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Very, Very Frustrating (Read 5170 times)
Rat Man
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Very, Very Frustrating
Jan 16th, 2010 at 11:39am
 
    Sometimes I can wind up and with almost no effort whatsoever snap a perfect Byzantine style shot, accompanied by a shotgun blast sound, over the hills and far away.  I can do it for two, three, six times in a row.  During these moments I feel like I've got it all figured out and I can shoot like this all of the time.  Then it goes away.  My shots will take off in a high, useless arc with almost no power on them at all, no shotgun sound, and with pain to every muscle in my right arm and sometimes other parts of my body like my right hip, back, etc...  Often my good shot will go away for a couple of days.  Then for a brief moment it comes back and again there are the perfect shots, exploding from my sling and rocketing over the tree line to distant lands.  (usually a lake... safety first)
   There are some consistencies with all of my good shots, but I don't want to make a do and don't list until I've perfected my form and can show a video to back my claims.  I've heard that golf is the most frustrating sport.  I'm not a golfer.  Bowling can be very maddening.  Slinging can be just as bad.  When I do it right it feels so right... easy, natural, effortless.. then it's gone. 
   I feel there will come a day when all of my shots are as described, but in the meantime...  GGGGggggg rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Mordechaj
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Re: Very, Very Frustrating
Reply #1 - Jan 16th, 2010 at 12:16pm
 
consider stopping your bizantine style slinging for the day if you can't return your good form in a dozen of shots.
practice something else, and maby return to it after you've start botching the other style too. if you can't sling in any style properly, then you are simply too tired Tongue

don't concentrate on mistakes too much. it might be easier to keep the good form that way.


p-s- what do i know, i'm mostly a forum lurking slinger, just recently woken up from 3-4 years long sleep Tongue
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Curious Aardvark
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Re: Very, Very Frustrating
Reply #2 - Jan 16th, 2010 at 1:15pm
 
trying too hard.

Your first few shots are done instinctively then you start thinking. 'how cn I improve the shot: if I do this, or that etc.

And at that point you're trying too hard and you've lost the flow.

I have exactly the same problem with bowling on the wii lol
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Donnerschlag
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Re: Very, Very Frustrating
Reply #3 - Jan 16th, 2010 at 2:42pm
 
Curious Aardvark wrote on Jan 16th, 2010 at 1:15pm:
trying too hard.

Your first few shots are done instinctively then you start thinking. 'how can I improve the shot: if I do this, or that etc.

And at that point you're trying too hard and you've lost the flow.

I have exactly the same problem with bowling on the wii lol

Exactly as C_A put it. Try not to think about your form as much. Sometimes you just gotta "feel" it. Cool
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Grayorchid
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Re: Very, Very Frustrating
Reply #4 - Jan 16th, 2010 at 3:16pm
 
A simmlar thing happened to me sometimes yesterday.  I managed to get down to the shoreline thats mostly quartz, schist, and serpentine and spent a few solid hours slinging stones all by my lonesome.  I wore the nook of my index finger raw...  it's nicely bruised now.  Anyhow, I settled into throwing stones at this elephant sized schist boulder with one side thats perfectly flat and vertical.  I would stand anywhere from 60 to 80 meters away from it, since that was where all the good wave worn rocks are.  Every once in a while a rock would soar away much farther than I was trying for.  A few of these over achievers would get out to about 140 meters, when I was slinging with the force that normally would be good for something 80 meters away.  I wish I understood what was happening when the rocks soar away from me like that with so little effort.  Making that preformace normal would be incredible. 

The stones at that shore are much denser than what I normally get to use closer to home (sandstone, marl, and concrete rubble).  I've never noticed those light rocks having those moments of brilliance. 

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Rat Man
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Re: Very, Very Frustrating
Reply #5 - Jan 16th, 2010 at 4:24pm
 
Curious Aardvark wrote on Jan 16th, 2010 at 1:15pm:
trying too hard.

Your first few shots are done instinctively then you start thinking. 'how cn I improve the shot: if I do this, or that etc.

And at that point you're trying too hard and you've lost the flow.

