10 Bad Habits That Keep You From Running The Rack

Written by David Sapolis

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Article Index
10 Bad Habits That Keep You
     From Running The Rack
(page 1)
Bad Habit #2 and #3 (page 2)
Bad Habit #4, #5 and #6 (page 3)
Bad Habit #7 thru #10 (page 4)

Bad Habit #7: Limited shotmaking ability.

Shotmaking is essential. I don't care how good of a position expert you are, sooner or later you will be faced with a tester and have to come through with your best shotmaking. We would all like to be straight in on every shot, but that is not always the case, therefore we must prepare ourselves by knowing how to make the tough rail biters and bank shots. This could either be your Waterloo or your ace in the hole.

Bad Habit #8: Losing control of the cue ball.

A mental as well as physical error which is mainly the fault of having your brain concentrating on one task (making the object ball) as opposed to concentrating on both shotmaking and cue ball position. Cue ball control is essential. Contrary to popular belief, the cue ball will not do anything that you don't tell it to do. Cue ball mastery is much easier to achieve than mental mastery. This is a prime example of how the brain likes to do it's own thing when placed in pressure situations. Our mind and body must work in unison if we are to perform our best under pressure. More about this under Bad Habit #10.

Bad Habit #9: Overconfidence.

This bad habit comes from a basic lack of respect for the complexity of the game of pool. We all know that the balls roll funny for everybody. The main problem with being "overconfident" is that we tend to trash talk while being in that state of mind. Nothing disgusts me more than an arrogant player who has no respect for the complexity of the game. Being overconfident can cause its share of problems. We tend to rely more on our arrogance than on our abilities. We begin to make flashy shots and position routes. We lose our mental focus and believe we are in "Dead Stroke" when all we are doing is being a pompous ass. Carelessness is the substance of overconfidence. Remember that, above anything else.

Bad Habit #10: Choking.

Choking occurs when the mind is so flustered that it can no longer effectively communicate with the body, therefore altering our normal motor functions. Our brain becomes overloaded due to increased excitement or pressure, and we do exactly what we don't want to do, we choke. Shooting the nine ball into the corner pocket is a task external of the mind. When we are in "dead Stroke" our focus is almost completely external. That is why it hard for us to remember what was going on when we were running rack after rack. That is why we say that a player is playing "out of his head". When we choke, we are playing inside our head. The wires become overloaded and too much information is being passed from our brain to shooting arm. The wires start smoking and we choke.

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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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