(S&D) Safety & Defense - How to Use the Mindset Matrix

(About the author)

Safety Toolbox (Advanced)

(This is today's bit of advice from the book Safety Toolbox.)

Based on the table layout, you can usually reach an immediate decision whether to play an offensive shot or start figuring out defensive choices. If you can't quickly decide which intention to use, default to the defensive mindset.

Applying the decision breakpoint

The following considerations play a factor in your decisions. This can change depending on other factors. If the match is very important, you would crank up the numbers 5, 10, even 15% higher.

  • Against lesser players, go offensive with a lower percentage of success. For example, a 50% shot number and a 60% positioning number could be used to play offensive mindset. Anything less than these two numbers would apply the defensive mindset.
  • Against an equally skilled player, a 60% shot number and a 50% positioning number could default to the offensive mindset. If either number was smaller, go with the defensive mindset.
  • Against better players, a 70-80% shot number and a 65-70% positioning number could default to the offensive mindset. Less numbers would use the defensive mindset.

Offensive matrix

This is the mindset you are most familiar with using. Here is an overview of the process:

  1. Select the target ball to be pocketed. (If multiple balls (in 8 Ball), apply this procedure to each ball.)
  2. What are the chances of making the object ball? Be brutally honest. You are not doing yourself any favors by over-estimating.

If acceptable, go to the next step.
If not, consider a defensive shot.

  1. What are the chances of getting shape for the next ball in a pattern? (If multiple possibilities, consider shape for each.)

If not feasible, consider a defensive shot.
If acceptable, go to next step.

  1. Mentally plan an offensive pattern. When ready, proceed.

At any time when you feel that the chances of success are less possible, consider the options in Two-way shots (on page 129 in the book).

Defensive matrix

The complexity of the game is maximized when considering defensive options. For that shot, you must evaluate the possibilities and consequences of dozens and hundreds of shooting choices. It does get easier the more experience you have in playing safeties.

There is no basic procedure or process in deciding how to play a defensive shot. The decision is made mainly by evaluation of the different shots against a series of conditions. Here are bullet points that help:

  • Allow for your opponent’s skill level.
  • Allow for your skill level.
  • Does the table layout suggest ideas?
  • Consider possibilities that you have already practiced.
  • Reduce or eliminate billiard god luck (chaos).
  • Simple is always better.
  • Slower speeds are better, higher speeds can kill.
  • Any helper balls around?
  • Select large target areas. (It is easy to get a ball into a two-square diamond area, harder to get it a quarter diamond square.)
  • Work up in complexity from one-rail to two-rail to three-rail until you are beyond your ability to execute.
  • If confused, backtrack to the simpler or easier shots.

Summary

Given various circumstances, modify the numbers. The key to making this matrix a success is reality-based expectations. Smart choices keep the table under control. Careless choices reduce the chances of winning.

Overestimating your competence is just plain being stupid. Fortunately, reality has a way of correcting such mental mistakes. You want your opponent to overestimate his skills. It doesn’t hurt to compliment him when he is successful on a lower percentage shot. They might help him decide to try more of the chancy situations.

You may not lose because of one poor mindset decision, but you open the opportunity for billiard god luck (chaos) to enter your game. You want chaos to be common for your opponent, not for you. As long as you are calm and logical, the matrix increases your wins.

 

Buy the book – Help your opponent lose!!

The FAQs of Pool & Pocket Billiards


Get the Book!! $12.00

book-PDF PDF book (good for smart devices)
(Includes my Money-back Guarantee)

book-red Printed book
Recent Useful Posts

(DCV) Dr. Cue Video - APA Lesson 76: 4 Cushion Kick System (Standard Track Line)

(About the author of the Billiard Gods books) Here's a 4-rail kick system that can, someday, save your match. Even though ...

Read More

(PV) Pool Video - Learn to Jump Balls (2 of 2) - Pool / Billiards

(About the author of the Billiard Gods books) Howdy folks, here is this week's Cool Pool Learning Video. This video is created by ...

Read More

(D&E) Drills & Exercises - Long Table Kicks, Set 1 of 4

(About the Author) This progressive exercise to improve your shooting skills is in the book Drills & Exercises for Pool & ...

Read More

BSC Test Group - Large Area Maneuvers, Set 2 of 6 (Intermediate)

(BSC) Billiard Skills Challenge - Large Area Maneuvers (Advanced)

(About the Author) This is from the Large Area Maneuvers (Advanced) Test Groups. Your ability to run out these table layouts will ...

Read More

Drills & Exercises - Precision Skills (progressive) - OB Back, Long Table sets

(D&E) Drills & Exercises (precision) - OB Rail & Back: Long Table sets

(About the Author) This progressive exercise to improve your shooting skills is in the book Drills & Exercises for Pool & ...

Read More

(DCV) Dr. Cue Video - APA Lesson 75: 3 Cushion Kick System (Short Track Line to Side)!

(About the author of the Billiard Gods books) The previous 3-cushion systems were for full "round the world" kicks. Here's the ...

Read More

(PV) Pool VIdeo - Learn to Jump Balls (1 of 2) - Pool / Billiards

(About the author of the Billiard Gods books) Howdy folks, here is this week's Cool Pool Learning Video. This video is created by ...

Read More

(S&D) Safety & Defense - Two-Way Shot Tactics

(About the author) (This is today's bit of advice from the book Safety Toolbox.) When a shot is at the edges of ...

Read More

S&D Temptation Shot Tactics

(S&D) Safety & Defense - Temptation Shot Tactics

(About the author) (This is today's bit of advice from the book Safety Toolbox.) When your opponent's chaos zone has been defined, ...

Read More

(DCV) Dr. Cue Video - APA Lesson 74: 3 Cushion Kick System (Spot on the Wall!)

(About the author of the Billiard Gods books) Ever heard of "Spot on the Wall" kicking system? This is used a ...

Read More

(PV) Pool VIdeo - Billiards: English : What is Reverse English in Pool?

(About the author of the Billiard Gods books) Howdy folks, here is this week's Cool Pool Learning Video. Check out the ...

Read More