The Institute of Billiard Sciences
Concord, New Hampshire
Dealing with Missed Shots
by Ken Tewksbury, Master Instructor
Last updated on September 2, 2000. Created February 28, 2000.
No matter how well you perform the various skills that go into making up a well rounded pool game, the bottom line remains the same: you've got to consistently put balls in to the pocket. There are valid reasons missing balls, which have to do with areas of skill that you may not as yet fully developed.
And regardless of how well you play, you still miss shots sometimes that have reasonably high degree of difficulty. The first step in reducing missed shots is to pinpoint the reason/s why they happened. Then you need to apply the appropriate cure. When you no longer have any reasons for missing balls, then you won't miss nearly as much.
You'll discover most of your misses' result from a temporary lack of confidence. You must avoid having one miss quickly lead to another as this can cause you to doubt your ability. A downward spiral can result. When you miss, ask yourself why? Then make the necessary adjustments and move on. Put the miss behind you. As your game improves even further, your misses will appear as infrequent and isolated events.
Most of your errant shots will result from a temporary lapse in concentration or because the shot was just plain difficult. While you are competing, learn to expect a few bad shots every match. And when they pop up from time to time they won't throw you completely off course. Also realize that no single shot will cost you the match.
One final word on missing balls: try not to fall into the habit of making excuses for your missed shots. Excuses never change the outcome, although they may ease the pain of losing somewhat. Besides, when you tell others your excuses, they know that you are only shifting the responsibility from yourself to someone or something else….
CURES FOR MISSED SHOTS:
WHY YOU MISS:
YOUR STROKE MECHANICS ARE FAULTY.
YOUR AIM IS OFF.
BOTH STROKE AND AIM ARE OFF.
YOU ARE CARELESS.
THE SHOT WAS DIFFICULT.
BOTH OF THE ABOVE.
WORK ON YOUR SHOOTING ROUTINE.
WORK ON YOUR MENTAL GAME.
O.K. AS LONG AS YOU MISS CLOSES.
BEST OF LUCK TO YOU, Ken Tewksbury. Master Level Instructor