Awareness and Composure at the Table ~ by Tim”the Monk” Miller

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AWARENESS IS A SKILL

Awareness of a shot is not something to try to achieve. You don’t actively create awareness. It is a skill you possess. When you automatically know that you are in line with the shot you are in the awareness mode. When you know the stroke, once again, it is the awareness mode. Most importantly, you know you are going to make the shot. That knowledge comes from your awareness skills.

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Practice shooting without thinking but being aware of the dynamics of the shot. You cannot use the Pre Shot Routine to create awareness. You have to have awareness before you begin the Pre Shot Routine.

In the awareness mode there is no room for thinking. All thought is gone. What is left is the awareness that all is right.

The best exercise to build your awareness skills is found in Segment One Lesson One. This one lesson is worth more than the cost of the membership. It is the cross corner stop shot. When you sight, allow the assurance that you are in line to come to you. Then shoot with confidence.

There are many skills we must develop and work for to become the player that most of us want to be. You are not going to get a lesson in “Awareness skills” from your local instructor, yet, without Awareness skills, you will be hard pressed to run tables.

MASTERING COMPOSURE

Once you master composure your actions take on a different tone. In your daily life you will walk strong. Composure is not how you act, it is who you are. People often talk about how a composed person is strong in all situations.

Let it be said that you can’t act composed, you have to be composed and that takes practice. It takes specific practice. Be aware that you are working on composure. Act like a composed man or woman. That which you focus on you strengthen so in your next match be the master of composure.

Let’s look at a player who is not composed.

He says things like, “Man I hit that ball so good.” Yet he missed the shot by two inches. “Did you see that ball slide?” when he delivered a force follow stroke and did not adjust for it. “That happens to me every time. The ball rolls off. How do you play on a table like this?”

Those who lack composure are letting the conditions become bigger than they are. They are not competing; the conditions are in control of everything. He has given over control to the elements of the game.

“I always get blocked on shots like that” Players who lack composure like to use the word “always”. “Why does this always happen to me?”

When you tell your brain you always get bad rolls your brain will work hard to make sure that you get bad rolls. “I am so unlucky” will get the brain to work on you being unlucky. “On my table the cue ball doesn’t deflect near as much as this table”. Whatever the deflection is on any table, a composed person will adjust. He will not make excuses.

A non – composed person takes himself out of the game. The game and all the bad rolls become bigger than him and eventually destroy his mind and ability to compete.

We strengthen what we focus on. If you want to develop composure you must focus on it. One day my student was in a high stakes match and playing very well. At one to nothing he missed an easy nine ball. He could not hold back his negative tirade. Soon he found himself behind five to two. I told him he should forfeit the match and quit. He stopped talking and got it to five to four before his opponent slopped a seven ball in and was left with an easy run out to go on the hill.
My student started to cry about this. I told him he was still in the game. He had not lost yet. Focus on the chance you will get. The opponent broke dry and my student ran out and then broke and ran out again for the set.

I told him to forget about everything and trust his training. Shoot the shots like he did in the class, connect to the shot, land on the cue ball, set the cue tip on the cue ball in line and then the last thing to do is to zero in on the target and MAKE THE BALL. Do not worry about anything else. When you can focus on one shot only, you have become a composed person.

Composure allows you to perform. Lack of composure will take away your ability to perform.

Editor- Chris Freeman
Author- Tim”The Monk” Miller

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