Bad mental habits or bad luck? The Ego and luckiest game in the world.

johnnytronic

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If you put any energy/focus towards the other guys rolls and luck--You are looking for an excuse to lose!
It steals the proper mental energy you need to execute and play consistently well...IME.
This whining and bad attitude stays with you into the next inning--I presume a small amount of adrenaline gets released during this process which can
probably make stroking the next shot more difficult.
If you have awareness as you approach the ball you can hear your brain making excuses as to why you don't deserve these outcomes--More distractions!

I asked myself "Where and why did I adopt this mental habit"
I believe it has something to do with Egoic self. The ego is very sensitive to feeling diminished and the world is against it.

I have concluded that pool is one of the luckiest games on earth. In any given session you will see shot combinations that "appear" to be
astronomically impossible. That may sound like an exaggeration but you would never purposely try to execute these outcomes.

These thought process also live in the same domain:
  1. There is this underlying thought that if a guy hits a ball bad that the universe should grant you with an easy shot on the next inning.
  2. If a guy come very close to scratching, well he should of scratched and you don't deserve to be shooting it this difficult.
  3. Conversely if you shoot a low percentage shot and make it you should be rewarded with easy shots afterwards.

I'm curious what mental techniques or practices that you have implemented to combat this destructive mental habit?

1. I have thought instead of thinking it's against me. Think: how off is my opponent that he misjudged the shot so bad that an entire new outcome emerged.
2. I just witnessed a glorious piece of visual art--Possibly never to be seen and executed again in my lifetime.
3. This is the type of advantage my opponent needs to get in order to beat me this game.
4. If you were to execute this shot the exact same way, you would get the same exact same out come. <--this one has helped me
 

catkins

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I try not to watch my opponent except to prevent fouls or to look for anything they do that i see as a weakness for me to exploit. I also say good shot when people end up in a good spot even if it was obviously unintentional. I find that not watching my opponent to much is good against slow players and keeps me form focusing on rolls
 

lll

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johnny
based on your avatar you have to stop taking mind altering drugs or wish to. (just kidding )..i am not trying to accuse you of anything.
second you have to be purely objective
the good and bad rolls will tend to even out
meaning you will get some too
so here i am
what would ghost do here... :)
thats all you should think about
drifting your mind to
he is such a lucky bastard to miss so bad and end up good
doesnt help the fact that its your turn to shoot
jmho
icbw
 
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Billy Jackets

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My opponents get so many great rolls, they usually leave me feeling, like they signed an agreement with the devil.
Just sayin!
 

NH Steve

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I tend to agree that One Pocket has more of this kind of thing than most other games. I think it comes down to the fact that generally speaking, in One Pocket more often than in other games, you are approaching the table "without a shot" (meaning you don't have a shot you are likely to make). Other games have safety play of course, but there is more of it in One Pocket, and that makes those little edges in what happens with mistakes that turn out to be safeties, and the flip side, otherwise well executed shots that barely, barely come up wrong (by a slight miss, or a slight rub of another ball, or a very slight roll that ruins the shot). You need your chances to win if you are going to win, and when you feel unjustifiably robbed of a chance for a shot, it does burn lol.
 

johnnytronic

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ghost to be clear
i meant that johnny should not think about how lucky his opponent is or how unlucky he is
he should approach the situation he faces and ask himself
"what would ghost do here?"
if he picks your shot
it was probably the best shot available.... :)
No, I think you had it right the first time. Haaa
 

brexit

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Dec 6, 2016
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I have found that I get much more frustrated and more expressive about bad rolls the WORSE I am playing.
When I'm running out and moving well....well, those bad rolls don't seem to bother me so much ;)

So, knowing that it usually shows up more when I'm not performing to the best of my ability, I try to watch out for it and use it as a wake up call.

I'm working on improving in this area but I try hard to internalize the bad and, it sounds silly, but something that works well for me is to have a quick laugh about it to myself as it happens. Not out loud but more like a quiet chuckle to myself.

That laughter seems to neutralize the negative energy and helps me get over it quicker.
Now, I only bet what I won't miss so this technique is certainly not stress tested :)
 

gulfportdoc

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If you put any energy/focus towards the other guys rolls and luck--You are looking for an excuse to lose!
It steals the proper mental energy you need to execute and play consistently well...IME.
This whining and bad attitude stays with you into the next inning--I presume a small amount of adrenaline gets released during this process which can
...
Very insightful post, Johnny. If you turn this information into a pamphlet or book, I'll buy a copy! Everyone has had variations of those thoughts that you've mentioned. They get to be a bad habit, and can hold a guy's game down until he finds the antidote for himself. There are many different ways that these awful negative thoughts can be overcome, and every guy finds his own method.... or not.

