This weekend, I decided to record as much playing as I could so I could watch myself and pick out shots and patterns that both worked and more importantly, did not work. I started off playing a bit of one-pocket and gave up a lot of balls. For example, the first game I made 7, but the final score was 8-1. So… foul much? Yeah. brutal. Shortly after that Asmir came in wanted to play winner. As he’s racking, he says “10-7 for $xx?”. I said sure, here’s that match. It’s not pretty – especially since we chased the last ball for about 10 minutes.
After that, I did some drills, trying to really hammer into my brain some shots. Later, Asmir comes back suggesting races to 7 in call-9-ball, but wants 3 on the wire. I took the action and we were off to the races. I did record the first set – although I probably should not have, considering I couldn’t run more than 3 balls and I missed a lot of the same shots as the last time I raced to 7. I recorded the 2nd set as well, but the phone died halfway through; which is unfortunate because I did finally win it. The 2nd set went hill-hill and the sweaters suggested doubling the bet and starting over. I seriously thought about it, but I also know that I only made it to the hill because of a few early 9’s; and I didn’t want to be down 3 three sets. So, I said nope, one game for everything, and I fought my way through the rack and ran the 9 down the rail to close it out.
Again, afterwards, I drilled myself on 2 shots I missed more than I ever should.
I shot each shot/path 10 times. I really tried to the CB to land in the rack but after a bunch of experiements, I decided I needed to work on getting it on different sides of the table. Then I shot this:
I also shot it and killed the CB to leave it within 6 inches of the 4 ball, but there’s no more CB’s on the table diagram.
And this one – there’s no excuse to ever hang this ball, so I drilled it into my brain:
I noticed that the times I missed where the times I either lost site of the contact point or felt my arm swing. So, I did some other drills, specifically, shooting with my eyes closed, focusing purely on my stroke. First I set up some fairly easy shots, got in line, got down, closed my eyes and pulled back, paused, then stroked through. I made 9 out of 10 of those. Then I tossed all 15 balls out on the table and just played Equal Offense – but on each shot, I closed my eyes. I’m pretty happy with the results, I only missed 3 balls. I wasn’t playing real tight position, but I did include english and speed into each shot.
So, that made me feel good about my fundamentals. They’re not perfect, but I definitely was able to get some confidence in my stroke.
I’m watching – and rewatching – the videos I recorded from the weekend looking for things (and really, I can NOT wait till I get my new digital video recorder). Aside from the stupid shots playing one-pocket and pointless misses in 9-ball, I feel mostly good about my game and ability. There’s lots to improve, and I know that, and I look forward to getting there.
I’ll leave you with what I think is the best shot-followed-by-the-worst-shot sequence of the night. This is from a money game:
I spent a few minutes contemplating the 2-9 combo, but decided against it. So, I fired the 2 right passed the 9 into the half of the pocket I could see, and got pretty good shape for the next ball, the 4. Although, I must have thought otherwise, cuz I sent it right into the rail. Missed the shot, missed position for the 5… It was like I hit it opposite-handed or something. It’s really – really annoying when I do that. And I have to stop it. I make a great shot, then blow a hanger – seriously. It happens more than I can say. *sigh*