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Getting the Most Out of Your Practice Sessions: Part Five

A Readers Question

A while back a novice player wrote in and asked a good question:

“I have read and re-read all of your Getting The Most Out of Your Practice Sessions articles. Right now I'm at that point where I know what I need to do, but damn if I can consistently keep EVERYTHING in sync--feet placement, grip, toss movement, zone, focus, betting, etc.--perfectly all at the same time at a table. How do you do it?”

An Equally Good Answer

Well, my friends, continually refined practice and real-game experience is the ONLY remedy.

All of those separate aspects of Precision-Shooting have to be woven together into a seamless “seven-resistant” fabric. You have to continue to practice them until they become “second-nature” to you.

If you can’t keep all of them straight and organized, then you may have to break each element down and integrate it into your game on a gradual basis.

Piece by Piece and Step by Step

Here is what I would recommend:

You could try adding ONE new element at a time. Don’t try to do everything perfectly at first. Get the basics of your throw down perfectly, THEN you can add one new element and continue practicing until the “new” becomes totally integrated into your routine. It is only at this point that you might want to add one more element. By this time the previous “new” element has become “old hat” and it fits perfectly into your routine.

By building a “routine”, your actions become very natural and they occur as just a regular part of your throwing actions.

That process may take a little longer to perfect, but you have to understand that people learn at different rates, and everyone integrates new elements in varying degrees of assimilation and speed.

While the speed of your progress is important, it is the sustainability and flawless repeatability of Precision-Shooting skills that make it continuously profitable.

For that reason, you’ll want to carefully develop your skill-set “routine” so that you can call upon it time and time again when it really counts…in the casino with your money on the line. That is what makes all of the endless practice sessions worthwhile.

How Much and How Often?

You also have to remember that:

For profitable consistency, EVERYTHING about your throw has to be like second-nature to you. It has to feel natural, and you should be focused, but still relaxed when you are making your throw.

You also have to intersperse your practice sessions with some real, live casino play. A 10:1 ratio is just about right until you reach profitable consistency. That means that you should be putting in about ten (10) hours of careful practice for every one (1) hour of real casino play.

That 10:1 ratio usually validates and confirms the value of what we are doing in practice. By that I mean that all of those practice hours pay off in casino-profit when we finally hit the real-world tables. While it may sound like a lot of practice, the dividend of that time-investment usually shows itself when we get into real-money action.

Conversely, don’t expect that just a few minutes of at-home practice each day is going to make you into a stellar performer. Until you have reached the peak of your game, you’ll still need to practice “until you puke” if you want to have the kind of profitable consistency that brings home the big bucks. Anything less than that usually results in frustration and bankroll-erosion.

If your practice sessions are not closely mimicking your real-life sessions then you need to take a serious look at what is different between the two, and then try to replicate that in your practice sessions.

Keeping Perspective

You have to put things in their proper perspective and then keep them in their proper perspective.

Your practice sessions aren’t used to simply “put in hours” at the table. Don’t waste your time if that is your current thinking.

If your practice sessions are mind-numbing and boring, then you aren’t using them to improve; you are simply using them to kill time. You have to have the proper mindset in that each throw and each small improvement brings you one step closer to your goal.

Each practice throw should be a new adventure. Just as each dice-outcome in the casino determines whether they ship the dice back to you as your roll continues, or whether the dice are passed on to the next hopeful shooter. Practice like you mean it, and your “in-casino” play will pay dividends for the effort.

Let me put it to you this way:

Would you be throwing the practice-dice so mindlessly if you were in a casino with YOUR money on the line?

If not, then SMARTEN UP and focus on what you are doing.

Mindless repetition without focus will engender bad habits that will come back to haunt you when you have your money in play at a casino…now THAT is GAMBLING!!

With Precision-Shooting, we are trying to remove as much risk as possible OUT of the game. We use our Practice Sessions to REFINE our skills, and to engineer the risk out of the game without the heavy cost of having money on the line.

Make each practice throw as if it “counts” just like each one of your throws count when you have money in action out there in the cold, harsh real world of casino-gaming.

As you refine your throw, you have to understand that each new variation and permutation will not always prove to be successful. To that end, I would remind you what Thomas Edison said about all of his unsuccessful experiments, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” He persevered and succeeded on projects that others had long dismissed as being “impossible” or at least “highly improbable”.

Another Good Question

A number of people have asked why I promote so much at-home practice, in view of the fact that I refined my Precision-Shooting at the most expensive dice-course in the world…in the casino…at the tables…with real money in action…MY MONEY.

The Answer

The answer is amazingly simple.

I don’t want you to have to go through all of the expensive learning that I did. So here I am extolling the virtues of at-home practice.

With a Practice Rig at home, you can sharpen your skills without exposing your bankroll. That in and of itself is a good enough reason, but there is one more that I’ll also add. The pain, heartache and frustration that you encounter at home on your Practice Rig lessens the pain, heartache and frustration that you’ll experience in the casino.

As they say in martial arts:

Cry in the Do-Jo, laugh on the battlefield

Good Luck & Good Skill at the tables…and in LIFE!

By: The Mad Professor

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 28, 2007 7:05 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Getting the Most Out of Your Practice Sessions: Part Four.

The next post in this blog is Long Tables = Po$$ibilitie$: Part One.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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