You missed again—but by the end of this article, you’ll know how the dinosaurs can reduce that utterance in half. First, a metaphor:
You are an astronaut and you are in outer space. And there is this orange just floating there—maybe you are in the ship… maybe you are outside.
But the orange isn’t moving. So you grab it, and for whatever reason toss it away. As it floats away, spinning top over top, its direction is set. The only way its path can be shifted is if another outside force comes into play. Maybe a black hole.
The same thing is happening on the pool table. Not just after your cue makes contact and the ball starts rolling, but also as your arm is moving the stick towards the cue ball.
The challenge with delivering a straight stroke, is to keep the “orange” (your arm) from experience outside forces.
The muscles and kinetic sequences that propel your arm forward are complicated. You are not a robot. So when you set your arm in motion, all the tension and subconscious yips can set your path astray. Pool is not a game of inches, it’s not a game of centimeters, it’s not a game of millimeters... Pool is a game of micro and nanometers.
Why? Because if you your tip angles off just one millimeter, for every millimeter the ball rolls, it will veer another millimeter off its original line.
How big is a cue ball?
2 ¼ Inches. 57.15 mm.
How big is the average pool table?
108 Inches. 2743 mm.
If you deliver your shot just 1 mm off angle, you won’t miss by just a millimeter, you’ll miss by several feet!
Now what can you do about that? I’ll tell you what worked for a buddy of mine.
I had a friend who was not that good at pool. When I was hungry and cheap, I would call him up and go play pool with him, because I knew drinks and food would be on him by the time our match was over. And he wasn’t just bad at pool; he was bad at every other sport I can imagine. And I used to think it was just because he was really uncoordinated and goofy.
Then one day, another pool player—much better than myself at the time, gave him some advice. He said, “I have never seen someone so unstable. You need to think ‘Statue’ when you are shooting.”
Instantly he was 1000x better. (And making my job a lot harder in the process)
Now you might be thinking, Oh that’s not me I’m stable when I play. Or, my stance is fine that won’t help.
But remember what I said before, you might think you are relatively stable when you get down and shoot, but pool isn’t a game of millimeters—its less.
You need to be an ice sculpture. A stone statue.
What’s the secret? When you get down you need to have a code word you tell yourself to remind yourself that.
“T-Rex,” maybe? Ever see the movie Jurassic Park? Remember this scene at 2:30?