My buddy Al informed me that touch is very much like shot making – once you lose it, he said, you never get it back. But I’m a hard one to discourage. Besides, my shot making has improved a lot since I started my comeback. Of course, there’s still a lot of room for improvement, but I’m not missing as many “easy” shots as I used to. I take heart in the fact that even though I’m nearing my 60th birthday, I am still getting better.
So, a major focus of my recent practice sessions has been position play and cue ball control. I start just by hitting the cue ball, trying to make it travel two diamonds farther every shot until it’s made three trips lengthwise across the table. Then I work on stop shots and follow, trying to follow shots of different lengths one diamond, two diamonds, and farther. It seems to be working. I’ve been winning more games and matches.
I recently started playing in a local 8-ball bar league. Bar pool, as you probably know, is significantly different from pool room pool. The rules down here are berserk: no safes allowed; ball in hand behind the head string after a scratch; and players, regardless of the situation, are bound to make an “honest effort” at making a ball. You can imagine the fudging that goes on in this area. My play has been inconsistent. I was 12-0 after the first 3 weeks, but am about .500 since then. Not that I’ve been playing badly, though I did make a couple bad choices. It just seems that I haven’t been getting my share of the breaks. You know, an opponent misses and accidentally safes you up, and other things like that.
Anyway, we’re cruising along in first place because even while I’ve been floundering my teammates have been wreaking havoc upon opposing forces. Here’s a picture of The 8-Ball Posse:
Left to Right: Jeff, Billy, Ace, Boogie