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CreeDo
09-17-2013, 03:39 PM
So I never got formal lessons until the past year, and I wish I'd started earlier...
Instead of waiting til I have like 15 years of bad habits to fix :shocked:
I mentioned in some stream how much I enjoyed his instructional videos on Youtube. (http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4B9E5D76AE9F913F). Someone who knew him
mentioned he'd be in my area in the US in a few weeks. So I contacted him on facebook and set it up.

Ralph was staying with a family (all pool enthusiasts clearly, two of them entered the MD 14.1 tourney),
so I got to have a private lesson in their basement pool room, which was quite nice.
He's very personable and easygoing, and one thing I want to stress is he seems like a real instructor.
He's not just a pro player who will show you a few things.
He's more like an instructor who happens to play at pro speed.

How good does he play? Well for example, in the last US Open, Shannon Daulton had him down,
dry broke, Ralph ran out out game 8. Made a ball but opted to play safe game 9... got ball in hand, ran out.
Game 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 - all break'n'runs.
His high run in 14.1 is listed as 218 balls.

He asked right off the bat what I was looking to do and where I was at, and how often I practiced.
I said I seldom practiced, and when I did it was the ghost.
("that's not practice. That's a game!")

He warned me that if I'm around B speed and only playing ~3 nights a week, I may have reached my limit
unless I am willing to play more and practice regularly. "Though if there was ever a stretch where
you played like 5+ nights a week, you maybe can get away with less practice."

I told him I mostly just miss balls and don't get out when I should. Like decent position play, but
not able to handle it well when a medium-to-hard shot comes up (which it will even if you play
carefully... every so often you'll overrun shape or end up on the rail or both).

I expected he'd ask to shoot a rack or watch me hit balls but he went straight for drills and
just stood to the side to watch my mechanics. I like this approach... no time wasted just watching
him shoot, he hit only like 2 shots (both breaks) the whole time. For the rest of the 2 hours he'd
have me shoot and then offer feedback.

We opened with a simple test to see how straight I delivered the cue ball. We're all familiar
with the basic version which Dr. Dave calls "MOFUDAT", the most useful drill of all time.
The basic version is to put the CB on the spot, hit through the opposite spot, and have the CB return to your tip.
The advanced version Ralph did was to set up "goalposts"... two balls on opposite sides of the footspot,
and these balls are exactly 2 ball-widths apart. Then you hit the shot much more firmly through them,
trying to get the cue ball to come back through them to the head rail, then through the goal posts a 3rd time.

Unlike the basic version, this tests how your stroke holds up under a very firm swing.
Much easier to swing straight at lag speed, but you won't hit that 6 foot draw shot at lag speed.

I consistently went to the right so we detected I had a small hook from left to right.
My stroke is straight enough to make most shots at medium speed, but the hook will come up
if I must shoot hard (or very soft). I was able to finally pass that drill when I sort of consciously held my arm inward a bit.
I'll need to practice to straighten it out. Making even 1 out of 3 is pretty good.

Next he lined up a row of 15 balls across the center of the table, from side pocket to side pocket.
This is a speed control drill and will help with all position, not just the straight-ins.
He asked how many I would make shooting from the kitchen.
"Well gee, I think all of them? I mean, I should. Probably."
"OK, then let's try something a little more interesting, how many shooting from 1 diamond further away?"
"hrmmmm, I dunno, 12?"
And that was correct. So after doing a row of 15, Ralph showed me a series of drills that all start from this row of balls.

Try doing a perfect stop shot on each. You will notice it's almost impossible. Eventually I got a feel for how to avoid
spinning forward or back, but I noticed a little side-to-side rotation. He allowed me to move on if I could nail it just once.
But I think I needed like 6 tries and there was a tiny hair of rotation left on the cue ball. Hitting it 99% good was "close enough".

Next, a follow drill. Use the diamonds as goal posts. So try to land the CB between the side and the diamond after it.
Then between 1 and 2 diamonds after it. Then between the 2nd and 3rd diamond after.
Finally, get the cue ball to come between the diamond and the rail without hitting the rail. That's the first 4 positions.
The next 3 involve bouncing off the foot rail and then rebounding 1, 2, and 3 diamonds back towards you.
So there are 7 total and you got 15 balls to pull it off. I needed them all.

