I have been playing the game for about eight and a half years now. I guess I could say that I am a decent player. Graphic Designer by day, Pool Player by night (Ha. Almost sounds like the secret identity of a superhero.)
I have played (for the most part) in the VNEA and BCA amateur leagues here in the north central Ohio area. I didn’t start trying to be seriously competitive until about five years ago. Then, I started to pay attention.
We play 8-Ball in our local leagues but I have only really recently started branching out into some rotational competitions. Not doing too bad, but not as well as I would like to due to several factors.
I don’t normally play 9-Ball and very rarely shoot on the nine footers. I believe that it is time to dig in and start a practice routine again.
I need to kick myself sometimes for being lazy. I will play league a couple nights a week, and then talk myself out of practicing or doing drills with my best friend—just because I played league a couple of nights. Gotta quit that.
When I decided I really wanted to be serious, I started looking around at the other players to see what they were doing. How they were hitting the ball, where they were hitting the ball, how they were standing, how they were holding the cue, what their body language was saying, whether they were nervous or sure of themselves—everything I could pay attention to, I did.
I have had a few of my friends working with me and coaching me. I have also traveled a little and taken some training, and plan to do more. My focus is getting better and that is having a greater impact on my shot making abilities.
I am not quite where I want to be yet, and I know that I still have a lot of work to do. My problem is, for the moment, that I am never quite happy with my game.
I can shoot well most times, but I am not consistent enough. Even when I shoot a 40 on league night, I will still stay a little later to practice a drill or two… especially banks and kicking, and getting myself out of a tough safe. I find that those skills are important.
I know that cue ball control is a major thing, and I can get close, but I am really still working on that also. I love to sit and watch a pool match, just so I can see how they approach a shot. Some amazing things can happen on a pool table, and I want to be able to be good at it.
Just wish I had started earlier in life.
A thousand and one things to learn and it’s hard to decide where to begin every time. Let me ask you this: where did you begin?
What kind of advice would you give to someone trying to take their game to the next level? How would you gauge where their game is already at?
Until next time,