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BD House Pro
Tony Robles
A longtime teaching pro at Amsterdam Billiard Club in New York City, Tony has dozens of regional and national titles to his name, including the 2004 BCA Open Championships.

Instruction Articles:
• January 2017
Adapting to New Rules

• January 2017
Systems vs Feel

• December 2016
It Happens to the Best

• November 2016
Maintaining Focus

• October 2016
Riding the L

• September 2016
Tips on Tips

• August 2016
The Art of Deflection

• June 2016
Object of Safety Play

• May 2016
Speed Zone

• April 2016
Frozen Ball Shots

• March 2016
Hide and Go Seek

• February 2016
Two-Rail Kicks

• January 2016
Staying Down

• December 2015
One-Rail Kicks

• November 2015
Breaking Bad

• October 2015
Call Shot, Call Safety

• September 2015
Own the Shot

• August 2015
Patterns - Part II

• July 2015
I Notice A Pattern

• June 2015
Two-Way Prt. 2

• May 2015
Two-Way Shots

• April 2015
The Fine Line

• March 2015
Straight Break

• February 2015
The 'Walkaway'

• January 2015
Pushing Your Luck

• October 2014
Walk This Way

• August 2014
Attitude Adjustments

• May 2014
Adapt to the Equipment

• Mar 2014
Turn The Beat Around

• Feb 2014
Straight Is Great

• Sept 2013
Cover the Basics

• June 2013
Getting It Right

• May 2013
Strength Training

• April 2013
Rust Proof?

• March 2013
Not So Fast

• February 2013
Two-Step Jump

• January 2013
Open Your Eyes

• December 2012
Feeling Good?

• November 2012
Hang In There

• October 2012
Back on Track

• September 2012
Straighten Up

• August 2012
On the Rail

• July 2012
Mental Checklists

• June 2012
Respect & Fear

• May 2012
Chin Music

• April 2012
On the Line

• March 2012
Balancing Act

• February 2012
Creative Drilling

• January 2012
Power Outage

• December 2011
Jumping In Line

• November 2011
Soft on Soft Breaking

• October 2011
Find Your Stroke

• September 2011
The Path Off the Rail

• August 2011
Short Position

• July 2011
Inch Along

• June 2011
Into the Unknown

• May 2011
Sharpened Focus

• April 2011
Never Flatline

• March 2011
Stop For A Review

• February 2011
One To Watch

• January 2011
The Straight Answer

• December 2010
Shoot The Lights Out

• November 2010
Never Overmatched

• October 2010
Drawing Conclusions

• September 2010
Through & Through

• August 2010
Along the Rail

• July 2010
The Small Stuff

• June 2010
Three in One

• May 2010
One Ball At a Time

• April 2010
Going Thin to Win

• March 2010
Know Your Game

• February 2010
14.1 For 8-Ballers

• January 2010
Setting It Straight

• December 2009
Hanging Out, Part II

• November 2009
Hanging Out

• October 2009
Control Your Speed

• September 2009
Busting Out of a Slump

• August 2009
Easy Errors, Part III

• July 2009
Easy Errors, Part II

• June 2009
Easy Errors, Part I

• May 2009
Body Language & Breaking

• April 2009
The Break: Body Language

• March 2009
Must-Reads from Robles

• February 2009
Position: Four Square

• January 2009
Romancing the Stance

• October 2008
Look Out for Boingy Rails

• September 2008
Build a Better Break

• August 2008
Q&A: Ask the Pro

• July 2008
'Buzz' Kill: Stay Down

• June 2008
Stop Shots Safeties III

• May 2008
Stop Shots Part II

• April 2008
STOP-SHOT Safeties

• March 2008
How to Keep Winning

• February 2008
The Dreaded Straight-In Shot

• January 2008
Trying the Soft Break

• December 2007
The Hard Way Makes It Easier

• November 2007
How to Sight the Cue

• October 2007
Win from Your Chair

Note To Self
July 2016

There is nothing better than getting back into action after a layoff and playing really well. I recently finished tied for fifth at the Ginky Memorial, and the experience provided a good teaching moment: If youve been away from the table for a while, you need to learn how to regain trust in your game. This holds true for players who are in a slump as well. Ive seen many players, myself included, who forget what they did to get to the level at which they had been before the break or before their slump. We forget the things we did to get to our top level.

Before the Ginky event, I actually found some notes in my phone from a few years ago, when I finished tied for fifth at the World Tournament of 14.1. I rehearsed what I told myself before each match: Stay down on the shot; focus on fundamentals; dont think about anything but the shot in front of you. These are all the little things that we tend to forget.

All it really takes is reminding yourself of who you are and what you are capable of as a player. That is why I am such a firm believer in keeping little notes from your matches. Revisit those notes before you play again. They will help you get back to a state of mind that is all positive. The things that get you to focus on the positive instead of the negative (I cant make a ball!) are important. They should become your mantra. And always think back to when you were playing well. For one, I guarantee your thought process was much more positive then. I used to write down notes before, during and after matches. Every time my notes said that I was worried about my opponent or worried about the score, those notes were from matches I lost. In matches in which I focused on the positives, the score took care of itself.

I realize more players are not going to keep notes, so if you havent played in a while the number one thing to keep focusing on is your fundamentals. Ive had top players come to me for help when theyd been away from the game or in a slump, and in almost every case the issue was with their fundamentals. They were not following through properly, or they were flinching before they struck the ball. Since they had not been playing on a daily basis, or were playing poorly for an extended time, they had lost trust in their ability to execute the fundamentals. Buddy Hall once said, It takes several things to execute a shot correctly, but only one thing to miss a ball. Hes so right. I think every player should have his or her own little list of reminders. I was pleased with my fifth-place performance in the Ginky, but I do have one regret. Before that tournament, I reviewed my notes from the 14.1 tournament, where Id also finished fifth. Next time, I will review notes from a tournament I won!

I guess I need to add that note to my list.