Team Captain of the Month – John Breese

Our November Team Captain of the Month is John Breese out of South Amboy, NJ for Jersey Sharkz UPA. Although John has only been a Team Captain for a few sessions, his team Monaghan Sharkz is well on their way to locking up 1st place in their division! Here’s a little more about John:

John at a glance:

8-Ball OS: 5

8-Ball Team Ranking: 47

US Rank: 307

Member since: 1/20/2017

Playing Cues: Joss and Jump/Break Cue

When did you first start playing pool?

Believe it or not, when I was 12, a kid from the neighborhood and I went and saw an early 60’s movie about pool (it had to be the Hustler with Jackie Gleeson) and we decided we liked it so much that we wanted to start playing. So, we got some plywood and built our own table, using golf balls and broom handles to practice. True story! Luckily that Christmas I was fortunate enough to get a pool table from my parents.

How did you get started with the UPA?

When I started getting back into playing (car accident forced me out of the game for 30 years), I’d go to the local pool hall. When you’re there enough, you start to meet people and it was there that I met my former team captain. He asked me to join his UPA team and I liked the bar they were playing out of, good food, not rowdy and a good age group. Now my wife and I both play together and treat it as our night out.

What is your favorite part about playing in a UPA league?

I played on a Scotch Doubles league prior to this and didn’t like that I had to depend on someone else. I like that in the UPA, even though it’s a team format, it’s still one on one play and that the rules we play by are based off the rules the Pros play by on tour.

What do you like most about being a Team Captain?

This is only my second session, however we’re currently in 1st !

What qualities do you think make for a good Team Captain?

You have to have leadership capabilities, encourage players to do their best, and know that it’s not the end of the world if they miss.

What are some challenges you’ve faced being a Team Captain?

It can be stressful with new players and not knowing how they play. Have to wait and see how they play to better strategize for next time.

What advice do you have for future UPA Team Captains?

Listen, watch and learn. Learn with them and know that each player will have their unique strengths and weaknesses. You can’t be successful being a dictator.

How do you coach your players?

I tell my players to go for the shot that’s best for them. If a player wants to play a shot from left field I encourage them to do so (even if I don’t think it’s the best option). If they have confidence in the shot then it’s the right one for them and if they make it, it’s a huge confidence booster! If not, I take note and will work on the shot with them later.

What is your match up strategy?

I’ve noticed that other team captains prefer the match-ups with close or even races (4’s vs. 5’s, advanced against advanced, etc.). I like creating exciting match-ups and throwing up the 3 against the 8. It makes it challenging and can create upsets for the other captain.

Describe your playing style:

Aggressive. I’m not afraid to go and run some balls. Although I’m personally learning how to put the brakes on and play more defense.

How has playing in a UPA league evolved your game?

The format, people, and being new has forced me to start learning how to play more safeties.

Thanks for your time John and it was a pleasure speaking with you. We hope to see your leadership help win your team that cash and look forward to your future success. Best of luck and may the rolls be with you!