Friday, June 17, 2016

Breaking With a Good Stroke

It's amazing to me that some players on the Omega Billiards Tour still do not know that I play pool, when in fact 2014 was my best year ever on the felt.  I thought we all knew each other in the pool world  ;)

Most the time when they see me play, they are shocked and (luckily) surprised that I play as well as I do.

While I didn't play in a lot of Omega stops at the end of last year because that's when I was slowing down on playing pool as much, but I need to play in at least 4 (four) tournaments this year to be able to be eligible to play in the $4,500-added season finale in November.  So, I played in the last two tournaments to try to get my qualification started.

Towards the end of Saturday night at the previous stop, a player came up to me and he acted a little hesitant, but he was smiling and I could tell he wanted to share something with me.  He said, “I watched your match earlier;  I had no idea you played pool.  You play well.”

I said, “aw, thank you.  Which match was it?”  He described it and I shyly responded, “damn, I lost in that match,” kinda laughing with embarrassment.
And then he started to explain that I have a great stroke and shoot well…. But that I was whacking some shots.  

At this point, I was quite surprised and disappointed.  I pride myself on the fact that I have solid fundamentals that I have worked on for many years, and so it was disappointing to me that he said I was whacking at balls.  I actually really strive not to do that and it’s something I teach others, ironically.

Luckily, however, he went on to explain that I was whacking during the break!

I looked at him kind of confused, and he continued.  He said, "you have a very smooth, good stroke and repeat the same solid stroke every time, but NOT during the break, which is one of the most important shots in the game.”

I looked at him in awe - he was SO right. 

He then emulated my stroke and again shared I have a good fundamentals, a smooth stroke, with a level cue and fluidness that I use on all my shots - but I need to do that also during the break.  And he’s right - right now what I'm doing is I'm swinging way back and trying to move forward with strength and hit the cueball as hard as I can, which, as we all know, does not allow us to control the location of the hit on the cueball and that does not allow for a controlled stroke nor controlled break.

It was a great discussion/reminder for me and I really appreciated that he took the time to share something that I needed to work on.

That's yet another cause-n-effect of not often-enough play in tournaments or leagues and so I kinda forgot due to lack of play and repetition.

So it was a really great exchange of helpful information for me!  And now I’m glad he watch me lose that match lol.

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