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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:
• 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


• 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


 
Respect & Fear
June 2012
WHEN YOU’RE faced with an unfamiliar situation, you shouldn’t be surprised when you react in an unfamiliar way. I’ve said before that one major mental roadblock to improvement is fear. For developing players in particular, one recurring problem arises when faced with a difficult shot. Instead rising to the challenge of whatever lies in front of you, the difficulty of a particular shot makes you tense up, which can lead to a whole host of problems that guarantee you won’t be successful.

In a similar way, players without a lot of experience in competition — whether it be leagues or weekly tournaments — can often fail to play at or near their best when they need to. Pro players learn to harness the energy associated with high-level competition. They can thrive on the biggest of stages because that type of environment sharpens their focus and brings the best out of them.

If you are struggling to show your best in competition, ask yourself what it is that you are so afraid of. Are you scared of losing? Well you’re only ensuring such an end result by dwelling on it. Are you scared of playing a better player? There’s no better way to improve than by minimizing your margin for error. When you know your opponent can punish you for every little mistake, what choice do you have besides not giving him an opportunity to do so?

It will take some experience before you can shed the anxiety associated with competition and harness your nerves. But just remind yourself that pool is — and always should be — something that’s enjoyable. It should be rewarding to improve over a period of time. This doesn’t mean you won’t struggle; the hard times make the successes that much better. So stick to your game. Know what you’re capable of doing. And go out there and play your best.

You just might notice your A game making an appearance when you need it most.


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