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A Sports Psychologist or a good Pharmacist?

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  • A Sports Psychologist or a good Pharmacist?

    In my last two tournaments I played like a beginner. When I practice I hit the balls about 10 times better than I have lately when I've been in action (which is only 4 tournaments a year with no other competition within 50 miles of me.)

    Anyone who knew my game would have to have thought I was dumping, but as RA used to say, "Don't you know that dumpin' and doggin' it look the same"?

    At DCC I got a relatively favorable draw in the first round -- a guy that would definitely handle me in 9-ball but whose 1P experience is obviously limited -- and lost 3-0, getting to 7 balls in only one of the games.

    If it's not stroke -- it's not -- and it's not eyesight -- it's not -- what's left? Uh, I'm afraid I know -- although it's hard to admit -- and I'm trying to figure out what to do about it.

    ::Paging Doctor Headright

  • #2
    Hard to say since you don't mention the manner in which you lost, but in my territory, we focus on "table management," which involves attitude, nerve, grit, and positive thinking. It doesn't always see you in the winner's circle, but there are very large intangible forces at work in a pool match, especially one pocket.

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    • #3
      This will sound silly but ' always dance with the girl that you brought to the dance ' . Often times we will try to play a different game against a tough opponent or in some types of competition. Perhaps play tighter or try to get more cueball control then we're capable of. In other words don't try to hard just play your game. Play the game that got you there. Do what you do. It may not be enough that time to win, but it's all you've got. Don't try to change partners at the dance, you'll go home alone everytime.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by blindlemon View Post
        This will sound silly but ' always dance with the girl that you brought to the dance ' . Often times we will try to play a different game against a tough opponent or in some types of competition. Perhaps play tighter or try to get more cueball control then we're capable of. In other words don't try to hard just play your game. Play the game that got you there. Do what you do. It may not be enough that time to win, but it's all you've got. Don't try to change partners at the dance, you'll go home alone everytime.
        "Dance with who brung ya'" is an old Southern phrase meaning, essentially, stick to your guns and don't change your playing. Funny, I told myself that a few times when I was faced with a 50/50 situation between a ho-hum safety and a slightly risky bank.
        Last edited by straightback; 01-28-2015, 10:54 AM.

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        • #5
          I've had a few good moments in tournaments, but for the most part I have a horrible record. I hate playing tournaments...sitting/standing around, smoke (back in the day), but most of all the finality of the moment I guess. I just never embraced everything that came with it.

          Luckily I grew up in Houston where there was no shortage of gambling or tournaments, so people could take their pick.

          Sorry no advice here, just saying I know what you mean.

          P.S. No such thing as a pool doctor, you either have it or you don't. I'm inclined to think that if you believe you have it, you will overcome whatever is happening with some stick-to-it-iveness. If that doesn't work I wouldn't judge if you went to the pharmacist.

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          • #6
            I will say this, John. There is a turning point. If you stay at it and get comfortable, you will hit that point where you embrace the competition and look forward to knocking someone off.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by senor View Post
              If that doesn't work I wouldn't judge if you went to the pharmacist.
              Thanks for the reply, senor, but I was just joking about the pharmacist part.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by straightback View Post
                I will say this, John. There is a turning point. If you stay at it and get comfortable, you will hit that point where you embrace the competition and look forward to knocking someone off.
                My next move will be an attempt at "get comfortable." I've decided to go a day early to my next tournament to play on the tables which are GCs and play differently than my own century-old Schmidt.

                I'm also going to try to adopt a tournament attitude when I practice at home. Sometimes I realize I'm just slapping balls around without the proper level of concentration.

                Time will tell, but I ain't givin' this up. Grrrrrrr!

                I appreciate your input.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by senor View Post
                  No such thing as a pool doctor, you either have it or you don't. I'm inclined to think that if you believe you have it, you will overcome whatever is happening with some stick-to-it-iveness..
                  Maybe "believing you have it" can be helped with a sports psychologist. In a conversation with Bobby Hunter not too long ago he told me he had seen a sports psych years ago when he felt like he wasn't realizing his full potential and saw an immediate improvement.

                  Besides believing you can win, I think another common psychological issue is (subconsciously) believing you don't "deserve" to win or maybe even to compete at this level. A sports psych might help with that too.

                  There is such a thing as a pool doctor.

