Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Its not all in my head

Last week was a big pool week. Its ashame I didn't blog, but I will have to catch up later. With the time change and the short, suddenly cold, winter days setting in, I'm getting sluggish and sleepy. Soon as the sun goes down, I pretty much want to curl up in bed. I am dog tired this week. I guess there's a reason this sleep thing is so popular...I will have to give it another chance....

Anyway, I've had lots of things keeping me up at night, and I find that a good hour or two of pool after work sometimes helps clear my head. Earlier this week I stopped by my local pool hall, only to find all the tables full. I recognized a guy at one of the tables as someone who I'd played with before. I had been practicing by myself and he asked me to play a few games. He later gave me a couple of pointers (but managed to be not too obnoxious about it). Anyway, I don't normally do this, but I was itching to play, so I went up to him and asked if he wanted to play a couple games. We ended up splitting four games, 2 and 2. I mentioned that he had given me some good advice about my bridge hand the last time we played. He actually remembered and had been watching for that this time. He said that my bridge hand was better and that I looked much more stable over the table in general...and that I had improved A LOT in a short amount of time. (Yay, me!)

I know that it should be enough that I notice my own improvement. Alas, most pool players that I've encountered are just not that generous with praise. Its funny, when I sucked beyond imagination, people were much more liberal with the compliments. Of course, I still get the "Nice Shot" comments and tap, tap, taps, but it is especially gratifying for someone to notice that my overall level of play has improved (even though my handicap has not changed).

The table does feel different to me now. I'm amazed at how much my position play has improved. Sometimes I get it completely, and I mean completely, wrong, (as in the cue ball heads completely the opposite direction), but more and more of the time I am able to move the cue ball to the zone I want, am making good decisions about English and speed, avoiding a scratch or obstacles and just seeing the angles as they are, instead of how I want them to be.

About a month ago, I pulled out Steve Capelle's "Play Your Best Pool" and re-read the section on position play. I spent only one practice session working on picking a rail target for both 1 & 2 rail position shots--and it seems to have really changed my ability to accurately predict the cue ball path.

League is tonight. I hope all this self-congratulatory pep talk doesn't go to my head.....

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