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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:
• September 2017
The One-Armed Man


• August 2017
Making a Check List


• July 2017
Trust Issues


• June 2017
Rails Away!


• May 2017
Weight Watchers


• April 2017
Opposites Attract


• March 2017
Reach For It!


• February 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 ĎLí


• September 2016
Tips on Tips


• August 2016
The Art of Deflection


• July 2016
Note To Self


• 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


 
Confidence Boosters
October 2017

Between running the Predator Tour and recently becoming a father again, I have been away from the game for a bit.

Recently, though, Iíve been trying to get back into the game, mostly in preparation for the World Tournament of 14.1. It takes a while to get your game back, but Iím starting to get into a comfort zone. Itís all about confidence. You have to be able to look at a shot and know that you are going to make it. If you wonder even the slightest, your game is going to struggle. Youíre going to play scared, and thatís no way to play. You end up jumping up on shots because you havenít played enough to reach that comfort level. You need to get to the point where your body isnít tight at all and youíre just in synch with the shot.

Still, getting back into the game isnít easy. I know most of the clusters and patterns in straight pool, but I really struggled at first. I wasnít even making it through a rack. But it is all a matter of playing. After a few days I was consistently hitting 50-70. At the beginning, my fundamentals were rusty, which led to having no confidence in what I was doing. It was frustrating. I know the shots and the patterns, but I wasnít executing. The answer was simple. Like I always preach, focusing on your technique will lead to consistent pocketing, but focusing on the result will lead to consistent missing.

You canít listen to the voice in your head that causes you to wish the ball into the pocket. It will become habit and it will become part of your game. When you are getting back into the game, you really need to focus on your stroke. The stroking arm should be the only moving part of your body during the shot.

And when I do make a mistake, whether it is pocketing or position, I stop what Iím doing. I no longer focus on running balls. I focus on correcting what I did wrong until I get to the point where I know Iím going to make that shot over and over.

The other thing I do ó and this can be used in other games ó is sit down and look at every option available to me when I come upon a funny pattern that Iím not entirely sure how to run. I literally step away and study the table. Most people shoot the first shot that comes to mind.

Another piece of advice I have is how to respond when your opponent hits you with a high run. Players are usually so anxious to get back to the table that they shoot too quickly. I have gotten into the habit of taking two to four extra practice strokes for the first rack or two to work my way slowly back into a rhythm. Youíll be surprised how much that will help you bear down and zone in. Again, this works for any game.


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