Finding a good instructor
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Finding a good instructor - 06-12-2013, 04:18 AM

Hi,

since I've made bad experience with instructors I wanted to know how to recognize a good one. Is there any special knowledge about teaching the game, any common ways to teach like a general principle?
I'm asking because I live in Germany and here almost anyone can get a trainer license.

The german guidline regarding to the pool stance would be:
First you stand in front of the table holding the cue at the balance point with your shooting arm. Your arms are totally loose and point down to the floor. The cue will automatically go to one direction (right or left).
After the cue finishes its movement you turn your body so that the tip points directly to your stroking line.
You step forward and keep the direction you have turned your body just before and go into the stance.

If you don't get it I can explain it in more detail.

Thanks for your help!

Last edited by apple03; 06-12-2013 at 04:20 AM. Reason: .
  
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06-12-2013, 06:07 AM

What's wrong with that? That's usually a good method to get your body aligned with the line of the shot
  
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06-12-2013, 06:07 AM

This method you wrote about is a contrivance to bring the shooting hand into a comfortable, approximate position and doesn't include subtleties of aim, head and eye position, balance and the legs, etc. There are good instructors here with books and DVDs available you can use.

My book on pool fundamentals is available internationally. You can read reviews at:

PY Shooting Pool


-- Matt Sherman

Guide to Pool and Billiards, About.com
Instruction Staff, InsidePool Magazine
Author, Book & DVD, Picture Yourself Shooting Pool (Named to the 25 Best Billiards Books of All Time by Bookauthority) and Picture Yourself Shooting Pool Like A Pro
  
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06-12-2013, 06:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by apple03 View Post
Hi,

since I've made bad experience with instructors I wanted to know how to recognize a good one. Is there any special knowledge about teaching the game, any common ways to teach like a general principle?
I'm asking because I live in Germany and here almost anyone can get a trainer license.

The german guidline regarding to the pool stance would be:
First you stand in front of the table holding the cue at the balance point with your shooting arm. Your arms are totally loose and point down to the floor. The cue will automatically go to one direction (right or left).
After the cue finishes its movement you turn your body so that the tip points directly to your stroking line.
You step forward and keep the direction you have turned your body just before and go into the stance.

If you don't get it I can explain it in more detail.

Thanks for your help!

I can understand your frustration. I don't know how the instructor program in Germany works. I can only speak for how we do things in the United States. In the PBIA, they do not dictate how you are supposed to teach pool because we recognize that there are different approaches to the game. That doesn't mean that we don't have standards that must be met. We do, however, in our program, instructors get exposure to different teaching methodologies so they are able to choose what works best for them or to perhaps create their own.

But regardless of the teaching methodology, a good instructor must be in tune with the player. He must be able to troubleshoot the player's game accurately. Without the ability to determine what's wrong and what's right about the player, the instructor would be left to simply reciting a methodology from memory.

So I would suggest to you to beware of an instructor who doesn't pay attention to YOU and YOUR NEEDS, but rather recites something from memory.
  
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06-12-2013, 10:35 AM

apple03...The very first requirement, imo, is that the instructor MUST use video analysis to allow the student to visually see things they are doing right and wrong. If they don't use video as part of their teaching go elsewhere. PM Ratta (Ingo Peter) here. He is a skilled instructor who teaches several students...some in Germany, some in other countries (via internet). Plus, he is versed in SPF training, which imo sets him above other instructors!

Scott Lee
http://poolknowledge.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by apple03 View Post
Hi,

since I've made bad experience with instructors I wanted to know how to recognize a good one. Is there any special knowledge about teaching the game, any common ways to teach like a general principle?
I'm asking because I live in Germany and here almost anyone can get a trainer license.

The german guidline regarding to the pool stance would be:
First you stand in front of the table holding the cue at the balance point with your shooting arm. Your arms are totally loose and point down to the floor. The cue will automatically go to one direction (right or left).
After the cue finishes its movement you turn your body so that the tip points directly to your stroking line.
You step forward and keep the direction you have turned your body just before and go into the stance.

If you don't get it I can explain it in more detail.

Thanks for your help!


PBIA Master Instructor
  
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This process must start at the ground and "build" up, not at the top and "build" down
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Arrow This process must start at the ground and "build" up, not at the top and "build" down - 06-12-2013, 12:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by apple03 View Post
Hi,

since I've made bad experience with instructors I wanted to know how to recognize a good one. Is there any special knowledge about teaching the game, any common ways to teach like a general principle?
I'm asking because I live in Germany and here almost anyone can get a trainer license.

