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Found the secret to get in the Zone ;) secret revealed

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  • Found the secret to get in the Zone ;) secret revealed

    Hello everyone,

    I am writing this post just to share something that has helped me the most in my journey of learning and improvement in the game of snooker. I am still learning - 27 career fifties - not even single 70. I just break down in fifties well anyway...

    While developing a solid technique and then trusting in it and practicing it is the way to go and one can't ever achieve any progress without that yet there is another thing that helps you move in the zone, as they call it, however one thing to note is that it won't always work for the zone comes on its own only when you are not thinking about it. If you want to be in the zone well you will never be there and it only comes to you when you are not thinking about being there. Crazy as it sounds- here is what helped me improve my performance and overall enjoyment of the game.

    I one had a conversation with Steve (Vmax) and he advised me to keep my eyes locked on the Back of the Ball (BOB) on the very moment of strike as that is what really helps a lot in consistent potting. Well I thought to myself that that is what I always do but anyway I went to the practice table and took a few blacks off their spot half ball and kept BOB in mind. After thinking about it while doing it, it just dawned upon me... We are not always concentrated on BOB even when we think we are. We are just looking at it, as Steve would call it, looking at thin air, and that doesn't help. When I concentrate on the BOB properly on every shot at the moment of strike I can see those tiny scratches on the balls, the tiny bit of chalk etc which never happens otherwise.

    This made me slow down in my technique as I am 44 now so my eyes take a bit longer to focus and so I introduced a bit of a longer back pause to give tie to my eyes to focus on BOB as I strike. I move my eyes from cue ball to BOB on the start of back swing and keep em there on back pause and keep em there on final strike. Gives me enough time to concentrate on BOB and make sure I am looking at the BOB potting point while I strike and wallah once I do that I almost always pot those short to medium range ones easily with consistency.. Yes this breaks on a bit of a difficult shot, someone shouting on another table at the time of my strike, someone opening the door or even bottle of soda etc.

    Another thing here is that sometimes what goes in my mind also distracts me from BOB on strike (lets call it BOBOS) my inner thoughts do disturb me as they do like being tired having a unsorted problem at home or work miss anxiety lack of confidence in a particular shot etc .. Everything plays in the head and yes worrying about position too and other things. The other day I played with BOBOS in mind and found the trick that worked like magic but its too hard ot achieve. I achieved it then but not again. Not easy. Now I know why professionals can repeat it because they aren't playing they are at work they are in their office for their job so... Anyway I will revel it hereunder:

    The only thing that worked for me is - while playing I suddenly fell in love with the game, the sound of the balls and cue tip became the only sound I wanted to hear as I did my BOBOS I was concentrated on the BOBOS and literally and I repeat literally nothing else in mind like the purpose of my life was to play this game to pot the ball as that was the only literally only objective in my life as if nothing else mattered. And suddenly I made a nice little break in 40s opened cluster took a ball off cushion too dead roll I mean what was it that I could not do I was everywhere at the table all other sounds and noises vanished in fact all my mates around the table were talking but I could not hear them they started mumbling and their voices submerged, where, I know not; people came in went out opened the door coughed but I was literally not able to hear a single sound except for the balls and tip which I was loving and then in 40 odd a thought came in mind ... this is what they call the zone- I am in the zone I smiled briefly went down and missed

    How do I get in there again where all I want to do in my life is to pot the ball in front of me ... I can't ... but the only clue is BOBOS so as much as you miss keep doing BOBOS and it will come to you at some point - a point where you are a goof yes goof meaning you have literally no thought in mind ... literally no thought .. not even Dell Hill's dummy not even Terry Davidson's sweet thought ... nothing and in that nothingness appears magic. Everything happens automatically the position the walk the shot power decision where to strike on CB etc all are mechanised and within that flow of time and space you are one with your cue ..

    Not going to happen all the time I know but I have started enjoying myself after a break. MY old mates here know how fussy I was with technique how agonised and in despair I have been ... I will enjoy the fruit for as long as it lasts now. Happy snookering everyone and remember it is BOBOS and nothing else that is the holy grail the only key that would unlock the doors to success progress and improvement. Now I know, solid technique, confidence and self-belief are merely prerequisites and BOBOS is the golden key.


    Hmmmm got the rust off my fingers and did some writing after long.
    Love ya all.
    "I am still endeavouring to meet someone funnier than my life" - Q. M. Sidd

  • #2
    So easy to break free of the zone Sidd, like you said as soon as you think you're in it then you're out. Just remember to look and keep that as Terry's one swing thought. I'm playing tonight and will try and fail except for my usual five minutes when I can't miss
    Speak up, you've got to speak up against the madness, you've got speak your mind if you dare
    but don't try to get yourself elected, for if you do you'll have to cut your hair

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    • #3
      Originally Posted by vmax View Post
      So easy to break free of the zone Sidd, like you said as soon as you think you're in it then you're out. Just remember to look and keep that as Terry's one swing thought. I'm playing tonight and will try and fail except for my usual five minutes when I can't miss
      So true. And wishing your five mins to be 15 tonight !!!
      "I am still endeavouring to meet someone funnier than my life" - Q. M. Sidd

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      • #4
        Yes it's definitely the holy grail, recently I watched a Steve Barton video on YouTube (can't remember what one now) where Steve actually said himself he plays his best when he's thinking of almost nothing at all and it all just happens. There is no real magic as we all know, it's thousands of practice hours working on our game that have to somehow become part of our subconscious and just work instinctively while we concentrate on shot choice and position. BOB is a great way to fully focus your mind.
        No cheap shots...well maybe the odd one if its funny...

