Pleasures of Small Motions: Mastering the Mental Game of Pocket Billiards

Overview


Everyone who plays pool knows that it is "mostly mental," but the conventional wisdom about the mental game is about as accurate as the idea that the earth is flat. Until now, no one with any expertise on how the human mind works has bothered to write about pool. In Pleasures of Small Motions, Bob Fancher, a psychotherapist and pool columnist, breaks new ground by applying good science to the mental game of billiards.This book does for pool what Timothy Gallwey's bestselling "The Inner Game" books did for golf ...
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Overview


Everyone who plays pool knows that it is "mostly mental," but the conventional wisdom about the mental game is about as accurate as the idea that the earth is flat. Until now, no one with any expertise on how the human mind works has bothered to write about pool. In Pleasures of Small Motions, Bob Fancher, a psychotherapist and pool columnist, breaks new ground by applying good science to the mental game of billiards.This book does for pool what Timothy Gallwey's bestselling "The Inner Game" books did for golf and tennis. Fancher explains how the conscious and unconscious mind work together, prescribes drills to help players improve, advises on mastering emotion and developing rhythm, explains the difference between concentration and focus, and gives invaluable insight on competitive play. (6 x 9, 160 pages, illustrations) Bob Fancher's column, "Dr. Bob, Pool Shrink," appears monthly in The American Cueist. He earned his Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University and practiced psychotherapy in New York for fourteen years. His acclaimed book Cultures of Healing has been used in classes at Columbia University, Princeton, and many other schools, and is writing has appeared in The Washington Post and other publications. He lives in Austin, Texas.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Nothing better. . . has ever been done on pool's mental game.' --George Fels, Billiards Digest
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585745395
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/2002
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 471,998
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword to the New Edition ix
Introduction xi
1. Motivation: The Pleasures of Small Motions 1
The Instinct for Play 3
The Value of Proper Motivation 5
Pleasure and Other Motivations 7
2. Body in Mind: What the Mental Game is About 11
The Bodily Mind 12
The Conceptual Mind 14
Can Mental Skills Really Be Learned? 16
Acquiring a Sound Mental Game 17
3. A Sense of the Game: Conscious and Unconscious Controls 19
Division of Labor, Part One 20
Developing Unconscious Controls 22
Division of Labor, Part Two 26
Relaxing Conscious Controls 29
4. Concentration: The Well-Ordered Mind 31
Concentration in a Nutshell 32
Filling in the Picture 34
Focus 38
Distraction 40
Concentration as Choreography 44
5. Rhythm: Put Some Music in Your Moves 47
Why Rhythm Matters 47
Understanding Rhythm 50
Becoming Rhythmic 52
Tempo 57
Play as Dance 58
Interlude
Dead Stroke: All Together Now 61
6. Emotions: The Source of Playing at All 65
Emotions and Performance 66
The "Right Amount" of Emotion 68
Modulating Your Emotions 68
Shaping Your Emotional Climate 69
Controlling Your "Current Weather Conditions" 71
The Moral of the Story 76
7. Confidence: The Security of Accurate Expectations 77
Confidence and Self-Image 78
Effective Confidence 80
The Pool Journal 83
Confidence, Probability, and Your Current Skills 85
The Banality of Confidence 87
8. Motivation Revisited: Moved by Desire 89
Essential Traits and Idiosyncratic Meanings 91
Motivation and the Place of Pool in Your Life 95
The Disaster of Single-Mindedness 97
Optimizing Motivation 98
9. Competition: Finding Out Who's Who 101
What Makes Competition Different? 102
The Fundamental Challenge of Competition 104
The Basic Solution 107
Confidence and Respect 109
10. The Opponent: Why Competing Is Competing 113
The Inevitability of Noticing 114
How the Opponent Matters 101 115
The Opponent and Your Game Plan 117
Competitive Styles: Dominants and Egalitarians 118
The Point of Competing, Again 121
11. Almost Neurotic: Competitive Problems of Peculiar Sorts 123
Fear of Harsh Judgment 124
Fear of Winning 126
Solace from Neurotic Experience 129
12. Competition and Pleasure 131
Panic and Pleasure 133
The Best Indicator 137
The Romance of the Game 139
For Further Reading 141
Acknowledgments 143
About the Author 145
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2003

    BEST BOOK ON CONCENTRATION EVER

    I own a very extensive library of pool & billiards books written by today's greatest players and teachers. I own a very very extensive video collection of the best instructional and tournament tapes on the market today. I was rated a 6 in the APA for about a year and all of a sudden I am in a slump that I could not believe. I actually dropped to a 3 for about 6 months. I thought it was my eyes, my sore back, and other ridiculous excuses. I could easily make 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 cushion shots or at least hit the ball when my opponent played a safety, but I was missing the straight in and cut shots. I reviewed all my books and videos for an answer, especially on the mental (mind) game. I finally purchased 'Pleasures of Small Motions: Mastering the Mental Game of Pocket Billiards'. This set me straight on my lack of concentation and associated issues and what to do about it. I am moving forward using this new knowledge. Pleasures of Small Motions: Mastering the Mental Game of Pocket Billiards is a must especially for experienced players who are in a slump.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2014

    Best book ever on improving the mental aspects of your pool game

    Best book ever on improving the mental aspects of your pool game. I re-read all or selected parts of the book every few months.  A must for all levels of players!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 26, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    With every paragraph I read, I kept saying "that's me, yep, that's me." I have already applied some of the advise. I have also recommended it to several of my friend.

    Reading this book gave me a whole new outlook to the game of pool!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2011

    Invaluable!

    Wished I'd read this many years ago. Concepts for the most part apply with the most crucial aspects of the game.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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