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Pleasures of Small Motions: Mastering the Mental Game of Pocket Billiards Paperback – June 1, 2002


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$15.26 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


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Pleasures of Small Motions: Mastering the Mental Game of Pocket Billiards + A Mind for Pool: How to Master the Mental Game + The 99 Critical Shots in Pool: Everything You Need to Know to Learn and Master the Game (Other)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; 2nd,Revised & enlarged edition (June 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585745391
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585745395
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #427,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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

From the Back Cover

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.

Customer Reviews

This a great super easy read book.
Uncle D
This book will benefit any pool player who takes their game with any amount of seriousness.
Pepsikat
In short, if you buy this book and read it, your purchase will convert into an investment.
William Negron

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By S. McCandlish on August 2, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After you hone your basic shotmaking skills, pool is almost entirely a mental game. There are precious few books on the topic of the mental side of pool and billiards (I know of only three), and this is by far the best of them. The author is a sports psychologist (and pool player), and he explodes a lot of the "mental myths" of pool, including undoing some bad advice written by pool pros and wanna-be pros who meant well but didn't know what they were talking about psychologically speaking. The prose is also a nice read, especially for a nonfiction book. I can especially recommend this volume for intermediate players who are having a hard time dealing with league or tournament competition pressure. Fancher may give you some mental tools to quit being a "Count Choke-ula".
PS: If you order this used, be sure you are getting the revised 2002 edition.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Bob Fancher on June 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
Since I have to give this book "stars" to post about it, publically I give it five--as one would assume most authors would about their books. Such self-doubts as I may have needn't be advertyised, right? Anyway, the stars aren't my idea, but oh, well.
The point of this "review," though, is to tell readers of the first edition how this edition differs.
This edition is about fifty percent larger than the original, organized into twelve chapters (and an "interlude") rather than the original seven. The new material is mostly about competition, motivation, and the place of the body in the mental game. In addition, new material has been worked into various chapters to elaborate or clarify.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By SLM on July 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
Each chapter offered great advice on the mental game of pool. Immediately after reading the book, I could tell that my game had picked up a notch. (And exactly one month after reading the book, my 8-ball skill level in my pool league was also raised a notch.)

I learned to stop putting pressure on myself to play my "best game" in high-pressure situations (think about it: if your "best" game happened all the time, it would be your "normal" game) and instead concentrate on playing MY game, the one that I am accustomed to playing most of the time.

I also learned to stop concentrating on making the ball - something that I already know how to do - and to start concentrating on the mechanics of my stroke, something that frequently causes me to MISS the ball!

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve his or her game, regardless of skill level. This book will teach you to think realistically about your game and to put your existing talents to better use.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
Simply put, this book delivers. No mystical nonsense about Being In The Moment With The Ball. No bad science about Spanking Your Inner Child.
What it does is deal very well with the different mental approaches to practicing versus competing, the dangers of self-talk, the acquisition and maintenance of effective self-confidence - you know, the useful stuff. It gives sound advice, and then tells you why the advice is sound, based on what science knows about the human mind and body.
If you want drivel based on the fictional pseudo-Zen teachings of "The Master," you won't find it in this book. Myself, I've never met a Zen monk over a five-and-ten game of nine-ball, so I'll put my trust in good ol' Western science, thanks.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Francois Couture on August 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'd like to congratulate Dr. Fancher for his efforts on breaking up the myths that covered billiards' mental game. With solid scientific arguments, he proves pool's "mental hell" can quite become a "mental orgasm" if you learn to deal with your thoughts properly and if you're able to make the difference between the conscious and unconscious parts of your brain. I find this is an excellent and exhaustive review of the most important mental aspects of the game and I recommend it to every player who would not fear hearing that their mental construction of billiards is totally erratic and that they have to change it from the bottom.
As a medical student, I was pleased with the great section covering the integration of neurologic processes (esp. unconscious ones) to explain motricity, focus and concentration. From what I have learnt about neurology, I find these details exact and the advice given by Dr. Fancher very profitable to any level of pool playing.
If the author (Bob Fancher) happens to read this review: I would like to send you an e-mail for further details about my impressions and what I'd like to do to help spread this new pool philosophy. You can e-mail me at francout@hotmail.com and be assured I will reply as soon as possible. Thank you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Damien B. on January 8, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not only is this book great for pool, but the knowledge you can aquire is easily applicable to other activities and aspects of life. It can take a while to read since it is pretty mind bending to absorb it all, but well worth it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dan on September 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
I finished Pleasures of Small Motions a few weeks ago, I have already noticed a large improvement in my game. Not only am I winninng more games, but I am having a lot more fun. This book teaches not only how to use your brain to win, but how to think about the game in general. My only issue with this book is that it might be hard for new players to relate to some of the situations, and if one's skills are still very weak, all of the proper thought will do no good. Its nice to enjoy the game, but you still need to sink balls. In any case, I've been playing for about a year, and this book will remain in my library for as long as I play.
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