(S&D) Safety & Defense – Important Defense Principles

(About the author)

Safety Toolbox (Advanced)

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

When you are selecting a defensive shot from the many options available, you have one supreme goal and purpose:

Control the table by limiting your opponent’s options.

A defensive or safety shot is used when there is no direct way to win the game within your skills and capabilities. When the table layout provides no opportunities to advance, the smart player considers the alternatives available.

When playing a defensive shot, you are actually and literally in control of the table and your opponent’s opportunities. You decide what type of shot he gets when you let him come to the table. When using psychological warfare, this is how you make his life difficult.

To make the concept of “playing with intelligence” work, you must take responsibility for the entire table. This includes your shot choices (defensive and offensive), the results of every successful shot, the consequences of failure, and the table layouts. That’s a lot of continuous thinking, analysis, and decision making. If you don’t do it, you allow billiard god luck (chaos) to enter into your game.

You need to anticipate the consequences of failure and the consequences of success. This must be applied to your offensive and defensive efforts. To the degree you can envision, plan, and execute these intentions on purpose; that is the degree you own the table.

If this seems over-whelming, it isn’t. Assuming responsibility of the table can be done in small steps. Start with an offensive shot. You have two intentions – pocket the object ball and then get shape on the next ball. Start with that shot. Imagine the perfect results – play the shot to achieve that. Any failures indicate areas of your game that require improvement. Take those failures to the practice table.

The more you learn, the more the pool table becomes like a chess board. A move here and one or more opportunities are opened. A move there blocks your opponent. A wrong move and you hurt your chances of success. Shooting skills you will learn by simple repetition. It is the thinking that needs your attention. In any iffy situation, the decision (offensive or defensive) will reflect your analysis, experience with similar layouts, and your realistic ability to play the shot choices.

 

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