THE 9-BALL OFFENSE SKILL TEST
by: Brad Gowin

(July Issue 2001)

The test begins by taking ball in hand after each break for ten racks, and charting everything you do in each column. The chart reads as follows:


The first 5 levels of rating are based on the percentage of run outs, with ball in hand after the break, over a ten rack attempt.

Levels 6 thru 10 are based on points and con't be reached until a minimum of 50% of racks can be run with ball in hand, after the break.

In the beginning you may wish to keep track of your progress with a more simple method. One way of measuring progress would be keeping track of your innings over 10 racks of nine ball. The break would represent your first inning. If you make a ball on the break, continue shooting until you miss. Mark down another inning, take ball in hand and continue shooting. Continue this process until the game is over. Keep track of how many innings it takes to complete each rack until you have finished ten racks. Add up the total, divide by 10 and you will see your average inning count per rack. The idea is to lower your average, much like golf.
Keeping records will enable you to accurately and honestly chart your progress over a period of time. If your progress isn't quick enough for your goals, you might try seeking help. In every sporting event, coaching and instruction is common place. Finding the right instructor for you may take some time, but worth the effort. In the meantime, keep swinging and don't give up. "Winners don't quit, and quitters don't win".
Don't be surprised if you aren't at the level you thought you'd be. Recording your own stats, can be somewhat of a distraction. The difficulty of keeping score for yourself, could be compared to the stress level of tournament play. Usually players seldom hit their peak during tournament matches. Tournament matches are short! Often times the player doesn't have enough time to relax into their peak performance.
Be a good student of the game. Find your weak points and make them your strengths. You can do it! Time and a dedicated effort are two of the necessary ingredients. Knowing how to strengthen your weakness wouldn't hurt either. You must train to gain a better understanding..........

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