I don't know why I'm doing this, since I know you'll just dismiss whatever I
say out of hand, but your newly found routine is something I've found useful
for some time now. Often I'll practice for an hour or two, play a match, or
go sweat a match, then practice again for an hour before leaving the pool
hall. I think what it is, IF you're paying attention during that first
practice session -- specifically working on a particular stroke, shot,
position play, whatever -- during the break or while you're playing a
match, your brain is subconsciously "crunching the numbers." When I go back
for the second practice session, it seems like I can always go right to the
root of a problem and fine tune what I was working on before even further.
The second session is always shorter (about 45 minutes to an hour) because
it seems like I accomplish so much so quickly that further practice becomes
superfluous ("needless" for those from AR :-) I've done third sessions
without noticeable benefit. Certainly the key is to, at all times:
practice with a purpose, practice with complete bullet proof concentration.
(The moment your mind starts to wander just the least little bit is the time
to quit. I'm usually good for an hour and a half; sometimes more, sometimes
less.), And, to always finish on a positive note, executing what you've been
working on perfectly.
> I only have two or three days a week I can play, usually on the
> weekends. To maximize the hours, I've been playing for two or three
> hours (actually focused practice), then taking a break for a few hours
> and coming back to it later in the same day.
> In addition to giving me more "quality" playing time (without losing
> focus or getting sloppy), I've noticed another benefit to this. I think
> I actually accomplish more in the second session, after taking an
> extended break and returning to the table, than I do in the first
> session when I'm totally fresh. I feel rested, but "tuned." I'm
> thinking that if I want to maximize my chances in a match, I should
> practice for a couple of hours first and then lay off for a few hours
> before playing.
> Is this a commonly known phenomenon that I'm only now discovering? Any
> ideas why it should be so? Would adding a third session be even
> better? It's been a real boon to my progress, which has accelerated
> noticably since I started doing it a few weeks ago.
> Pat Johnson