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Could You Train Yourself?
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BarTableMan
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Could You Train Yourself? - 11-01-2017, 09:48 PM

So you start with your average Joe league player who is an APA 4 level. He has been a 4 for 10 years. He only plays on league night and never practices but plays games here and there between matches.

WITHOUT another player, book, DVD or any other training aid, could this player become a 7 level player with unlimited time to get better on their own?

I say NO WAY. You can not gain new skills without help. You could go up one level but you would level out.

My friends say though trial and error you would always get better.

What say you all? Thoughts...?
  
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tonythetiger583
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11-01-2017, 11:58 PM

I think if you locked him in a room 24/7 with just a pool table, and he actually wanted to figure out how to play, I think he could become a 7. Hard to say though. I think you have to want to change and try new things to improve. If the lights are on but nobody's home, he'll just bang balls for eternity.


I think the key element to improving is to actually observe what is happening. I do this and this happens. I wonder what will happen if I try this instead? Just constant trial and error. But you kind of have to be paying attention.

That being said, Having resources that explain tangent lines, and throw, and deflection, and swerve and inside or outside or running or check. I'd like to think I would have figured out those things on my own, but I'll never know. All I know is when I first read about the tangent line, it blew my mind.

Heck some 4s I know never even figure out how to make the ball go backwards unless they jack way up and snap their wrist, and even then they can barely make it go back half a diamond.

Last edited by tonythetiger583; 11-02-2017 at 12:05 AM.
  
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11-02-2017, 12:07 AM

In the real world, impossible. I watch better players play. From this, I learn to try things. I come here. I try tips that are given. Some of them even work for me.
  
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tonythetiger583
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11-02-2017, 12:14 AM

I've actually noticed this as a trend where I play.

We have a different scale with 4 being the lowest and 11 being the highest.

Most players, especially beyond the generation where internet information really started influencing our ability to access information, cap out at 8.5- 9.0.

I'm guessing this is probably 5-6 for you guys?

We have a lot of these kinds of players. They've played a lot of pool over however many years, but were never really taught, or followed pool in any sort of fashion other than playing with their buddies at league.

I think without outside information, that's about as far as you can get trying to figure it out on your own.

My other theory is they think that at a point where you can run 1, or 2 racks a night, it becomes about refining your game. So instead of learning new stuff like they may have done in the beginning, they start trying to "hone their craft", and they just keep doing what they've been doing, over and over, and as a result stop improving.
  
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11-02-2017, 03:35 AM

I think the hardest part to pick up through just singular practice would be pattern play and strategy. Eventually a person who was left to their own devices for long enough would figure out a good amount of the technical aspects of pool. But without being able to watch other players it is much harder to pick up on smart position play, good safeties, and overall strategy depending on the game they're playing.

I know for me one of the biggest aids to my game has been watching the pros play and listening to commentators explain why a certain shot was played. Without that kind of resource it'd be difficult to see a player reaching a very high level.
  
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11-02-2017, 04:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarTableMan View Post
So you start with your average Joe league player who is an APA 4 level. He has been a 4 for 10 years. He only plays on league night and never practices but plays games here and there between matches.

WITHOUT another player, book, DVD or any other training aid, could this player become a 7 level player with unlimited time to get better on their own?

I say NO WAY. You can not gain new skills without help. You could go up one level but you would level out.

My friends say though trial and error you would always get better.

What say you all? Thoughts...?
If all he is gonna do is shoot his league match and that is it, it will never happen.

If he practices on his own and starts to figure shit out, league 7 will happen eventually. It's really not too hard of an accomplishment, especially with unlimited time to devote to pool.


-H

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11-02-2017, 04:40 AM

There are no shortcuts unless you are an extremely gifted natural talent, a phenom. There is no substitute for hitting a million balls and playing the best players you can for the least amount they will play for.


Pool may not build character but it certainly will reveal it.

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11-02-2017, 04:53 AM

After 10 years, and not practicing...? No way.
All the "bad " habits are gonna be extremely hard to overcome without outside help.

Best thing to do, is just have fun. If he's having fun, all is good.
If he's frustrated about his level, and doesn't have the time to practice, tell him to spend a few bucks, and take a 2-3 hr. lesson.


