Stroke limit/skill apex

philly

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
There is a thing such as natural talent in pool.
All of the pros had it an early age.
It's the mental side of the game that separates the greats from the all time greats.

There was a guy around these parts named Jimmy Matz.
Natural talent.
Would run a couple hundred balls and then just walk away.
Lot's of stories like that.
Here's one of those stories of a guy with natural talent that not many haver heard about.
There are of lot of those guys:

 

GoldCrown

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I was fortunate to be around a lot of great players, champions. I wanted to know their secrets, I learned not to ask, everyone was very guarded.
You couldn't find a better rack boy, wax on , wax off, maybe I'd get a word of wisdom today.

For two weeks I was racking for two players after school, both were entering the World Straight Pool Championships.
About 10 days in 1 player told me to shorten my grip on this particular break shot. He didn't explain why, I knew better to ask, I never noticed him doing it. The other player, not a word.
After about 100 attempts and comparing a longer grip, I realized why he shortened up, he was right, the racking was worth it. I had to figure it out for myself, no instant gratification like we have today.

I realized studying the players and following the cue ball was key, not the balls going in the hole.
To this day I study every players movements, eye patterns, stroke, stances, bridge, grips, head, you name it.
I dissect them to a fault, beginners to pros. I recommend others do the same.
I'm also OCD.
Definite the company we keep is the key
 

Welder84

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This is why.

The reality is this guy does NOT know how to play high level pool. I can promise you he has massive leaks in his cue ball and patterns, his safety play, his speed control, his break, and his mental game. Not execution leaks. Knowledge and strategy leaks that come out in failed runs.

People get good enough to have a night where everything works and they run five racks in a row. They decide they know how to play good pool now and it's just a matter of improving their consistency in executing. They figure this is fundamentals. They work on their stroke a bunch thinking that some day they'll play like they did that one night every night and then everyone will see how awesome they are. After beating their head against the wall for a few months, years, or decades, they decide either 1) "I don't have the time because I have a job/family, or 2) "I wasn't born with the talent the top players have".

The ego will destroy your life in pool. You can either think you're awesome or you can improve. You can't do both.

That's ok. That's my competition. That's my competition. That's my competition. They can do their thing. I'll do mine...

I was talking to a guy on my league team the other day. He practices all the time and has played for a good number of years. He’s not old. In his 30’s. APA 5/6. He is under the impression that he will never get any better no matter how much he practices. He said in a sense he knows how to do it but can’t. I know people do get stuck at certain levels. Why is that? Always thought it was an effort issue rather than skill apex. Especially at that level of play.

Is it true that no matter how much some people practice they actually can’t get better no matter how much effort is put in? It seems wrong. I’m always under the impression you can always get better and the Sky is the limit as long as you put the effort in.👍😉
Tournament competition is also important. To be comfortable under pressure and in a noisy environment is a skill.

Practice a routine, then apply that routine in competition. Also take time to watch better players play (very important).

A life long journey! Have fun...
 

Willowbrook Wolfy

Your wushu is weak!
Gold Member
Have you pointed out to him that his bridge is crap and moves during the shot?

That's just one of many possible problems with his game.
I’m not much into the team thing-a la wolfy(more of a lone one than pack). We are getting in some team practice today. I’m going to check it out. It’s annoying having a higher SL than the team captains.
 

SmoothStroke

Swim for the win.
Silver Member
Definite the company we keep is the key
And the food we eat.
I have a feeling if I spent time in your company I would be saying quite often, who gives a fck, and enjoying it.
I can add it to my favorite gfy, I'll be a hit at the Plaza Hotel.
 

hotelyorba

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
There is a thing such as natural talent in pool.
All of the pros had it an early age.
It's the mental side of the game that separates the greats from the all time greats.

There was a guy around these parts named Jimmy Matz.
Natural talent.
Would run a couple hundred balls and then just walk away.
Lot's of stories like that.
Here's one of those stories of a guy with natural talent that not many haver heard about.
There are of lot of those guys:

I don't mean any disrespect, but I do feel that this guy is exaggerating a lot of the stuff he tells. Did I not hear correct, or is he really saying this guy runs 7 racks of 9ball while the other guy is still looking for a cue to shoot with!?! Did he go to the next town to get a cue or what?!

That said, I do believe there were some immense talents all over the place, who never got past that one place they played pool at. Even here in Holland, in a mediocre city where I live, we had 2 guys that stand out to me that shot 9ball racks so easily, we all believed they had world champ written all over them. I know better now of course, but it does make you think of all the 'talent' that must be around the whole world that will never be at a crucible like a world championship, for all the pool world to see.
 

philly

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I don't mean any disrespect, but I do feel that this guy is exaggerating a lot of the stuff he tells. Did I not hear correct, or is he really saying this guy runs 7 racks of 9ball while the other guy is still looking for a cue to shoot with!?! Did he go to the next town to get a cue or what?!