I have exactly the same problem with bowling on the wii lol

I had the exact same thought.  But once you start thinking it's difficult to stop.  
Also, Grayorchid, my experience today was very similar.  The few shots done perfectly went approximately (eyeballed) 120 yards with a short sling made more for comfort an ease rather than distance.  Normally eighty yards with that sling is OK for me.  The 120 yard shots were achieved using much less arm than the 80 yarders.  That aspect of slinging is identical to bowling. My most powerful bowling shots, the ones with the best hook and hitting power, come when I use almost no arm strength and all form.  
    Also, Mordechaj, your advice makes sense.  I'll give it a try.

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Re: Very, Very Frustrating
Reply #6 - Jan 16th, 2010 at 11:11pm
 
Do you have any nerve damage in relevant parts of your body? Might be once you zero in on perfect technique, you're using areas that are niggling away at something that was just waiting to flare up. Just a thought. Only you'd know for sure. I've done a lot of very nasty things to my neck and back over the years and I find a perfect technique for me is one that aggravates none of it... I could sling all afternoon, versus two hours of shifting plants around which will render me a basket case for two hours afterwards. After repeated injury the body learns pretty well how to take you offline before any real damage is actually done.

I find anything that leads to a sore arm or hand means I have been trying to sling on a bad back day and as such am relying too much on the flick of my arm than the pivot of my hips or set of my shoulders.

You may also find that the adrenal reward of doing a good job for a while will tend to make you jumpier, faster and more jerky in your movements. It sounds strange, but try having a strong chamomile tea or half an hour of quietly breathing and looking around the area before starting. Being outside the mind is a good way to control the body properly. I actually find my accuracy (worryingly?) increases after a beer or two. Smooth muscle relaxaton may be involved here. Tip - don't sling after having any more to drink than would mean you couldn't drive legally anymore.

Overthinking has something to it, but then if the same logic was applied to sighting in a rifle, noone would ever do it. As it wouldn't ever work  Wink Bit like saying "hey, youre paying too much attention to the road and your vehicle, knock it off!". I think the distinction here is the line between thought, and self doubt or second guessing.

The trick here is changing ONE variable and keeping a good idea of the last thing, and the current thing, you did. Thinking about and consciously adjusting technique is something almost all of us do, the times when we think we aren't it's because we've remembered the golden rule of pay attention to the tool, but think more about the outcome. Musicians do this all the time when they are learning to play, or trying new styles.

You cannot change the target, it is indisputable. So focus on hitting it. If you're 10 degrees out, adjust your action by one degree the other way. And so on. The body and the motion in slinging is not a series of straight levers despite impressions, it is one fluid curve leading to another, to another, to a smooth trajectory. It is a business entirely based on tangents and as such slight differences at the start have profound differences on the outcome. I get what people mean when they break their technique up into footing, hips, facing, turning-away, all that... but to me it's a bit like treating your wheels as distinct from your steering rack from the rest of the car.. it all has to work together, or none of it is going to get much done at all.

I found it really helpful to be hard on myself as far as targets go... if you say "happy to hit that 10m square" then you give yourself 30 metres of actual space to play with... but aim for a specific knothole on an old post and whilst you might not hit it as often, missing a one inch target at 80m, by a foot, is a bloody good show. Missing a barn by a paddock is not very fulfilling.

I find accuracy on level ground much easier than my usual sloping terrain, it's like all the mental programming on board to compensate for rises here and high winds there suddenly make a mockery of the simple business of trajectories.

I also found ith elps to work on high accuracy first... ie, hitting the top of a phone pole rather than the base (I don't know why, and this may differ for others). Once you can hit the right "midpoint" of the arc en route to the target, the rest of the shot takes care of itself. I would have better luck hunting birds or bats with a sling than I would rabbits, anyway.
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Re: Very, Very Frustrating
Reply #7 - Jan 17th, 2010 at 2:03am
 
About a month ago or so, I remember someone (prob. D. Morningstar) wrote about the different effects obtained by slinging helicopter style (very similar to byzantine)

The basic summary was:

1) Hand kept directly (or closely) in axis over head = straight fast shots

2) Hand held more over to the side overhead = lobbed, looping shots

THat's my best recollection, anyway

I'm just guessing, but I think you may be starting more over your head, and then moving more off to the side with subsequent shots unconsciously.
That would also explain the increased arm-strain/pain, because of the increased physical stress from doing the rotation/swing more outside the center axis

