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Realistically, how much can one improve in under a year?
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Positively Ralf
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Realistically, how much can one improve in under a year? - 11-08-2019, 10:38 AM

I was talking about this with a league friend. He works, has a full time job, wife and kids. He can only really dedicate at most 5 hours a week to get practice in.

If you factor in maybe 3-5 lessons and 5 hours a week, maybe a few tournaments aswell, can someone go from a D player to a B player? Or is that asking too much?
  
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Bob Jewett
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11-08-2019, 11:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Positively Ralf View Post
I was talking about this with a league friend. He works, has a full time job, wife and kids. He can only really dedicate at most 5 hours a week to get practice in.

If you factor in maybe 3-5 lessons and 5 hours a week, maybe a few tournaments aswell, can someone go from a D player to a B player? Or is that asking too much?
It depends on the player. Just as the range of current abilities is huge -- Irving Crane used to spot a friend of mine 100-1 at straight pool -- the difference in abilities to learn is also huge.

I've had students that could incorporate something new and significant into their game in a few minutes. Others sometimes just don't get it after several different explanations, demonstrations, and actually doing the technique themselves with guidance. Half an hour later it is all gone.

Which sort of learner is your friend? If he is a D player now but has only just started to play pool, there is hope. If he has played on and off since he was 13, there is less hope.


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11-08-2019, 11:15 AM

In addition to what Bob posted, it also depends on the quality of the player's practice time. I think it's very possible. The most common fault with practicing is that many aspiring players just simply knock the balls around and think it counts as "practice".

5 hours is plenty of weekly practice if he knows exactly what needs work. A lesson from an instructor can help determine that. When a player just tosses balls out on the table and shoots them in without knowing exactly which part or parts of their game need improvement, they are not practicing anything that will help them improve. They're just reinforcing everything they might be doing wrong.


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Positively Ralf
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11-08-2019, 03:55 PM

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Originally Posted by Bob Jewett View Post
.

Which sort of learner is your friend? If he is a D player now but has only just started to play pool, there is hope. If he has played on and off since he was 13, there is less hope.
Mid 40s, has played for two years. He is a D player but all the top players in the area all notice the same thing, his fundamentals are pretty solid for someone who doesn't play as much as he does.
  
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11-08-2019, 04:20 PM

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Originally Posted by Positively Ralf View Post
Mid 40s, has played for two years. He is a D player but all the top players in the area all notice the same thing, his fundamentals are pretty solid for someone who doesn't play as much as he does.
A lot depends on his attitude too. I had a teammate that absolutely couldn't draw his ball. And it frustrated him. I told him I could work with him and have him doing it in less than a half hour. His response? "I don't 'work' on my game and I don't like to 'play' by myself. I only compete."

His game will improve very slowly, if at all.

Your friend, on the other hand, with a good attitude and it sounds like no glaring bad habits, could improve quite a bit in a year. Possibly low B speed. Maybe better.

It really depends on him and who he seeks out for help.

There is a new player in our area in his 50s and EVERYONE is trying to help him. He asked me for help and I told him I would when he stops asking everyone for help. The poor guy is so confused now by so many different styles and conflicting information that he can't think straight and plays pool even less straight.

IMO he needs to find a coach/instructor that he trusts and who's style he meshes with and then work within that system and only change if he truly feels like it's the wrong direction.

He might get more improvement by buying something like Mark Wilson's Play Great Pool book - which I just purchased after playing for 30 years - and make sure he has a good foundational base before even worrying about other aspects of the game.


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11-10-2019, 01:02 AM

i dont play league, so i dont really know the ratings. but i have just come up from a total beginner 15 months ago, to i feel a pretty decent player. but it has taken everything i have to get this far. it has taken videos, books, lessons, playing in bars, and 21 hours a week, week in and week out.

but im retired, with lots of free time. this is a hard game to learn to play well.

if your friend only has 5 hours a week to practice, it may be a long journey. but hopefully he has fun moving up the ranks.
  
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11-10-2019, 01:20 PM

An old friend of mine use to tell his students the only thing he wanted them to practice for the time being was long straight in shots for at least 20 hours a week, but more is better. He said he'll be able to tell if you were putting the time in, if not, don't come back. If you didn't have a stroke, you were both wasting each others time. lol

He gave a PBIA instructor lessons in one pocket and gave my wife lessons years ago for about a year. My wife went from having tears in her eyes from practicing to having a pretty good stroke. I miss watching her shoot.
  
