Today we will talk about Lesson #4: Committing to the shot.
Here is the story:
I'm deep in a big state tournament. My opponent is spotting me 1 game and in a matter of about 10 mins, I'm down 4/1. I claw my way to being down only 5/3, and he misses his last ball. I only have 4balls on the table and I have the break on the hill game. Heck yeah, that's exactly what I wanted! I make my first ball, stop shot. Take a breath. 2nd ball, good shape. Take a breath. 3rd ball, had to go 2 rails for shape w/ inside English. Nail it and took a breath. Last ball before the 8 ball, and I have to draw it back off of the rail w/ outside English. Well, I didn't HAVE to do that, but that was going to get me perfect shape on the 8ball. I get down on the shot feeling a bit nervous and single stroked the shot, while chicken-winging it, and jumping up at the same time. Then took a breath. LOL. Cost me the match of course.Cueist adds:
I didn't make up my mind on where I needed the cue ball, and as a result, I didn't commit to the shot.
Personally, I think this lesson (#4) is the key to any shot.
You have to commit to every shot, and if you're not fully committed, we need to stop and reset.
I remember getting down on the shot and said to myself that it's an easy shot, but can get tricky due to the side pocket. In reality, the side pocket should've never come into play. But because of that last second doubt and indecision, I should've stopped, gotten up, and reset. You see? I hadn't truly decided yet where I wanted to be; and it cost me.
I hate this for Cueist. A little bit of nerves, a little bit of an indecision, a little bit of thinking in his head, all led to a crucial miss.
So many things can happen to us during every shot. The four lessons we are rehashing with The Cueist (Lesson one (easy shots), Lesson two (perfect shape), Lesson three (nerves), and today's lesson (committing) are KEY. And the bottom line is to stay down, stay calm, breathe, and focus only on your fundamentals and solid pre shot routine. And you'll be okay!