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. 


This one:

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*