What did this week look like for me? Lots of federal taxes, state taxes, and loads of unpaid overtime at work. But hey, that was the GOOD part of this week. The BAD part? Not a single day of pool practice!! I did, however, play in a 9 ball tournament on Wednesday night. I didn’t win the tournament, but I did play pretty well. On Thursday, I spent a little time collecting some thoughts about my performance, and put together a list of what’s working and not working. Here’s the list:
What was working well:
– Shooting natural routes and staying in line on most shots
– Mid and long range kicks
– Mid and long range banks
– Mid and short range very tough cut shots (near 90 degrees)
– Long and Mid distance safeties
– Combinations (2 for 2)
– Break shots (Made the 9 on the break 3/13 breaks!)
What was not working well:
– Short (acute angle) kicks
– Short (acute angle) banks
– Long range reverse cuts ~ half ball hits (CB hits the right side of the OB)
– Very long range tough cuts (~80 degrees: missed 3 of 4 shots)
– Scratched the cue ball in the side pocket 4 innings in a row! (I bet I couldn’t do that again if I tried!)
Tournament Summary: Most games started with safety battles to get control of the table. Due to all the practice I put in over the last couple of weeks on banks and kicks (mostly kicks), I was able to play this part of the game pretty effectively. I still missed some small angle kicks, but I was pretty pleased with my mid and long distance kicks.
In my first match, I somehow managed to scratch in the same side pocket 4 innings in a row. That was pretty unbelieveable. Eventually, my opponent got to the hill 3 games before me. On the hill, he broke and didn’t make anything. I hit a table length 1-9 bank combo for the win. (I’ll diagram that one tomorrow!) On the next rack, I broke and made the 9 on the break. Then we were hill-hill. On my next break, I made a ball, could see the 1 ball, and ran the table for the win. Wahoooo!
What’s next? Overall, I was very happy with my progress on banks and kicks. It made my early game play much stronger, but I still have a lot of work to do. I’m planning to spend the next two weeks working on nothing but kicks, banks, and safeties. These are the tools that allow you to fight through the initial battles to control the table, and can earn you ball in hand, which often leads to wins.