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Dear Jeanette
By Jeanette Lee
International billiard icon "The Black Widow" answers your questions about life, love, and everything else that happens in the poolhall.

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February: Challenge Yourself
February 2009
Q. When I'm at a tournament or playing somebody, I concentrate as much I can and I play well. But when I'm playing alone, I can't get motivated. How should I practice?
Durucz; Jászberény, Hungary

A. I just love this question! I'm a true competitor and I love to play and grow as a billiard player. It's so fun to learn new things and to test myself. But then ... there are drills. Yuck! There are some things that just aren't gonna be fun. But yet, it's worth it. By isolating your weaknesses, you improve your skills so much faster. For some people, it's just a matter of discipline. They set a goal of certain shots and they just do them. I, on the other hand, need to do drills that continue to test myself! For example, my drills involve playing the "ghost" in a race, meaning I try to break and run a 9-ball rack. I keep track of how many times I run out, which gives me one point, and how many times I don't, which gives the "ghost" a point. You can make it 6-ball or 7-ball, depending on your speed. As you become more successful, add balls to the rack. It just sounds like you need more short-term goals that will continue to be challenging. It's great that you notice this in yourself, because then you can work on keeping yourself motivated.