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December 2018
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9 Ball

Nine Ball Concept

I certainly don’t profess to know it completely, even though I have ran an 8 pack and a 9 pack on a 4 1/2 x 9. But there were players I observed that I thought knew it, players like Portland Don Watson, Port Chester Mickey Carpinello, Buddy Hall, Irving Crane and Bill Lawson to name a few. The game just looked different when they played it.

The thing I noticed about Mickey, Don Watson, Buddy, etc., was that they usually only made one hard shot a game. They would go all out to make that shot and get perfect position, even though making the shot itself was hard enough. They never settled for just making the shot. Once perfect, they stayed perfect, playing close position, and wound up shooting at hanger nine balls. The mistake I see many nine ball players make, is when they have an easy shot to start with, they settle for OK position rather than concentrating and getting perfect (and close) because they know they are probably still going to pocket the next ball anyway. I’ll repeat what I said earlier, the great players, once perfect, they stayed perfect, their concentration at an absolute level until the game was won. It ain’t easy, and the mental discipline required is awesome, but who said it was supposed to be easy?

Frank “Sailor” Stellman and The Method

At a local Nine Ball tournament in Chicago that Master player Frank “Sailor” Stellman of Racine, WI. attended, Sailor noted to me that he had been observing that most of the players of today play without a “method.” That is to say, that their emphasis is largely on shot making, and they mostly play the game one shot at a time. No real rhythm or total plan. If you could read their thoughts you would see that their concentration and attention is on pocketing the ball, and position is a relatively side issue. Once they execute the stroke, and the ball is on the way to the pocket, they release their focus, oftentimes before the cue ball has traveled to the anointed place. If you watch closely you can observe this phenomena; the moment that they abandon their attention. You get the feeling that their process is linear, and is progressing one shot at a time. If you ever had the pleasure of watching some of the old masters, like aforementioned, Sailor Stellman, Mosconi, Irving Crane, Portland Don Watson, etc., you would get the feeling that they always stayed on the same “channel,” and that there is a oneness of flow. Like a radio signal, they stay on the same frequency.

Here is a brief explanation of The Method inspired by Frank “Sailor” Stellman

1. Visually plan the making of the ball and achieving perfect postion.
2. Next, release the vision along with all thoughts, however, staying on the same mental frequency.
3. Then, just get down and do it.
4. No more position or aiming adjustments after initial visualization.
5. Lock it in and then leave it alone.