Tag Archives: 31 Tips in 31 Days

Hair-Raising Tip, PoolSynergy Style

Posted on 15. Feb, 2012 by .



Thank you for visiting my website. I apologize for the infrequent posts lately. I wanted to do my best for this month’s PoolSynergy assignment, but have run out of time. Pitching tips is right up my alley, but I couldn’t put words to the page in time. So, here’s just one quick tip and be sure to click on the “31 Tips in 31 Days” tag for plenty of other succinct tips for your game.

Make sure you’re seeing clearly. For best eyesight while playing, keep your eyebrows in check. This is especially important for players who get their chin right down on the cue and don’t wear glasses. If a couple of eyebrows are dangling down, it can be a minor and almost unnoticeable distraction. The blurring effect can be so minor it doesn’t really register, but it does. Clip those brows or do what Dennis Hatch does: he moistens his fingers and flattens out those bushy rascals before a big set.

Check out John Biddle’s intro and links to all this month’s topics here.

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Tip #4: How much room do I need for a pool table?

Posted on 04. Jan, 2012 by .


Tip #4/31 for January. What size pool table should I buy for my home?

This one is a great tip suggested by June Maiers. Props to June! She’s a great player of all games and runs an excellent junior league program. She wrote to me, “How big does your room need to be if you are trying to fit a 7-foot, 8-foot or 9-foot table? I saw a few Craig’s List adds where the person said they bought the table, have it and now need to get rid of it because it didn’t fit.”

Kramer plays pool in a tight home room.

Well, I say having a pool table in your home is great but if you have to resort to a short cue too often, it can take some of the joy out of playing the game. Many homes have rooms large enough for a table but have one trouble area. You know, maybe there’s one wall that’s a little too close and if the cue ball is frozen on that rail you’ve got to shoot with a cue that’s a foot shorter than the standard 57″ one piece pool cue. Some rooms are a little better and only have a post that hampers that one shot out of 500. Lucky you! Jacking up or using a short cue rarely is a fine trade off. If your table is really too big for the spot, playing can be maddening. Try to get a table as large as you can handle that won’t make you crazy. Remember, it’s nice to have a little breathing room around for spectator chairs and for the non playing shooter to hang out without having to lean on the table.

I have a great relationship with one of my sponsors Peters Billiards in Minneapolis. They’re a great retailer that sells Brunswick and Olhausen pool tables. I’m attaching a pdf file that has their recommendations on what size room will accommodate what size pool tables. And if you’re ever in the area of 35W and Crosstown, please stop into the store. Tell ’em the Billiard Coach sent ya.


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How to snap out of a slump in 5 minutes.

Posted on 03. Jan, 2012 by .


Tip # 3/31: Jump Start Your Brain and Your Stroke

This tip can be filed under the “Strange but True” or the “Your Mileage May Vary” category. Credit to the legendary local all-around player “Fast” Freddy Lamers for this unusual tip. If you’ve just shot a dozen balls straight into the rail in the middle of a tournament, you may think you’re living your worst nightmare. Perhaps you’ve just gotten stuck in a long race or knocked to the B-side and there’s still more of this living hell to come. Welcome to the quick acting, hard hitting, mid-session slump!

Please deliver me from this slump!

Please get me out of this slump STAT!

Don’t fret. Things really can’t get much worse and why not try something desperate that might shake you awake and get you back to the land of the living? Here’s what to do. Hopefully, your opponent will need to take a bathroom break or maybe you’ve got a short wait before your first match on the left side of the tournament chart. Whatever the case may be, the first chance you should spread all 15 balls out on the table and try to shoot them all in standing on the wrong side of the cue. I mean opposite handed. Righties:  pocket all the balls left-handed. Lefties: run out like other 90% do.

You shouldn’t worry about patterns or what sequence you shoot these balls. The idea is to give your brain and body a shock. It’s like getting the defibrillation paddles to your chest.

Emergency defibrillation - Shock the system

Don’t ask me how this works or how often it works. Like I said, it can be miraculous or it could blow up in your face. But you’re already looking down the barrel of a bazooka, so what have you got to lose?

My theory is (because analytical is my middle name) the unusual feeling of doing something that you do so well and naturally with your dominant hand feels ridiculous. This strange and awkward feeling gets the other half of your brain working and you’ve got to actually think about these simple actions that you normally can do in your sleep. Postulate number two is (see-analytic!) that when you switch back to your dominant hand everything feels so easy and natural that you get a quick shot of confidence and reassurance. See? You can make balls. The nightmare has ended — Now, get back to work.

Best of luck, Mike.

P.S. If you’ve got any topics that would make a nifty tip, I need suggestions! TYIA.

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Appearance Counts: Look and Feel Good for Success

Posted on 02. Jan, 2012 by .


Tip #2/31 for January, 2012.

The data has been crunched and verified. First impressions matter. Humans make subconscious decisions within seconds of meeting a new person. Your appearance and the way you carry yourself will affect your opponent. Arriving for an important match looking and feeling like a winner makes a difference. Small things like this can add up to cause an opponent to doubt their chances of winning against you. Your air and attitude portrays a confident and prepared persona. Professionalism. Think Ralf Souquet. Every time he removes his tip protectors, he’s unsheathing his doomsday machine. “Der Pool Queue des Schicksals.” Opponents and spectators know he means to be victorious.

In order to win, you must believe you can win. On some level, telling yourself you can do it pushes the mind in the direction of kinda believing that you can. “Fake it till you make it!” One of the thinks that helps me is belief in my equipment. I feel more confident in my abilities when I have confidence and pride in my pool cue. The new tip you’ve seen me shape in yesterday’s post is for my old Samsara Cue. Last month after running the 13th Annual Northern Lights Shootout, I returned home with this beauty which was getting a new wrap and refinish.

My Samsara Pool Cue

"Clip, clip here, Clip, clip there, We give the roughest claws. That certain air of savoir faire, In the Merry Old Land of Oz!"

Well, getting this baby back last week was more emotional than I care to admit. I bought it five years ago and played with it for a couple of years. Then, I decided flying with it was too stressful. It sat at MSP unattended in the bottom of my duffel for a few hours when I didn’t make my connection in ATL. Well, my year of flipping through cues and shafts had taken a toll on my confidence and thus my performance. Now it is refinished, sporting a new wrap, and I couldn’t be happier.

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