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Playing Billiards Under Stress

Playing Billiards Under Stress

I've noticed in MY playing that I can play lights-out for little or no money against most people, but as soon as I step up to the table with our city's BEST player, Dan M., I play fine for a set or two (maybe three) but after that, my better judgment gets the better of me and I start playing poorly.

I know what needs to be done and how to get from point A to point B etc., but for some reason I begin thinking about him being able to run out on me if I miss, so eventually I do, and he does. I have tried playing him MANY times, especially recently, and its ALWAYS the same outcome. I LOSE!

Now, normally this wouldn't be a problem, but he's the only one in this city with the "heart" to play me. Nobody else takes the chance. When I was beginning to play, I wanted to play anyone, and did for the most part.

Where has all the pride gone in this game? You'd think someone would at least want the "bragging rights" for beating me in a couple games even though they're probably going to lose most games. I just don't get it. Has NOBODY any "heart" anymore? Has this game gotten so low to where someone will ONLY play you if they KNOW they're going to win? That's pathetic!


Playing Billiards Under Stress

Replies & Comments

  1. jeffdukeccn7 on 7/14/2007 5:29:22 PM

    I'll give you my perspective from an old-timer's point of view.

    First off, let's tackle that problem with the other player beating you, when in fact you can probably take him. This has happened to all of us at one time or another. What I usually do is start playing the person and not the table. Stop thinking about the fact that "he shoots next and if you miss he'll run out and you'll lose".

    Let your opponent be a ghost, don't think about the past, and if you cant run out, then safety his butt up. When I start playing smart I start playing well and thus I will win. Relax have fun and play like you practice.

    Regarding finding action, I seem to always seem to have a game going, not because I'm that good, but because people have fun when they play me. You need to have two "speeds" of playing pool, one for gambling and tournaments and another for friendly games and having fun. If you have to win every game no matter what then you will never have fun in this sport. To be able to control you emotions and turn it on and turn it off is the is the power some seem to lack.

  2. jeffdukeshark3149 on 7/15/2007 1:37:14 AM

    @ccn7, I have to say that you said it the best I have ever heard it put.

  3. jeffdukeBishop on 7/16/2007 10:20:17 AM

    Great points guys.

    I'll give you the devils advocate point of view just for the sake of the argument. For those of you that have read Pleasures of Small Motions, this will be thoughts of mine formulated from that book.

    Stress, pressure, tension should all be recognized and registered as real feeling and emotions not to be ignored. Rather than put it all on the back burner simply identify what your feeling. You can't trick your body and your mind and your memory of what to do by ignoring your surroundings and sub-consciously trying to put yourself in another place.

    Give your sub-conscious a chance to accept and digest the pressure shot. Once you identify what your bodies feeling you can begin to accept the emotion internally and allow it to work with your body so it becomes a productive and registered emotion within your sub-conscious memory.

    To simply pretend your somewhere else or not playing someone would potentially crossfire what your eyes are really seeing thus taking you out of your element and real time surrounds and diminishing your play because you simply aren't feeling your same ole self. Just add these emotions and feeling to part of your game. So they can function property together.

    I could go on and expand but that's the basics of it.

  4. jeffdukequickshot on 7/12/2008 5:40:48 PM

    Your better judgement does not get the better of you. If it did you would stop playing his game and stick with your own. You have it in your head that he is going to beat you and he knows it.

    Are you really playing fine for 2 or 3 games, or is he setting you up to get into your head by letting you win.

    It's the same with golf. If you play your opponent's game he is going to beat you hands down, every time!

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Playing Billiards Under Stress

  • Title: Playing Billiards Under Stress
  • Author: (Jeff Duke)
  • Published: 7/14/2007 2:31:17 PM