Now that I’ve had a couple days to rest up from the California Pool Players Tour tournament this weekend at Surf City Billiards in Santa Cruz, it’s time for me to go over the notes that I recorded between matches. My objective here is to review the things that were not working well and develop an action plan for improvement. Overall, I thought I played well; however, there were times when my performance was dismal. For example, as hard as it may be to believe, there was one shot that kept coming up over and over again. Take a look at the shot in the picture below. This exact shot came up an astounding 6 times over two matches. Just in case you missed it, let me repeat that again. This EXACT SAME SHOT came up 6 times!! Yes, you read that correctly. In the first five instances I was able to make the 8 ball, but failed to get proper position on the 9. Two of those five times, I successfully executed a very difficult cut on the 9, but three times I sold out and gave the game away to my opponent.
Take a look again at the layout in the picture. This is the actual layout from my final match with Diego Lona. I was so flabbergasted that the shot showed up again (for the 6th time), that I stopped playing, pulled out my camera, and took a couple pictures to capture the moment. Diego probably thought I was a nut. (Maybe he’s right!) This time, I hit the eight and got perfect position on the nine for the win. This shot, and slight variations of it, will be on my practice agenda for the next couple of weeks.
Here’s the final list of items that I need to work on over the next month:
1. Eight ball in the jaws shot with position on the Nine
2. Shooting off the rail (and it’s corollary: never leaving a cue ball on the rail)
4. Kicks (1 and 2 rail)
5. Visualization (ghost ball resting spot / aiming point)
6. Returning to the middle of the table after a shot
7. Straight stroking (following through to a point on the cloth)
8. Power draw shots