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View Full Version : Taking lessons... Do You ??


ceebee
03-29-2003, 11:02 AM
do you folks take lessons in the Art & Science of Playing Pool?

Having been a Professional Golfer, I realize the need for lessons. Lessons, in the game of Golf, are taken from the beginner level all the way through the ranks of top Professional.

Pool players could also get the benefit of a "second set of eyes" & a "second bank of knowledge" in their quest to PLAY BETTER.

Most players in my local area are at their peak & mentally refuse to accept that fact. The believe they will play better in time. They have watched me gain a good 50% IN LEVEL OF PLAY & I wasn't a bad 5-6 when I started up again (after quitting the game 25 years ago to be a Engineer & Father).

I owe my tremendous upgrade in Player strength to Pool Lessons & study of Videos & Books. Being able to learn something in 10 minutes beats the hell out of a month or two or a year. After a week or so of implementing the NEW KNOWLEDGE into my game during competition solidly implants that knowledge.

I saw thousand of CUES at Valley Forge in Pennsylvania. NONE were marked "MAGIC WAND". AND if I did have a MAGIC WAND... I would have a guard carry it in a STEEL CASE.:cool:

AzHousePro
03-29-2003, 01:32 PM
I have taken formal lessons in the past but not in quite some time.

Last night was a perfect example of a time that it would have been nice to have a coach around that I trusted his opinion. I was trying to make a touchy shot and I made a decision to try to bump a ball into a better spot and it cost me the rack. It would have been nice to be able to sit down after the match and debate with someone whether bumping the ball was the right decision.

Mike

THE SILENCER
03-29-2003, 07:09 PM
i have always felt, hat reading, videos and live instruction, is much more effective, then 5 hours of shooting balls around. after all, who the hell do you think is producing these books and videos? for god's sake their TOP professionals.

Blackjack
03-31-2003, 01:30 PM
As an instructor and player, it is essential for me to advance my education so that I can pass it along to my students. I am terrible at evaluating my own game, mainly because I (Like many others) tend to find excuses instead of solutions. It is imperative to get another person to evaluate your game from time to time. Also, videotape works wonders!!!

Matt_24
04-01-2003, 01:12 PM
I took lessons from Max Eberle last year for about 2 hours, and the corrections he made in my form, and other things that he showed me improved my game tremendously. The small amount of money paid for those lessons, was returned 10 fold. I highly recommend lessons if there is a pro or pro level player offering them in your neck of the woods.

Rickw
04-01-2003, 02:38 PM
I totally agree with you! You are right on about your observation of other players. They seem to have a disdain about taking lessons. Another point you didn't make, though, is that most players think the only person who can teach you is a pro or someone who is a very good player. If you look at coaches in other sports, say tennis for example, you see coaches that were not necessarily the best players. The reason for this is that playing and coaching, to some degree, are mutually exclusive. Effren Reyes, for example, is one of the best players in the world but he doesn't necessarily have the skills to teach pool. My point is, if you want to improve your game, don't discount information from anyone. Try it first, and then discount it if it doesn't work or incorporate it into your game if it does work. Being a snob only hurts the snob.

ceebee
04-01-2003, 03:00 PM
....having been a Golf Professional, I will tell you that the best & highest paid coaches or teachers are 78-85 shooters. Because a person has the knowledge of the game & the natural ability to communicate with others allows that person to be a GREAT Teacher. The point is .... the Players won't take lessons. The Players won't practice the drills... they want to PLAY... Hell it's called PLAYING POOL.

But since they refuse to take lessons from a good teacher, they might learn the skills in several years or never. Getting started with lessons, will save countless hours of UN-LEARNING Bad habits.

I don't care if they don't & won't take lessons... I enjoy spending their lunch money & their dinner money & their vacation money & their car payments.... but most of all I enjoy their frustration when I can see that LOST FEELING on their faces in the simplest of tight spots... Ha! Ha! Ha!:D

Bluewolf
04-01-2003, 08:11 PM
I do take lessons. Since I have so much to learn, I do not want to develop any bad habits which will hinder my game later or make it take longer to become decent.

Even though I just started playing seriously less than a year ago, I have taken lessons to make sure my stroke and other fundamentals are okay.

