(This is today’s bit of advice from the book Safety Toolbox.)
This is an execution routine. It uses a lot of intentional analysis. In terms of value to your overall growth, incorporating this process into your shooting routine will stabilize your pre-shot routine. Replace your old routine with this one and you will see some immediate improvements in your shooting results. Use this in both offensive and defensive shooting efforts. Selecting the shot is not part of this process.
The process requires that you divide up your routine into discrete steps, each which requires due attention and focus. You are throwing away an automatic routine and replacing it with a deliberate process.
This requires a change in your playing style. No longer can you see a shot, casually plunk down, and fire off it off. Your growth in the game will expand when you realize that each and every shot is important and deserves proper attention. The current shot is all you have. It deserves serious analysis and careful execution.
This routine will increase your level of alertness. When you “think it through”, the steps ensure and guarantee a consistent shooting execution program. You know it is trustworthy and dependable. The more you work with it, the more your fantasy coincides with reality. It develops trust and faith in your mental pictures.
After the shot is selected, follow these steps exactly. Perform each step in full before proceeding to the next. This will require several thousand intentional efforts before it becomes automatic.
- Create a mental picture of the perfect results. This includes every planned ball movement. Do NOT skip this step and try to wing it. Determine which balls will move and where they
- Envision the path of each ball to be moved and how far it is to This includes caroms, angles, combinations, double-kisses, and rail contacts.
- Calculate the energies necessary for the stroke to match those paths. It is critical to know the division of energy transfers, and the angles the balls are contacted.
- Get into your shooting stance and make yourself stable and Bring your mind under control and put your attention on the shot.
- Mentally shoot the shot several times. Envision the execution and the results.
- When you are sure that you have figured out all of the consequences, trigger the shot. This is where your fantasy hits reality. There are no take-backs.
- Observe the results.Track all of the moving balls.
- Walk through the shot in your memory. Compare what you were expecting to what actually happened.
- On anything less than true perfection, identify any point where the calculations were incorrect. Determine what exactly caused it.
- Mentally re-shoot the shot with the correction(s).This overlays the error with what you should have done.
- Vow to never, ever to repeat any mistake(s). This may not get immediate results, but will become true after about the 50th time you make this vow.
Any failure of your fundamentals can create a breakdown. This includes body position, mental attitude, execution, or any combination of dozens of such problems. This is why your post-shot routine must include an analysis of the results and what failed. Identifying what went wrong and doing the mental “fix” is the only way that leads to consistent improvement.
Be conscientious in applying this entire shooting and post-shot routine for several months. This automates an attitude of watchful awareness that is so necessary to constant and continuous improvements.