Ask Allison – Getting in the Zone

Hi everyone! Thanks for sending in more of your questions. Every month I will answer questions that come through my website – www.allisonfisher.com (http://www.allisonfisher.com).
What diameter of tip do you use and why?

When I played snooker, my tip was only 9mm wide. When I switched to pool in 1995, the first Cuetec cue I used had an 11 ¾mm tip. I liked the feel, especially having just come from snooker, as it didn’t feel like too big a difference. However, after a year or so, I felt like I didn’t have enough control over the cue ball and I was putting too much spin on the cue ball. I then decided to go all out and switch to a 13mm. I have stuck with it ever since, and I feel very comfortable and in more control with it.

It is also easier to find center ball with a larger tip. A famous snooker player called John Parrott used around a 10mm tip for snooker, but after a while, he started to put oversized tips on his cue that would hang over the edge. It didn’t look good, but the reason was to find center ball easier. As I have mentioned in past articles, when you begin this game learn what you can do with no English before you get carried away with it.

How do you find “The Zone”?
That’s a tough one. For those who haven’t found it yet, here is what I am talking about. When a player is in “the zone,” everything is effortless, and you know exactly what is going to happen before it does. It is a feeling of supreme confidence without the ego or cockiness. It is like playing in another world. You don’t notice anything around you. You are totally aware of what you are doing and yet unaware of anything else. I can really say it is like something else takes over and is the best feeling for a player to achieve. It is like a glimpse of the best you can be. It doesn’t happen often, and I cannot produce it on command. I think what helps is to try and totally absorb yourself in what you are trying to achieve without letting in any interference from outside.

How Do I Become a Professional?
I cannot even count the amount of e-mails I receive from people wanting to know how to become a professional. As far as the WPBA tour goes, it is possible for anyone to enter the events through a regional qualifying system. There are regional tours all over the country, and you enter the events by first becoming a member of that particular tour. Each regional tour has some events that are qualifiers to play on the professional tour. Just check out the WPBA website to find out about local regional tours or play in them all if you wish. Some players, such as Karen Corr, traveled all over the country to earn the right to play in the professional events.

The first thing to do is train hard to make an impact. When many players arrive on the pro tour, it takes them a while to get acclimatized. I suggest to aspiring pros out there to be ready for the challenge so that when you do qualify to play, you come to do well. Have self-discipline and make a commitment to be a great player. Have an open mind and listen to good advice. I wish you all the best of luck and look forward to seeing you on tour.

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