That said, I do believe there were some immense talents all over the place, who never got past that one place they played pool at. Even here in Holland, in a mediocre city where I live, we had 2 guys that stand out to me that shot 9ball racks so easily, we all believed they had world champ written all over them. I know better now of course, but it does make you think of all the 'talent' that must be around the whole world that will never be at a crucible like a world championship, for all the pool world to see.
I think a lot of it was an exaggeration.
Just saying there are people who are naturals at the game and they see things on the table that others do not.
 

chefjeff

If not now...
Silver Member
R.7762c28b132e8c2238674869a10034f8



After getting higher up that curve, one must work harder to keep going up. That takes desire, mostly.

Perhaps he's out of desire?



Jeff Livingston
 

Tin Man

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I don't mean any disrespect, but I do feel that this guy is exaggerating a lot of the stuff he tells. Did I not hear correct, or is he really saying this guy runs 7 racks of 9ball while the other guy is still looking for a cue to shoot with!?! Did he go to the next town to get a cue or what?!

That said, I do believe there were some immense talents all over the place, who never got past that one place they played pool at. Even here in Holland, in a mediocre city where I live, we had 2 guys that stand out to me that shot 9ball racks so easily, we all believed they had world champ written all over them. I know better now of course, but it does make you think of all the 'talent' that must be around the whole world that will never be at a crucible like a world championship, for all the pool world to see.
He also said that he played the ghost with no ball in hand, gave up 10:1 odds on the money for $1,000 a game, and won $45,000.

That means if he ran 10/11 racks he'd break even. With no ball in hand and no template rack. So he's saying he either ran 45 in a row, or 95/100 to get 45K ahead. The best players in the world approach 50% break and run with new cloth and polished balls. 95-100% over 45+ racks of pool is on par with claiming a 1 minute mile run.

He followed this up by saying that he made the 9 ball 23 times in a game of 9 where the 9 spotted up so he could get paid $460 on a $20 game of pool.

The only disrespect I feel is being expected to believe this. These stories are so exaggerated if someone suggested making a cartoon superhero that did these things I'd say it was too much. And it is a disservice to Don Willis who I do believe was a legend at 9 ball. You know a player is truly great when you don't need to make things up, and realistic true claims are more meaningful that bad fan fiction.
 

pvc lou

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
He also said that he played the ghost with no ball in hand, gave up 10:1 odds on the money for $1,000 a game, and won $45,000.

That means if he ran 10/11 racks he'd break even. With no ball in hand and no template rack. So he's saying he either ran 45 in a row, or 95/100 to get 45K ahead. The best players in the world approach 50% break and run with new cloth and polished balls. 95-100% over 45+ racks of pool is on par with claiming a 1 minute mile run.

He followed this up by saying that he made the 9 ball 23 times in a game of 9 where the 9 spotted up so he could get paid $460 on a $20 game of pool.

The only disrespect I feel is being expected to believe this. These stories are so exaggerated if someone suggested making a cartoon superhero that did these things I'd say it was too much. And it is a disservice to Don Willis who I do believe was a legend at 9 ball. You know a player is truly great when you don't need to make things up, and realistic true claims are more meaningful that bad fan fiction.
Yeah, well Max thinks the earth is flat too. I wouldn't be too offended.
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'm going to take some exception to this. I worked hard on my fundamentals when I was starting because Willie told me to. I had no one to watch me and correct me, so I learned wrong. You can play OK with a wiggly stroke and maybe even occasionally beat a good player, but I think it's much easier with good fundamentals. They are not obvious or easy to acquire.
I will second this- years before anyone was video taping their fundamentals and having a proper reference point to add in the needed corrections to their mechanics ; so many of us went on for years "learning" wrong. For the most part, years ago, being naturally gifted to come up with a great and proper stroke on your own was the difference between the good and the much higher playing levels.

Today everything is available to firm up the fundamentals. From there, I think that one's game can improve by doing everything other folks here said about learning the game itself by watching, studying, and playing with very, very good players on a regular basis.
 

buckshotshoey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Almost all issues with improving come down to flawed mechanics and table knowledge of patterns and correct shots to play. You can't hit the ball where you want, you will miss, you don't have proper pattern play you will end up stuck with no shot to run out. Usually both come about from only playing in league, APA for example, where you never learn the finer points of the game and rely on handicaps and time outs instead of lessons and practice.
Have you ever played in an APA Masters Division? You will find that most there ABSOLUTELY know the finer points of the game. Dont believe me? Join one and see how well you do. Yes, it is non handicap, and those dreaded jump cues are allowed, but you wont find stiffer league competition.

As for improving, a person can practice all they want. But if you are practicing bad habits, bad habits is all you will be good at. Get an Instructor. I have been taking virtual lessons for a while now, and I am far ahead of where I was before.
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard!


Sent from my iPad using AzBilliards Forums
When talent goes to work-game over.

SVB works harder than any pool player I’ve ever seen-ever. He has talent too and was trained properly from day one as well. His results speak for themselves.

I’ve seen more talented players than Shane that didn’t have his work ethic and they didn’t enjoy the success Shane has.

Best
Fatboy<——-just watched Karl’s video of Shane’s great chits from last week, I’m all pumped up💪💪
 

tomatoshooter

Well-known member
There is a thing such as natural talent in pool.
There's natural talent but I doubt it is pool specific. The combination of geometry, aiming a projectile, and strategy isn't common in other sports that I'm aware of, and pool isn't that demanding of stamina or brute strength, so I guess someone could have talents that align a bit more with pool.

