Posts Tagged ‘Pool Game’

Do You Play Pool With Intuition?

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Do You Play Pool With Intuition?

By Ernie Reynolds

How many times have you just missed a shot and said to yourself “I should have aimed where I started to instead of moving my aim a little”? How often have you questioned the choice of shot you took when you became stuck without a leave?

Do you ever get this little urge in the back of your mind that says “shoot this ball” when your conscious mind thinks that might not be the right shot to take? How about when you make that near-miraculous shot that looked almost impossible because you could just “see it” and felt you might make it?

I believe all these things are your built-in intuition working for you.

For more info, visit my websites…
Pool For Beginners
Pool and Pocket Billiards Resource

In my studies of mental philosophies and the workings of the mind, I have often seen the phrase “quiet the mind”. This basically means to take a mental step back and internally observe the thousands of thoughts that run through our minds constantly. This mental “watcher” can then observe a moment of quiet and solitude while the conscious mind continues to rattle on with random thoughts.

When we become aware of this quiet state we can filter out some of the extraneous, non-helpful thoughts and pick out the thoughts and ideas that can do us some real good. It is my belief that it is these helpful thoughts that make up at least a part of our intuition.

I find that when I am really in the zone and concentrating on the pool game at hand, my intuition sends the ideas much more readily to my conscious mind. It’s not like someone is talking in my ear loud and clear, but it just seems like I am more aware of the urges to shoot a certain shot or put some english on the cue ball in such a way as to have a better leave for my next ball.

It’s a subtle thing, but definitely there if you watch for it.

I feel it most strongly just after breaking a rack. As I am studying the layout of the balls and trying to decide how best to play them, I often get the urge to shoot a certain ball to start the run.

This ball may not be the one I would consciously choose to start with, but I find that if I go with my gut feeling, things often work out on the table. My second, third, or even fourth shot may not be readily apparent at first, but as the game progresses, the shots often keep coming and I can either run or nearly run the table.

A habit I picked up years ago, which I still use today, is to take a deep breath or two and mentally tell myself to “relax”. Especially if you are playing a tough opponent or are behind in a match, the few seconds it takes to do this can pay huge dividends.

I sometimes use the phrase “relax and win” with a deep breath or two. It’s amazing how often I have seen opponents miss easy shots after doing this.

By taking a deep breath and mentally relaxing, you are helping reduce any nervousness you may be feeling. This also helps to quiet the mind and open the way for your intuition to send you some advantageous thoughts and ideas for gaining the advantage and winning the game.

So, I challenge you to become aware and play pool with intuition the next few times you play. Take the plunge and follow the urges when and if they come. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Mentally “Intend” to Kick Ass on the Pool Table

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Mentally “Intend” to Kick Ass on the Pool Table

By Ernie Reynolds

Does anyone disagree that pool is a mental game? After you’ve paid your dues and learned how to shoot, what is the biggest detriment to consistently playing your best?

Concentration, lack of attention, forgetting the basics – in other words, your MIND.

Your mind is often the biggest saboteur to winning pool games on a regular basis – at least mine is.

For more info, visit my websites…
Pool For Beginners
Pool and Pocket Billiards Resource

In my 40+ years of playing pool, I have made most every shot hundreds of times. I have read the books and seen the videos. I know how to shoot. Then why can’t I do as well one day as I can the next?

I contend that the main problem is not external conditions or distractions. I have shot some of my best pool in a crowded, noisy bar with drunken people banging into my stick and TVs blaring overhead.

I have shot well with crooked pool cues and with lousy tips. Dead rails and soiled felt were the same disadvantages to my opponents as to me.

I do have my own pool cue now and I wouldn’t go back to using bar cues willingly. It certainly helps some. And yes, I do carry my own hand chalk with me.

At least in my case, neither the equipment nor the environment have that great of an impact on my ability to shoot consistent pool.

So, if the mind is the biggest culprit to causing your pool game to be inconsistent, what can you do? Is there a way to get a mental kick in the butt so you can get back on track?

“Intend” to shoot your best pool.