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11-11-2019, 06:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Positively Ralf View Post
Mid 40s, has played for two years. He is a D player but all the top players in the area all notice the same thing, his fundamentals are pretty solid for someone who doesn't play as much as he does.
Bert Kinister's "60 Minute Workout for 9-Ball" will do wonders for his game if he puts in the table time. The principles therein apply to ALL games...not just 9-Ball.
And shot #1 from that video will create a stroke where there is no stroke. Kinister is spot on with that.
Couple that workout with a solid aiming system (one based on FACTS and not on outdated fractional crud from Mosconi and his his worshipers) and the game will skyrocket.
As for instructors, I personally do not have much use for ANY instructor who is not a combat veteran of some pool wars. If the instructor hasn't been in the arena then he is of no use to me.
Good wishes to your friend and you as well.
Regards,
"Low IQ"

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11-11-2019, 09:20 AM

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Originally Posted by Low500 View Post
...a solid aiming system (one based on FACTS and not on outdated fractional crud)
Funny, I thought you liked CTE.

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"LowIQ"
Yeah, we know.

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11-11-2019, 11:51 AM

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As for instructors, I personally do not have much use for ANY instructor who is not a combat veteran of some pool wars. If the instructor hasn't been in the arena then he is of no use to me.
Those instructors have and share the same knowledge as the combat veterans. It's up to you how far you want to go with that knowledge.
  
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11-12-2019, 08:01 AM

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Originally Posted by Positively Ralf View Post
I was talking about this with a league friend. He works, has a full time job, wife and kids. He can only really dedicate at most 5 hours a week to get practice in.

If you factor in maybe 3-5 lessons and 5 hours a week, maybe a few tournaments aswell, can someone go from a D player to a B player? Or is that asking too much?
It depends on the quality of input/instruction. Practicing wrongly doesn't help more when more hours are worked.


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"Low IQ" sez............
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"Low IQ" sez............ - 11-12-2019, 08:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by KenRobbins View Post
Those instructors have and share the same knowledge as the combat veterans. It's up to you how far you want to go with that knowledge.
We could go back and forth in a good natured way on this forever and both of us would still disagree.
My personal experience tells me that players like Jeremy Jones, Mike Massey, Stan Shuffett, Joe Cosgrove, Danny Jones, Billy Johnson, Jimmy Moore, and Danny DiLiberto (all of whom taught or teach) are/were far better sources for genuine improvement over some self-styled 'expert' running around the country blowing smoke about what he thinks he knows....and then under pressure he, the 'expert', chokes his guts out.
That's my position on instructors and I'm sticking with it. (as you're sticking with yours). And there's not a thing at all wrong with you feeling that way either.
I just want someone who has been under fire for money, teaching me the strong percentages and the REAL stuff of this game.
Life goes on.
Regards,
"Low IQ"
  
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11-12-2019, 09:45 AM

Not going to improve a whole lot, but he can get better.


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11-12-2019, 09:47 AM

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Originally Posted by Low500 View Post
We could go back and forth in a good natured way on this forever and both of us would still disagree.
My personal experience tells me that players like Jeremy Jones, Mike Massey, Stan Shuffett, Joe Cosgrove, Danny Jones, Billy Johnson, Jimmy Moore, and Danny DiLiberto (all of whom taught or teach) are/were far better sources for genuine improvement over some self-styled 'expert' running around the country blowing smoke about what he thinks he knows....and then under pressure he, the 'expert', chokes his guts out.
That's my position on instructors and I'm sticking with it. (as you're sticking with yours). And there's not a thing at all wrong with you feeling that way either.
I just want someone who has been under fire for money, teaching me the strong percentages and the REAL stuff of this game.
Life goes on.
Regards,
"Low IQ"
No need to go back and forth. Have a nice Thanksgiving.
  
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11-13-2019, 12:23 PM

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Not going to improve a whole lot, but he can get better.
This is the truth of the matter. I started playing in Feb of 2016 and I shoot almost every day. I have improved significantly but I struggle against more seasoned players. I have gone from an APA SL 3 to a 7 in almost 4 years but that is really meaningless once you start playing guys that are runout players. I can only imagine that I am probably 5-10 years away from being able to say I'm a player. One year won't net you much skill but I guarantee he will be better.


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