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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:
• April 2019
Shake íní Break

• March 2019

• February 2019
Correct Easy Errors

• January 2019
Weight Problems

• December 2018
Position, Everyone!

• November 2018
Be a Chairman

• October 2018
Never Stop Learning

• September 2018
Carom Corner II

• August 2018
Carom Corner

• July 2018
Slump Dog

• June 2018
Stopping Is Power

• May 2018
Professional Help

• April 2018
Break Dance

• March 2018
A Safe Path

• February 2018
Stunning Results

• January 2018
Know Your Rails

• November 2017
The Straight Dope

• October 2017
Confidence Boosters

• 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

Perfection Not Required
May 2019

The mental aspect of the game is so important. I have a friend that plays eight hours a day, but no matter how much he practices he canít seem to get over a certain barrier when it comes to competing.

A lot of players who want to reach the next level talk to the top players and ask them, ďWhat is going through your head when youíre at the table? How do you get to the point that you never miss?Ē Itís like these players are expecting an answer that will crystalize the game for them. Itís like they are searching for a magic pill.

The answer lies in your own belief that a shot is going to go in. That same player that has been playing for years came upon a situation where the correct shot was obvious, but he wasnít sure he could make it. I said, ďAfter practicing and shooting this shot for 25 years, if you still donít know that you can make it, maybe pool isnít your game.Ē That may sound harsh, but if you look at top players you will see that they look absolutely stunned when a ball doesnít go in. They never expected to miss. I see other players miss shots and they look like they never expected it to go in anyway. You canít do that.

In my mind, by the time I get down to shoot a ball, Iíve already made it. Iím just there to execute at that point. That thought process gives your brain the best possible chance to stroking the ball correctly. If you are thinking any other way, your subconscious will take over and will try to help your stroke go in the direction you want.

You are always going to miss shots, but if you have the belief that itís going to go in and it doesnít, then you simply have to find and correct the technical flaw. You have to practice shots so often that you can just let your stroke go without thinking about it.

Also, you have to be realistic about your goals. You canít be such a perfectionist that the ball must hit the very center of the pocket every time. Youíre putting too much pressure on yourself. Practicing shots over and over will help you achieve the proper mental state.

I always tell students to study players like Darren Appleton. He shoots every shot like his life depends on it. You can tell that he believes heís going to make every shot before he gets down to shoot it. Doing that allows him to stroke the ball perfectly every time. Thatís the thought process of the top players.

The most important thing is to approach every shot with the right attitude. Your only job is to execute. There are pros out there that practice hard and have great fundamentals, yet they still canít win. More times than not, I can detect mental weakness in their games and that is all that is holding these players back.