Draw drill, exact same principle but more difficult... draw speed control is always harder, you can't just roll the ball
without spin the way you could with the follow drill.

Then, FML, stun follow. Replace the OB with the CB. I hate this shot and kind of suck at it. I was able to
hit several but then we moved on to stun follow #2 (roll forward about 2 ball widths) and stun draw (gently roll back 2 ball widths).

Some discoveries I made doing these drills:
- a stop shot is easy and you can hit with either center ball + firm, or a little softer with light draw.
But to get a perfect (0 movement) stop shot, I really had to focus on firm and perfectly centered tip placement.

- to stun follow 1 ball width, or do a replacement shot, I could just hit a stop shot a little weak.
But to go forward about two ball widths, it's way too hard guessing the speed where your slide turns to follow
and you'll roll forward two ball widths. Instead I had to go up a tiny bit (literally like 1/8th) above center and just shoot
at the stop shot speed I already had engraved into muscle memory.

- normally to draw short distances I went with maximum draw and a soft stroke, cuz that felt easiest to control the speed.
But it's not. I kept failing to stun draw 2 ball widths back hitting it like that. I decided to try hitting it similar to the stun follow.
Just a hair below center and then a firm stop shot. On my 1st or 2nd try hitting that way, I nailed the distance. It's just easier.

So each of these drills is 15 balls, and Ralph asks me how many balls I think I must hit to see any real improvement
in my speed control. I throw out a number... "a thousand?"
"AT LEAST. More like 3 to 5000 would be better."
So my 'assignment' is to do any combination of these 15 ball drills, 3000 times. No time limit, no rush,
I just need to do it.

Next we worked on my break. I told him I had 9b figured out but my 10b and 8b hard breaks sucked.
One easy trick that was kind of cool: do fast practice swings, and your final break will be faster/harder.

He showed me some stuff about the 10b break that I never knew. I mean stuff that isn't in Joe Tucker's video,
nor Shane's, nowhere. I never really understood how that break worked. Getting those 2nd row balls is a world of difference
compared to getting the wing ball in 9b. I won't reveal the details here cuz I want Ralph to get your business if you're DYING to know.
He's clearly studied this break and understands it inside and out. In a nutshell, rack 'em tight and hit 'em square and hard.
I guess that sounds obvious but he was able to clear up why I could get away with gaps and weak hits in 9b, but never in 10b.

It might help to think of it this way: the best in the world only hit this shot ~70% with perfect racking.
And if you hit it less than 50%, you might as well just let your opponent break.

He asked what else I had in mind and I said "well we've done all these straight in shots but really I struggle with cuts.
I just miss those semi-tough ones." So we set up a few tough 45ish degree cuts, and he went over my preshot routine.
"It's pretty good but sometimes you skip steps. Don't." is basically what he told me.
One shot in particular kept giving me fits... CB center spot, OB one diamond below the side, a ball width off the rail.
Cut it into the corner. He wouldn't let me off the hook until I made 4 in a row. On my last attempt at the end of the 2 hours, I did.

What helped me is to not skip lining up and visualizing the shot, and one very good bit of advice. When fine tuning your aim,
you have this mental dialogue that sort of goes "ok, adjust/cut more... more more... more... ok, that's good. stop."
The advice? Once your brain says "that's good" - do NOT change your aim anymore! Stop adjusting. Commit to it as-is.
Don't second guess it. Doing this I realized I was scared of undercutting and steering my shots at the end.
Once I just committed to the line of aim that looked correct, the ball would go in.

After the lesson, Ralph was a good sport and consented to play 3 racks of 8 ball with me.
I broke and ran 2 of them! I managed to win the 3rd too by asking him what to play in difficult situations.
He would give me smart advice and I executed it well, and prevented him from running out.
After the lesson I felt ready to take on anyone. Now I just need to go hit those 5,000 balls :)

He also did the traditional photo/autograph, and showed me his cool QPod chalk holder.
These things are for people who like Very Nice Things. It's onyx with real gold and silver inlays. If you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Anyone interested in lessons with Ralph, contact him on Facebook. The cost was $80 an hour, but fair warning,
this may change. IMO it's worth it.

