Goal Setting

Written by David Sapolis

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Excerpt from “The Growling Point

Goal Setting

It’s one thing to want to be the best, and it is something completely different when you sit down and write out a pattern of attack and figure out how you are going to get there. Developing skills for competition and killer instinct is important, but without a map on how we plan to get where we want to go, our attempts can be futile. You can have all of the killer instinct available in the universe, but if you do not have an effective game plan, you’ll be off in the wind like a bullet without a target. If we turn that around, we can have an awesome plan of attack, but if we do not possess the ability or mindset to drive the stake through the heart of our competition, we can be perceived as passive.

Why must we have killer instinct? You need to possess the ability to take out your opponent quickly and effectively, and unmercifully. This can and will be developed slowly. First you need to learn how to win, then you can learn how not to lose. Then we can work on winning at will. By doing this, you can win games, matches and tournaments through simple observation of your opponents. You will learn how to detect weaknesses, and you will learn how to use those weaknesses against your opponent. This is where having an effective game plan comes into use. Phil Capelle and I both agree that many tournaments are not won by the “best” player. Most tournaments are won by the player that had the best game plan displayed the best adaptability to the competition, the equipment, and the surroundings. It might sound complicated, but over a period of time you will develop this into one of your major weapons. By learning these skills, you will not just be "showing up at a tournament" and hoping to play well. You will have a designed pattern of attack, and you will be able to show up and WIN, not just showing up.

As I explained , just showing up is not good enough. Lots of players show up at tournaments, but only a few show up to "WIN". At this url, www.azbilliards.com, I have an article called "The Purpose of Practice". Read it. In there I explain that when we do not perform well, it is human nature to blame it on something external, such as the table, the rolls, the atmosphere, etc. It is usually always something internal that is the problem, but our egos get in the way and deflect the blame. Developing an effective practice routine is also necessary. Remember that if you have a disciplined practice routine, it will shine through your game. Discipline is a must. Merely tossing the balls out on the table, or just playing nine ball doesn't cut it. Practice can be broken down into four stages. Remember the words

Walt Disney World, or W-D-W. This stands for the following:




You should first do warm up exercises where you can evaluate your stance, breathing, bridge, sighting and stroke. From there you can move on to drills, and then you work on weaknesses. During the warm up you can identify weakness areas in each of the categories of sighting, breathing, bridge, stance and stroke. It's one thing to miss a shot, and it is another thing to know why. It is extremely important to know EXACTLY why. This is why drills and warm ups are vitally important. You should practice them every day. As far as weaknesses go, you should work on the things that cost you games and matches in the recent competitions you were in. Those are the weaknesses that need to be turned into strengths. Every day you should add variety to your practices so that you do not get bored with it. Practice is NOT A ROUTINE. Routines end up being abandoned. That is explained in "The Purpose of Practice".

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About The Author: Blackjack David Sapolis played professional pool for 20 years in The United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

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