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frankncali
03-15-2005, 06:12 PM
Whats your thoughts on how good any one person can become.
Do individuals have a ceiling?
Can anyone if they practice enough make it to a certain level?

What makes Pro players Pros? Is it just practice or is it something they just have?

What is it that Pros have that others that are topped out dont have?

I have read numerous times in interviews with Pros that they practice
X number of hours per day. Most of the time its high. I have been around many top players and can not ever remember seeing them practice that much.
Anyone around a top player that does practice alot and what is the practice consisting of? Anyone helping? Are they playing or shooting drills?


I know theres a lot of questions and thoughts here but someoe asked me why some players are Pro and not more. They could see Golf and some other sports because of physical skills but not pool.
Does the majority of the public think that pool can be mastered because its
not a physical sport?

Celtic
03-15-2005, 06:37 PM
Whats your thoughts on how good any one person can become.
Do individuals have a ceiling?
Can anyone if they practice enough make it to a certain level?

What makes Pro players Pros? Is it just practice or is it something they just have?

What is it that Pros have that others that are topped out dont have?

I have read numerous times in interviews with Pros that they practice
X number of hours per day. Most of the time its high. I have been around many top players and can not ever remember seeing them practice that much.
Anyone around a top player that does practice alot and what is the practice consisting of? Anyone helping? Are they playing or shooting drills?


I know theres a lot of questions and thoughts here but someoe asked me why some players are Pro and not more. They could see Golf and some other sports because of physical skills but not pool.
Does the majority of the public think that pool can be mastered because its
not a physical sport?


There is a ceiling most people would reach if they played 16 hours a day 7 days a week (including tournies and gambling) and for most people that level is below pro. For some people with the eyes, the feel for the game, confidence in themselves outside of pool, commitment like that turns into pro level pool.

Humans dont all think the same, they dont all have the same intelligence, some have brains that are very keyed in to the arts and can draw an amazing picture and find it simple, some excel at math and can understand with ease compicated systems at a glance, some pick up a cue and put in a few hours and start to take off. You can go into any pool hall and find guys that put ten hours a day into the game for ten+ years and dont shoot that good. There are also those guys that started playing pool 3 years ago and already win tournaments and are one of the top players in their city. Some people fly past the crew of people in a pool hall and get far better playing the same tournaments (only they win) and gambling the same hours after hours (although they rapidly progress through the players to the top).

Dave Martin was a top player in Calgary behind only Bernie Mikkelsen at 20 years old, he simply had the touch and skills and self confidence to excel at the game past other people that played just as much pool as he did. There is little money in the game to interest him but if the money were huge he could have been at the top with a huge time commitment. On the other hand I know people who have just as much if not more commitment to the game but they are nowhere near Dave's level and never will be no matter what they do.

Another thing that is hugely important is starting young, those early years in life (4-5 years old and up) are HUGE in getting truely awesome at a sport. A kids brain at that age is a open book, they absorb the information of angles, the muscle memory, the speed of shots, the reactions of the balls, FAR more then if you start the game in the later years like your teens. It is ALOT harder to get to the pro level from starting past 10 years old. We dont have our Tiger Woods yet, the kid that is bred to play pool from the time they are born and was playing great already at 6 or 7 years old. You have to get lucky, it takes the fluke of the kid having the natural ability that would make him one of the fast progressors if he started later in life, and then instead of letting him start later in life getting him into the game from the time he can walk. By the time the kid was 14 years old when alot of us start shooting pool and getting good the kid would already be shooting near pro level pool and running multiple racks.

bruin70
03-15-2005, 07:09 PM
the truth lies somewhere in between but closer to "pure talent" that seperates the pros from everyone else.

pros are not great because they practice, pros practice because they are great. they practice to hone what they already have. playing, practicing,,,,,it's like breathing to them. they simply DO.

some players love to play,,,,pros HAVE to play. it is their blessing, it is their curse. they are merely being what they are meant to be.

macguy
03-15-2005, 07:57 PM
Whats your thoughts on how good any one person can become.
Do individuals have a ceiling?
Can anyone if they practice enough make it to a certain level?

What makes Pro players Pros? Is it just practice or is it something they just have?

What is it that Pros have that others that are topped out dont have?

I have read numerous times in interviews with Pros that they practice
X number of hours per day. Most of the time its high. I have been around many top players and can not ever remember seeing them practice that much.
Anyone around a top player that does practice alot and what is the practice consisting of? Anyone helping? Are they playing or shooting drills?


I know theres a lot of questions and thoughts here but someoe asked me why some players are Pro and not more. They could see Golf and some other sports because of physical skills but not pool.
Does the majority of the public think that pool can be mastered because its
not a physical sport?

Pool is not that hard of a game. Most anyone who wants to put in the time will become a very good player. You see it all the time with someone whose father has a pool room and grows up playing. They may not have natural talent but can play. Some players are naturals like Dennis Hatch. Then others are a result of a lot of work. I have known lots of very good players who had little natural talent but worked hard.

woody_968
03-15-2005, 08:15 PM
Pool is not that hard of a game. Most anyone who wants to put in the time will become a very good player. You see it all the time with someone whose father has a pool room and grows up playing. They may not have natural talent but can play. Some players are naturals like Dennis Hatch. Then others are a result of a lot of work. I have known lots of very good players who had little natural talent but worked hard.

Im gonna go out on a limb and a little against the normal thinking and say sometimes I believe those that dont have the natural ability may go farther than some of those naturals.

It seems to me that some people with natural talent get good very quickly. But once they hit a level that is going to take work to get past they are spoiled by their quick improvement and unwilling to put in the work to progress. Not all of them of course, but its true of several.

I think most people can get better than they really think they can if they are willing to get good instruction and put in some work.

Woody

Bobby
03-15-2005, 11:04 PM
Im gonna go out on a limb and a little against the normal thinking and say sometimes I believe those that dont have the natural ability may go farther than some of those naturals.

It seems to me that some people with natural talent get good very quickly. But once they hit a level that is going to take work to get past they are spoiled by their quick improvement and unwilling to put in the work to progress. Not all of them of course, but its true of several.

I think most people can get better than they really think they can if they are willing to get good instruction and put in some work.

Woody

I agree that someone without natural ability can
become very good at pool with practice and
dedication.

I am firm believer that many players are limited
by their minds, negative thoughts and such. I've
seen many players that practiced very hard and
attained a good degree of skill just become
disillusioned when things got tough and quit
practicing.

I think the key is to stay positive and never doubt
yourself and put into it whatever it takes. I heard
someone once say that John Schmidt used to play
the ghost in 9-ball sometimes for 8 straight hours,
most people simply won't do that. Another example,
Steve Davis the great snooker player is said to
have practiced an insane amount of hours. He would
practice the drill of hitting the cueball the length
of the table and back to his cue tip for over an
hour! That's dedcation.

wayne
03-15-2005, 11:48 PM
You don't have to start young, you don't have to practice a lot, and you don't have to be a natural. I started at 45 (54 now), I rarely practice, and it didn't come naturally. I have won over 200 tournaments (mostly between $100 and $200 but as much as $10,000) of 9 ball and won a lot more $ at one-pocket but not in tournaments so much. I am still getting better and I am hoping to make a break through in some pro tournaments this year. My key is that I always have a desire to improve and I am always looking for ways to get better and I try to always do it a little more at a time. I love to be in competition but I've tried to never go far out of my league. As I got better I looked for better competition and I always hated getting spotted but have never minded giving big spots to get a game.

Now if I can only take the time to actually practice 9 ball patterns (I think I've only practiced 9 ball a total of about 20 hours in my life) and get up the interest to match up in 9 ball I think I could do some real damage.

Wayne

Celtic
03-16-2005, 01:26 AM
I started at 45 (54 now), I rarely practice, and it didn't come naturally. I have won over 200 tournaments (mostly between $100 and $200 but as much as $10,000) of 9 ball and won a lot more $ at one-pocket but not in tournaments so much.

Wayne

Uh huh. You have been playing for a total of 9 years after starting at 45 years old, you rarely practice (and practice includes playing tournaments and gambling BTW, shooting pool is practice) and yet you are near pro level with no natural talent to boot. I am sorry I dont buy it. If you truely are near pro level after 9 years starting the game at 45 and never practicing you have a natural affinity for the game whether you want to believe it or not. I also think your "rarely practicing" statement is not taking into account a ton of pool you play. You may not do drills or sit and play by yourself but getting into gambling sessions and playing in tournaments against other top players is practice, it is some of the best practice you can do.

jjinfla
03-16-2005, 06:30 AM
You don't have to start young, you don't have to practice a lot, and you don't have to be a natural.
Wayne

Spoken like a true natural.

Jake

Blackjack
03-16-2005, 06:53 AM
This post made me start thinking about my progression as a player. I have said it many times that I played some of my best pool on the road as opposed to playing tournaments. I spent many years scratching my head wondering why I couldn't break through at the top level. I played at their level, but there was something missing, that special ingredient, and it can best be described as knowing that you belong there. If there is any doubt in your mind at any level, in any tournament final as to whether or not you belong there, then you don't. I spent many years trying and scraping my way through tournaments before I realized that I had a gift for teaching this game. There was time when I was unaware that I had the ability to teach and pass along the knowledge that I had. After that, it took a long time for me to accept my place in the pool world.

Not all of us can be Efren Reyes, not all of us can be Allison Fisher, not all of us can run tournaments like Jay Helfert, Scott Smith, or Steve Tipton. Not all of us are George Balabushka or Gus Szamboti. It does not mean that the quality of our work is any less, or means less. We all love this game and it takes all of us to make it great. It takes all of us to give it variety. If you truly love this game and there is a fire that burns in your heart and soul, do something every day to keep that fire strong. If that fire warms your heart, then it won't matter what level you play at, or what others think of your abilities, your accomplishments, or lack of accomplishments. All that will matter is your love for the game.

I know now that everything I experienced on the road as a player was merely preparing me for what I am doing now. I get more joy from teaching, writing, and coaching than I ever did as a player. Today I enjoy being an encourager, and I do not take that role lightly. In fact, I thank God for this road I have traveled. I think that if I ever had the success of an Efren Reyes or Johnny Archer, it would have been a great disservice to players I have helped over the years. When you understand how that works in the Universe, you also understand that all of your disappointments and setbacks are really God's way of pointing you back on the road He wants you to travel.

DaveK
03-16-2005, 09:06 AM
I get more joy from teaching, writing, and coaching than I ever did as a player. Today I enjoy being an encourager, and I do not take that role lightly.

Thanks Blackjack, I for one appreciate all your efforts in publishing material on the Internet. You are likely helping more players than you realize ...

I spent some time hanging around the halls (OK, the gym really) of our University Phys Ed (now Kinesiology) department. One of our track coaches was big into biomechanics, and with me into electronics, I was attracted to their various test gizmos. Long story short, when you measure human physical abilities you see differences between people. I recall that some of the best athletes were more precise in their motions, more consistant in their performances, and a big one was they are often faster than others, not that I think that speed and reaction time have much bearing on pool playing performance. The other physical abilities do influence how well one can play any particular game, including pool.

Another issue that one sees regularly in the gym is 'coachability'. When dealing with physical motion practice under the eyes of a coach, the athlete is often asked to change something (ie: keep your elbow steady, don't move the sholder). The better athletes can adapt their motions given various feedback, incluing being coached. Lesser athletes need to be shown more times and/or ways. Some just have this mental block and refuse to believe something is even happening (ie: my sholder is not moving, I can feel it, so I'm already doing what you asked and don't need to change anything). Many understand the feedback, try to correct whatever flaw needs correcting, but cannot differentiate the motion and as a result only partially correct the flaw.

In other words, some people are very coordinated, some are quite klutzy, and most of us are somewhere in between.

So, I believe that everyone has a 'ceiling' to their physical abilities. The rough part is that we have no way to judge where we stand in what some might call 'raw talent', nor can we easily tell where others rate. Makes for interesting competition to say the least !

Dave, who wishes he didn't apply scientific method to games playing... after all, ignorance is bliss.

Rickw
03-16-2005, 09:18 AM
I agree with most of the previous posts. I believe there is an inherent skill level in all players that they will not rise above. That being said, many players never reach their own plateau. I think you have to practice and hone your skills to reach your ultimate level of play.

Another thing that I haven't seen mentioned is the ability to play for pressure. I'm sure most of us have seen someone who plays extroardinarily well when there is no pressure and terrible when there is pressure. I remember an old post describing a player from, I believe it was the '60?, that played 14-1 and when practicing, typically ran 400 or 500 balls all the time but when he got into a tournament, he could win. If you can't play for the pressure, then you have to settle for enjoying the ability to play without it.

Jude Rosenstock
03-16-2005, 09:41 AM
Whats your thoughts on how good any one person can become.
Do individuals have a ceiling?
Can anyone if they practice enough make it to a certain level?

What makes Pro players Pros? Is it just practice or is it something they just have?

What is it that Pros have that others that are topped out dont have?

I have read numerous times in interviews with Pros that they practice
X number of hours per day. Most of the time its high. I have been around many top players and can not ever remember seeing them practice that much.
Anyone around a top player that does practice alot and what is the practice consisting of? Anyone helping? Are they playing or shooting drills?


I know theres a lot of questions and thoughts here but someoe asked me why some players are Pro and not more. They could see Golf and some other sports because of physical skills but not pool.
Does the majority of the public think that pool can be mastered because its
not a physical sport?


You think a person who spends the majority of their free time in a poolroom is equipped to answer that question? Seriously, there is only one ceiling: Perfection. Is it attainable? That's anybody's guess.

Why do some go pro and others don't? That's a life question. Everyone has their own answer to that.


Jude M. Rosenstock

Egg McDogit
03-16-2005, 10:25 AM
I've always been curious about the whole natural talent vs
determination question too. Maybe we can do a survey of
sorts on AZ to get an idea?
Anyone want to answer (or add questions):
1) were you considered a natural talent at some point in
time? what were peoples' expectations of you when you
started coming up?
2) how long did it take you (after you started playing
seriously) to reach the B level?
3) how was your progress after hitting the B level? did
it slow down a lot? did you keep progressing quickly? what
kind of things slowed down your progress..or what
deficiencies did you notice (speed control, stroke, eye, etc)
4) did you make it past the B level? how long did it take?
how did you improve to your current level?

peace
-Egg

Blackjack
03-16-2005, 10:58 AM
I've always been curious about the whole natural talent vs
determination question too. Maybe we can do a survey of
sorts on AZ to get an idea?
Anyone want to answer (or add questions):
1) were you considered a natural talent at some point in
time? what were peoples' expectations of you when you
started coming up?
2) how long did it take you (after you started playing
seriously) to reach the B level?
3) how was your progress after hitting the B level? did
it slow down a lot? did you keep progressing quickly? what
kind of things slowed down your progress..or what
deficiencies did you notice (speed control, stroke, eye, etc)
4) did you make it past the B level? how long did it take?
how did you improve to your current level?

peace
-Egg

I can answer all those questions very simply. Many people's expectations were that pool was a fad and that I would someday come to my senses and pursue an edcuation. I have played this game at a very respectably high level since I was 11 or 12 years old. If I was a B player at any time in my development, I don't remember. I do remember setting personal goals and milestones, or preparing to play this player or that player. I learned to judge my skill on who I could match up with, rather than the label of A, B, C, or D. You are what you think you are. My goal was to win tournaments. If I won, I was successful. If I didn't win, I tried to find out why, and then I did something about it.

How long did it take? Hard to really say. What did it take? Listen up, because I'm pretty sure Keith will give you a similar response. I sacrificed a lot of time, friends, relationships, and common sense to do what I did for many years. For every plus there were two negatives. That's the stuff you don't hear about. My advice? Make friends with some of the best players. For me it was guys like Cisero Murphy,Mike Carella, Louie Roberts, David Howard, Buddy Hall, just to name a few. All of those guys played great pool, but they also had a lot to offer in the area of strategy, determination, and the will to win. Surround yourself with champions and pick their brains. Find out what they do and why they do it. You can possess all the talent in the world, but if you don't know how to use it effectively, it will nly take you so far. There's an old saying that goes, Talent does what it can; genius does what it must. From that, I get the message that there is no sure pattern for successs, mainly because it depends on your determination. That means that talent can be measured, but your heart can't. Remember that.

Doug
03-16-2005, 10:59 AM
What I know most about is the sport of motocross racing, now known as Supercross but there are some things I believe to be analogous. I was at motorcycle dealer meeting in Las Vegas in the 1980's and we were talking with the best factory riders in the country. Bob Hannah had no peer at the time and he was asked who besides himself did he think was the best rider in motocross. Without hesitation he answered that the best and most naturally talented rider was Marty Tripes and that when Tripes trained and prepared for a race everyone, including himself, raced for 2nd place. He said he also knew that at the seasons end he would be the champion because Tripes would only train and prepare for a few races because partying was more important to him. My point is, IMO, if someone has natural ability and works hard too a hard worker will never beat them. Also, IMO all other things being equal someone who starts young will always excel beyond those who start older because everything becomes more intuitive. I started playing pool at 47 and became an APA 7 in a couple years and feel I haven't reached my ceiling but the gains are coming in much smaller increments now. I don't like it but I enjoy playing the game so much that I'll live with it. Occasionally I sneak up on a better player and win and that keeps me motivated.

bruin70
03-16-2005, 11:08 AM
Then please explain why Ralph Soquet never practices (this is per a conversation I had with Tony Robles) and only plays once a week in local tournaments, yet he still shoots great pool.

I will give you a hint. He supposedly is the biggest mind guru in billiards today. In other words he studies the mental side of pool (and anything) more so than you or I could ever imagin. This again was per Tony Robles. BTW, Tony loves the mental aspects of pool and wishes that he had the time Ralph has.

Having said that, I don't see how Ralph does it. I guess it is like you said, he simply does it, but not in a manner that a normal human being could understand LOL.


you are only supporting me. souquet, then, doesn't NEED to practice. irregardless of the mental aspects he indulges in,,,apparantly he doesn't have to practice.

however if you read my first statement,,,,,,"pros(greats) are not great because they practice, they practice because the are great." and apparantly,,,,his mental exercises ARE his form of practice.

recoveryjones
03-16-2005, 11:41 AM
I believe that there are four factors that influence how good of a player you can become.

1. God given ability:
Things like hand-eye co-ordination, feel for weight control,vision etc etc. All of us know a friend or a person who is good at almost every sport he plays.This person learns and develops very quickly, while many of us make slower gains with much hard work.

2. Proper fundamentals:
The difference between a professional and an amatuer is that the majority of the pros hit the cue ball where they are aiming to hit the cue ball. Despite all the various stances and strokes (some ugly) they manage to deliver the cue straight on the final swing to the cue ball. There is something right about their alignment,bridge,stance,head etc etc. In most cases professional instruction from a qualified instructor is nessecary to obtain this.Without proper fundamentals you can practice until you are blue in the face and you will eventually plataeu and be stuck at a certain level.

3.Dedication and practice:

Neils Feijen and Tony Robles have worked real hard with Bert kinister and done his drills. Their games reflect their hard work.The more you play(with proper fundamentals) the more you improve so lots of table time really helps.

4. Knowledge:

In years gone by there were many secrets in pool that were seldom shared. Today with dvd's and videos a wealth of knowledge is available to anyone. The pros also almost all have well known secret aiming systems that they'll seldom or if ever share with their students. (Why? Because they want them to repeatingly come back for more lessons).The angle dictates the shot and they know exactly where to aim and where to sight through the cue ball on all shots. They know that there are only a small handful of lineups that will make any ball from anywhere, where as the amatuer thinks that there are an infinite number of angle and shots.The pros KNOW where to aim, while the amatuers aim where they THINK is the right contact point and that's the difference. Someone (knowledgable in the pool world) once said to me , without an aiming system in most cases you will only progress so far and then you will plateau.The pros(for the most part) all have deadly aiming systems.

5.Mental:

Your mental makeup will determine how you do in competition. There are several books on the mental game and various breathing techniques and mental practices can be learned. The best mental training is to jump into the fire and play players that are better than you. Enter lots of tournaments and money games, because getting acclimitized to the water is huge in mental preparation.

6. Heart and Desire:

Many times during practice you will feel like quiting , especially when learning things (like a new stance) that will set your game two steps before it goes forward three or more steps.Also practice the things that your the worst at and make them your strength. No-one like practising rail shots or bridging over balls etc, becuse there will be many dissapointing moments in practice. Heart and desire will take you a long way.

Everyone who does the above things can and will improve. Where you plateau is enterily up to you as to how much you maximize your God given ability.


As for me, I need to work hard on my mental game because I can do amazing things in practice (for me,atmy level) however, I haven't quit figured out how to bring it(consistently) when it really counts.And it drives me crazy. RJ

recoveryjones
03-16-2005, 11:42 AM
Meant to write 6 factors on the above post. RJ

DaveK
03-16-2005, 11:44 AM
Then please explain why Ralph Soquet never practices (this is per a conversation I had with Tony Robles) and only plays once a week in local tournaments, yet he still shoots great pool.

I will give you a hint. He supposedly is the biggest mind guru in billiards today. In other words he studies the mental side of pool (and anything) more so than you or I could ever imagin. This again was per Tony Robles. BTW, Tony loves the mental aspects of pool and wishes that he had the time Ralph has.

Having said that, I don't see how Ralph does it. I guess it is like you said, he simply does it, but not in a manner that a normal human being could understand LOL.

Years ago a famous experiment was conducted. They (I have no idea who 'they' are ...) took three groups of people and tested their ability to shoot basketball foul shots, thus creating a baseline. Then they asked one group to practice shooting for some time. Another group was asked to do nothing. The third group was asked to practice foul shots IN THEIR HEAD, to the same extent that the real-practice group practiced. Later they re-tested all three groups on the court. The do-nothing group had not improved. The real-practice group were better. But so was the mental-practice group ! The point is that you do not need to perform the physical activity to gain motor-memory, it can be gained through mental practice. I should be a star by now ...

Dave

kollegedave
03-16-2005, 12:00 PM
On the youth part I think you are absolutely correct. The younger one starts the better. I would also add in a distant second...smart practice, not just hard practice. If someone's technique is completely goofy, it becomes much less likely (not impossible) for them to make improvements such that their skill level will reach that of a pro. Thus, I feel as though to play well one has to be able to make an honest evaluation of problems in their mechanics and be able to fix those.

kollegedave

Another thing that is hugely important is starting young, those early years in life (4-5 years old and up) are HUGE in getting truely awesome at a sport. A kids brain at that age is a open book, they absorb the information of angles, the muscle memory, the speed of shots, the reactions of the balls, FAR more then if you start the game in the later years like your teens. It is ALOT harder to get to the pro level from starting past 10 years old. We dont have our Tiger Woods yet, the kid that is bred to play pool from the time they are born and was playing great already at 6 or 7 years old. You have to get lucky, it takes the fluke of the kid having the natural ability that would make him one of the fast progressors if he started later in life, and then instead of letting him start later in life getting him into the game from the time he can walk. By the time the kid was 14 years old when alot of us start shooting pool and getting good the kid would already be shooting near pro level pool and running multiple racks.[/QUOTE]

kollegedave
03-16-2005, 12:03 PM
For some reason my quote of another poster, was not marked as such. The portion below my handle is a quote from (Celtic I believe) someone earlier in the thread.

kollegedave

kollegedave
03-16-2005, 12:13 PM
Is perfection attainable? Well, in pool (and this is what makes it beautiful in my opinion) perfection is attainable by a large number of players for a short time...no one, not even Efren, can beat you in a game of nine ball if you break and run out. You were perfect for that game. Further perfection is attainable by great players for longer periods of time. I know this, because I have seen Ronnie Alcono play nine ball. That afternoon, Alcono could have given Zeus the last three.

kollegedave


You think a person who spends the majority of their free time in a poolroom is equipped to answer that question? Seriously, there is only one ceiling: Perfection. Is it attainable? That's anybody's guess.

Why do some go pro and others don't? That's a life question. Everyone has their own answer to that.


Jude M. Rosenstock

Bobby
03-16-2005, 02:33 PM
Then please explain why Ralph Soquet never practices (this is per a conversation I had with Tony Robles) and only plays once a week in local tournaments, yet he still shoots great pool.

I will give you a hint. He supposedly is the biggest mind guru in billiards today. In other words he studies the mental side of pool (and anything) more so than you or I could ever imagin. This again was per Tony Robles. BTW, Tony loves the mental aspects of pool and wishes that he had the time Ralph has.

Having said that, I don't see how Ralph does it. I guess it is like you said, he simply does it, but not in a manner that a normal human being could understand LOL.


I think that Ralf Souqet practiced a lot to get
to where he is, he also took lessons with Jimmy
Rempe. Now that he's at his current level he can
just play in tournies and that in itself appears
to be enough to maintain his skill. I also have
no doubt that his studies on the mind help him
immeasurably in pressure situations.
Like I said in an earlier post, I don't think
there's a limit to how good we can get, just our
minds limit us. Where there's a will there's a way.

Egg McDogit
03-16-2005, 03:07 PM
blackjack, sounds like you put in your time and got far. I
threw "b player" out there, but what I was trying to find
out is when people hit major walls in their progress and
how they're doing with them. Do some people improve without
hitting major humps because of their talent? Do they hit
humps and get past them quicker than "less talented" people?

I was coming up pretty quick, but my progress slowed down a
lot in the last year. I run a rack here and there, but can't
seem to get to the point where I'm putting racks together
on a consistent basis. It's been frustrating taking baby
steps, but I'm determined to keep at it. I liked your post
because it's a reminder that people work hard to get where
they are in this game - and it's not easy. Gotta have heart

peace
-Egg

wayne
03-16-2005, 03:32 PM
Uh huh. You have been playing for a total of 9 years after starting at 45 years old, you rarely practice (and practice includes playing tournaments and gambling BTW, shooting pool is practice) and yet you are near pro level with no natural talent to boot. I am sorry I dont buy it. If you truely are near pro level after 9 years starting the game at 45 and never practicing you have a natural affinity for the game whether you want to believe it or not. I also think your "rarely practicing" statement is not taking into account a ton of pool you play. You may not do drills or sit and play by yourself but getting into gambling sessions and playing in tournaments against other top players is practice, it is some of the best practice you can do.

Well, I guess you re-defined practice for me, I always seperate the two (practice and competing) but if you want to include competition then I do a lot of that. I agree I have an affinity for the game but I don't think that makes me a natural talent since I have to work very hard at every aspect of the game paying very close attention to small details to overcome my many shortcomings.

(Hey, I see you are in Canada, when and where are the Canadian championship this year, I may be heading up there and would like to take a shot at it).

Wayne

Mr441
03-16-2005, 03:37 PM
the truth lies somewhere in between but closer to "pure talent" that seperates the pros from everyone else.

pros are not great because they practice, pros practice because they are great. they practice to hone what they already have. playing, practicing,,,,,it's like breathing to them. they simply DO.

some players love to play,,,,pros HAVE to play. it is their blessing, it is their curse. they are merely being what they are meant to be.


"Pros practice because they are great" ??!!! Where did you come up with that? That's ridiculous, they became great because they had immense desire.

There's not a lot of innate ability involved in pool. It's all mental. The sky's the limit to how good you can get if you want to put in the time and sacrifice.

Celtic
03-16-2005, 04:59 PM
Well, I guess you re-defined practice for me, I always seperate the two (practice and competing) but if you want to include competition then I do a lot of that. I agree I have an affinity for the game but I don't think that makes me a natural talent since I have to work very hard at every aspect of the game paying very close attention to small details to overcome my many shortcomings.

(Hey, I see you are in Canada, when and where are the Canadian championship this year, I may be heading up there and would like to take a shot at it).

Wayne

They are always in the East, in the area of Toronto/Montreal. Le Scratch Billiards, but there are many Le Scratch and I am from the west so it is like the distance from Vegas to New York and I therefore dont know much about the scene out there, only times I played out there was in the BCA Championships and did not get any time to see the city and the whole scene was at the hotel we were playing at at that time anyhow.

Come out to the Tournament in Calgary in April, that is getting ALOT of pro level players, $10K first place and there will be lots of action and a huge calcutta ect...

wahcheck
03-16-2005, 05:00 PM
Whats your thoughts on how good any one person can become.
Do individuals have a ceiling?
Can anyone if they practice enough make it to a certain level?

What makes Pro players Pros? Is it just practice or is it something they just have?

What is it that Pros have that others that are topped out dont have?

I have read numerous times in interviews with Pros that they practice
X number of hours per day. Most of the time its high. I have been around many top players and can not ever remember seeing them practice that much.
Anyone around a top player that does practice alot and what is the practice consisting of? Anyone helping? Are they playing or shooting drills?


I know theres a lot of questions and thoughts here but someoe asked me why some players are Pro and not more. They could see Golf and some other sports because of physical skills but not pool.
Does the majority of the public think that pool can be mastered because its
not a physical sport?
I, for one, have seen some players practicing a lot and not ever really get to the high levels of a pro or even near-pro...I think that pool is like anything else in life...some people just have a talent for it and others cannot reach the level the talented one is at, no matter how much they practice...of course it's just my opinion, but when I watch somebody like Earl Strickland shoot, it just looks different to me than even the way other pros shoot..Rodney Morris is another one...that is what I consider to be real talent.

mjantti
03-16-2005, 05:45 PM
I think if you are practising and you don't feel like you're developing, it just might be that you are blind to your new skills. I noticed it many years ago, I was playing quite a lot, playing in weekly tournaments against somewhat inferior opponents with a lot of handicap and didn't have any goals, I just played for fun of it. If I didn't feel like playing, I didn't play. Sometimes I had a break away from pool for 2 weeks or even more if I just didn't feel like playing. I though I wasn't improving at all, I wasn't breaking any of my run-out records. If I didn't have time to go to shoot a few racks, I imagined how it felt when I played last time in dead stroke or I imagined some of the hard shots I made in a tough tournament match. It was something like mental excercise and practising by visualization.

For some reason, the time when I wasn't practising hard, but just enjoying the game paid off. When I made a small comeback and practised for a major tournament, I noticed my game had matured a lot. I wasn't playing stupid shots, I wasn't rushing into shots and I was definitely missing a lot less shots. I wasn't making any records, but I wasn't making many mistakes. Maybe it was because I didn't take any pressure at all. Maybe because I was much more humble and had more respect for the game. Hard to say what caused my leap from a good player to the top of the Finnish rankings.

But, still I feel that if I play for more than 3 days running, my motivation decreases and I somehow get frustrated and need a small break, just a couple of days will do enough and I'm able to return to the table. And with some mental practise, I'm able to return to the table in almost dead stroke without any sign of hesitation. I have also been watching a lot of pool with concentrated mind. I try to picture myself at each shot like I was at the table. It's almost like practising and it really does seem to help...

Well, a sort of a long story, I hope I made some sense here.

pete lafond
03-16-2005, 06:44 PM
I think all things that we do and how good we become are a clear reflection of our love and dedication for it. Any sport can be learned and performed quite well without secrets and teachers, they do help. I have found more with golf than billiards that the desire means more than anything else. Why? Because I really enjoyed golf when I started playing at age 23. No lessons, I just went to the driving range and hit balls. I watched as others better than I was played. My swing was home grown. Do it enough times and the body/mind will adjust over time and figure out the best swing for you - and it is much easier to correct yourself when your missing a little when self taught. Case, within 3 - 4 years I was shooting in the 70's and low 80's from the back tees and this means courses like the Blue Monster at Doral. I refused to play the white tees. Golf was a lot of fun for me, then I quit for about 10 years. Started again though shooting in the 90's and 100's from the white tees. After about my 10th time from coming back I got back to mid 80's and thats all. No drive as I had before, just playing for the hell of it. I really believe that you do not have to start as a kid, you only need the burning desire. Add some lessons if you will and you now get a jump on things. Anyone can do anything they want to if they love it and keep at it. You will know when you make a big step as things will when unexpected "Click in". I have see this in billiards players. My advice is to never look at a pro and be discouraged because he started at age 7 or something like that. I know golfers and billiards players that started at this age, and in my head I say "I wouldn't tell anyone hold old your where when you started if I were you".

You want to do it and you have the right mind? Then do it and become good at any age.

bruin70
03-16-2005, 06:48 PM
".................

There's not a lot of innate ability involved in pool. It's all mental. The sky's the limit to how good you can get if you want to put in the time and sacrifice.

wellppp,,,THIS could go on forever. so i'll just leave you with this,,,,,,,your statement, imo, is a slap in the face of people like michael jordan, johnny archer, tiger woods, efren reyes, yo-yo ma, john coltraine, gayle sayers, rembrandt, and just about any superior talent,,,to presume that one can be like them with neverending practice. natural talent is natural talent in any given endeavor. and the "mental part" IS a defining characteristic of greatness, i agree, but it is all built on the foundation that the talent is there in the first place.

however, if this is what keeps you going, i think it's great. you have a lot to look forward to.

Mr441
03-16-2005, 07:30 PM
wellppp,,,THIS could go on forever. so i'll just leave you with this,,,,,,,your statement, imo, is a slap in the face of people like michael jordan, johnny archer, tiger woods, efren reyes, yo-yo ma, john coltraine, gayle sayers, rembrandt, and just about any superior talent,,,to presume that one can be like them with neverending practice. natural talent is natural talent in any given endeavor. and the "mental part" IS a defining characteristic of greatness, i agree, but it is all built on the foundation that the talent is there in the first place.

however, if this is what keeps you going, i think it's great. you have a lot to look forward to.


How is it a slap in the face of those mentioned? If anything it's a compliment to their perseverance. But in my post I was speaking about POOL not basketball or fiddle playing or whatever else those people excelled at. Although I suspect the same would apply to those endeavors as well.

There's no basis for your belief about "natural ability", of course your opinions and my opinions are just that opinions.

The reason I think you can get good or even great at pool is because I personally have no "natural ability" at pool but through hard work and endless hours of practice have attained a high degree of proficiency
and that's without really dedicating myself completely to the game.



.

lewdo26
03-16-2005, 07:32 PM
I think if you are practising and you don't feel like you're developing, it just might be that you are blind to your new skills. I noticed it many years ago, I was playing quite a lot, playing in weekly tournaments against somewhat inferior opponents with a lot of handicap and didn't have any goals, I just played for fun of it. If I didn't feel like playing, I didn't play. Sometimes I had a break away from pool for 2 weeks or even more if I just didn't feel like playing. I though I wasn't improving at all, I wasn't breaking any of my run-out records. If I didn't have time to go to shoot a few racks, I imagined how it felt when I played last time in dead stroke or I imagined some of the hard shots I made in a tough tournament match. It was something like mental excercise and practising by visualization.

For some reason, the time when I wasn't practising hard, but just enjoying the game paid off. When I made a small comeback and practised for a major tournament, I noticed my game had matured a lot. I wasn't playing stupid shots, I wasn't rushing into shots and I was definitely missing a lot less shots. I wasn't making any records, but I wasn't making many mistakes. Maybe it was because I didn't take any pressure at all. Maybe because I was much more humble and had more respect for the game. Hard to say what caused my leap from a good player to the top of the Finnish rankings.

But, still I feel that if I play for more than 3 days running, my motivation decreases and I somehow get frustrated and need a small break, just a couple of days will do enough and I'm able to return to the table. And with some mental practise, I'm able to return to the table in almost dead stroke without any sign of hesitation. I have also been watching a lot of pool with concentrated mind. I try to picture myself at each shot like I was at the table. It's almost like practising and it really does seem to help...

Well, a sort of a long story, I hope I made some sense here.

You did make lots of sense, Mikko. I sometimes beat myself up for not practicing everyday (more like 4-5 times a week), but, like you, I notice my motivation decreases a little after 2-3 days of hard practice. One day off and I return to the practice table fresh as mint. I still don't know what the solution to the motivation problem is, especially since I have *so* much more to learn. Today, for instance, I came up with about 4 drills of my own (adequate to my playing level); I was just experimenting with the balls. I didn't feel like doing drills per se. But that's because yesterday I did the same drill for 2 hours and a half without a fountain break.

As far as the evergreen question of 'how good can one become?', I don't even bother to think about it. I simply know that I can't go without this game for long, and that is my motivation! But I'd have to agree with the guys that mention natural ability as the primary force; practicing being fruitful mostly in already-fertile ground. Who knows, poolplaying talent might have to do with very concrete things, like an individual's neurological perception of space, or something or other. The idea that practice and no talent can take you anywhere you'll dare to go is good as motivational speech, but rather unrealistic.

Hal
03-16-2005, 07:37 PM
I have become as good of a pool player as my wife will let me....

frankncali
03-16-2005, 07:49 PM
Thanks for all the views.

I lie somewhere in the middle of all of these posts.

I do believe in natural ability but I dont think it will get you to the PRO level.
It will get you very quickly up to being an upper B or low A player. IMHO

When I started I was around 17 years old. I had seen a pool table and hit a ball a couple times but not really played. First game ever was 9ball and I ran
6 balls and out. It was a very long night after that lucky streak but I wa hooked.
I beat the balls for a while but never got much better only playing every now and then. Then one day I decided if I was going to play I should do it right.
From then on I got better at a very rapid rate. I was around 20 and was
around very good pool all the time. That helped and I believe is crucial to getting better. If you never know what is right or even different options
you can not get better.

I also believe that most of us that play just simply play and hope to get better. Once reaching a certain level (upper B maybe) then you have to make effort to get better. I also have found that the better you get its easier to maintain that level than it is to improve to the next. Maybe thats
why Souquet does not have to practice that much to stay level.

I dont believe that without natural ability a person can become a PRO level player. Theres natural skill involved in timing and coordination. Great pool
players seem to have a good natural flow. Stroke IMO is a natural skill and is almost impossible to learn.
PLayers in older era did not have fast cloth and great equipment. Being a natural player with a great natural stroke set them apart. Now with the
newer cloth and the better equipment I think some players today would not have the goods to compete in the older days. Other guys from today would
be able to. IMO natural ability would be the factor that separates the two
groups.

I like what Blackjack writes alot of times but its hard to do. Theres no secret
and he makes no bones about that.

I have wondered what PROs did to reach that level and if practicing drills and
setups for hours was part of it or if it was just playing time.

frankncali
03-16-2005, 07:56 PM
Your post below IMO is true.
I remember the first time I met a friend of mine. He is a well known player from the NE. I met him in NC at a tournament in the early 90s or mid 90s.
He was playing Tony Ellin to see who would face Archer in the Finals.
Ellin was killing him. The player was shook at the situation. He spoke to a friend of mine telling him he could not believe he was playing Tony Ellin and that he was not in his league. My buddy tells him he better play his game ot
Ellin is going to win it. The player cut in a very nice shot and ran out and proceeded to win the set.
In the Finals he was a wreck and lost. He kept saying how he could not believe he was in the finals in the tournament playing Johnny Archer. It got him. Afterwards a guy told him that he needed to believe in himself and
KNOW THAT HE WAS ON THAT LEVEL. From then on his game has been
much better.
He was on the road then and many people said his game jumped from being on the road but I believe it was from the confidence he gained that day.
He truely felt like he could play him those guys. He still plays on that level and is a force. Sometimes not the nicest guy in the world but he is a very good pool player whose game jumped a ton with confidence.




This post made me start thinking about my progression as a player. I have said it many times that I played some of my best pool on the road as opposed to playing tournaments. I spent many years scratching my head wondering why I couldn't break through at the top level. I played at their level, but there was something missing, that special ingredient, and it can best be described as knowing that you belong there. If there is any doubt in your mind at any level, in any tournament final as to whether or not you belong there, then you don't. I spent many years trying and scraping my way through tournaments before I realized that I had a gift for teaching this game. There was time when I was unaware that I had the ability to teach and pass along the knowledge that I had. After that, it took a long time for me to accept my place in the pool world.

Not all of us can be Efren Reyes, not all of us can be Allison Fisher, not all of us can run tournaments like Jay Helfert, Scott Smith, or Steve Tipton. Not all of us are George Balabushka or Gus Szamboti. It does not mean that the quality of our work is any less, or means less. We all love this game and it takes all of us to make it great. It takes all of us to give it variety. If you truly love this game and there is a fire that burns in your heart and soul, do something every day to keep that fire strong. If that fire warms your heart, then it won't matter what level you play at, or what others think of your abilities, your accomplishments, or lack of accomplishments. All that will matter is your love for the game.

I know now that everything I experienced on the road as a player was merely preparing me for what I am doing now. I get more joy from teaching, writing, and coaching than I ever did as a player. Today I enjoy being an encourager, and I do not take that role lightly. In fact, I thank God for this road I have traveled. I think that if I ever had the success of an Efren Reyes or Johnny Archer, it would have been a great disservice to players I have helped over the years. When you understand how that works in the Universe, you also understand that all of your disappointments and setbacks are really God's way of pointing you back on the road He wants you to travel.

frankncali
03-16-2005, 08:00 PM
Why do you feel you had no natural talent and in what ways?

Also at what level do you feel you are at now? Do you feel you can be as good as a PRO level player or even the top of the PROs like Archer, Mika
Earl or Efren?

If not then what makes them better than the other PROs.


There's no basis for your belief about "natural ability", of course your opinions and my opinions are just that opinions.

The reason I think you can get good or even great at pool is because I personally have no "natural ability" at pool but through hard work and endless hours of practice have attained a high degree of proficiency
and that's without really dedicating myself completely to the game.



.

DaveK
03-16-2005, 08:47 PM
There's no basis for your belief about "natural ability", of course your opinions and my opinions are just that opinions.
.

Perhaps we differ on our understanding of 'natural ability', but there certainly are differences in the physical capabilities when comparing people. Top athletes can more quickly get to a proficiency level in a new game/sport because they are more capable generally. No doubt mental capabilities such as visualization and concentration play a part too. So, I think that people with tremendous motor and mental skills can excel in a sport (given enough motivation), but those without are relegated to poor play no matter how much they care and try. This is of course not a black and white scenario, rather a full spectrum. By my description 'natural talent' is not specific to pool, although there is likely an optimal mix of talents to excel in pool which would be different to the optimal mix for another sportgame. Guys like MJ, Tiger, Wayne, and Earl have talents and ambition that mortals like myself wish for ...

Of course, just my opinion, but I think there is some science in this ...

Dave

shakes
03-16-2005, 09:28 PM
wellppp,,,THIS could go on forever. so i'll just leave you with this,,,,,,,your statement, imo, is a slap in the face of people like michael jordan, johnny archer, tiger woods, efren reyes, yo-yo ma, john coltraine, gayle sayers, rembrandt, and just about any superior talent,,,to presume that one can be like them with neverending practice. natural talent is natural talent in any given endeavor. and the "mental part" IS a defining characteristic of greatness, i agree, but it is all built on the foundation that the talent is there in the first place.


however, if this is what keeps you going, i think it's great. you have a lot to look forward to.

For the most part, I try to stay in the shadows watching, occasionally asking a question. But I think that your statement is a slap in the face of the individuals you mentioned as well as a couple of other basketball greats like Reggie Miller, and Larry Bird. Jordan was cut from his high school team early in his career (which made him work 10X harder), and Reggie Miller is one of the best examples of hard work overcoming lack of physical prowess. Larry Bird had one of the worst shooting forms the NBA has ever seen and if you ever watch him in the classic games, you could barely slip a piece of notebook paper under his feet when he jumped. ALL of these greats put in more time practicing than anybody else in the game.

For my two cents as to how good one can become, there are two things that are necessary to become great at pool. Eyes (you can't get around poor vision, it's just not possible) and heart. If you have these two things, then you'll do whatever you have to do to get where you want to go. Some will get there faster (the natural talents), but if one recognizes that they are limited in correcting their own habits, they can get a coach to get them past it. Again, it takes some longer than others, but anyone can be the best, until they meet someone better. And there will always be someone better.

::exits from his soap box, stage left::

bruin70
03-16-2005, 11:20 PM
For the most part, I try to stay in the shadows watching, occasionally asking a question. But I think that your statement is a slap in the face of the individuals you mentioned as well as a couple of other basketball greats like Reggie Miller, and Larry Bird. Jordan was cut ,,,,,,
::exits from his soap box, stage left::

this is why this particular discussion can go back and forth with absolutely no resolution to anyone's satisfaction,,,,,and that neither of us will ever be convinced otherwise of our opinion on this issue.

is natural talent the ability to jump higher than the a piece of paper between your feet and the floor,,,,,is natural talent what one was born with and never had to nurture to be great,,,,,,,did don mattingly have natural talent,,,,,did he have less than darryl strawberry and more than ME,,,,,,,could i be like mattingly if i practiced.

it's a discussion that becomes wrought with what-if's. what if strawberry was more diligent. what if you practiced 10 hours a day for 40 years, where would you be. what if you progressed tenfold in one year of practice,,,,do you assume that doing that 10 more years will make you a hundredfold better. if you try to practice as much as xxxpro, BUT CAN'T, is it because you just didn't try hard enough......or is it because THAT kind of focus to practice requires that high level of talent to see it through.(which mr441, is what i was talking about greats practicing because they ARE great)

it goes on and on.

bruin70
03-16-2005, 11:28 PM
Perhaps we differ on our understanding of 'natural ability', but there certainly are differences in the physical capabilities when comparing people. Top athletes can more quickly get to a proficiency level in a new game/sport because they are more capable generally. No doubt mental capabilities such as visualization and concentration play a part too. So, I think that people with tremendous motor and mental skills can excel in a sport (given enough motivation), but those without are relegated to poor play no matter how much they care and try. This is of course not a black and white scenario, rather a full spectrum. By my description 'natural talent' is not specific to pool, although there is likely an optimal mix of talents to excel in pool which would be different to the optimal mix for another sportgame. Guys like MJ, Tiger, Wayne, and Earl have talents and ambition that mortals like myself wish for ...

Of course, just my opinion, but I think there is some science in this ...

Dave

also a key part of the "gifted talent" is the ability to be creative. in sports it might be a move, a thought, something unique to the situation to get the job done, that others less gifted would never think of. in art it's the creative spontaneous turn of a brush that a lesser artist would never be inspired to "create".

in acting, it's the difference between robert de niro and richard gere.

and we don't have to discuss what the genius of efren reyes has brought to the game.

Mr441
03-16-2005, 11:44 PM
Why do you feel you had no natural talent and in what ways?

Also at what level do you feel you are at now? Do you feel you can be as good as a PRO level player or even the top of the PROs like Archer, Mika
Earl or Efren?

If not then what makes them better than the other PROs.

What I mean is that I didn't immediately develop skills right away like some players do, I had trouble even stroking the cue straight. But I didn't let it get me down and I stuck with it and practiced much
more than anyone else I knew.

No I don't play as good as the top pros, but it's not that it can't be done, it's just that I never aspired to be a pro player, it's just not the life I want to lead. However I adamantly believe that had I quit my job and completely devoted myself to getting to that level I could do it, anyone could do it.

I don't get to play as much nowadays, only once or twice a week so my game has declined quite a bit, but at my best I was an A+ to open level.


.

predator
03-17-2005, 02:35 AM
There's practically no limit as to how good can one become with enough practice and dedication. But you need huge confidence to play really good pool...I mean huge.

I noticed watching some better players how they play smart and confident. They don't oscillate much...their average game is very strong. I can only hang with them when I'm on top of my game. But why can't my top game become my average? If it did I'd be an advanced player, not intermediate.

When faced with a critical shots, the pro's don't think "what if I miss" like I do sometimes. Negative thoughts kill my game, the confidence goes down. And when I do play well, I start to think about personal records, high runs and how I'm gonna break them, LOL. Not good! I haven't yet been able to resolve this problem. That problem becomes even bigger at tournaments. The expectations also bring additional pressure which is hard to handle.

And the difference between professional players? It isn't the stroke. Many players have stroke that is technically superior to that of Reyes, but in actual match situation it won't mean much. In fact, they will struggle against him in a longer match, he'll drill them more often than not. He simply doesn't think he's the best, he KNOWS it.

mjantti
03-17-2005, 04:23 AM
I think it just dawned at me. If you want to be a good player and you want to shoot your best game in practice, in tournaments or in high $$$ games... And how you shoot your best game ? You have to enjoy every single shot you face. If you're a pro, you still should enjoy making a 2' stop shot even though you know it's a 999 out of 1000 shot. Every single aspect in the game should give you satisfaction, doesn't matter if you manage to execute a tough shot or an easy one, you shouldn't pass the opportunity to enjoy your mechanics and how you're able to control the balls with the tip of your cue.

I have experienced being in dead stroke, but taking things for granted and not enjoying the game. We all know what happens next, the doubt starts creeping in and suddenly your dead stroke is gone. I think the best matches ever for me haven't been played in dead stroke, instead I've enjoyed every single shot and "amazed" myself how I was able to perform under serious pressure. Sometimes I even laughed inside my head thinking jokingly "I can't believe I made that ridiculously difficult shot without any difficulties". This enjoying is also a good way to get rid of excess tournament pressure. How can you stiffen up and choke, if you're enjoying the game and having a good time ? I know it's not that simple, but for me it has been lately exactly that.

Well, as someone mentioned, if you want to be a pro, a top of the world, you need to have a burning desire from the early days of your practise. Enjoying and having a good time doesn't apply with pros all the way... well, maybe except Efren :)

bruin70
03-17-2005, 04:40 AM
There's practically no limit as to how good can one become with enough practice and dedication. But you need huge confidence to play really good pool...I mean huge. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,t.

and there's no more an obvious example of what you mean than going from a snooker table to a 9'er. the confidence gained when i think the 9'er looks like a baby table makes my pocketing game better by 40% if not more.

Egg McDogit
03-17-2005, 08:59 AM
Someone happened to bring up Ronnie O'Sullivan (snooker
player) in another post. I watched him play Steven Hendry (sp?)
and it made my jaw drop...probably the most disgusting feat
I've ever seen on a table. It might change your outlook
on natural talent ;)
peace
-Egg

mjantti
03-17-2005, 09:38 AM
Someone happened to bring up Ronnie O'Sullivan (snooker
player) in another post. I watched him play Steven Hendry (sp?)
and it made my jaw drop...probably the most disgusting feat
I've ever seen on a table. It might change your outlook
on natural talent ;)
peace
-Egg

Umm, some details please. Did he moon to Stephen ? Started singing xmas carols during Stephen's inning ? Took a dump... umm, I won't go there... :)

What did Ronnie do ? :confused:

Egg McDogit
03-17-2005, 11:40 AM
Ronnie was snapping balls in like a monster...just looked
completely effortless.

While we're on Larry Bird...one of my favorite Bird moments
was on an espn interview where he was discussing how he felt
disrespected and pissed off when the other team would put
a white guy on him hehe.
peace
-Egg

FLICKit
03-17-2005, 11:54 AM
Okay, please hold your horses. First of all, Larry Bird had one of the best shooting forms. How in the hell do you think he was the king of the 3 point shot kings? Did you ever watch his wrist flick? PERFECT. Every shot had the same exact rotation. He had talent my friend, a whole lot of talent. Except in the jumping area. But then you would be hard pressed to explain why he raked in so many rebounds. He was smarter than the rest of the players. He had eyes behind his head and a court sense that no other player has ever had, IMO. His BRAIN was talented, creative (something another poster brought out in good pool players. He was a NATURAL.

And Michael Jordan. I will never forget when the Marquette coach who was one of my favorite college basket ball announcers proclaimed in a NC game that Michael Jordan would be better than Phil Ford. And everbody went, yeh, right. All you had to do was look at the catlike movements that Jordan had, the vertical leap, and above all PURE ATHLETIC ABILITY to see this in Jordan. Jeeze, he was born with this.

And both of them excelled I believe because of their natural talents, not due to how much time they practiced.

I will agree with the eyes and the heart part as being necessary for pool players to become great, and I might get beat up by my wife again for saying this, but natural talent has a lot to do with how far one goes in pool, at least to being great. Even Allison Fisher, who practices as much as some of the men do, in a Rockville Md exhibition stated that she couldn't compete with the men because men had superior eye hand cooridination. She told this to a female player who played on my APA team, so this was a woman to woman down to earth talk. Personally I think that if Allison had a designated breaker in 9 ball most men would be afraid to play her. They would get killed and they know it. Allison is a very modest individual it seems, so her statement may have been a little biased towards the men LOL.

Natural abilities, talent, and hard work are often confused.

For example, Bird's wrist flick had much less to do with natural abilities, and much more to do with the amount of dedication, hard work, and focus that he provided to the game of basketball. All of it is muscular motor movements that get trained via constant repetition. To an outside observer that may appear like natural talent, but to the athlete basically every maneuver is a trained activity from some point in their life experiences.

No athlete has reached the pinnacle of their sport except as a result of training (direct or indirect).

Sometimes there can be unintended consequences or benefits. For example, Bird shooting in his sandlot court, could have inspired him to increase shotmaking so as not to have to chase the ball all over the place. Likewise, he may have focused harder on judging the direction of the basketball, whether in the hoop, or off a missed shot, which would've had the side effect of aiding his rebounding abilities. Usually the skilled in any activity have trained themselves to see or react at a faster and faster rate. Numerous athletes talk about events happening in slow motion.

Exceptions may, and I repeat MAY be jumping abilities, speed, quickness, and intelligence. Even those can be and are augmented by training. There are some basic abilities, but that alone is never enough.

Jordan had athletic abilities, but like Bird, his greatness was a result of his committment to countless hours of training and hard work. This is true of all great athletes (Tiger Woods, Barry Bonds, Andre Agassi, Efrem Reyes, Bruce Lee, Jeanette Lee...).

To the outside observer or couch potato, it's easy to minimize the accomplishments of the atheletes by discounting it as talents from birth.

bruin70
03-17-2005, 01:09 PM
Natural abilities, talent, and hard work are often confused.

For example, Bird's wrist flick had much less to do with natural abilities, and much more to do with the amount of dedication, hard work, and focus that he provided to the game of basketball. All of it is muscular motor movements that get trained via constant repetition. To an outside observer that may appear like natural talent, but to the athlete basically every maneuver is a trained activity from some point in their life experiences.

No athlete has reached the pinnacle of their sport except as a result of training (direct or indirect).

Sometimes there can be unintended consequences or benefits. For example, Bird shooting in his sandlot court, could have inspired him to increase shotmaking so as not to have to chase the ball all over the place. Likewise, he may have focused harder on judging the direction of the basketball, whether in the hoop, or off a missed shot, which would've had the side effect of aiding his rebounding abilities. Usually the skilled in any activity have trained themselves to see or react at a faster and faster rate. Numerous athletes talk about events happening in slow motion.

Exceptions may, and I repeat MAY be jumping abilities, speed, quickness, and intelligence. Even those can be and are augmented by training. There are some basic abilities, but that alone is never enough.

Jordan had athletic abilities, but like Bird, his greatness was a result of his committment to countless hours of training and hard work. This is true of all great athletes (Tiger Woods, Barry Bonds, Andre Agassi, Efrem Reyes, Bruce Lee, Jeanette Lee...).

To the outside observer or couch potato, it's easy to minimize the accomplishments of the atheletes by discounting it as talents from birth.


and it goes around and around.

it's much easier to say, i think, that talented/naturals however you want to define them, can do very very well with talent alone. but in the meantime, there are those ALMOST as talented who ARE working at their game. i mean,,,anyone will readily admit that staying away will deteriorate their skills. to quibble about the talent of bird vs the talent of jordan, how they got there, and what they bring to the table. they are there...period. talent is multifaceted.

FLICKit
03-17-2005, 02:04 PM
and it goes around and around.

it's much easier to say, i think, that talented/naturals however you want to define them, can do very very well with talent alone. but in the meantime, there are those ALMOST as talented who ARE working at their game. i mean,,,anyone will readily admit that staying away will deteriorate their skills. to quibble about the talent of bird vs the talent of jordan, how they got there, and what they bring to the table. they are there...period. talent is multifaceted.


Looks like you tried to water things down quite significantly, in order to make your point. "Can do very very well with talent alone", what are you talking about? Define "very very well". Elaborate. Provide an example... Back up your statement.

Maybe the best case scenario for what you are talking about is indirect training. For example, a very good golfer, who can also hit a baseball very well, or vice versa. Just because they haven't trained specifically in that one sport, doesn't mean some other activity hasn't trained them for that event. But training is training... direct or indirect.

Even mentally shooting baskets would be a form of indirect training.