Tournament competition is also important. To be comfortable under pressure and in a noisy environment is a skill.
I've realized loose me is a 3:1 favorite over tight me. I just got to find a good way to clear my mind and get loose before a game.
 

JazzyJeff87

AzB Plutonium Member
Silver Member
...

I've realized loose me is a 3:1 favorite over tight me. I just got to find a good way to clear my mind and get loose before a game.
I’m with you on the relaxed version being much mo better. I’ve been playing pool 7 years now and for the first 5 I had my own table and I played thousands of hours against the table, sometimes the ghost, mostly just playing both sides and figuring stuff out.

Some drills for a while which I should get back to. I joined a league for a session and met some pool folks who I’d hang out with and play occasionally, a few random matchups and small tourneys at pool halls. But I’d say 98% of my pool has been played alone.

It’s totally different having the pressure of someone there. You don’t get to keep shooting after a miss, harder to get in stroke, and it takes me way long to actually feel comfortable if I’m playing someone near or above my speed.

It’s definitely a skill that needs to be honed. If you come up playing pool against other people it’s probably something you never even think about. I’ve gotten too used to lording it over the table by myself 😂
 

tomatoshooter

Well-known member
I’m with you on the relaxed version being much mo better. I’ve been playing pool 7 years now and for the first 5 I had my own table and I played thousands of hours against the table, sometimes the ghost, mostly just playing both sides and figuring stuff out.

Some drills for a while which I should get back to. I joined a league for a session and met some pool folks who I’d hang out with and play occasionally, a few random matchups and small tourneys at pool halls. But I’d say 98% of my pool has been played alone.

It’s totally different having the pressure of someone there. You don’t get to keep shooting after a miss, harder to get in stroke, and it takes me way long to actually feel comfortable if I’m playing someone near or above my speed.

It’s definitely a skill that needs to be honed. If you come up playing pool against other people it’s probably something you never even think about. I’ve gotten too used to lording it over the table by myself 😂
I'm with you 100% about owning your own table. You get so used to shooting and shooting and shooting. It's not so bad when I'm out playing, but waiting to shoot in my OWN DAMN HOUSE drives me nuts. At least when I'm out, I get to see other people miss. That's one thing I'm changing this week for league night. For some reason we always play a game as a warm up. Like, when you watch a basketball team warm up, if the guy shooting misses, they don't take the ball away and make him wait 2 minutes until someone else misses before he tries again. I'll get maybe 10 shots in 10 minutes. I can shoot alone and get 20+ shots in 4 minutes. That's what I need to get loose.
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I was talking to a guy on my league team the other day. He practices all the time and has played for a good number of years. He’s not old. In his 30’s. APA 5/6. He is under the impression that he will never get any better no matter how much he practices. He said in a sense he knows how to do it but can’t. I know people do get stuck at certain levels. Why is that? Always thought it was an effort issue rather than skill apex. Especially at that level of play.

Is it true that no matter how much some people practice they actually can’t get better no matter how much effort is put in? It seems wrong. I’m always under the impression you can always get better and the Sky is the limit as long as you put the effort in.👍😉

You can always get better.

Is the sky the limit? No. But you can always make improvements. And OBTW, do not just go to an instructor because they are a recognized instructor. Go to an instructor and have a clear picture of what you want to get out of the lessons. Do not accept the same spiel they give to every, single student. Each and every student has a different skill level and a finite amount of time they can to give the game. The instructor needs to take that into account. Beware the instructor who talks and talks and talks and wants to tear you down to a totally new set up that, if you can ever make it work, will take hundreds of hours to incorporate.

Stop him and make the instructor give you what you are paying for -- something you can use.

Lou Figueroa
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
There's natural talent but I doubt it is pool specific. The combination of geometry, aiming a projectile, and strategy isn't common in other sports that I'm aware of, and pool isn't that demanding of stamina or brute strength, so I guess someone could have talents that align a bit more with pool.


I've realized loose me is a 3:1 favorite over tight me. I just got to find a good way to clear my mind and get loose before a game.
What are the "natural" talents that relate to the pool game? - Well, here are a few natural talents that can add significantly to one's advancement in the game more rapidly than others: 1. concentration- the ability to stay in the moment while developing each shot strategy, 2. great hand/ eye coordination and timing coupled with a more natural ability to stroke straight and complete each stroke. 3. great eyesight coupled with a higher ability to stay focused on the shot until completion.4. a more "natural" ability to compete without allowing outside thoughts to interfere with doing 1 thru 3 most consistently.

There you have it- some folks ARE more inherently wired for the game of pool- just like some folks are more wired to be successful at other sports - then it becomes the talent + desire+ hard work equation that makes a champion. It is very difficult for those having only desire and hard work to overcome someone who has great natural talent + desire + does the hard work - never impossible- happens often in sports, but in the end usually those who compete with all three parts of the equation are the winners- and, yes, there is a luck factor at times - no doubt - but not in the long run.
 
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