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11-02-2017, 05:29 AM

I think you have to practice drills to get better. I see people playing others thinking they are practicing but they don’t improve. Why? They are playing to win so they rely on their strengths. If they miss a shot they don’t get an opportunity to redo it to improve.

I often lose to players in practice ga,es because I experiment with shots. I try shots that I am weak at to improve them in a game setting. Drills alone aren’t enough but neither is just playing to win.
  
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11-02-2017, 05:50 AM

I can't. Pool is something I cannot learn on my own. Yes certain shots can be played until they get figured out but for stroke mechanics, game strategies I needed help. Help meaning a professional instructor.





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11-02-2017, 05:50 AM

I don't see anyone getting past C level without some type of watching or learning from a good player or book/video. You may learn to make balls OK, but you will have issues with safety play, position and what the high % shot would be in a situation.


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11-02-2017, 05:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarTableMan View Post
So you start with your average Joe league player who is an APA 4 level. He has been a 4 for 10 years. He only plays on league night and never practices but plays games here and there between matches.

WITHOUT another player, book, DVD or any other training aid, could this player become a 7 level player with unlimited time to get better on their own?

I say NO WAY. You can not gain new skills without help. You could go up one level but you would level out.

My friends say though trial and error you would always get better.

What say you all? Thoughts...?
This particular person? Unless they had a change of heart on their interest, no.

But someone who genuinely wanted to learn and loved playing, yes. Though that type of person would seek out alternative ways to get better. So its slightly a moot point.
  
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11-02-2017, 05:57 AM

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Originally Posted by hang-the-9 View Post
I don't see anyone getting past C level without some type of watching or learning from a good player or book/video. You may learn to make balls OK, but you will have issues with safety play, position and what the high % shot would be in a situation.
Well he is gonna get that from watching the better players in his league and even playing against them for his league matches.

A skill level 4 should have the basic understanding the high pushes the cueball forward, low pulls it back. Once they learn to make balls and play position with that it should be natural to figure out the rest... at least I would hope...

However... I know some people that have been skill level 3 or 4 for over 10 years, but they only play their league match(es) each week and that is it and normally it is against players of equal or even lower level. There is nothing to learn there at all, just gotta hope they are the one lucky enough to make the last ball.


-H

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11-02-2017, 06:02 AM

Hmm, don't people technically learn things on their own anyways? I mean watching is one thing but doing drills and learning patterns is something that most have to do on the their own anyways. Besides having a coach/trainer or taking lessons, isn't a majority of learning to shoot pool done on your own time?

In your scenario, that said player who only practices during league days will probably never get better. However, if they start practicing on extra days then improvement will occur. I'm not talking about taking lessons, although that will probably expedite the process, but just shooting pool by themselves and building muscle memory and pattern recognition. I'm guessing a majority of players on this site probably never had lessons to begin with, but have just spent a crap ton of time shooting pool. Additionally, I'm guessing the majority of serious players are older anyways and maybe grew up before or right at the boom of the internet generation and did not have access to the knowledge available now.


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11-02-2017, 06:11 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icon of Sin View Post
Well he is gonna get that from watching the better players in his league and even playing against them for his league matches.

A skill level 4 should have the basic understanding the high pushes the cueball forward, low pulls it back. Once they learn to make balls and play position with that it should be natural to figure out the rest... at least I would hope...

However... I know some people that have been skill level 3 or 4 for over 10 years, but they only play their league match(es) each week and that is it and normally it is against players of equal or even lower level. There is nothing to learn there at all, just gotta hope they are the one lucky enough to make the last ball.
OP staid "WITHOUT another player, book, DVD or any other training aid, could this player become a 7 level player with unlimited time to get better on their own?",the without another player would have to mean not watching the other players and try to figure out what they do. I took it to mean someone that just does not watch what anyone else is doing when they are not at the table playing themselves or take time outs or anything. Meaning you lock your self in a room alone for an hour a week and try to get better in a vacuum of knowledge. In this case the locked room is a league match since there is no learning from another player, so you may as well be alone.

Since this type of thinking is what causes flat earthers and other silliness (we don't listen to established knowledge and will come up with our own), I don't see how a player will get to any sort of skill past just basic making a ball and maybe basic position.


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Last edited by hang-the-9; 11-02-2017 at 06:17 AM.
  
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