I've noticed that some of the best players are able to immediately accept whatever happens at the pool table, to where it doesn't stick in their minds. Put that together with good shooting skills, and you'll have a champion. And, of course, it works the same way in life.
 

chicagomike

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Great post John...makes perfect sense that it would come from you since you are a cerebral kind of guy. I think it's alot of one's personality and where they come from in life...passed experiences, encounters, how you handled them, things you have had to endure and how you got through. I might contend that very controlling personalities have a more difficult time with lucky rolls for the opponent. I might say that those with a very steady income might be more accepting of bad rolls and those at the lower end might think life is unfair. Some might think they deserve a bad roll because they have always gotten bad rolls. Some guys just live lucky and get lucky. Basically I think how you deal with life is how you deal with a pool game...reckless, controlled, confident, risky, smart, slow, fast, etc...you get it.

I think based on my life I think of pool as a luxury to be playing, a blessing to have the skill, with patience to wait out the unlucky streaks, and the composure to take it all in stride. I've been through plenty, but definitely not as much as some, and perhaps more than others. In the end I have always tried to continue taking lessons with me from as I make my way through life's offerings. Not that it makes me better or worse than anyone else, but I believe it definitely follows me into my pool game.
 

Hard Times Carla

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I have noticed that when I am winning I get all the good rolls. If I miss the cue ball freezes behind something. And when I am losing, the other guy gets all the rolls. Somehow the balls feel the energy in the shot? Or do I stroke the ball more freely? My lucky streaks seem to depend on the score.
 

sappo

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Good post, I know there are things that occur during games that aggravate me and effect the way I play. My job is to find ways to minimize or eliminate these bad habits. Thanks for the post. Keith
 

sorackem

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try not to watch my opponent except to prevent fouls or to look for anything they do that i see as a weakness for me to exploit.
This is more normal for me if I really want to beat the opponent. Not just win the game, but beat the opponent.

Many times I have been looking at an opponents lay-out and seen 'the shot' and feel like 'damn, now he's got to have seen it too'. Like just noticing it was as good as pointing it out to him.
 

johnnytronic

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What I also came to realize is that there is a certain level that this can arise more frequently with. For example my level, a little above and for sure all below. This the the level where you don't have that pro cue ball control and likely to miss a hard hit ball by a large margin. The harder you hit a ball and the more inaccurate that your prediction is with the cue ball--The higher the chances are for glorious rolls and of course the higher the chances for bad things to happen too. Almost no one I play with will comment, remember or care if you hit a ball bad they got left with a handful of easy shots to win with. It's always the opposite that is discussed and criticized.

I'm not talking about trying to get a good roll and in a situation where you calculate the result to be likely. For example; if you stun forward bank a ball at high speed and crack into 12 balls on the rack and a few roll towards your pocket and one goes in--Yes a good roll but it's expected.

The type of rolls that blow my mind would be like if a golfer drove a ball 300 yards and hit a bird in the air and the ball landed on the green and rolled in.

I was playing $200 a game with a Chicago fat's. He went to draw his ball (hard) he grossly miscued! Popped the ball two feet in the air, bounced on the wood, bounced again on rail, landed back on the table and left me frozen to a ball trapped. I was already down many games and mentally witnessing that had possibly broken my weak heart. :sick:
 

Ratamon

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Jimmy Reid had a series of audio recordings “No Time for Negative” and “Overcoming Contenderosis” which are both quite good.

There are many a great book on the mental side of sports, most notably, Fancher’s Pleasures of Small Motions and Gallwey’s Inner Game of Tennis.

The thing that works for me is to always expect my opponent to leave me in a trap or run out so I’m happy when I’m back at the table not to rack ’em.

Breathing exercises and picking lint off the table (yes, you’d be surprised at the calming effect of it or maybe it’s just me) also help a great deal.
 

DWS

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I just witnessed a glorious piece of visual art--Possibly never to be seen and executed again in my lifetime.
Johnny it's about time you recognized me as the artist I truly am. I will paint some more glorious visual art for you tomorrow.

Rolls, rolls, rolls. Spending any time dwelling on them does no good. You feel as if the other guy always gets the good rolls, but you never do. But you always do too. Everyone does. That's just the way it is. It all comes out in the wash, so why dwell on it?
 

baby huey

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When the negative thoughts come to the surrface and they do for everyone from time to time, I try to focus on my ffamily and the good things about them. The book Pleasures of Small Motions is a great book for inspiration. Lastly, don't be a horse player and pool player at the same time. Horses have ruined many a good player from excellance.
 

gulfportdoc

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When the negative thoughts come to the surrface and they do for everyone from time to time, I try to focus on my ffamily and the good things about them. The book Pleasures of Small Motions is a great book for inspiration. Lastly, don't be a horse player and pool player at the same time. Horses have ruined many a good player from excellance.
I've admired your mental game, or at least what I imagined to be your mental game. In general I do think that guys who tend to be more positive are able to possess a beneficial attitude in pool as well as in life.

I studied and utilized material from Peak Performance by Charles Garfield, PhD, back when I competed in a lot of straight pool in the '90s. IMO straight pool is the most frustrating game, and requires the highest concentration of all pool games. Practicing his lessons really helped me. If I were competing in pool much anymore I'd likely go back and practice those principals, e.g. voluntary relaxation, visualization, and the like.
 
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