Saturday, November 14, 2020

A Ghost During a Pandemic - by Katniss

Katniss from the Project Hunger Games of my blog shared some insight with us:

I have really enjoyed staying in during this pandemic. I have access to a pool table, mainly during the evening time, all to myself! 

I have played and practiced by myself. 

AND I have taught myself the ghost ball effect!

It literally took me years to finally understand it. And, it's something I would have never taken the time to fully learn and understand the concept of if COVID hadn't happened.


Pre-COVID, I was playing 3 nights a week for league, while combined with playing weekend tournaments. Whew! That was like 4 to 5 nights just competing! I did not have the time nor make the time to really concentrate on the ghost ball effect.

But, I have taken the time to learn new total SILENCE. No music and no interruptions. It’s like I could hear my thought process out loud! It was an awesome discovery.

Now that the world is starting to open up, I get to put my new found tool to work.

I, however, am NOT looking forward to going back to playing so many league nights. But I am looking forward to some competition from other human life other than own.  


Did I Help The Cueist?

When The Cueist emailed me his previous blog entry, I was surprised to read in it that he had read a couple of my own blog posts and referenced one in particular.  Well, not much so as 'reference it,' but more so as to yell at me that I might be wrong, lol.  

This is what he said: 

"But as you (Melinda) mentioned in a previous blog, if you have a good stroke then we'd have nothing to worry about. But, I sure was worried there!!"

His blog post was entitled "Finding His Stroke" and if you haven't read it yet, I highly suggest it.

A few times the last couple of months, what he said above kept creeping into my mind. And I wondered, did I help The Cueist?  

So, I did what I do best: satisfy my curiosity!

I sent him this Question:  

Do you think it helped you to read that I said if you have good fundamentals, that your stroke won't go down during the pandemic?

I waited impatiently for the answer. 


No reply. 

A few weeks later, he finally replied!  I read it with excitement, waiting to pat myself on the back:

Sorry for the delay, but I've actually started writing this a few times. 

Ok, so my first instinct on this reply was "yes, it helped me tremendously." But then I thought about it, and thought "it helped me, but not as much as I thought." Then I thought about this again, and I'm sticking by my initial answer.... yes, it helped me tremendously. 

But, wait! There's more! :)

So obviously, when any long time pool player takes a break for an extended period of time, you never really lose the muscle memory, or the ability to make a ball, or the ability to read a table. I think you lose the awareness of your abilities more than anything, and in turn, your confidence suffers. So you have to trust the process, and believe that you'll get back to your old speed (if you want to of course). 

Think about it....after 5 months of not hitting a ball, I still thought I could run a wide open rack. Boy was I wrong! So my confidence went down the drain, and fast!! Now, I'm playing very close to 100%, and my confidence is high again. Of course, I've had lows over the last few months. But I just kept telling myself "trust your stroke, fundamentals, and PSR." It goes back to pool being mental.

I don't think I helped me at all, actually. BUT - his reply will help you all!  I was glad he answered, as this is yet another gem of advice from him and brings a good perspective to help your game.