I ignored my adult responsibilities last night and instead went to play pool for about 4 hours.  It’s been so long since I just played, by myself, for a long time.  It was really quite therapeutic.  First, I was practicing 8-ball; doing my best to get through the rack in one inning (one turn at the table for each suite).  It didn’t go very well; but I know it was because I had eaten a less-than healthy meal immediately before arriving at the hall.  After a while, I just switched to 9-ball, essentially playing the 2 inning ghost.  I’d break and try to get out, allow myself one miss and continue from there. If I missed again, I’d rack the balls and start over. 

 I finally, after I can’t even tell you how many months, had a legitimate break and run, without taking ball in hand after the break.  It helped, of course, that I make 2 balls on the break and had a great opening shot on the 1 to get into a pretty simple line.  Still, I didn’t blow position so badly that I couldn’t get out, I stayed calm through the run, and once I made it halfway through the rack and saw the end pattern in my mind, I didn’t get overly excited nor did I ease up on my focus.  I took my time, pin-pointed a position on the table for my CB and shot through the rack.  After sinking the 9, I took a moment and enjoyed the sense of achievement that had become quite unfamiliar for me.  I’ve missed that feeling.  I’m not a run out player, I’ve never been a runout player, but I’m always close.  So, instead of blindly running the 1-7, like I normally do, I looked at position 3 balls ahead and worked my way backwards to my current shot. Every other shot, I’d re-examine the table and go through those shots.  It worked wonderfully. 🙂

 A few racks later, I had another excellent break, parked the CB, made 2 balls and had a good shot on the 1, with 4 balls really close to their pocket.  But, I overshot ran position on the 7, and had to take a tough shot on the 8 that left me 9 feet away from the 9 on the 2nd diamond on the foot rail; cue ball near the 2nd diamond on the headstring. I cut it, but it bobbled out.  *shrug* oh well.

 Overall, it was a great time, and I started to regain some of my confidence.  I’m looking forward to many more nights like that in the next month or so, in order to prepare for the next round of leagues.  I’ve been toeing that edge of being a runout player for far too long, and I’m tired of feeling stalled in my progress.  I’ve picked up a few new tricks that have really improved my pocketing, and I’m hoping that will be the kick in the ass I’ve needed to get me back on track.