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mrpool06
02-10-2006, 04:23 PM
Hi Melissa:

I would like to hear more elaboration about your practice routine, if you're willing to share. Do you do drills? Also, what kind of drive & dedication it takes to become a pro......how many hours (& years) of practice, etc....

I am just a lowly league player in the city I live in :o .........dream of going pro, but doubt it'd ever happen (have kids, house, etc....) Which is fine, I am happy with just enjoying the game of pool, & being the best I can locally.

I find that if I don't practice my ass off, my game tends to suffer.

Regardless, any advice or sharing you're willing to do, would be appreciated & helpful to me, and others! Thanks Melissa, & good luck to you this year!

Melissa Herndon
02-13-2006, 10:34 AM
Hi Melissa:

I would like to hear more elaboration about your practice routine, if you're willing to share. Do you do drills? Also, what kind of drive & dedication it takes to become a pro......how many hours (& years) of practice, etc....

I am just a lowly league player in the city I live in :o .........dream of going pro, but doubt it'd ever happen (have kids, house, etc....) Which is fine, I am happy with just enjoying the game of pool, & being the best I can locally.

I find that if I don't practice my ass off, my game tends to suffer.

Regardless, any advice or sharing you're willing to do, would be appreciated & helpful to me, and others! Thanks Melissa, & good luck to you this year!

Of course I am willing to share, but you might not find my answers that exciting!

I very rarely do drills. Sometimes, if there is a shot that is giving me difficulty, I will shoot that same shot over and over until I feel comfortable. But that is about as close to a drill as I get. I have never enjoyed drills, even though I KNOW that I should do them because they are a great practice tool.

Instead, when I practice, I really focus on speed control and my "hit". I believe that there needs to be a clean "hit" or connection when the cue strikes the cue-ball. You may have heard good players say that sometimes they can hear when someone is playing well....they don't even need to watch. What they are hearing is the hit or connection that I am referring to.

Sometimes, I will practice slow-rolling balls...trying to get the speed to where the object ball falls into the pocket on the last rotation. Then, I will switch to firing in balls as hard/fast as possible. When I do these things, I am sure to keep my eyes focused on the cue-ball until it comes to rest. By doing this, I really get a feel for speed control. Many people tend to walk away from a shot while the cue-ball is still moving. They know it is traveling in the direction they want...so they stop paying attention. By keeping your eyes focused on the cueball until it stops moving, your brain can really make the connection between how hard your body just hit the ball, what english you used, and how far the ball traveled because of those factors.

Other times, I will practice breaking from different places on the table, or shooting jacked-up, or playing safeties and kicking.

I really don't have a rigid routine. Some people may say this is why I am not at the top, but I want to make sure that I am always enjoying myself. I practice whatever I feel like practicing at that moment. Sometimes I just feel like playing with friends...and that is what I do.

When I first started trying to become professional, and even during my first couple years on tour, my practice routine was much more structured and rigid. I played every day...I practically lived in the pool room. I was driven and focused....but I suffered. I was kind of hard person, and I missed out on a lot of things that young people do. After awhile, I stopped enjoying the game because I felt so much pressure to work hard and succeed.

Now, I play on my own terms. No matter where I am ranked or whether or not I win a tournament, I still feel like I am more successful now than I ever was. I have found a way to balance a "normal" life and the pool life.

Everyone is different. If you want to practice your butt off...then do it...so long as you are enjoying it. I would say that is the single most important thing that I have learned. You have to make sure that you are still enjoying it!

justnum
02-13-2006, 10:45 AM
That was a very uplifting story of a pool pro. So when is the full edition being released in novel formal. Are you sure you are not a writer so far almost each post you have made is insightful and detailed from a easy to read perspective.

Have you ever played at Amsterdam because I saw someone who looks exactly like you there one night and from the quality of her shots she couldve been you.

But what threw me off was her personality wasn't like the Melissa Herndon on the tv show "the takedown."

:)

Melissa Herndon
02-13-2006, 02:51 PM
That was a very uplifting story of a pool pro. So when is the full edition being released in novel formal. Are you sure you are not a writer so far almost each post you have made is insightful and detailed from a easy to read perspective.

Have you ever played at Amsterdam because I saw someone who looks exactly like you there one night and from the quality of her shots she couldve been you.

But what threw me off was her personality wasn't like the Melissa Herndon on the tv show "the takedown."

:)

No...I am not a writer...LOL. I just do my best to answer thoroughly. Sometimes, I even feel like I am over-answering...giving too much info when maybe the question just required a simple answer. :o

I have played at Amsterdam...but not in years. I think the last time I was there was 3 years ago when the WPBA had an event there. I was NYC last year in August...but I played at that pool room in Queens where they held the Big Apple 9-ball challenge. Never made it to Amsterdam.

As for the personailty...well, let's just say that I can be tougher than normal when required. Besides, once TV gets ahold of you...they can really make someone look however they want. They can shoot 10 hours of footage....edit it down to 23 minutes....and the viewing audience cannot get a full picture of who someone is. For the record....I loved doing the Takedown...and I think they made me look great. I'm just saying that you cannot watch a 23 minute show and get an idea of who I am from that.

But when I'm not masquerading as a guest star of a Court TV show...then I am just a normal, approachable pool player who loves the sport!

Melissa