Laura

Bigbro6060
04-01-2003, 09:09 PM
Yes it is important to take lessons from a GOOD teacher

however lessons from a BAD teacher will set you back months!

I stay away from teachers who want to make you play exactly how they play. A Good teacher should be able to help you find what is best for you

Bluewolf
04-02-2003, 07:36 AM
I do think it is important to check the instructor out. Gosh, I think I have had some instruction from some of the best. I think if you talk to enough people, you find out who the good ones are.

Laura

Rickw
04-02-2003, 06:02 PM
Bluewolf,
Don't be discouraged. I've been playing seriously for 20 years. I've taken lessons from a BCA-approved instructor, watched countless videos, read numerous books and accepted advice from almost anyone willing to give it. In other words, I've been a pool sponge! Given all that, I've been stuck at a 94 USPPA rating for several years now. I just can't seem to improve! The other day I had an epiphany that I hope will move me up at least one more plateau. You never know when that light is going to shine and if it will continue to shine or not. You just have to keep trying and learning all you can.

The best advice I can give you is, don't discount advice from anyone if you think it might be helpful. Everyone is different and what works for some may not work for others. Look at the pros, some have peculiar stances, bridges and strokes. The Filipino players for instance, stroke the cue like no one else and yet they are some of the best players in the world right now.

When you try something new, work on that exclusively for at least a week or two because it is difficul to assimilate more than one change to your game at a time effectively. The most important thing to work on, and what will have more impact on your game than anything else is, the basics; stance, grip and stroke.

Good luck, Rickw

Bluewolf
04-03-2003, 07:17 AM
Thanks Rick. I have had those moments of epiphany and you never do know when they will happen. I am shooting better although there are a few shots I really have to concentrate on, and sometimes still miss. At least I am not hitting on the wrong side of the ob anymore:p

I am really starting to learn shape now but that will take awhile I am sure.

Unless a person is super talented, this game seems to be a lifetime of improvement.

But hey, I have to look on the bright side. I have a super stroke, bridge, stance and I do not pop up on the stroke, I stay down 99% of the time. So the balls gotta start rolling and falling eventually, right?

Good luck on getting to your next level. I dont know what the numbers mean just apa numbers, but your numbers sound pretty big to me.

Laura

Rickw
04-03-2003, 08:43 AM
Bluewolf,

Thanks for the compliment. Good luck with your game. I hope something I told you helps you get to the next level. Sounds like your basics are pretty sound. That already puts you on the fast track to getting better.

I couldn't agree with you more about this being a lifetime endeavor! One of these days, if you stick with it, you're going to be way ahead of the pack! Good luck, and never stop trying!

Rick

Bluewolf
04-03-2003, 02:28 PM
Originally posted by Rickw
Bluewolf,

Thanks for the compliment. Good luck with your game. I hope something I told you helps you get to the next level. Sounds like your basics are pretty sound. That already puts you on the fast track to getting better.

I couldn't agree with you more about this being a lifetime endeavor! One of these days, if you stick with it, you're going to be way ahead of the pack! Good luck, and never stop trying!

Rick

Gosh. last time I played, I had to play this sl4. I beat her by the skin of my teeth. I shot pretty good but my shape game is really bad. The only way I won I guess is all this weird defense stuff I put on her. I felt good mostly that my shooting was better than usual, but gosh it was a 4-2 race and I still barely won. I have alot of improving to do and also get so nervous. I hope that gets better.

Laura

Hogman
04-03-2003, 08:46 PM
I thought I could at to this thread with my own recent experiences. I have been playing for a little less then a year, and learned mostly through books and by watching the pros on TV or at tournaments. I know that I have the touch and looseness to develop a good stroke, but my consistency was pretty bad.

I realized that if I adopted any set of techniques for bridge, stroke, and stance and practiced with it i could learn to play, so last tuesday I decided to go to an area teacher to have him critique me and show me what direction to go in. He seemed very impressed with my stroke and made a few adjustments to my fundamentals. Anyway, I tried practicing with them for two days and could not make a single shot, and kept on popping the cue ball into the air on draw shots. So today I got home and set up the video camera, and kept adjusting my form based on what I saw until eventually it all clicked.

