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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:
• October 2014
Walk This Way


• August 2014
Attitude Adjustments


• May 2014
Adapt to the Equipment


• 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


 
Turn The Beat Around
Mar 2014

I’ve discussed many times how to go back and work on your game when you’re playing poorly or are in a slump. Fine-tuning your game is fine when you have the time to do that, but what do you do when you’re in the middle of a match and you need to turn your game around?

Your problem can be mental or physical, or even both. I’m not talking about matches in which your opponent is simply shooting the lights out. There is nothing you can do about that. But there have been matches during which I just didn’t feel right physically. Sometimes it’s something as simple as rest. Pete Sampras used to say that the secret to his success was that he always slept until he couldn’t sleep anymore.

Obviously, you can’t take a nap in the middle of a match, but there are a few questions you can ask yourself when you’re behind early. For starters, you always have to stay positive. You can’t get down on yourself and expect to get better.

The first thing I ask myself is, “Do I want to win this match?” The answer should always be yes. Then I ask myself, “Am I willing to do whatever it takes to win this match?” Once you answer ‘”Yes” to both questions, you’ll start feeling better right away. When I take that approach, there is a surge of energy in my body. I start going back to the basics. I become more focused immediately. I take my time at the table. I realize that I was probably focusing on the score, or dwelling on a shot I’d missed, or brooding about a lucky shot my opponent made. I throw the past out the window. I don’t even focus on making the shot. I focus on nothing but having the cue ball hit the object ball exactly where I’m aiming, while staying down and following through.

This technique still gets me out of trouble today. All champions have an inner strength that allows them to turn a match around. Shane Van Boening and Darren Appleton are examples of players who know how to recover from a poor start. They never get to “give up” mode. You should never get there either.


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