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        • #5
          BOB! maybe that's the missing ingredient and not the countless others including the many gimmicks I've tried!

          Concentration hurts and I find it impossible with elements of ADHD that linger in me. That 'blank' mind in the zone is euphoric but so elusive! I can hardly pot a ball at times and then realise, I'm on a 40 and boom - there she goes, gone!

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          • #6
            The problem is a we get older our minds get full of sh1t over the years ,the seeds of doubt are never far away ,that’s why starting doing things at a young age ,golf ,guitar ,snooker etc whatever , it becomes easy with no scare tissue and rubbish floating around In your head . Learning and playing is easy ,trying to find a way to empty years of crap in your mind gets harder as you get older ,the fear of defeat and failure is never far away .

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally Posted by mikee View Post
              The problem is a we get older our minds get full of sh1t over the years ,the seeds of doubt are never far away ,that’s why starting doing things at a young age ,golf ,guitar ,snooker etc whatever , it becomes easy with no scare tissue and rubbish floating around In your head . Learning and playing is easy ,trying to find a way to empty years of crap in your mind gets harder as you get older ,the fear of defeat and failure is never far away .
              Very right. Yes it is what it is and it is how it is. Our job then is to find that vacuum of nothingness- easier said than done- I have no idea really but I think this is exactly what Steve Peters did to Ron !!!
              "I am still endeavouring to meet someone funnier than my life" - Q. M. Sidd

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              • #8
                Originally Posted by NonStarter View Post
                BOB! maybe that's the missing ingredient and not the countless others including the many gimmicks I've tried!

                Concentration hurts and I find it impossible with elements of ADHD that linger in me. That 'blank' mind in the zone is euphoric but so elusive! I can hardly pot a ball at times and then realise, I'm on a 40 and boom - there she goes, gone!
                Same as me... Why do I have 27 50s and not even single 70 ... well whenever I make a fifty I can't help beat that feeling of accomplishment that tells me its done and I loose focus same happens in 40 odds. A mate once said you target a fifty that's why you break in 40s set a target of 100 and you'd start breaking in 70 or 80 but well can't afford the practice time so I am happy with whatever I have and keep enjoying the challenge, which shall never end.

                But you should aim at 80 to break at 60 and so on best of luck !
                "I am still endeavouring to meet someone funnier than my life" - Q. M. Sidd

                Comment


                • #9
                  Most of us simply don't play enough, you can't expect it to happen if you only play once a week or less, like me. last time I played I played great but that was two weeks ago, last night it simply didn't happen. Some great pots, and that's a given as me and my mate don't play safe, but stringing anything together was beyond both of us. As we don't play safe our misses are all over the table, reds on cushions and every colour off it's spot come to the end of the frame and any pro would find it almost impossible to clean up in one hit let alone we two.
                  We must play more safety and keep the balls where they should be, but try telling that to Tony Our ambition outweighs our talent far too often.
                  Speak up, you've got to speak up against the madness, you've got speak your mind if you dare
                  but don't try to get yourself elected, for if you do you'll have to cut your hair

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally Posted by vmax View Post
                    Most of us simply don't play enough, you can't expect it to happen if you only play once a week or less, like me. last time I played I played great but that was two weeks ago, last night it simply didn't happen. Some great pots, and that's a given as me and my mate don't play safe, but stringing anything together was beyond both of us. As we don't play safe our misses are all over the table, reds on cushions and every colour off it's spot come to the end of the frame and any pro would find it almost impossible to clean up in one hit let alone we two.
                    We must play more safety and keep the balls where they should be, but try telling that to Tony Our ambition outweighs our talent far too often.
                    agreed my dear.
                    "I am still endeavouring to meet someone funnier than my life" - Q. M. Sidd

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think getting in the zone is to stick with your routine. Not Only PSR, the whole routine around table . Every aspect from the moment you approach the shot to see ball going in pocket. Everything followed within habit of best way to pot a ball in your practice. In that way, you only concentrate the job on hands, which is what you would do in your ingrained habit, rather than every thoughts else.

                      On several occasion, Noppon saengkham had that feeling in championship league, which explains his good results. For top dogs, they just fully leave it to their habit, not even thinking about it.

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                      • #12
                        That's interesting. I spent a long time in my youth doing martial arts and I'd frequently get this. I did it for so long, I can pretty much do it at will nowadays.

                        I think it's a combination of two things, unconsious competence (where you've practised enough that your body has the muscle memory to automatically do the actions), and intense focus.

                        I find that if I put myself in a relaxed, but ready state, just before the action, it comes pretty easily.

                        It might sound daft, but I found meditation can help with control over intrusive thoughts, as can regulating my breathing.

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