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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:
• 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 ‘L’


• 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


• 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


 
The 'Walkaway'
February 2015



At the end of the year on the Predator Tour, we give awards to the top players. Alison Fischer won the C Player of the Year, and my wife, Gail, won the Female Player of the Year. It made my think to myself, ‘What is it that those two women did this year that separated them from the other women?’ And the thing that I noticed in watching them through the last three or four tournaments of the year was that, despite the fact that they are amateurs, they both seemed to really understand the importance of walking away from a shot whenever they were in doubt. Not many amateur players walk away from the table if they’re not comfortable.

When you’re playing and you take that extra five or 10 seconds to really prepare for your shot, it’s going to make all the difference in the world, because any negative thought you have in your mind when you’re down on a shot is going to dictate the shot. What you don’t realize is that your brain is actually reminding you of what could go wrong. That’s how the brain works. Sure enough, you shoot the shot and you miss, just how you imagined you would. You have to be able to reassure yourself that you know the required technique to make a particular shot. And you have to tell yourself not to shoot the shot until you are confident and ready. You replace that negative picture with a positive picture.

The problem with players who simply shoot anyway is that approach becomes habit. And once you’ve gotten into that habit, you no longer have the ability to do what I call the “walkaway.” All of the very best players do the walkaway. Whenever they come up on a critical point in the match, and they’re about to shoot a shot that may make or break the match, they walk away from the table. They take a sip of water, or take a towel and wipe down their cue, or put talc on their bridge hand…anything that will distract them from that moment. It’s like hitting a refresh button.

Before I knew better, I used to hate when players did that to me. I felt like they knew they were going to win and were rubbing it in. But after a while, I realized that they were simply taking some extra time because they realized how important that particular shot was. I also noticed that the top players always did that after making a really difficult shot. Why? Because so often you’d see players make a great shot and then miss the next shot, no matter how easy the second shot was. The top players pause because they realize that they needed to take a few seconds to let that difficult shot go and refocus on the next shot.

It took me a while playing at the top pro level to understand and adopt the walkaway. Now, seeing amateurs starting to recognize the importance of taking that approach is impressive.



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