I was so distraught at the downward spiral of my game after the lesson that I considered dismissing all that I had been taught, but after practicing for a good 4 hours today I feel a solidness in my stroke that I have never felt before.

So I recommend going out and getting a good teacher, and then set up simple straight-in shots and concentrate solely on your form. If it clicks for you like it did for me, you will be very pleased with your game.

Bluewolf
04-05-2003, 08:54 AM
Originally posted by Hogman
I realized that if I adopted any set of techniques for bridge, stroke, and stance and practiced with it i could learn to play, so last tuesday I decided to go to an area teacher to have him critique me and show me what direction to go in. He seemed very impressed with my stroke and made a few adjustments to my fundamentals. Anyway, I tried practicing with them for two days and could not make a single shot, and kept on popping the cue ball into the air on draw shots. So today I got home and set up the video camera, and kept adjusting my form based on what I saw until eventually it all clicked.

I was so distraught at the downward spiral of my game after the lesson that I considered dismissing all that I had been taught, but after practicing for a good 4 hours today I feel a solidness in my stroke that I have never felt before.

So I recommend going out and getting a good teacher, and then set up simple straight-in shots and concentrate solely on your form. If it clicks for you like it did for me, you will be very pleased with your game.

The first instructor I went to was a nationally well known instructor who travels around the country doing lessons. I really thought I had a good stroke. He completely tore down my stroke and rebuilt it.

But I was not used to this new stroke and I fluctuated initially by being mad at him for messing me up and being down on myself for not being as good as I thought I previously was.

The new stuff just was not what I was used to. It took at least a month to six weeks of doing this new stroke before I could make any balls. During this time, I lost every single apa match I competed it.

Bad habits take awile to break. This new stroke, bridge etc felt so uncomfortable to me, it took awhile [daily practice] before it became natural to me.

The difference I think is that I knew this was a great instructor. Even though it was upsetting at first, I did not have to wonder if he had told me the wrong things. That is the difference.

I would definately go with a known quality instructor and there are experts on this board who can tell you who they are based on where you live.

Take care

Laura

Rickw
04-05-2003, 11:47 AM
I'm reluctant to share this but, here goes. You do need to have a good solid instructor to give you the basics and identify your flaws. However, once you reach that level of unconscious adeptness with the basics (doing it automatically without having to think about it), I think you then have to start fine-tuning those basics to better fit your individual physical ability. Many of the top pros deviate from the basics and they obviously do very well because of it. I think one of the best ways to do this is to push the envelope. Practice some extreme shots that require perfect stroke, e.g., put the ob close to the corner pocket, the cue ball at the other end of the table and see how far you can draw the ball back. I may be wrong but I think most people should be able to draw the ball back the full length of the table. If they can't, then they have a problem with their stroke. I'm not talking about 8 year olds, I'm talking about adults, men and women, that have played long enough to have their basics fully in hand. If you try and try and still can't do it, use the stroke that gets you the result and incorporate that into your game. Stroke is all about speed and not about power. I used to teack martial arts and the same principle applied there. Power by itself is nothing. Speed and accuracy are the things you have to strive for. In other words, it doesn't take a 200 pound man to draw the cue ball the length of the table, it just takes an accurate hit and lots of speed. Like they say, "speed kills".

Rickw
04-05-2003, 12:05 PM
Sorry, I re-read my post and found an error.

If you can't draw the cue ball the length of the table, use the stroke that allows you to draw back the furthest. Whenever you practice, spend a portion of you practice time on this extreme draw shot continuing to tune your stroke. Don't kill yourself but just work with it. Try different variations of stroke techniques until you start seeing improvement. I believe you will develop a tremendous stroke this way. Incorporate this new version of your stroke into your game, always enhancing it just a little.

One more thing, the purpose of this exercise is not to draw the cue ball back the length of the table all the time in a game. The purpose is to improve your stroke in general; the soft stroke and the power stroke. You will be amazed as you improve how easy it is to stroke the ball in a real game. Shots you normally feel uneasy about become really easy. Also, you follow shot will improve dramatically too because you're learning to stroke the ball properly for you. All an instructor can do is give you the right wrench for the job. He/she can't stroke the ball for you, you can only do that and everyone is just a little different. furthest furthest