(This is today's bit of advice from the book Safety Toolbox.)
The mindset matrix is used to calculate when to use an offensive or defensive approach for the current shooting situation. It is a tool, easy and simple to apply. When used constantly, shooting decisions are wiser, more thoughtful, and even enlightened. The tool results in improved chances of winning games and matches.
The mindset matrix consists of a decision breakpoint where you decide which of the two mindsets (defensive or offensive) you will use for the shot. This is all done before you consider how to play the shot.
- Decision breakpoint – this is the dividing line that determines what you are going to do on your shot. This is a sliding scale. Adjust your decision based on your opponent's abilities and your confidence level. Depending on circumstances, you can play full offensive, full defensive, or the in-between choice, the two-way shot. Adjust your decision based on what you can do and your opponent's abilities.
- Offensive mindset is used to go for the win. Every shot is made with the assumption that you can be successful.
- Pocketing skill level – personal estimate of making the target object ball. (50% means it can be made five times out of ten.)
- Positioning skill level – chances of getting the cue ball into position for the next shot.
- Defensive mindset begins thoughtful analysis of the many ways you can prevent your opponent from playing more than one or two shots before he turns the table back to you. Every possibility must consider:
- Opponent’s pocketing and positioning skill level - chances he can do something with the layout.
- Your implementation skills for each of the possible safeties considered – your chances of achieving the intended defensive shot.