Best luck with your arm and skillful improvements
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Paleoarts
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Re: Very, Very Frustrating
Reply #8 - Jan 17th, 2010 at 10:15am
 
Rat Man, i have the same problem every now and then and i apply a little trick i learned. i've been playing competitive pool for a couple of decades and every now and then i'll go into a slump where i can't make a shot to save my life. when this happens i use this simple exercise to clear my head and get back on track. i line up five balls just six inches from a pocket and the cue ball just six inches from them. just easy little chip shots, really. i'll shoot those in until i make all five. if i miss, i start over. when i've sunk all five i'll line five more up a foot away from the pocket and the cue a foot away from them and repeat the process. i keep doing this until i can put five in a row in from the other side of the table. this helps tremendously by clearing the mind and getting the muscle memory back on track. i've applied this to slinging as well with good success. i'll start by slinging a few stones just a short distance with very little power, just to get my timing down and get the feel of things. then, a few more with a little more ummph, and so on until i'm back up to normal speed and on target.
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Re: Very, Very Frustrating
Reply #9 - Jan 17th, 2010 at 10:54am
 
Gotta ask PA... do you use a normal cue, or do you use one you carved by hand using a jawbone, from ancient bog oak decorated with eagle feathers? Is it barbed? Is there a hollow butt allowing it to be used with an atlatl? Sword-cue? Enquiring minds need to know  Grin
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Paleoarts
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Re: Very, Very Frustrating
Reply #10 - Jan 17th, 2010 at 10:57am
 
lol! just your standard cue. but, i did play one season with a broom until the league had to make a new rule banning it. it was a great psychological weapon!
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Re: Very, Very Frustrating
Reply #11 - Jan 17th, 2010 at 11:15am
 
here if you lose you have to run around the bar with your pants on your head and then shout everyone a drink. good times.

Another tip for accuracy, which is going to sound TOO simple, is to actually see yourself making the shot before you do it. Don't get into it thinking "aw, I'm going to suck at this again..." . Works for a lot of people for a lot of different things, definitely worth a shot.

I think it may in a way have less to do with "the power of positive thinking" than it does a kind of subliminal muscle-programming similar to what PA is getting at. Likewise it's been shown intense visualisation of exercise can actually raise heartrate and over time have some of the benefits of actually doing it for real. I think we can tell our bodies to do a lot more than it lets us think we can ask of it, sometimes  Wink

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Re: Very, Very Frustrating
Reply #12 - Jan 17th, 2010 at 3:27pm
 
hybrid_throwback wrote on Jan 17th, 2010 at 10:54am:
Gotta ask PA... do you use a normal cue, or do you use one you carved by hand using a jawbone, from ancient bog oak decorated with eagle feathers? Is it barbed? Is there a hollow butt allowing it to be used with an atlatl? Sword-cue? Enquiring minds need to know  Grin

lmao - oh yeah I reckon we can all see that thing.

Paleo - you have to make a primitive pool cue !
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Do All things with Honour and Generosity: Regret Nothing, Envy None, Apologise Seldom and Bow your head to No One  - works for me Smiley
 
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it don't mean a thing
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Re: Very, Very Frustrating
Reply #13 - Jan 17th, 2010 at 8:56pm
 
uh, they call that a stick. Tongue
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Re: Very, Very Frustrating
Reply #14 - Jan 17th, 2010 at 11:09pm
 
Another tip on accuracy - breath in during your wind up, start to breath out a few moments before your release but what breath you have left at release, really force it from your body. I don't know any martial arts "phrases" but I can see them fitting the picture here. Helps me with force and accuracy, I find breathing out only at and not before release makes for very powerful but less accurate shots. YMMV.

Nevermind the stick, I can see the whole table. Sides made of laminated bison ribs and douglas fir, felt of brushed buckskin, wickedly barbed cues, balls carved of antler , natural cordage pockets that you can actually remove and use to sling the balls at losers who won't pay up... Your public demands it, PA  Grin The natural chalk lumps cased in walrus tusk holders would be a nice touch. Oh and the scorer has to be written in simple "scores" ,or maybe ogham or something.

Actually a stone age dartboard just popped into my head... now there's an achievably sized project! It's getting the mammoth to stay still while you paint circles on it's rump that's the hard part.
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