I don’t understand it.  I really don’t.  I mean, I’m practically “studying” the game nowadays and I think i’m getting worse by the week.  I played decent once this week. once.  the other 4 days have left me wanting to throw the cue across the room and walk out. or cry. maybe both.  Pockets spitting balls out (when it bounces back and forth between to the corners of a pocket then gets kicked out), poor stroke, no action, no position, missing 1 or 2 out of every 3 shots… i can’t take it. I just can’t.  I’m too competitive or something, but I can only miss for so long before I just become furious.  at which point i sit down, smoke a full cigarette and cool off.  but when the very first shot upon my return is more of the same shit, i can’t stay cool after that.  i’m not even talking about doing drills – which makes everything worse.  just regular play.

Read on for a laundry list of things that are broken and an example of what’s going on.

i started a log of each rack and how many shots it took to run the rack.  the “best” was 12, the worst was 18.  There’s only 9 fucking balls on the table.  I finally started taking ball in hand after the break just so i wouldn’t have to deal with a shitty shot.  the first game was the best, and i was mostly happy. while 75% accuracy isn’t excellent, it’s decent enough to pass my own standard right now – but it just went downhill from there.  I even made some balls on the break was still taking 13+ shots. 

I have completely lost my stroke – it doesn’t feel the same as it did two weeks ago, and it’s not the same throughout the day either. As soon as I try and trust it i hit the object ball on the wrong side or miss-cue.  I can’t think about throw, english, spin transfer, back-swing, follow-through, power-control and aiming all at once.  it’s just too much. something should be “native”, “auto”, whatever.

I’m sure it’s something to do with thinking about it too much, but if i don’t think and just pocket balls, then i’m not doing it on purpose – i’m just getting lucky with fair-to-good ideas. but i’m not IN control of my game – and i absolutely should be.

when i do drills, i’m not learning anything – except that i have ZERO consistency. i could shoot the same 20 times and make it 10, but still not be able to determine what it was i did differently between the times i made it and missed. i can’t monitor myself visually – and even with a video camera it wouldn’t help cuz it’s just one angle.  the thing that kills me is that i tend to miss the same way – every time, so that should mean i could fix it, right? well… it doesn’t.  at least, not on my own.

There’s a pro-coach in town actually (Mark Wilson) – but christ, he’s $300 a day. literally.  I mean, I wanna get better, but that’s a luxury I can not afford.  There’s another guy local to the hall that gives lessons, but I dont think he can give stroke lessons.  he might, i dunno – i’ve only ever seen him give shot advice.  he’s got a really good stroke though, so … maybe? i dunno. he’s a lot more affordable though, $25/hr – but, like i said, he’s not a pro coach.

speaking of pros – there was a teenage girl there today getting a session from Mark, apparently she won the BCA juniors tournament – or at least placed in it.  Rachel something or other.  Her parents were there, etc… they drove 12 hours for this lesson. good for them, good for her.  i would love to just ask him to take a look at my stroke and fix it. hell, i could pay him for an hour or something, this is driving me absolutely insane.