So… I’m very much one of those people who are affected by the weather. When it’s sunny out, I’m always in a good mood. When it’s rainy, cloudy and otherwise ugly out, I’m usually a little grumpy. It also affects my gaming – both on the console and the pool table. Today, it’s a monsoon here, all day. I kind of expected to play like absolute ass today, and for a moment thought about not even going to the pool hall, but I did anyway.

The day started off pretty nice, as usual – at the table cold I shoot pretty well for some reason. This kind of ‘auto-pilot’ is actually called “Dead Stroke“.  Which is nice insofar as getting my confidence up, but it also means I’m not necessarily doing what I want because I know what I want to do it and meant to do it.  It’s part luck and mostly “feel”.  Anyway, a few games of straight pool later the dead stroke is gone now I’m working at it.  And failing.  Always close, but never “on”.  It’s very frustrating to shoot the same shot 7 times only to miss it every time – the same way – every time. e.v.e.r.y.t.i.m.e.  The “good” news about that is I’m consistent in my inaccuracy which means it’s a mechanics thing which means it can be fixed.  However, at that point I’m usually so pissed off that I can’t really focus on the minor adjustment needed. Today, I took a lot of breaks between games, had a smoke, drank some water, etc and it helped tremendously to keep me calm.  Of course, this isn’t news, but it helped keep my head on the table and continue to control my speed and stroke instead of hammering the balls just because i’m pissed at them.  So… part 1, staying focused.

Something I was not expecting today was to see the hall pretty full of people – lots of people. Loud people – well, louder than usual but nothing like a teen-hang out.  Avoiding distractions was easier than usual.  part 2: staying focused.

The end result of all this was that, for the most part, I was making good decisions on shots, and making good shots.  I developed a feel for the table early on (a table i’ve played on once before a few months ago) and used that to my advantage.  I think my stroke has improved in it’s accuracy since someone said to me (something I know i’ve heard before but didn’t quite understand) “push through the ball, don’t hit it” just 2 days ago.  I feel more confident and trusting of my stroke, which is a huge benefit since I don’t have to try and adjust for it.

Whenever I missed a shot, I shot it again.  Sometimes even when I made the shot, but didn’t get the position I wanted, I shot it again.  Sometimes I shot the same shot multiple times with different english to try and get position more than one way.  I think my method of practice is improving and I think my head game has improved.  It’s strange to think that has mostly happened in this last week, but, it’s been a pretty good week.

We’ll see what next week brings.  I’m buying a jump/break cue tomorrow, still not entirely sure which one yet – but likely one of those three I mentioned earlier.