I psted this in my other communty relating to pool, and I thought that perhaps it may be something at least a few people here might be interested. It's not so much related to yahoo pool as I tend to think of yahoo pool as non-existant when compared to real pool.
At all stages of the learning process for pool I think this is an important concept to understand:
When the world was still trying to break the sound barrier with aiplanes, they struggled phenominally against the forces that literally worked against the mechanics of the plane and the pilot. What people fail to realize is that for at least five years we were able to fly at the speed of sound. The problem was that at the speed of sound, the sound you make builds up (like a sonic boom) right around your wings, and creates an insane amount of turbulence. Enough in fact to rip the wings right off a plane no matter how well constructed, amongst other very bad things. It was the surpassing of the speed of sound that was important for the sake of doing so, and because beyond the speed of sound lay a realm of flight that was better and more efficient.
How I relate this to pool: We all encounter the barrier that leads to the next leel of pool. Everyone commonly refers to this barrier at each stage, as a plateau. I think it's just like flying -at- the speed of sound, before you break it and go faster. There's so much going on that it could break you. Suddenly you drop perfect runs up to the seven or eight, or you -see- that ball, that dastardly ball that you absolutely KNOW will stop your run, BUT, if you make -that- ball, that's it, you're out. Your positional play seems amazing, but it costs you shotmaking ability, or the opposite, suddenly you're making shots you've never even thought existed, pockets seem like parking garages and that space between two balls you previously thought you couldn't squeeeze that game winning shot through, might as well have the two blockers on different rails, cause you know you can get the ball through. The point is this; when we improve, we learn a series of new things, or just improve upon our weaknesses. And we do this one specific ability at a time, realize it or not. Then for it all to work, it has to work together, in unison. That's where people 'plateau', where they're just about to bring it all together. Naturally you incorporate these new talents one by one, but when you get them all flowing at once it's a different game and you suddenly feel like you don't know whats going on. But suddenly you'll fall off and seem worse and doubt everything. That's where you need to stop yourself and not doubt yourself, ever. Self-doubt will kill a poolplayer before anything tangeable ever could. Just convince yourself that it's all coming and relax, and you'll find that sooner rather than later (compared to practicing your brains out while you're pissed off, or pressuring yourself to play well during matches) that all of a sudden it'll all come together--and you'll know when that is. You'll be in the zone and just go.
So, those are my thoughts for the time being, I hope that it's not confusing and that all who read can draw from it.