And who is the shooter? It is the person who is playing in a match and doing pretty well. He/she has played four innings against an equally talented opponent, whether a 3,4,5,6,7, and the match is holding everyone’s attention because of the experience and talent of the players as they try to out-maneuver each other in the final game. One of the players steps back from the table and is formulating the last shot that will end the match. The 8 ball is there for the taking, and little beads of sweat begin to form on the shooters lip. In the players mind it is game time. Pure and simple.
The word “TIME” echoes across the table as a self appointed coach walks toward the table. He discusses the shot with the shooter and convinces the player to change his choice. The shooter is not happy because in his/her mind the shot was in the comfort zone and confidence was a big factor. The player lets the coach suggest a different shot from a bank to a cut. The end result….match lost. The player was not comfortable with a cut.
The above scenario begs the question. Should a coach interrupt a shooter that is obviously doing well? It can only result in one thing. The shooter will lose the focus he had that has been carrying him through the entire match. He will now question the decision he made to play the shot in question, and in the long run he will miss the recommended shot because he is not confident with it nor comfortable with it. One can argue that the player did not have to change the shot. But does it matter, because his focus has now been compromised and the odds are against success.
Samm Diep said it very well in her article “THE SHOT”.
There comes a point when, once we reach a certain level, we don’t always choose the shots that the books/videos or our coach or our teammates want us to. When we’re at the table, there’s only one person that knows what the real “right” shot is for us in that moment, in that game. Regardless of who you’re playing or what the score is, choose the shot you believe in, and believe in the shot you choose.
If you have any comments or questions, you may contact Jim Walsh at Jimma77<at>gmail<dot>com .