The german guidline regarding to the pool stance would be:
First you stand in front of the table holding the cue at the balance point with your shooting arm. Your arms are totally loose and point down to the floor. The cue will automatically go to one direction (right or left).
After the cue finishes its movement you turn your body so that the tip points directly to your stroking line.
You step forward and keep the direction you have turned your body just before and go into the stance.

If you don't get it I can explain it in more detail.

Thanks for your help!
The stance is very important because your feet control the left and right side of your body. Without getting your feet in the same position relative to the "line of the shot" it's not possible to consistently get the rest of your body in a predictable position. Many people advocate setting the shooting side of your body but aren't strict on the bridging side and it's equally important.

I was taught to open my body and put my left (bridge side) foot parallel to the "line of the shot" and I'm glad I took the time to discover this because it strengthened my game in the essential place.......the foundation, (which is footwork).

I believe foot work is as important in Pool and Billiards as it is in tennis and golf. When I watch an advanced player the first thing I check out is his or her stance and footwork. If they are sloppy at the foundation it's possible to see the chain reaction that effects the upper body angles, and ultimately the pool cue's accuracy and consistency.

Champion players all have great footwork, this is no coincidence, it's mandatory to play at the highest levels. You can still be advanced without great footwork, however, under pressure and adverse conditions the player's foundation, thus their game will usually crumble. This is not a matter of "if," it's a matter of "when".

"Playing great pool is a result, not an incentive, the incentive is to develop a systematical way to approach the game that produces positive results". This process must start at the ground and "build" up, not at the top and "build" down.


Join my Private Road Player Membership and I'll Show You Our Systems, Techniques, and Championship Level Fundamentals Today (for the price of treating me to lunch) @ www.masteringpocketbilliards.com
  
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06-12-2013, 03:15 PM

It does not matter what discipline you are discussing all good teachers have a few common traits.

They are primarily concerned with you and your needs. They may need to first determine your strengths and weaknesses but this is in the context of learning about you. Teachers who tell you how good they are, or teachers who make you feel inferior in anyway should be avoided.

Good teachers are enthusiastic about their material. They love it. They can go on for hours about their subject matter and seem to have a gee wiz fascination with their subject. They love learning new things from anyone and they are usually modest about their own accomplishments.

One of the better signs that can be used to identify a good teacher is they are the first to admit their own limitations. They usually tell you from whom they learned different things they are talking about and can tell you about many others who know more about some esoteric aspect. They know because they learned from others who they always acknowledge.

It is pretty easy to identify a good teacher. Take a lesson and see how many of these traits you observe.
Their primary concern should be with you and your development, if not look elsewhere.

If you have a chance watch a Bert Kinister tape to see an enthusiastic teacher. Here is a link to one of his videos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6zBTXwTHGs

Notice a few things here. He is not interested in pictures of himself. He is interested in making sure that you have a good view of what he is teaching. The way he talks, even on video, makes you feel like he is talking to you personally. He is concerned with you, your focus and concentration and that he makes sure you know exactly what he is talking about. Now there is a good teacher.

As teachers go, there are no too many as good as Bert.

A few other good examples with videos on the net include, Bob Jewett, Dr. Dave, and Mike Page. Any of their works are excellent examples of how to present material. In my estimation these are all people who set the standards for teaching in pool and billiards.

Last edited by JoeW; 06-12-2013 at 03:45 PM.
  
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06-12-2013, 03:30 PM

apple03: make sure that the coach you start lessons with pays attention to you while shooting and corrects you even in the event that the OB ends in the pocket. The one I have experienced developed over time a habit of saying 'fine/great' every time I hit the ball, even though i felt i was twisting my hand to compensate for bad alignment. Gl at finding a good coach.
  
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06-13-2013, 02:24 AM

Hi apple,

i just sent you a PM-

lg

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06-13-2013, 07:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BilliardsAbout View Post
This method you wrote about is a contrivance to bring the shooting hand into a comfortable, approximate position and doesn't include subtleties of aim, head and eye position, balance and the legs, etc. There are good instructors here with books and DVDs available you can use.

