IN MANY PAST ARTICLES, I’ve focused on the fundamental mechanics of playing solid pool. Much of the information I have given has been in the shape of principles as they relate to alignment, aiming, stroke, and mental effectiveness.

Hopefully, some of the ideas, tips, and “secrets” I have given you have provided benefit to your game.
The fact that we are all a little different in form and ability, and the fact that there are players who have success with many different styles proves that there is no ONE way of playing pool right. However, tried and true fundamentals hold up over time and under pressure, and one can often find benefit in working to make his own technique simpler, more effective, and to the point.

Usually, the proof is in the pudding. The litmus test of your game is in your results; the ability that you can consistently display and in the high points you can reach. Your low points or slumps are useful in showing you what could use improvement in your game.

So in this article, I will not teach you a new tip or secret; rather I will give you a list of questions for you to ask yourself that could help you assess the current state of your game, and help push you in the right direction to make intelligent improvements.

I’m sure you have heard that it can often be the questions we ask ourselves that help take us to the next level in anything we do. So I’ve created a list of questions for you that relate to different aspects of your pool game. If you cannot answer these questions off the top of your mind, just go to the table and find out the answers.

Maybe you will find that you are a pool virtuoso, or what you might need to improve on your path to becoming one. Challenge one of your pool room friends with these questions if you want. You can also add to this list of questions to further increase your awareness of yourself, and your relation to the many aspects of this game we call pool.

1. Can you find the contact point?
2. Can you find the aiming (stroking) line?
3. Can you set up your stance and stroke on the aiming line?
4. Can you adjust you aim accurately for throw and deflection?

1. Can you judge the correct amount of spin to get the cue ball going in the direction you want off of object balls, rails, or the flat bed of the table such as a curve shot?
2. Can you deliver the cue tip to the chosen spot on the cue ball?
3. Can you apply the spin effectively with your stroke?

FORCE (Speed)
Are you choosing a destination for the cue ball before you set your stance?
2. Can you judge your needed speed?
3. Can you execute the speed you have chosen?
Can you adjust to new equipment and changing playing conditions?

1. Can you deliver your cue (stroke) on the aiming line?
2. Can you hit the cue ball with no side spin?
3. Do you follow through?
4. Are you smooth?

1. Do your mechanics get the job done?
Does your body interfere with your stroke on your follow-through?
Are you in control of your body, or do you jump up during your stroke?
4. Are your bridges solid?

1. Do you plan your whole run out in advance?
2. Do you precisely plan your cue ball and object ball paths?
Do you always think at least two balls ahead of your current shot?
Do you know many different ways to achieve position from a singe shot?

1. Do you have positive self talk?
2. Do you play with confidence?
3. Do you always try 100% no matter what the score is?
Do you get down on yourself when you are playing bad, or just keep trying hard until you get your game back?
Do you put yourself in tough matches to expand your comfort zone?
Well, I hope you can find some of these questions useful on your path to self improvement in your pool game and also in life. Stay focused, enjoy the game, and keep making the next ball and playing position!

Copyright 2005 Max Eberle. All rights reserved.

One Response to “TAKING INVENTORY”

  • Your list of questions helped me to give thought to what it takes to make a shot and get position. The key to playing strong pool or just improving is a clear knowledge contained within the answers to these questions. Nice article. Thanks.

    BTW, Christmas day has been over for about 3 hours in the Philippines. I can tell you that Christmas this year will be great. lol. Have a good one
    .-= PoolBum´s last blog ..Pool Mastery: Focus On What You Want (video) =-.

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