BarTableMan
09-17-2013, 03:53 PM
Nice post. Thank you.

sjm
09-17-2013, 04:09 PM
Thanks for sharing. Although in the United States, we tend to know the names of American instructional giants like Jerry Briesath, Mark Wilson, Randy Goetlicher, Scott Lee, and Stan Shuffett, Europeans know the names of their own instructional giants, and Ralph Eckert is most definitely one of them.

Great teacher, great player, great guy. That's Ralph Eckert.

lstevedus
09-17-2013, 04:10 PM
I spent some time watching Ralph play 9 ball at the Derby last January. Then I took a look at his videos. The guy can play and teach. That seems to be an uncommon combination plus he seems to be a nice guy to boot. I hope he makes it to the Derby again in 2014.

fathomblue
09-17-2013, 04:24 PM
I wish he would make a stop thru the Mid-South area. I've always heard he was a top notch player and instructor.

Vahmurka
09-21-2013, 01:43 PM
CreeDo, thanks a lot for detailed description of your experience with one of the best instructors in the world! Stu (sjm) is absolutely right about that.
Really, Ralph Eckert is one of the very top. He is one of those European instructors who developed famous PAT training system (also known as iPAT in the US). Some drills CreeDo talks about can be found there.
He also has written great instructional books. Unfortunately for the English speakers some are in German ony. Some years ago I was asking Raplh's publisher and he promised there will be English translations printed. Time to ask him just again :cool:

icucybe
09-23-2013, 05:55 AM
CreeDO thanks for a great review!!! I have practice with ipat a couple of times and I can imagine what an excellent instructor Ralph is!

jalapus logan
09-23-2013, 07:13 AM
He warned me that if I'm around B speed and only playing ~3 nights a week, I may have reached my limit
unless I am willing to play more and practice regularly. "Though if there was ever a stretch where
you played like 5+ nights a week, you maybe can get away with less practice."

I think that this is where I am at. I have reached a peak in both ability and interest in the game as well - at least for now. I am currently playing about 5 hours a week and I can promise you that I am only maintaining skill level, though at this amount of practice, my speed has dropped a bit. Further, right now, I will not be playing any more pool than this for the next several months. Too much to do with gardening, the missus, two jobs, etc.

Given my situation, I had become a bit frustrated with my lack of progress. I was able to learn to continue to enjoy the game just by redoubling my efforts on every shot, every game and just trying to play my best whenever I had time to play. It's like that saying that the best time to go fishing is when you have time to go fishing. Same for pool for me, at least for now. I intend to get back into playing tourneys and matching up one day, but today is not that day. Until then, it is nice to be able to enjoy the game for what it is and to play the best my current ability allows.

Cheers,

JL

Houstoer
09-23-2013, 07:43 AM
Very good post. I've always admired him as well. I took his SEE lesson over the computer and really liked parts of it but some of it just got too complicated for me and made my head hurt. What did he tell you on 8b breaks ?

justadub
09-23-2013, 07:48 AM
Very cool!

dardusm
09-23-2013, 07:52 AM
Thanks for the write up on your experience. I met Ralph and he is a very professional studious player/instructor. Some professionals would learn a lot about being a pro by watching him.

CreeDo
09-23-2013, 08:20 AM
Given my situation, I had become a bit frustrated with my lack of progress. I was able to learn to continue to enjoy the game just by redoubling my efforts on every shot, every game and just trying to play my best whenever I had time to play.

This is my approach too, and it's a great attitude if I do say so myself :grin:

My buddy noticed the other night that I took a long time lining up a shot that was only slightly challenging
and then missed it. It was early in the evening. He asked what was up with that.
I said "I dunno. I'm just trying to give every shot maximum effort. Sometimes it doesn't work out."
...basically I didn't feel bad about that miss because I KNEW I gave it full time and attention,
and I know that even I start out a little shaky... if I keep doing that, it's going to pay off.
And it did, later. Started running out. It's just more enjoyable trying to play perfect pool all the time.
Even if I don't feel like I'm about to become an A player next week, and I gotta work and labor over it,
it's nice to run at least one rack perfectly.

