Today I established a dashboard to monitor my efforts as I improve my pool playing skills and transition from amateur to professional pool player. My current training program is modeled after the approach presented by Bob Henning in his fantastic book, “The Pro Book.” In his book Bob presents 16 basic shots and some variations of each shot which total around 124 shots. My plan is to master five shots per week over the next six months. I figure if I master all of these shots, my skill level will have increased to somewhere near the pro level. “Mastering” a shot means being able to successfully execute the shot 80% of the time on demand. If you’d like to track my progress, just click on “The Scoreboard” tab located at the top of my home page. The due date that I have established for mastering all 124 shots is August 31, 2010.
To enhance my training efforts, I will also be incorporating the concepts presented by Daniel Coyle in his book, “The Talent Code.” Some of the key concepts from Daniel’s book related to training and putting yourself into the sweet spot to gain maximum return on effort include:
1) Isolating an action. Can you describe the shot you’re trying to learn in five seconds or less? If not, break the shot down into components and study each separately, such as: a) visualizing and planning the shot, b) getting into position, c) stroking, d) shooting. Also, it is important to have a precise, HD-quality mental image of yourself performing the desired skill in your head before you shoot!
2) Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. You should be making, and fixing, mistakes. Also, you should be varying the speed of your shooting routine: slow, super-slow, and fast (or normal).
3) Combining the individual components into a fluent performance. You should be zooming in and out, isolating your attention on each component, then seeing how it all fits together in the larger picture.
For more information on maximizing your training efforts and learning the secrets to achieving world class performance, visit Daniel’s excellent blog here.