The story of my game started in London, where I lived for 6 years and learned to play snooker. This was a game that I began to admire through television and one day I decided to go see a game in person. Ronnie O'Sullivan and Steve Davies dueled at the famous Alexandria Palace. The game inspired me greatly, and I started to frequent places with huge snooker tables. I started to try to absorb everything I saw, which made my game improve a lot.
Then, when I moved to the U.S., I started playing pool and for the next 20 years I didn't stop. I have to confess that adjusting to pool after I played snooker wasn't easy at all; in fact, I adopted certain habits that had a negative effect on my performance and effectiveness in the game. Many years later, after thousands of hours of playing, I realized that I had taken my game as far as I could take it really frustrated me. And reality hit me hard: I couldn't raise my game to the level I wanted and I could never be as good as I dreamed. I had always thought that people who were really good at pool, the real professionals, had been blessed with a special talent, a kind of genetic superpower that I hadn't received.
The truth is, I couldn't have been more wrong. I realized that I hadn't learned the best way and that what I really needed was an intensive course. I had taken some private lessons with professional players but they hadn't helped much, two hours here and there weren't going to push me to the high level I aspired to. I told myself that if I really wanted to achieve it, I was going to need something much deeper and intensive. That's when I decided to look for a mentor and that is when I met Matthew. He changed my perspective of the game forever and the difference in my game was so big, even he was surprised. That's why we designed a clinic that was radically different from all the lessons I had taken before. We focused on the player and his frustrations, his instincts and the way they learn by imitation and, of course, on the techniques and the best way to relearn how to play. And that's exactly where the difference lies. We focus on deepening, identifying and then relearning. We focus not on putting the balls in the pockets, but on the cue ball; that is, we focus on the macro and not the micro, not on the things that distract and only produce temporary results. We focus on the game and deal with the player situation. We only shift the attention from the shiny objects or (other balls) to ourselves (the cue ball). The fact is that this game is literally a reflection of how we live our life and our relationship with our surroundings.
My name is Joe Hernandez. I've been a pool player for over 20 years, and I have realized that there is way more to this game than meets the eye.