Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Resisting the Urge to Quit

Well, my aiming device hasn’t been doing me much good. Two Fridays straight, I got knocked out of a local tournament because I missed easy shots on the 8-ball. I say “easy” meaning they would’ve been easy 40 years ago. Right now, nothing’s easy. I swear to God, I can’t see the contact point on a straight in shot. Mind boggling! Sometimes I think somewhere along the line someone put a curse on me. I mean, I stare at the balls but can’t for the life of me see them in relationship to a pocket. Once upon a time, this was all automatic. I’d glance at the object ball and immediately see the contact point. Then, I’d look at the cue ball and visualize it at the same angle as the object ball. Then whack, I’d pocket the ball. How does one go about losing the ability to get the pool balls facing a pocket? I’ll never know. What I do know is that it gets awfully frustrating, losing week after week to players who can barely hold a cue. Sure, the bar rules are crazy, but the rules only matter when you miss.

What’s my next step? Well, I’ve set my little disk on a table with the center line aiming for the corner of the table. Along the path to the corner, I’ve centered a poker chip. What I’m going to do is spend several minutes every day meditating on the angles and the lines. Sort of the way those 60’s hippie freaks used to study candles, except there’s a method to my madness. Hopefully, in time something will jell. I’ll let you know.


Jay said...

Don't quit. About five years ago for some inexplicable reason I lost what I considered to be a very natural and effective cue action. I have been playing since I was 8 years old and up until 1999/2000 I was very proud of my cue action. However I started getting increasingly fidgety on my shots for no reason, making adjustments all the time and then adjusting back. My game took a nose dive, from being a great potter I went to being hardly able to pot a ball. I was snatching shots, I was not cueing through straight, in fact I was doing everything wrong that could be done wrong. Over the last few years I have almost been in tears at times through frustration at not being able to play well enough to beat players that I used to breeze past. Anyway after a lot of hard work and determination I am starting to glimpse shadows of my former self creeping back, in fact last friday night I played better than I think I EVER have in life. I still have a bit of a problem my my action, it isn't as steady as it could be but its getting better. The bonus though is that during the last 5 years I have done allsorts to improve my game and studied everything in minute detail. This means that once I get my cue action back totally I will be twice the played I was before with all my new found knowledge.

I know my problem isn't the same as yours, but I just wanted to let you know that it is likely that you will be able to rectify yours as I did mine.

Michael McCafferty said...

Think Positive.
Do Positive.
Results flow...

Ace Toscano said...

jay and fast mikie,
Thanks for the encouragement. I've learned not to make snap decisions and even though I flirt with the idea of quitting or, at least, not playing in a particular tournament, every time I lose or play bad, by the next day I'm looking forward to my next chance to kick some butt. Hope you guys do more strokin' than pokin'.