Random Thoughts: Playing Better Pool Players Makes You Better is a Lie.

Back in 2015, a friend and I decided to pick up pool (billiards) again. We both played a lot during our undergraduate days, but since moving back to Fremont and getting real jobs, pool has kind of taken a back seat.

With the opening of California Billiards in Fremont, our desire to shoot was re-ignited. With the opening of a local pool room also came the introduction of pool leagues where there was organized weekly play. Our enthusiasm and desire to become competitive flourished. Playing in a league allowed us more opportunities to be competitive not only at the local level, but also allowed us to “flex our muscles” at the regional and national levels.

Over the last 3 years, as I moved from an APA Skill Level (SL) 4 to Level 7 in 9-Ball, and SL 4 to SL 6 in 8-ball, I’ve noticed several reoccurring themes. The biggest theme is that pool to us average folks is 90% mental. The theme I want to talk about is:

Playing better opponents or in harder leagues or (insert text here) DOES NOT make you a better player.

Anyone that tells you that it does is lying to you.

Yes. Playing better people is a component of becoming better, but itself alone is not enough for you to improve. And this really is true for any other passion or hobby, whether it be sports or autocrossing.

Most of the improvement and growth happens outside of the match. Ask yourself these questions after your match or during practice:

Before my match, did I adequately prepare? Did I warm up? Did I dial in my shot or stroke? Did I practice enough so that I am confident in making common shots? Did I work on my weak spots? What are my goals for this match? (Consistently run 3 balls? Make good decisions for pocketing vs. safeties? Execute key safeties? Minimize the number of mistakes I make?)

During my match, what did I do well? What didn’t I do well? Which shots did I struggle with? Which shots carried me? What were some of the critical mistakes I made? And how could I have avoided them? Or what was a better way to go about the situation? Was I fully invested in my match? And did I give the match the best effort I had?

After my match, what can I take away regardless of winning or losing? Did I practice key shots or safeties that I either struggled with during the match, or completely missed? Did I practice and improve on troubled areas or concepts of my game. Do I understand my mistakes? And did I make an honest effort to do any or all these things?

These are the key questions you really need to ask yourself if you want to improve. More importantly, being disciplined about critically analyzing your game and committing to practice in order to improve is key.

There’s nothing wrong with playing pool at a casual level. You can improve a little bit by playing casually, but modest improvement at most. However, if you wanted to get to that next level, you need to input the work that is needed into becoming a better player.

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2017 – American Autocross Series – Round 5 and 6

Hi all.

Here are my videos from this past weekend’s autocross event. All and all, the event went well. Couldn’t quite catch the leaders in D-Street, but overall super happy with my runs. The BRZ got a few tweaks last week and the modest upgrades were a day and night difference.

Thank you to Rich for allowing me to use his garage and helping me install the Hotchkis Front Sway Bar. Amazing how much the sway bar and alignment can do. I also ended up installing the OEM crash bolts and had Auto Innovations do an alignment on the car last Thursday. The final specs for the alignment came out to:

-1.3/-1.4 camber in front
-1.6/-1.7 camber in rear
0 toe

Thank you to Erik for running with me and helping me dial in the car on Saturday and An for running with me on Sunday. With the tweaks, the car felt worlds better!

Kevin’s Best Run – Saturday – Round 5

Kevin’s Best Run – Sunday – Round 6

An’s Best Run – Sunday – Round 6

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Autocross Update

Hi all.

Sorry that I haven’t been keeping up to date with the autocross updates. I promise that I’ll try a little better keep the update coming. A quick few notes:

I’ve uploaded my best runs from Round 1 (Boondoggle), AAS Round 3, Round 2, and Round 3 to my YouTube channel. All my videos can be seen here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCENVJmHcaGtRyOkbl9Qs9EQ

In addition, I started to organize my videos by year. Hopefully, this will make accessing videos a little easier!

That’s all for now!

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