Very good post. I've always admired him as well. I took his SEE lesson over the computer and really liked parts of it but some of it just got too complicated for me and made my head hurt. What did he tell you on 8b breaks ?

I think you have Eckert confused with Ekkes. Ekkes is the SEE system guy.
I saw some of his diagrams and they also made my head hurt.

8b breaks, Ralph said you can hit like the 10b break and play the 2nd row balls in the side.
So you hit the head ball square and watch if those 2nd row balls hit above or below the side.
Frequently they get kissed though by another ball. You gotta hope some other ball cooperates too.

Something funny I noticed, Shane in his video advocated the hitting the 2nd ball down, not the head ball,
and even said he felt like the 2nd-row break had the best chance of making a ball.
But when he actually plays 8 ball (like the recent US open 8b event) he hits the head ball and breaks it
more or less like 10b. No 2nd ball break.

Thanks for the write up on your experience. I met Ralph and he is a very professional studious player/instructor. Some professionals would learn a lot about being a pro by watching him.

Yes! Absolutely... on time, well-dressed, polite, no drama or theatrics, and shows some enthusiasm for
the companies that sponsor him. A great representative for them, and for pool in general.

JoeyA
09-23-2013, 11:33 AM
One of the finest reports on a pool lesson I have ever read.

Thanks,
JoeyA

Houstoer
09-23-2013, 11:41 AM
You're right; at the time I was watching and listening to them both. Both of them are good; but I especially like Ralph and the way he comes across. True professional.



This is my approach too, and it's a great attitude if I do say so myself :grin:

My buddy noticed the other night that I took a long time lining up a shot that was only slightly challenging
and then missed it. It was early in the evening. He asked what was up with that.
I said "I dunno. I'm just trying to give every shot maximum effort. Sometimes it doesn't work out."
...basically I didn't feel bad about that miss because I KNEW I gave it full time and attention,
and I know that even I start out a little shaky... if I keep doing that, it's going to pay off.
And it did, later. Started running out. It's just more enjoyable trying to play perfect pool all the time.
Even if I don't feel like I'm about to become an A player next week, and I gotta work and labor over it,
it's nice to run at least one rack perfectly.



I think you have Eckert confused with Ekkes. Ekkes is the SEE system guy.
I saw some of his diagrams and they also made my head hurt.

8b breaks, Ralph said you can hit like the 10b break and play the 2nd row balls in the side.
So you hit the head ball square and watch if those 2nd row balls hit above or below the side.
Frequently they get kissed though by another ball. You gotta hope some other ball cooperates too.

Something funny I noticed, Shane in his video advocated the hitting the 2nd ball down, not the head ball,
and even said he felt like the 2nd-row break had the best chance of making a ball.
But when he actually plays 8 ball (like the recent US open 8b event) he hits the head ball and breaks it
more or less like 10b. No 2nd ball break.



Yes! Absolutely... on time, well-dressed, polite, no drama or theatrics, and shows some enthusiasm for
the companies that sponsor him. A great representative for them, and for pool in general.

Vyc
09-23-2013, 12:45 PM
Creedo, excellent post. Thanks for sharing. One of the most informative posts I have ever read on AZB. Keep up the good work.

puma122
09-23-2013, 01:48 PM
Excellent post. Thanks for taking the time. It's clear to me...I need to take lessons also. I watched that youtube series he had, and the reference line stuff is gold. I've been playing for years, and simply guessing. With this system, minimizes guess work. I cannot wait to practice it!!!!

CreeDo
09-24-2013, 11:11 AM
Thanks y'all. Yes, those reference line vids were a big reason I was excited to try lessons with Ralph.
It just isn't the kind of info I see or hear about from most other instructors or books.

I had a few people PM mentioning that they were interested in lessons... I contacted him on facebook.
That seems to be the best way to get in touch, I don't have a phone or email.
But if you have a FB account he usually responds within a day.

