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May All The Rolls Go Your WayArticle written by The Monk of Monk Billiard Academy
Sometimes, All We Have Left Is Instincts
Quality of hit is vital to pocket billiards excellence. And the quality we find in our stroke is directly related to our ability to concentrate. Our ability to concentrate is directly related to how strong our wills skills are. Will skills breed desire. Desire breeds energy. If we arrive at a tournament without a clear desire to win we negatively effect our will skills. And this breaks down our ability to deliver a quality to our stroke.
There are time when you are exhausted from a day of competition. It is getting late and you are suffering from fatigue. Still, you are close to winning the tournament. But your ability to concentrate is severely drained. Your will skills are almost gone. Remember, will skills breed desire. Your ability to focus on the field of attention has become a struggle. You are wroking hard at something that should be natural. And this struggle, in itself, is interference.
There are professional gamblers who look for players who have lost thier will skills. They look for this syndrome in players. Once they see it, they will bet on the opposition. A tired pool player has a difficult time winning. It all comes down to the ability to deliver a crisp clear hit on the cue ball. When you are tired, your stroke become tired.
Have you ever heard the term, "battle fatigue?" When you are tired, everything becomes a battle. How ironic. A battle is called for when you have the least of energy. Sometimes, pocket billiards can be a cruel mistress. When a battle is called for, we need to turn away from the calling and learn to operate on our instincts.
When you limp into the finals and can no longer focus on the field of attention, focus instead, on the sound of the hit. Do nothing but wait for the sound. Listen for a nice crisp click on the cue ball. Listen, and it will happen.
Remember, I am tired. I cannot visualize the shot. But I can listen for the hit. I can wait, and let my stroke work for me. When you visualize, you must be able to repeat what is in your mind. What you see, a nice clear shot, does not fit with the way you feel. You are tired. You are forcing yourself to see something you cannot perform. So you set up a conflict. Let the visualization go for now. Change over to your instincts. It will carry through this match and gain you the prize. Stop looking and listen for the sound of a nice clear hit on the cue ball. Listen, let it happen. The shot will shoot itself.
When I am faced with a tough shot for the money, I tell myself there are two things that will happen here. Not, can happen, but will happen. And only two things. I will make the shot or I will miss the shot. Therefore, I must not be preoccupied with results. I cannot worry about results. I must deliver a nice clear crisp stroke and let the results become what they will. "I may miss this shot, but I will look good missing it." I tell myself to listen for the sound of a nice crisp pop on the cue ball. Nothing tentative, nothing done in fear, everything done with confidence. Listen for the sound.
I relish the times when I have limped home to victory while I was tired and unable to perform. There are times when you simply must dig a little deeper.
May all the rolls go your way.
Tim Miller, The Monk
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