It’s been a couple weeks since the tournament, and I’ve had time to reflect on things that were working and things that were not. What follows is an analysis of my game, based on results from the tournament.
What is working
1. Route selection – Overall, I’m selecting good routes. Throughout the tournament, I believe I consistently chose the best routes. Shot execution was sometimes lacking, but the routes were almost always correct.
2. Distance control – Again, overall my distance control was pretty good, except on the next to last shot in my match with Max Eberle.
3. Long safeties – My long distance safeties were working pretty well. I should incorporate more long distance safeties into my overall playing strategy.
What is not working
1. Bank shots, I missed 3 of 4 shots, including the last shot against Max. Ideally, if I play great position, I should almost never need to attempt a bank shot; since I’m not playing really great position, I guess I need for work on these.
2. Combinations, I missed 3 of 3 shots. Combinations are difficult, and they come up more often than I would like. Guess I need to practice them also.
3. Short safeties, I missed 3 of 4 shots. This cost me at least two games in the tournament. Definitively need to work on these.
Things I need to work on
1. At work: Did I mention that I now work for a company that has a pool table in the company fitness center? Whenever I have a few minutes between meetings, I swing by and work on the basics: Stance, Bridge, Stroke. I practice my approach to the table, approaching the shot down the line so that my body is in shooting position before I get into my shooting stance. The table is an eight foot table and it rolls a little funny, but that has no bearing on my ability to practice these fundamentals. I also take time to work on banks and combinations, since they primarily rely upon aiming skills, not distance skills, and are thus minimally affected by a table with funny rolls.
2. At California Billiards: I normally make it over to the CBC daily for about an hour. Before each practice session, I spend 10 minutes working on fundamentals: stance, bridge, stroke. Then I shoot drills. In future posts, I’ll outline some of the things that I’m working on.