The bad news is, he says he doesn't know when he'll be in the USA next. I'm guessing that means
no US Open in October. Hopefully something gets him back on a plane over here soon.

scottjen26
09-24-2013, 12:02 PM
You did have Ekkes mixed up with Ralph Eckert, I think someone posted that above. Ekkes is a great teacher as well and great guy, inventor of the SEE aiming system (which I use), but Ralph Eckert is probably one of the best coaches in Europe for sure, if not in general. And a true professional in many games as well as a top level trick shot artist!

I had the pleasure of watching an exhibition he did here in Jacksonville as well as doing a full day clinic the following day. Didn't learn a lot since it was a group format, but was great to pick his brain, learn some new drills (including the 15 ball drill mentioned, very useful and many ways to do it). Also had the privilege of joining him for dinner, where we talked about pool and many other things.

Impressions of Ralph - a true gentleman, great player, a professional in every sense of the word. Other players who try to capitalize on their status and do clinics or lessons are often sloppy, late, "flighty", or just poor teachers, Ralph is the opposite of all of these. If you get a chance to run through the PAT material he helped develop, read his latest book, or get a lesson or clinic with him in person, do it!!!
Scott

randallt6
09-24-2013, 12:46 PM
very cool.. these are the exact same things that I was put through when I got lessons from a well known pro.....

Cdryden
09-24-2013, 01:10 PM
So I never got formal lessons until the past year, and I wish I'd started earlier...
Instead of waiting til I have like 15 years of bad habits to fix :shocked:
I mentioned in some stream how much I enjoyed his instructional videos on Youtube. (http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4B9E5D76AE9F913F). Someone who knew him
mentioned he'd be in my area in the US in a few weeks. So I contacted him on facebook and set it up.

Ralph was staying with a family (all pool enthusiasts clearly, two of them entered the MD 14.1 tourney),
so I got to have a private lesson in their basement pool room, which was quite nice.
He's very personable and easygoing, and one thing I want to stress is he seems like a real instructor.
He's not just a pro player who will show you a few things.
He's more like an instructor who happens to play at pro speed.

How good does he play? Well for example, in the last US Open, Shannon Daulton had him down,
dry broke, Ralph ran out out game 8. Made a ball but opted to play safe game 9... got ball in hand, ran out.
Game 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 - all break'n'runs.
His high run in 14.1 is listed as 218 balls.

He asked right off the bat what I was looking to do and where I was at, and how often I practiced.
I said I seldom practiced, and when I did it was the ghost.
("that's not practice. That's a game!")

He warned me that if I'm around B speed and only playing ~3 nights a week, I may have reached my limit
unless I am willing to play more and practice regularly. "Though if there was ever a stretch where
you played like 5+ nights a week, you maybe can get away with less practice."

I told him I mostly just miss balls and don't get out when I should. Like decent position play, but
not able to handle it well when a medium-to-hard shot comes up (which it will even if you play
carefully... every so often you'll overrun shape or end up on the rail or both).

I expected he'd ask to shoot a rack or watch me hit balls but he went straight for drills and
just stood to the side to watch my mechanics. I like this approach... no time wasted just watching
him shoot, he hit only like 2 shots (both breaks) the whole time. For the rest of the 2 hours he'd
have me shoot and then offer feedback.

We opened with a simple test to see how straight I delivered the cue ball. We're all familiar
with the basic version which Dr. Dave calls "MOFUDAT", the most useful drill of all time.
The basic version is to put the CB on the spot, hit through the opposite spot, and have the CB return to your tip.
The advanced version Ralph did was to set up "goalposts"... two balls on opposite sides of the footspot,
and these balls are exactly 2 ball-widths apart. Then you hit the shot much more firmly through them,
trying to get the cue ball to come back through them to the head rail, then through the goal posts a 3rd time.

Unlike the basic version, this tests how your stroke holds up under a very firm swing.
Much easier to swing straight at lag speed, but you won't hit that 6 foot draw shot at lag speed.