“Intend” to concentrate fully in the game at hand and not allow external distractions to divert your attention.

“Intend” to beat your opponent.

I have been a student of the mind for many years. I practice meditation, hypnosis, and other forms of mind control. I believe that “something else is out there” besides our everyday consciousness.

And I also believe that controlling the mind will allow me to better control my pool playing. If pool is indeed a mental game, then getting your mental facilties well in-tune with your pool game can only help, right?

When the mind is relaxed and at peace, the mental chatter and useless thoughts just sort of fade away. You are left with the ability to focus your mind on constructive ideas and enjoyable pursuits instead of wallowing in negativity.

One practice I have when playing pool is to occasionally take a deep breath and mentally tell myself to “relax” if I find that I am not playing up to par or feeling uptight or anxious. When I am behind in a pool game, I sometimes say a mental “relax and win” to myself. It’s amazing how many times my opponent will miss an easy shot or make some other mistake after doing this.

I do find, however, that the act of “intention” has the strongest effect on my pool game. If I actually intend to play my best pool, it often happens.

I play pool regularly every Friday night. When I wake up on Friday morning, before I get out of bed, I mentally “intend to kick ass on the pool table tonight.” I don’t always remember to do it, but when I do, it certainly makes a difference.

This time between being asleep and fully awake is an excellent time to make an intention, by the way. The mind is still in a suggestible state, and intentions get right into the subconscious mind and go to work. Hypnosis works in this manner by putting the subject in a suggestible state of mind.

So that’s my theory. I know it works for me and I’ll bet it will work for you as well. Try it yourself and see.

I’d like to hear some comments as to whether people think this is a crazy notion or something beneficial to use themselves.

Performance Pool – A Great Way To Improve Your Skills

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

Performance Pool – A Great Way To Improve Your Skills

By Ernie Reynolds

We all know that the best way to improve your skills in most sports is to practice – a lot! It’s also fairly common knowledge that if we practice in a scientific and intelligent way we will increase our abilities all that much better and faster.

Tim “The Monk” Miller has come up with a great practice aid that can send your pool-shooting proficiency through the roof. It’s a “card” game called Performance Pool.

For more info, visit my websites…
Pool For Beginners
Pool and Pocket Billiards Resource

The game consists of 52 cards with different pool shots on them. Each card is assigned a value – 5, 10, 15, 20, or 25 points. Each player gets seven cards.

You setup the shot shown on the card and attempt to make it on the pool table. If you make it you get the allotted number of points. If you miss, you get zero points. Each shot can be attempted twice.

The player with the highest score wins after going through all seven cards. A match can be set up to be the best four out of seven games or something similar.

performance pool

There are some other rules to the game, such as the ability to trade cards with your opponent and such. To see them all, look here. There is a score card available that Tim will send you if you visit the site and send him an email.

It’s pretty obvious that Performance Pool could be a fantastic way of spicing up your practice sessions on the pool table. Besides being a challenging game in itself, this will help you learn some new shots and develop your position playing to a high degree.

Many of the shots involve two object balls, and require you to develop your english and cue ball positioning skills to be the most successful. Other cards help develop your ability to make a safe leave efficiently.

The game is available as a deck of cards with a different shot on each one. If you go to this page, you can see what the cards look like, read a short explanation of how to make the shot, and click a link where you can see a short video of Tim Miller demonstrating the shot. This is a very valuable aid and really makes it clear how to best make the shot on the card.

To get your own deck of Performance Pool playing cards for the special Pool and Pocket Billiards Resource price of $14.95, click here.

Make a Conscious Intention to Play Better Pool

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Make a Conscious Intention to Play Better Pool

By Ernie Reynolds

I firmly believe that pool is a very mental game. If you have the right attitude and state of mind, you will definitely play better.

Being a student of metaphysics and spirituality, I decided to try a little experiment for my usual Friday night pool session with my brother. We are pretty closely matched in terms of pool-shooting ability. I wanted to see if I could mentally cause myself to shoot better than him for a session.

