Sunday, April 15, 2007

8 and out!

It happened, last night at the local bar--my first table run. A straight 8 ball run for the win, with all the other opponents balls on the table. That was fun.....and satisfying after all my hard work.

I've come close before. Been on a roll and could see the shots that would take me out, but usually the moment I think "I could be out" I miss, and usually create some kind of cluster in the process that ruins the rack for my next turn. But this time, the just kept going in, and when I got down the my last couple of balls, and I could see the out, I thought, don't get too excited. Its probably not going to happen. So I just focused on shooting and enjoying myself. And then I missed my position on the 8 and left myself with a really tough cut. I didn't have any expectation that it would go in, or that it would miss. I took my time, communed with the shot, and added a bit on inside English, and it went straight in the heart of the pocket like I was a pro.

My roommate, who has listened patiently to endless recaps of league matches, but has never seen me shoot, was with me to witness the historic occasion. That made it all the more special.

So, why last night:
1) After my first shot, all my balls had pockets, so this wasnt' a tricky layout. A fair amount of congestion. So, the external conditions were right. I have the skill at this point to run a rack like that.
2) Optimum inebriation. Miller Hi-Life is my new favorite drink! I was just relaxed enough and energized enough to focus. (I don't really plan to make this a planned part of my training, but I hope I can recreate that feeling without alcohol).
3) Action focus. I didn't focus on the fact that I was "running the rack." I just focused on the action of shooting and planning my shots.
4) Mental preparation and increased confidence. In "I was THIS close", my entry about a week ago, I wrote about a nice run out that I was pretty close to happening and that I felt a shift had ocurred that made running out a possibility. I could see it happening, and it was only a matter of time. (i'm so thrilled that turned out to be true!).

And I've been working on my mental game. Being sure that I'm using "productive analysis" when looking at my weaknesses. Trying to recreate the zone. And paying attention to capturing those moments when I shoot really well.

YAY! I ran a rack. Of course, I did. I should have. I can do this.

No comments: