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View Full Version : How to teach pool to kids?


Rocket354
10-24-2008, 01:59 PM
I'm looking for advice on how to teach pool to kids. Specifically, different strategies for 7-9 year olds, 10-12 year olds and teens.

Teens seem to be able to be taught on a more adult level--teaching them english and tangent lines and such doesn't seem to be a problem. What I normally do is first get them to stay down on the ball and try to get them to have a smooth consistent stroke through the cue ball. Then I teach them the stop shot, then how the cueball reacts along a tangent line with a center ball hit, then follow, then draw. I then set them up with drills to use each to try to get from one shot to the next. Then finally I get them to throw a handful of balls on the table and look for patterns--take ball in hand and try to get out using just centerball, follow, draw, and speed control to set up the next shot. I've not gotten much into left/right english yet, as I want them to be very good at centerball hits before moving onto that stuff.

Anything I'm missing? For a next step I was thinking of then going to small rotation games, like running four balls in order, and then getting into 8ball patterns and such. Better ideas?

The 10-12 year olds on the other hand are very hit or miss. A few seem to understand the concepts as well as the teens, but of course don't implement them as well. And some just seem to nod their heads and then bang on the balls randomly just as they always did. What can I do to help teach them? What sort of expectations should I even have?

As for the 7-9 year olds, they basically just bang around on the table and are just happy if an adult is there giving them encouragement. Maybe one or two are willing and able to try to develop their game more, but most don't seem very receptive, and somewhat sensitive, so I'm not sure I should do anything other than say good shot the rare time they make a ball, good try the rest of the time, and maybe try to get them not to hit so hard.

Anyways, any and all suggestions are welcome, just wanted to share a summary of where I'm at. Thanks in advance.

poolplayer2093
10-24-2008, 02:51 PM
maybe you should try to make them want to learn more. try making it a competition and reward the winner. you should also encourage the winners to tease the losers. that way it'll make the losers want to come back and beat the former (or soon to be former) winner.

i read somewhere that anger's the most remembered emotion that humans feel. even more than love. piss 'em off and they'll remember it forever! revenge is sweet make them want to get revenge

grindz
10-24-2008, 03:03 PM
For beginners.....
-Line up all the balls along the rail and shoot them into one pocket ....have them watch you do it first .....without any instruction
-when they get good at that ....place a ball in front of each pocket ..a ball or two away and shoot them yourself while they watch....in order around the table...make sure that you are playing easy natural position....as they progress move the balls away from the pocket in ball width increments or back closer if they miss
-throw 3 balls to the middle of the table and show them how to stop shot all 3....then when that is easy do them in numerical order....then add a ball......


-above all make them decide what they want to do before they get down to shoot and to observe what has happened after the shot....their mind will teach them how to improve if they do this ...at any level. JMHO

td

GordonRamsay
10-24-2008, 03:05 PM
take them to a seedy pool hall... give em $100 and tell them if they don't double their money they don't get a ride home....

Randy9Ball
10-24-2008, 03:14 PM
Just ask Stan Shuffett.

Cuebuddy
10-24-2008, 04:39 PM
I taught mine all the fundamentals right off the bat, proper stance, grip, bridge (open and closed) and stroke. How to be respectful of the equipment and there opponent. I make them shoot drills and then they also must compete. We have mini tournaments and I handicap myself so its even. When they were younger I would play so I could only shoot banks, combos, and caroms.:eek: I still use this handicap but they must play 8 ball last pocket and I don't. They are improving faster from playing me then drills and its more enjoyable. Not to mention what has happened to my game;)

pooltchr
10-24-2008, 05:56 PM
Be willing to teach them what they want to learn...and to let them alone if they don't want to learn. If they revert to banging balls, maybe that's all they want to do. They may not share your passion for the game, and if you force them to learn it, you may end up really turning them off. Did your parents ever force you to take music lessons????????? Loved it, didn't you?

Encourage them, but make sure they enjoy it. Don't make it work. It's a game. If kids are interested, you will know it. If they prefer basketball, or golf, encourage that. They will excel at those things they enjoy. If it's pool, great! Then, when they are ready to learn, you can teach them.

I never approach anyone and offer any kind of advise about pool, unless they ask me first. People will pay good money to learn what I can teach them, if they want to learn. I can give it away for free, but if they aren't into it, it's wasted time. Your kids will let you know when, what, and how much they are interested in learning.

Steve

Rocket354
10-24-2008, 08:03 PM
First, thanks everyone for the suggestions.

I should clarify my situation. I volunteer at a local boys and girls club so there's 200-300 kids around and 3 pool tables (among a hundred other possible activities, of course).

I play kids of all ages all the time, and teach them the rules. I hold regular tournmanets for prizes, and there's inter-club tournaments periodically.

One of the teens approached me and asked me to teach him to be as good as I am (I'm only a B/B- player, but someone who can make almost all open shots, an occasional bank and run out on occasion is a god to them). I started teaching him but then a slew of other kids started asking me to teach them like I was teaching him, so I started giving the kids 30 min lessons and taught them drills for them to practice on their own.

So these issues come from kids who already play me and play in tournaments regularly, and who have already expressed an interest in learning the game more.

I just want to make sure I have all the steps down, and to know good drills they can practice on their own. So any concepts that perhaps I should focus on that I haven't mentioned, or any drills or any fun games that maybe teach different concepts are greatly appreciated. Plus general approaches, or expectations especially for the younger kids, as they'll ask me to teach them then I'll try to get them thinking about position and speed control and whatnot and for most kids under about 12 it doesn't seem to stick.

Razorback Randy
10-24-2008, 09:38 PM
maybe you should try to make them want to learn more. try making it a competition and reward the winner. you should also encourage the winners to tease the losers. that way it'll make the losers want to come back and beat the former (or soon to be former) winner.

i read somewhere that anger's the most remembered emotion that humans feel. even more than love. piss 'em off and they'll remember it forever! revenge is sweet make them want to get revenge

Definately old school - but I like it. LOL
Seriously Randy G is right about Stan Shuffett. Go tou Youtube and type in Landon Shuffett - WOW.

bnall
10-24-2008, 09:56 PM
I have two sons that are 11 and 12. I always play a ring game with them and if either of them wins they get a dollar from dad, but if dad wins he doesnt get anything.:frown: I dont take it easy on them either. This keeps them interested in the game and plus they wanna play me in a ring game all the time. :grin: I just try to keep the game fun for them.

softshot
10-25-2008, 01:03 AM
anyone under 10... no cue ball....make it fun... if its your kids.. they will develop a love for the game simply because it reminds them of you... and you catch the odd other kid who just likes it..I was exposed to pool at that 8-10 year old age....by my grandfather.. who loved 14.1... playing pool with him as a pre-teen are still some of my fondest memories.. and much of the reason why I still play....


before they are tall enough to execute a good stroke just make sure they have fun... develop memories and a love for the game... after that age.. look for the ones that WANT to get better.....JMO