What?! Starting in dead stroke and then everything goes to poo.

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
My latest dilemma is that I can come to the table completely cold, even if I haven't shot for several days and just shoot the lights out. I play great, in dead stroke for 4-5 racks, then once I miss one or two, I'm toast. At first everything feels 100% natural, just a good beautiful feel where everything clicks. If I could make a race to 3, then go home, I feel I could probably beat a much better player.

I've never experienced anything like it. I used to have to play for at minimum a few hours to get into dead stroke land and it was a fickle mistress. But now, I'll be just playing great right off the bat, almost like I have telekinetic control over the balls, then poof... back to playing like an okay C+ player. When I first start, I can shoot almost anything and get perfect position, even if I really have to make the cue ball dance to do so. I really don't understand. I've tried to examine my mental state and I'm not frustrated, not distracted, still able to focus, but the magic seems to vanish after 5 racks or so. I don't think I'm letting the miss mess with my mental game either. I feel no change in my mental game when I miss the first few.

I do have some pretty bad back problems. Could it be my back is OK for 5 racks then it's messing up my stroke/concentration/whatever? It hurts constantly and it's definitely hurting when I start playing. I really can't think of anything else it could be and I'm not trying to make excuses for why it happens, just trying to figure out how to prevent it from happening. Could it be a sign I might be starting to hit another level of play and just have to give it time? I'm optimistic as you can tell, but what a crazy ride this is.
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
".....then once I miss one or two, I'm toast." My guess is that you've got an unconscious trigger to start to question yourself once you miss a few. Since these types of triggers are not on a conscious level, you probably don't even realize how you start to hesitate. Of course, your back will be a factor as soon as it starts to hurt, but not until then.

These types of triggers are created by us unconsciously. They're habits that we create as a result of something that happens. In your case, the first couple of missed shots does it for you. You will have to consciously retrain yourself to get past the first couple of missed shots. I suggest that as soon as you miss a few, remind yourself to focus on your rhythm as you move around the table. Keep it constant. It will serve as a positive distraction from the habit you created and it will also help you to retrain yourself away from your negative unconscious reaction.
 

Island Drive

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
From within' that first Bad miss, lies your answer.
I had a ''fundamentals'' miscue so tah speak in GA yrs ago, had the match won race to 11 9 ball bar table, I was on 10 opponent on 6 winner breaks. I thought about that miss. Took me two weeks to figure out what it was/what had happened. Shortly there after I won the 4th Heubler Cup 9 ball event from the losers side.
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
".....then once I miss one or two, I'm toast." My guess is that you've got an unconscious trigger to start to question yourself once you miss a few. Since these types of triggers are not on a conscious level, you probably don't even realize how you start to hesitate. Of course, your back will be a factor as soon as it starts to hurt, but not until then.

These types of triggers are created by us unconsciously. They're habits that we create as a result of something that happens. In your case, the first couple of missed shots does it for you. You will have to consciously retrain yourself to get past the first couple of missed shots. I suggest that as soon as you miss a few, remind yourself to focus on your rhythm as you move around the table. Keep it constant. It will serve as a positive distraction from the habit you created and it will also help you to retrain yourself away from your negative unconscious reaction.
Dang. I've never thought of the unconscious or subconscious in that light, only as a thing to rely on to make shots. I think you're correct, it makes sense. So it goes back to fundamentals, PSR, focus, rhythm and all that stuff. It's so annoying because all that stuff happens naturally until it doesn't. I'll try to work on this as I think this is exactly the right advice.

I knew something was up, I figured I'd ask the folks on AZ before this got to be a hugely ingrained habit. It's only been going on for a few weeks, so hopefully it's not too tough to get into a different groove on the "ol' record." I've thought about it a lot and just couldn't figure it out. If it's an unconscious trigger, that's makes sense why I couldn't pinpoint what was going on. Time to do some "soul searching" on the table and try to nip this bad habit in the bud.

From within' that first Bad miss, lies your answer.
I had a ''fundamentals'' miscue so tah speak in GA yrs ago, had the match won race to 11 9 ball bar table, I was on 10 opponent on 6 winner breaks. I thought about that miss. Took me two weeks to figure out what it was/what had happened. Shortly there after I won the 4th Heubler Cup 9 ball event from the losers side.
Nice, way to get back on the horse and win the race! I hope I can get this level of overcoming whatever this is that's going on.
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
Nah... I go the other way. Although I also sign off on idea of subconscious issues plaguing those who get trapped within their head space. I think the actual cause of your problem is more front and center.

For the intermediate players starting off in dead stroke usually causes them to open up too early with 'working' the CB. Meaning they are too quick to spin the CB or play their 'advanced' game. This is what causes the flurry of misses, and then the drop in confidence. My suggestion isn't to ignore what Fran is saying. What I'm saying is, the problem can be corrected before it's actually a problem. Play within yourself for a time span before ramping it up, and not based on success over the course of the first few racks.

I could be waaay of track here, so measure my comments against your own game.

Ideally you want to be the player that starts fast and continues to be fast. However no one starts off fast. That's just your game before you let all the other bs creep in.

When I eventually let the bs creep into my game. I roll back to newb application of fundamentals. Eye the shot, line up everything, focus on addressing the shot, stance..., etc. This focus on fundamentals doesn't allow for the other crap to mess with my head. I know if I do it 'right' it will work.
 
Last edited:

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
Nah... I go the other way. Although I also sign off on idea of subconscious issues plaguing those who get trapped within their head space. I think the actual cause of your problem is more front and center.

For the intermediate players starting off in dead stroke usually causes them to open up too early with 'working' the CB. Meaning they are too quick to spin the CB or play their 'advanced' game. This is what causes the flurry of misses, and then the drop in confidence. My suggestion isn't to ignore what Fran is saying. What I'm saying is, the problem can be corrected before it's actually a problem. Play within yourself for a time span before ramping it up, and not based on success over the course of the first few racks.

I could be waaay of track here, so measure my comments against your own game.

Ideally you want to be the player that starts fast and continues to be fast. However no ones starts off fast. That's just your game before you let all the other bs creep in.

When I eventually let the bs creep into my game. I roll back to newb application of fundamentals. Eye the shot, line up everything, focus on addressing the shot, stance..., etc. This focus on fundamentals doesn't allow for the other crap to mess with my head. I know if I do it 'right' it will work.
Good thoughts here too. I think it's also connected, what you're saying is 100% compatible with what Fran is saying. If I'm honest here, the "miss" usually happens when I get overconfident or playing by rote. I didn't really think about this. It just feels so good for it to be automatic that I may also be forgetting to actually do the stuff I need to do. When the ball drops on "magical" shots, it can encourage me to take more risk and do low percentage things. I honestly love the advice and I can see it being both.
 

evergruven

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
not an instructor, but I might be able to relate
I think part of it is that there's just not much margin in the game to start with
pool is often very precise..hitting mm spots, on mm spots, etc.
the lower your level, the more difficult it will be to be consistently proficient
perhaps we can hit high marks sometimes, string it together for shots/games
but maybe it's better to consider these as outliers, as opposed to the norm
I'm not saying don't try to play top pool..on the contrary, go for it!
I am saying be honest and realistic about your general level
not only will that actually help you grow as a player
but meanwhile it might save you some stress ^_^
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Big guns tend to settle for/into a more pedantic and stable routine. If you have the time, you can work on those sprints by way of discovery. If you're comparing to the state of pool, it won't happen for you unless you spend 10 yrs full time developing your craft.
 
Top