure it will help you as well.

good luck with reaching you goal + some, which i know for sure will happen soon.

stick with it !
-Steve
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
It's easy to say, "Just focus on the process and the numbers will come", it's a lot harder to actually believe that when your goal is sitting out there for the taking.

Nonetheless, this is the key to the kingdom. As is so often posted on AZB, the only way to fully manage the process is to have a repeatable stroke, and the foundation on which a repeatable stroke is built is a sound pre-shot routine.

Anxiety about reaching personal goals, as you describe it, tends to come down to a breakdown in your pre-shot routine.

Yes, focus on the process. It's difficult, but focusing on the process is what you need to practice.

Sounds to me like you have the right attitude about your advancement. Stay positive.
 

Pushout

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I know exactly what you mean, any time I'm getting near my high run/runs and start THINKING, it's all too easy to miss.
 

acousticsguru

player/instructor
Silver Member
Needless to say, I do not disagree with Sean. Try to incorporate what he says, I'm sure it'll help.

Having said that, in Straight Pool, there are many ways to Rome, which to me is the real beauty of the game. Of all the games, the day one decides to play Straight Pool "one's own way" is when one starts running balls. Although that may imply having been on top of the mountain and hashed it all out with God first. To each his own. Having said all this, I've personally got at least two mindsets that lead to high runs.

One is indeed to have a number in mind, such as in "I need [insert number] and I'm out", which in a handicapped event may equal the total amount of balls needed from the opening break (i.e. I personally find it easier to run out a short game, such as 40-and-out, when I know my opponent gets a 50% handicap, and is liable to beat me if I let him to the table once, regardless of whether he's a Straight Pool aficionado, than to say to myself I would love to run [insert number] when I'm under no pressure to do so).

The other, my favourite, is when I feel like playing pool, and all I do is try and shoot a ball (= the next ball and position for the one the follows) to perfection, as if there were no other objects (such as winning and the like, which pretty much seems to be a forgone conclusion anyhow when one is really in the mood to play). For the love of the game, so to speak.

The problem with the first scenario is that there are too few Straight Pool tournaments around here (even if so, races to 75 at most), and seemingly even fewer people who like to play the game outside of competition, and with the second scenario that I'm not practicing anymore. So there's literally no chance I'll make any run worth mentioning right now. (Damn, I miss playing… At least I'm daydreaming about it all the time.) :wink:

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
_________________

„J'ai gâché vingt ans de mes plus belles années au billard. Si c'était à refaire, je recommencerais.“ – Roger Conti
 

the420trooper

Free T-Rex
Silver Member
Finally broke through tonight. I played like I feel like I should, and ran a solid 60.

Worrying over balls number 42-50 nearly killed me, and getting through those few balls felt better than my last tournament win. Once number 50 was down, all the pressure disappeared, and the run only ended because I stuck to a cluster of two balls I was trying to open... I felt like I could have gone on forever. :(

I've been doing a lot of stroke drills, constantly working on shotmaking, (still), and everything came finally together perfectly.

That tip about clearing off balls below the break ball before heading uptable helped a lot. It's little general tips like these that I am missing due to lack of experience, and/or old guy mentors.

That tip helped me get to 50; I am now accepting suggestions to get to 100. :)

Seriously, thanks to everyone who replied here, and thanks in advance for the awesome replies yet to come.
 

Mikjary

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Finally broke through tonight. I played like I feel like I should, and ran a solid 60.

Worrying over balls number 42-50 nearly killed me, and getting through those few balls felt better than my last tournament win. Once number 50 was down, all the pressure disappeared, and the run only ended because I stuck to a cluster of two balls I was trying to open... I felt like I could have gone on forever. :(

I've been doing a lot of stroke drills, constantly working on shotmaking, (still), and everything came finally together perfectly.

That tip about clearing off balls below the break ball before heading uptable helped a lot. It's little general tips like these that I am missing due to lack of experience, and/or old guy mentors.

That tip helped me get to 50; I am now accepting suggestions to get to 100. :)
Seriously, thanks to everyone who replied here, and thanks in advance for the awesome replies yet to come.

This should've been your line of thinking from the git. When I play straights, I never set a number to shoot for or worry about. You might be in dead whack and the balls are rolling funny. When the stars align it's because you worked hard and earned it! Don't even think you're gonna stop at a hundred... unless you think that's your limit. anim_19.gif

Best,
Mike
 

measureman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You need to get your mind more on the game it self then the the amount of the run.
I have practiced many times and just got so into the game that I had no idea how many I ran.
It's got to the point that sometimes a rail bird will say"You know you ran x amount of balls" and if it wasn't for the bird I would have no idea. Now of course I would know I made a few break shots in a row but total balls-no clue.
One time in Jersey me and the owner of the room were watching Jimmy Fusco practicing and when he was done we said "You know you ran 6 racks" and he was really surprised that it was that many.
Of course if you practice alone and loose track you may never know how many you ran.
 
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