I consistently went to the right so we detected I had a small hook from left to right.
My stroke is straight enough to make most shots at medium speed, but the hook will come up
if I must shoot hard (or very soft). I was able to finally pass that drill when I sort of consciously held my arm inward a bit.
I'll need to practice to straighten it out. Making even 1 out of 3 is pretty good.

Next he lined up a row of 15 balls across the center of the table, from side pocket to side pocket.
This is a speed control drill and will help with all position, not just the straight-ins.
He asked how many I would make shooting from the kitchen.
"Well gee, I think all of them? I mean, I should. Probably."
"OK, then let's try something a little more interesting, how many shooting from 1 diamond further away?"
"hrmmmm, I dunno, 12?"
And that was correct. So after doing a row of 15, Ralph showed me a series of drills that all start from this row of balls.

Try doing a perfect stop shot on each. You will notice it's almost impossible. Eventually I got a feel for how to avoid
spinning forward or back, but I noticed a little side-to-side rotation. He allowed me to move on if I could nail it just once.
But I think I needed like 6 tries and there was a tiny hair of rotation left on the cue ball. Hitting it 99% good was "close enough".

Next, a follow drill. Use the diamonds as goal posts. So try to land the CB between the side and the diamond after it.
Then between 1 and 2 diamonds after it. Then between the 2nd and 3rd diamond after.
Finally, get the cue ball to come between the diamond and the rail without hitting the rail. That's the first 4 positions.
The next 3 involve bouncing off the foot rail and then rebounding 1, 2, and 3 diamonds back towards you.
So there are 7 total and you got 15 balls to pull it off. I needed them all.

Draw drill, exact same principle but more difficult... draw speed control is always harder, you can't just roll the ball
without spin the way you could with the follow drill.

Then, FML, stun follow. Replace the OB with the CB. I hate this shot and kind of suck at it. I was able to
hit several but then we moved on to stun follow #2 (roll forward about 2 ball widths) and stun draw (gently roll back 2 ball widths).

Some discoveries I made doing these drills:
- a stop shot is easy and you can hit with either center ball + firm, or a little softer with light draw.
But to get a perfect (0 movement) stop shot, I really had to focus on firm and perfectly centered tip placement.

- to stun follow 1 ball width, or do a replacement shot, I could just hit a stop shot a little weak.
But to go forward about two ball widths, it's way too hard guessing the speed where your slide turns to follow
and you'll roll forward two ball widths. Instead I had to go up a tiny bit (literally like 1/8th) above center and just shoot
at the stop shot speed I already had engraved into muscle memory.

- normally to draw short distances I went with maximum draw and a soft stroke, cuz that felt easiest to control the speed.
But it's not. I kept failing to stun draw 2 ball widths back hitting it like that. I decided to try hitting it similar to the stun follow.
Just a hair below center and then a firm stop shot. On my 1st or 2nd try hitting that way, I nailed the distance. It's just easier.

So each of these drills is 15 balls, and Ralph asks me how many balls I think I must hit to see any real improvement
in my speed control. I throw out a number... "a thousand?"
"AT LEAST. More like 3 to 5000 would be better."
So my 'assignment' is to do any combination of these 15 ball drills, 3000 times. No time limit, no rush,
I just need to do it.

Next we worked on my break. I told him I had 9b figured out but my 10b and 8b hard breaks sucked.
One easy trick that was kind of cool: do fast practice swings, and your final break will be faster/harder.

He showed me some stuff about the 10b break that I never knew. I mean stuff that isn't in Joe Tucker's video,
nor Shane's, nowhere. I never really understood how that break worked. Getting those 2nd row balls is a world of difference
compared to getting the wing ball in 9b. I won't reveal the details here cuz I want Ralph to get your business if you're DYING to know.
He's clearly studied this break and understands it inside and out. In a nutshell, rack 'em tight and hit 'em square and hard.
I guess that sounds obvious but he was able to clear up why I could get away with gaps and weak hits in 9b, but never in 10b.

It might help to think of it this way: the best in the world only hit this shot ~70% with perfect racking.
And if you hit it less than 50%, you might as well just let your opponent break.