My book on pool fundamentals is available internationally. You can read reviews at:

PY Shooting Pool
I bought it. But to be honest, I don't think that it will help me. Most books I've bought from the States ( for example from Robert Byrne, Phil Capelle, Max Eberle ... ) didn't help me much because all these books are too "general" in my eyes. I'm going to look for an instructor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FranCrimi View Post
But regardless of the teaching methodology, a good instructor must be in tune with the player. He must be able to troubleshoot the player's game accurately. Without the ability to determine what's wrong and what's right about the player, the instructor would be left to simply reciting a methodology from memory.

So I would suggest to you to beware of an instructor who doesn't pay attention to YOU and YOUR NEEDS, but rather recites something from memory.
Thanks for your advice Fran! Until now I had two instructors and mostly they said someting like: "you are overthinking the game.." or "you are trying to hard". Well I can't believe it.. and there are a lot of player saying to me that the game is just mentally so extremely demanding. I don't believe it. However I quit practising with them because I felt not comfortable enough since the only answer was that I should stop asking. Here in my area almost every person talks about pool like "everyone who can run a rack could do it every time if the thinking is turned off"..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Lee View Post
apple03...The very first requirement, imo, is that the instructor MUST use video analysis to allow the student to visually see things they are doing right and wrong. If they don't use video as part of their teaching go elsewhere. PM Ratta (Ingo Peter) here. He is a skilled instructor who teaches several students...some in Germany, some in other countries (via internet). Plus, he is versed in SPF training, which imo sets him above other instructors!
]
Thanks Scott, we in Germany also use video analysis. What does SPF training mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Wiley View Post
I was taught to open my body and put my left (bridge side) foot parallel to the "line of the shot" and I'm glad I took the time to discover this because it strengthened my game in the essential place.......the foundation, (which is footwork).

I believe foot work is as important in Pool and Billiards as it is in tennis and golf. When I watch an advanced player the first thing I check out is his or her stance and footwork. If they are sloppy at the foundation it's possible to see the chain reaction that effects the upper body angles, and ultimately the pool cue's accuracy and consistency.
Well, sadly most of the people I know - including me - have no idea what the body is doing when shooting. I know a lot of people who run 50+ in Straight Pool and they say that the body will do it automatically right. I think the US has a higher standard of playing and teaching. Here, there are almost no money games any more - People playing for fun or playing in league. Tournaments with big price money are rare as well.

@JoeW: thanks for your advise, I will keep that in mind!
@Ingo: check out your inbox

Last edited by apple03; 06-13-2013 at 07:21 AM.
  
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06-13-2013, 07:46 AM

apple,

responsed to your pm.
Atm i m at work- i ll check my pm box this evening again.


We ll talk soon,

lg
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06-25-2013, 09:34 AM

If you are thinking very hard on every shot while you play, then I would agree that you are overthinking.

On the practice table you want to think and try new things, but when you get in a match there shouldn't be the 'over thinking'. Rather you should be trusting what you know.
  
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06-25-2013, 07:51 PM

apple03...It stands for Set, Pause, Finish...which is one way to build a bulletproof stroke process! Remember this...Think standing up...no thinking once you're down on the shot. Have fun working with Ingo! You'll do well!

Scott Lee
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Quote:
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Thanks Scott, we in Germany also use video analysis. What does SPF training mean?


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06-28-2013, 05:25 AM

Quote:
Until now I had two instructors and mostly they said someting like: "you are overthinking the game.." or "you are trying to hard". Well I can't believe it.. and there are a lot of player saying to me that the game is just mentally so extremely demanding. I don't believe it. However I quit practising with them because I felt not comfortable enough since the only answer was that I should stop asking. Here in my area almost every person talks about pool like "everyone who can run a rack could do it every time if the thinking is turned off"..
Maybe I can restate the above more clearly for your benefit. When someone says "pool is 80% or 90% mental effort, not physical effort", they mean the shot selection work and sequencing, positioning, speed choices, aim, etc. is mostly done before bending to shoot (harder than you think, see my latest articles below) and then during physical execution much feel is desired and little left-brain thinking.

I just finished an article with samples on the 80% head work that happens to "find the line":

Let There Be Ball-In-Hand, And Thinking


-- Matt Sherman

Guide to Pool and Billiards, About.com
Instruction Staff, InsidePool Magazine
Author, Book & DVD, Picture Yourself Shooting Pool (Named to the 25 Best Billiards Books of All Time by Bookauthority) and Picture Yourself Shooting Pool Like A Pro
  
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07-03-2013, 06:57 PM

The best way to tell if a instructor is any good is to talk to some past students... I would talk to several. Anyone good would surely offer up some references.


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