Your Reward Is On The Way…
Sometimes I wonder how amateur players feel about working on their fundamentals.
Do they enjoy working on them, or is it a labor that is just too time consuming and too hard to see the results? Then I realize that how on earth can they enjoy working on fundamentals when good information is so hard to find in the first place…
But for now lets say an aspiring player has good information in their hands about fundamentals, or a good teacher to work with. Will they have the stick ability and focus to continually mold themselves until everything starts to click? To quote the great boxing trainer Freddie Roach, “It aint easy!” Even for a guy like me whose living in large part is based on performance on the table, it is no piece of cake to master the basics. Even with a lot of time devoted to mastery of the craft.. it’s a lot of work to get it right!
And sometimes the results come slowly… or there seems to be a backward slide that could last hours, days, weeks or more. Or sometimes there are the occasional strings of great shot only followed by a miss that was off a diamond, or two!
I can say this, you’ve got to love the process. you’ve got to also feel it is coming to you, the mastery of the game. You can’t listen to the negative words of negative people. You have to think like a champion, train like a champion, and expect to accomplish your goals the way a champion would. In essence, you have got to become a champion!
Lately I’ve been making some slight changes in my alignment and stroke, plus increasing my control and feel in my grip… this has not been easy or fast, and in a sense it’s a leap of faith because I have to trust my learning, my instincts, and my ability to analyze other great players to find useful nuggets that could add to my ability. I’ve been experiencing some marvelous shot making moments… in between some awful misses, and then back to some nice moments, all the while continually guiding myself into what I am trying to accomplish… which is basically committing to and mastering a new(ish) movement.
Last night I revisited the thrill of the harvest. There really were no bad shots. It all came together in a way that not only worked but transcended the sum of the parts that went into making an effective pool shooting machine. In the past I may have called it the zone but now that would be too easy. It was no accident. I did the work. I stuck to it. I expected success.
And there is the lesson. Work your ass off to perfect a technique with unwavering persistence, and you will be rewarded. Even in the face of sending balls FedEx into the rails…persist. Demand of yourself that you get it, and you get it right. When you miss a shot badly and someone laughs or scoffs at the pool hall, crack a smile from the side of your mouth and wink at them and say to them in your mind “go ahead jerky, keep laughing, you’ve got a high speed train on the table coming your way.” And then breath, and get back to work on your game.
The reward is making everything you look at and walking the cue ball around the table like it is a perfectly trained prize show dog, loyal to it’s master… who is you.
Happy Shooting, and Happy Holidays!