                  But I'm thinking you might have the same malady I do: lackacompetitionitis. If you mostly practice alone, just having somebody else around the table can be a big distraction.

                  pj
                  chgo

                  Edit: P.S. I'm talking to John when I say "you might have the same malady I do", not you, Senor.
                  Last edited by Patrick Johnson; 01-28-2015, 04:24 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Patrick Johnson View Post
                    believing you don't "deserve" to win or maybe even to compete at this level.
                    pj
                    chgo
                    In my case it's not failing to feel deserving, but it is true that I don't expect much success because of the average quality of the opposition. IOW, I sometimes find myself hoping for a good draw more than I'm hoping to play my best.

                    You've given me an idea. I going to try to relish the opportunity to beat a good player, rather than hoping to draw someone that gives me a better chance to advance.

                    lackacompetitionitis. If you mostly practice alone
                    Bingo!

                    thanks

                    (How was your trip West?)
                    Last edited by LSJohn; 01-28-2015, 04:23 PM. Reason: add

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LSJohn View Post
                      In my last two tournaments I played like a beginner. When I practice I hit the balls about 10 times better than I have lately when I've been in action (which is only 4 tournaments a year with no other competition within 50 miles of me.)

                      Anyone who knew my game would have to have thought I was dumping, but as RA used to say, "Don't you know that dumpin' and doggin' it look the same"?

                      At DCC I got a relatively favorable draw in the first round -- a guy that would definitely handle me in 9-ball but whose 1P experience is obviously limited -- and lost 3-0, getting to 7 balls in only one of the games.

                      If it's not stroke -- it's not -- and it's not eyesight -- it's not -- what's left? Uh, I'm afraid I know -- although it's hard to admit -- and I'm trying to figure out what to do about it.

                      ::Paging Doctor Headright
                      i havent read this book' (just started it)
                      "pleasures in small motions"
                      but it gets alot of recommendations at azb (fwiw)
                      [ame]http://www.amazon.com/Pleasures-Small-Motions-Mastering-Billiards/dp/1585745391[/ame]

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lll View Post
                        i havent read this book' (just started it)
                        "pleasures in small motions"
                        but it gets alot of recommendations at azb (fwiw)
                        http://www.amazon.com/Pleasures-Smal.../dp/1585745391
                        I loved this book when I read it. Excellent.
                        Mitch needs to remember to play the score and that it's better to win than to look like a hero.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LSJohn View Post
                          .... when I've been in action (which is only 4 tournaments a year with no other competition within 50 miles of me.)
                          Hey John,

                          I think there is another challenge you face: playing well competitively requires practice. The mental state of playing a competitive match requires practice. So if you don't compete for long stretches, even though you are practicing the physical skills of the game, you get rusty on the mental skills of competing, facing pressure, etc..

                          Sorry, this point is not of much help if you can't match up more often. For me, I don't get to play a whole lot, so both my physical skills and my mental/competitive are out of whack .

                          tree

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LSJohn View Post
                            In my last two tournaments I played like a beginner. When I practice I hit the balls about 10 times better than I have lately when I've been in action (which is only 4 tournaments a year with no other competition within 50 miles of me.)

                            If it's not stroke -- it's not -- and it's not eyesight -- it's not -- what's left? Uh, I'm afraid I know -- although it's hard to admit -- and I'm trying to figure out what to do about it.

                            ::Paging Doctor Headright
                            I have no experience playing tournaments.
                            I have played a lot of strangers.

                            As to playing strangers, It's important to play your speed. Don't let who they are or what the book on them is, change your game. Play the right shot for you in every situation.
                            It's best to play the table and forget about the hype, info, whatever.

                            When gambling this is easy to say and hard to do, although I was pretty good at it. When you're able to play your speed you'll never get in trouble.
                            If you can't, it's easy to lose more and keep trying, because you know you can do better.
                            Rod.
                            P.S. A guy came once and asked me if I knew who I was playing. "I told him go ask the other guy if he knew who he was playing"
                            P.P.S. Good Luck !
                            Last edited by androd; 01-28-2015, 09:04 PM.
                            Rod.

                            Rodney Stephens.
                            (e-mail) rod.stephens0105@att.net(e-mail) #713-973-0503 is now working

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Patrick Johnson View Post

                              There is such a thing as a pool doctor.
                              If you know this pool doctor tell him I won't knock his hustle if he buys me a beer. I'm easy.

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