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Learning how to obtain position


Learning how to obtain position

I was lying in bed last night and it struck me--there has been no particular discussion about how to 'see' position. But there has been a lot of discussion about how to put the CB here or there. The difference is why you want to put the CB here rather than there. After thinking about it for a while, I could not actually describe why I wanted the CB to end up here rather than there, but there was an excersize (practice technique) that I used that allowed my game to traverse this boundary. Perhaps this thread will help some others traverse this boundary. Thus, this thread is dedicated to the mechanism even though I can't quite describe quite how it works.

Take the first 9 balls and place them within a ball radius of the intersections of diamonds near the center of the table. You want the balls to be some what haphazardly arranged, but neatly arranged at the same time.

Now, take two other balls and place then within a ball radius of head spot and foot spot. Finally take the other 4 balls and place them at 1/2 diamond crossing position (that is midway between the head/foot spotted ball and the corner ball of the first 9. The 3 balls on each end make a triangle anchored at foot/head spot with respect to the corners of the cube.

From here, the rules are simple. You get Ball-In-Hand, attempt to run the table; If you miss, scratch, foul, you loose and start over (but no-one is keeping score). As you begin, just try to run deeper and deeper. Picque your curiosity on what is it about the starting position that leads to deep runs, and what is it about the starting position that leads to shallow runs.

Over a couple of hours you will find that there are certain patterns that you can run deep and other patterns that are devlishly close to those and you cannot run deep. This is exactly what this excersize is attempting to teach you. How to look at the table position and find those you can run out versus those you cannot. It is going to take plenty of "racks" for your eye/brain combination to 'see' what the table positioin is trying to tell you.

As you try various starting positions, you will find there are about 6 (symetrical) starting points that lead to fairly easy deep runs, but few others--even though they look very similar. I find that being delicate with the CB, moving it as little as possible is generally a good strategy for the first 1/2 of the runs.

Try starting within the cube and run from the inside out. Try starting by knocking off the head/foot spot. Try starting by knocking off a corner from outside the cube

With the balls nice and loose, there are lots of run opportunities. You will not 'see' them all in the early stages, and will come to realize the myriad of options. From this myriad of options you need to heavily prune the less effective orders, and slowly your ability to run the rack will improve. Later on, you will see the pattern and not be able to execute. Still later on, you will wonder what all the fuss was about as you nail run after run.

If you get to the point where you can run the rack, try tightening up the pattern by moving each ball closer to each other ball by about a balls width. If you get frustrated, try loostening up the patern in the opposite direction.

The excersize is not designed to make long runs easier, smoother, better. The excersize is designed to help your eye and mind 'see' those patterns you can run and separate them from those you cannot. This is important in safety play--knowing when to duck, and when to run.

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