He asked what else I had in mind and I said "well we've done all these straight in shots but really I struggle with cuts.
I just miss those semi-tough ones." So we set up a few tough 45ish degree cuts, and he went over my preshot routine.
"It's pretty good but sometimes you skip steps. Don't." is basically what he told me.
One shot in particular kept giving me fits... CB center spot, OB one diamond below the side, a ball width off the rail.
Cut it into the corner. He wouldn't let me off the hook until I made 4 in a row. On my last attempt at the end of the 2 hours, I did.

What helped me is to not skip lining up and visualizing the shot, and one very good bit of advice. When fine tuning your aim,
you have this mental dialogue that sort of goes "ok, adjust/cut more... more more... more... ok, that's good. stop."
The advice? Once your brain says "that's good" - do NOT change your aim anymore! Stop adjusting. Commit to it as-is.
Don't second guess it. Doing this I realized I was scared of undercutting and steering my shots at the end.
Once I just committed to the line of aim that looked correct, the ball would go in.

After the lesson, Ralph was a good sport and consented to play 3 racks of 8 ball with me.
I broke and ran 2 of them! I managed to win the 3rd too by asking him what to play in difficult situations.
He would give me smart advice and I executed it well, and prevented him from running out.
After the lesson I felt ready to take on anyone. Now I just need to go hit those 5,000 balls :)

He also did the traditional photo/autograph, and showed me his cool QPod chalk holder.
These things are for people who like Very Nice Things. It's onyx with real gold and silver inlays. If you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Anyone interested in lessons with Ralph, contact him on Facebook. The cost was $80 an hour, but fair warning,
this may change. IMO it's worth it.

Great post as usual from you Creedo, thanks for sharing it.

Muppe
10-07-2013, 03:40 PM
Hey. Very nice post I must say, can't wait to try it out myself. Just one question (or two).
On these drills, is the cue ball positioned 1 diamond or 2 away from the rail? And on the follow drill there must be some angle to bounce of the rail, so it's not a straight in shot as the others right?

CreeDo
10-08-2013, 08:58 AM
Hey. Very nice post I must say, can't wait to try it out myself. Just one question (or two).
On these drills, is the cue ball positioned 1 diamond or 2 away from the rail? And on the follow drill there must be some angle to bounce of the rail, so it's not a straight in shot as the others right?

Thanks! I believe I did the speed drills with the cue ball on the headstring (2 diamonds away from the rail).
That made the shot pretty easy. But for the very first test drill (where he just checked mechanics and
had me try to do perfect stop shots) I was further away, just 1 diamond from the headstring.

And yes, small angle where necessary to avoid scratch. He wasn't picky about the angle I chose.
But he did correct me when I lined up a straight in shot and I wasn't set up exactly straight in.

alinco
10-08-2013, 06:11 PM
Hey Creedo!

Good to hear your basement lesson went well. I knew it would. A great lesson can always get you excited about pool again.

Andy

CreeDo
10-09-2013, 07:49 AM
Hey Creedo!

Good to hear your basement lesson went well. I knew it would. A great lesson can always get you excited about pool again.

Andy

Thanks! That's a great basement room, the perfect spot for it.
I appreciate your hospitality. I really enjoyed meeting Ralph and watching
him and Toasty shoot in the tournament.

Muppe
10-09-2013, 08:00 AM
Thanks! I believe I did the speed drills with the cue ball on the headstring (2 diamonds away from the rail).
That made the shot pretty easy. But for the very first test drill (where he just checked mechanics and
had me try to do perfect stop shots) I was further away, just 1 diamond from the headstring.

And yes, small angle where necessary to avoid scratch. He wasn't picky about the angle I chose.
But he did correct me when I lined up a straight in shot and I wasn't set up exactly straight in.

Okey! I tried the exercise yesterday with the cue ball always one diamond away. The only positions I really struggled with were the last two draw shots, but the follow went really good. Just have to make a more pure hit on my cue ball and not get to tense.
The other exercises were tough with the stop shot etc. Don't be sloppy with the aim to start with... ;) But it felt like I learned a lot!