Saturday, April 21, 2007

Continuing to "zone in" and listening to the "little voice"

Not much to say this week, so allow me to ramble and see if I can find anything insightful about this weeks pool play. I will say that I have always intended to go back and edit my posts--trim them down to the little nuggets of insight that they should be for a blog. BUT, considering I don't think anyone is reading, and I mostly blog as a way to reflect on my experience learning pool, I'm not going to stress.

I played pretty well this week. Better on Wednesday than on Thursday, but that seems to be the pattern. I'm not sure if I'm tired by the time Thursday rolls around, if Wednesday gets the better part of my focus and competition or whether there is something about the format of Wednesday that brings out the best in my game. No handicap. One game=one point. Overall better competition.

Wednesday I won 2 out of 3 and Thursday I beat a level 5 player 2 to 2 (although he really wasn't playing to his level and missed opportunities he shouldn't have). I have continued to implement the "spot meditations" where I call up the physical sensation of being in the zone, or a memory of a successful shot when I feel nervous or go into a pressure situation. Well, or basically any shot when I'm in competition. I have to say it works pretty well. Not a magic bullet, but I'm sure I'll get better at it.

My misses this week:
An 8-ball spot shot, that I didn't take the time to feel, or to "zone-in" on.
Ball-in-hand run out where I missed my position to get on the better side of the key ball, but convinced myself I could sneak in enough follow to get it to the other side. I knew better. The angle just wasn't right and I ended up right on top of the ball, having to play a saftey. (Probably won me the game, but once I ended up on the wrong side, I should not have been surprised)
A tricky, back cut. At the last moment something inside of me said, "hmm wonder if you'll scratch" to start listening to that little voice.
A straight shot down the rail, object ball slightly forward of the side pocket. Anything less than perfect, was a scratch. Trying to get the position wasn't worth the risk.

My shot of the week:
After missing the 8-ball spot shot, next turn, I had to avoid a blocked pocket and cut the eight into the other side. At one point I practiced a lot of back-cuts. I remembered those. I took my time aiming. I felt the shot. I zoned in. I saw it in my mind. And it happened just as I saw it. A hell of a shot.

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