Friday, July 17, 2009

Accuracy and Eye Movement

When I used to watch Steve Mizerak play great pool I was always struck by the volume of eye movement that he employed. Before setting up to the cue ball he would stand and visually align the shot and several eye shifts would always occur. Then he would bend over and set the cue tip up to the cue ball and visually confirm that the shot appeared accurate and true. This was not some superficial and cursory glance but rather his eyes would move slowly back and forth between the cue ball and the target. Prior to taking a practice swing and without any body movement simply his eyes would shift and his forehead would get these deep wrinkles as he would really examine the accuracy several times. This pattern was strict and would take place on all shots, in this exact manner, without variation. This pattern of care with the initial set up was uniform and choreographed and requires a little more work than someone would willingly put forth who is unaware of this extreme need.The addition of this degree of care and exactness translates to consistency through a disciplined repetitive approach. Be prepared to put forth more effort and energy than you ever dreamed was required for playing high performance pool, so now you have the secret of excellence.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Latest Discovery for Excellence

Recently much has been written about the 10,000 hour rule. What this rule states is that to become expert at any topic it requires 10,000 hours of focused effort. This requires more time and effort than the uninitiated amateur player realizes, as they hope for some immediate results or finding the secret that the pro's know and will not release to them. The secret to aiming for success with pocketing tough shots, how to consistently make bank shots, and using "english" for great position play. Apply yourself for 10,000 hours of serious effort and you will find the results that you desire, irrespective of your natural ability, hard work conquers all. What this all means is that great pool playing is a product of pool being your lifestyle not something to fill idle hours.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Class and style is how the Matchroom team conducts the business of running billiard events worldwide. The television presentation will be on Fox Sports in the U.S. The quality of the play will be as great as advertised, and equal to the production. I attended the event as an interested fan and also one of the commentators for the exciting event with the most unforgiving of formats, race to eight games, single elimination. Jim Wych and Phil Yates are the professional broadcasters that immediately accepted me and made me feel welcome into their world. Their expertise made me sound better and I must thank them both for the fun and understanding patience of my personal broadcasting deficiencies. Both of them are truly team players only interested in making the best event possible and not ego driven legends of the sport. The behind the scenes efforts of the entire production team is considerable in terms of detail, which you will notice on the telecasts of the fifteen matches to air. Please check out for more information, until next time, Mark

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Keep the Head and Body Still

I am always interested at how many professional players exhibit some body motion when attempting to deliver the pool cue to within a one millimeter point on the cue ball. This movement occurs when they feel pressure and are uncertain and nervous. Amateur players do this often but you might expect that from them, but pro players I would think are beyond faltering because of pressure. The point here for you is to be sure that when you feel nervous redouble the effort to remain still beyond the stroke delivery. The only movement is eye motion and the actual swing of the cue. The head and body must remain still to obtain supreme accuracy. Check on yourself when you feel the "heat" of battle and you will be playing better pool.

Friday, April 24, 2009

My New Cue

The most important thing about your pool cue is that you are totally pleased with the instrument that will become an extension of your arm. I am very picky about my cue and sensitive to any nicks or scuffs, I can even feel someone else's hand oil if they grab my cue and use it for a short time. My rules are this; you may borrow my car, or you could dance with my wife, but put my pool cue down!A new cue is just so inspiring, as always make sure to pocket the first shot so that it begins life positive. Mike Durbin built this cue from a concept that we had at a pool tournament a month ago and Monday he called to say that I should come and pick it up. What a beautiful cue with maximum playability and all of my basic specifications, 61" and 18.5 ounces. Somehow the cue has classic cosmetics but a modern look to it and I am asked about it upon setting out to play each day. I have never had this amount of interest and it is great pride that I respond to all. The cue has vibrant green veneered points with the center ebony, the forearm is gleaming and the prettiest figured maple ever, a black lizard skin wrap, and below that is a small ebony area with diamond and dots to match the diamonds in the points. The rings and diamonds are made of abalone shell that is very eye catching and pretty, I have never seen trim rings this eye catching and unique. The joint is white with my preferred G-10 glass/epoxy pin that plays great in terms of feel transfer. Somehow all of this comes together so tastefully so as not to be gaudy despite being ornate which is a tribute to Mike's design. He then produced a matching Break cue and I have been trying to play much better just to live up to my cue's standards. Soon I hope to have some pictures posted. mw