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Table Talk Articles
May All The Rolls Go Your WayArticle written by The Monk of Monk Billiard Academy
The Rhythm Method
What does it take to get you into a shot? How do you get ready? Every good pool player has a personal routine. Some shoot slow, some shoot fast, some shoot in between.This rhythm is right for them. It suits their personality. Their rhythm fits well with their ability to concentrate. We all have a limit on our ability to concentrate. Concentration, is the ability to focus on a field of attention for a time determined by the will. So our personal rhythm is vitally important. Once we are out of rhythm, we are out of stroke.
After a spectacular shot, we are usually not ready to perform the next shot. Our hearts are still beating with excitement, emotion is racing through our minds. How many times have you made a great shot, only to miss the next one. And there is always the wise guy who says, "The same guy shot that one". You were not prepared to shoot the shot. Now is the time to chalk up, stand upright, observe the shot, and allow the emotions to subside. You are taking the time you need to prepare for the next shot. Remember, every time you step to the table, this is the shot you could miss. And you don't want to miss it because you were not in your rhythm.
When you step into your stance, you need to be totally free to perform. Don't shoot a shot while you are excited. Don't shoot a shot while you are angry, and don't shoot a shot while you are fearful. Shoot only when you are free.
Remember, "concentration is the focus on the field of attention for a time determined by the will." If I stay down in my stance beyond my ability to focus on the field of attention for a time determined by my will skills, I will miss the shot. In my minds eye, I must see the cue tip going through the cue ball, the cue ball colliding with the object ball, and the object ball going into the pocket. If I am not prepared to see all of this, if I am distracted by fear, anger or excitement, I will miss the shot. And I can only see the shot for a time determined by my will. So if I go beyond that time, I am out of rhythm. I lose my concentration. Once I go beyond my concentration point, my stroke is not crisp, committed, and pure. There is no quality to my hit. With a tentative stroke, I am going to come up with negative results.
You are not on a journey towards pocket billiard excellence. You are the journey itself. You are the path itself.
May all the rolls go your way.
Tim Miller, The Monk