Achieving Dead Stroke

Written by David Sapolis

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Article Index
Achieving Dead Stroke (page 1)
Immersion: Can you become
      immersed in the task?
(page 2)
Autopilot - Can you make
      it feel automatic? (page 3)

Autopilot - Can you make it feel automatic?

Darn right you can! Through repetition, any task can be made to feel automatic and second nature. It's the same thing with focus and concentration. The more it is practiced and applied, the more familiar you become with the task. This takes time, it won't happen overnight. After applying what I call "super focus" you will begin to see a change in your approach to the table.

Control: How to maintain it

To be in control of what is happening on the table, you must first be in control of what is happening inside of your head. Our emotions are fueled by our reactions to situations. Our reactions are filtered through our attitudes. In pool, remember that there is a fine line between being "overly excited" and being "pumped". Crossing that line can lead us into anxiety, fear and a myriad of other negative emotions. We need to achieve focus, but when there we must maintain it by keeping our goals directly in front of us. Never push your ultimate goal to the side, or move past it in haste. Remain focused on achieving your goals during competition.

Momentum: Where to get it!

So you're sitting in the chair helplessly watching the other guy dissect rack after rack. You've got calluses on your butt, but all the while you try to remain calm, self coaching yourself, and reassuring yourself that you'll soon enough reclaim your table. In cases such as this, remember the pendulum theory: Momentum swings both ways. Also, if an object has momentum and it goes far enough in one direction, it's bound to crash into something sooner or later.

So how do you create momentum when you don't have it?

  1. Always remember that when wanting the momentum to swing your way, you must start somewhere!!!! Mulling over the situation helps nothing but to drag your confidence and motivation down further. Keep your focus applied at the table, and when it is your turn to shoot, make it count!
  2. View each shot and every opportunity at the table as a chance to turn it all around!!!!!!! Going to the table with a poor attitude will bring about poor results. Maintain an attitude geared towards positivity rather than negativity.
  3. Don't wait for momentum to happen by chance!!! Momentum is closely related to your confidence level. Momentum does not swing towards the side that believes he is doomed. Believe in yourself and your abilities and CREATE momentum by boosting your confidence.
  4. Believe that every single shot is a spark that lights your flame of confidence. Every shot made should add to your flame of confidence. The more the flame grows, the bigger the fire becomes. It can blaze, or it can smolder. This depends on many factors, but it is an excellent example of imagery.

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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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