For more info, visit my websites…
Pool For Beginners
Pool and Pocket Billiards Resource

Knowing that the mind is most susceptible to suggestion when first waking in the morning, before I got up I told myself that I intended to shoot excellent pool that night and win most of the pool games. I did this several times and mentally pictured myself winning most of the matches. It only took a minute or two and then I forgot about it and went about my day.

I got to the pool hall before my brother Friday night and proceeded to warm up by shooting some balls in. I got the urge to shoot bank shots and only shot those for a while. To my amazement, many of the banks were actually going in. I was making many more successful bank shots than normal, and I was doing so nearly effortlessly.

When my brother arrived and we were playing our usual 8-ball games, I began winning most of the games. Not only was I playing pretty well, but my brother seemed to be missing some easy shots and leaving me nice, easy leaves. I wasn’t trying any harder than normal, but I was winning more games. And, I was having more fun because I was winning.

It was kind of spooky to see how the games were turning out. Needless to say my brother wasn’t too happy about how the evening was progressing, and I didn’t tell him of my intentions from the morning. I just kept winning most of the games.

Naturally I intend to keep using this mental ability to win more pool games in the future. I don’t understand all the reasons why this conscious intention-making works, but I do know that it does, and it has worked in other areas of my life as well. It is a very quick and painless thing to do, but it can really work wonders in your life.

I challenge all pool players to try this conscious intention-making to improve their pool-playing. It certainly can’t hurt, and may instead have a very noticeable positive effect on the amount of games you win.

When you wake up on a day that you know you will be playing pool, take a minute or two to mentally intend to play excellent pool and win more games on that day. Mentally picture yourself making great shots and winning a lot of games. Do this with some seriousness and believe that it will happen. And then forget about it.

That day or night when you play your pool games, take mental note of how you are playing, and see if your abilities have improved any. I’ll be willing to bet that your playing will have gone up a notch or two.

I’d be very interested to learn if this conscious intending has a similar effect on other players. Leave a comment on the blog if you found this technique to be of use, or just some woo-woo hocus pocus. I’d appreciate it.

Play Like a Machine

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Play Like a Machine

By Ernie Reynolds

One of the things I have always struggled with in my pool game was consistency. Some days I played like a pro, while other days I missed easy shots. More than once I wished that I could “play like a machine”.

A machine doesn’t have good days and bad days. Getting yelled at at work and being in a bad mood doesn’t happen to a machine. A machine either works or it doesn’t. And when it’s working, it gives consistent results.

The following video made me think the first time I saw it. The first part shows a pool-shooting machine called Deep Green. It doesn’t miss easy shots. It doesn’t have bad days. It plays like a machine.

Because it plays like a machine, it kind of takes the fun out of the game. How much fun would it be to play an opponent who never misses?

It’s kind of like playing horseshoes with my father. My father plays horseshoes like a machine. It seems like he hardly ever misses getting a ringer on each shot, and when he does, he gets mad at himself. It’s no fun playing him.

The old saying comes to mind – “Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.” If I played pool as well as that machine, how much fun would it be to play a game with me?

I have run into this type of thing before. If I am having a particularly good night on the pool table at the local bar and have beat all comers, no one wants to play me any more. I can’t buy a game.

If I played in tournaments often this might be a good thing. However, I usually only play for fun and never for money. I enjoy the game too much to turn it into a semi-job.

So, I guess I’m like the typical human being. I want something, and when I get it, I decide I didn’t really want it in the first place. I want what I had before. Screwy logic huh?

Anyways, even though this pool-playing machine kind of weirded me out, I can admire it for what it is and appreciate the builder’s ability to produce it. It’s just a really neat toy.

The second part of the video shows what is called “augmented reality” pool. The lines on the table show you where the object and cue balls will go depending on your aim on the shot. This looks remarkably like some of those online pool games you can find on the web.

This system would be a tremendous help in learning banks and angles on the pool table. A few months with this baby and I think anyone would have a much better eye for making cut and bank shots. It really lays out the shot nicely for you.

I would be interested to hear what other people think about this video. Leave a comment and tell me what you think.