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fun - 09-21-2020, 01:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by pwd72s View Post
Something I found very true:

"Deliberate practice requires focus and concentration, which
makes it mentally taxing and not likely to be a lot of fun."

Since I got into pool strictly for the fun, and knowing well that at age 76 I'll never be a very good player, why risk making myself remove the fun?

Not slamming those who do treat the game as more than recreation..more power to you.

I find myself happy with baby step improvements...things like working on rudimentary shape while using only center ball, etc. I do NOT want to remove the fun factor from the game. If I do, I'd just quit and look for fun elsewhere. It's a big world out there..just brimming over with fun things to do.
I agree 100% that pool should be fun. Different people find joy in different things.

Recreational players enjoy using pool as an excuse for a gathering of friends. They enjoy the boys night out, the drinking, the joking around. Sometimes pool can play a role in that with some trash talk or a choked 8 ball. This is one way to enjoy the game.

Another is that of a more hobbyist like yourself. You enjoy playing a bit, maybe learning a new shot or making a good run now and then. But it's meant to be an escape from the hardships of life, not another hardship in itself. My dad falls into this category. He has had a lot of fun playing despite not reaching a particularly high level.

Then some of us play competitively. For us the joy in the game comes from finding ways to develop ourselves into more effective players. For competitors the game goes beyond trying hard when at the table and becomes a meta strategy that combines with how we live our lives. Formulating a budget of time and energy and money to put into pool. Finding the most effective uses for that time and money. Analyzing our games. Sparring with better players. Doing drills. Watching the elite and breaking down pattern and technique. Getting coaching. Playing tournaments. Reading mental game books and journaling about our feelings during a match. And so on.

Much of this involves a sacrifice of the short term. We don't get to joke around like recreational players, and sometimes it takes discipline to put the break rak on and shoot 100 break shots when we really just want to run around and mop up easy runs. But the payoffs are sublime. There is nothing quite like finding yourself in a serious competition against players that were beyond you a year or two ago, then using the physical and mental tools you've worked hard on to hold yourself together and get a job done in a big way.

In fact, as you have more and more of those experiences they become so gratifying that they are not only worth all the hard work, they make the hard work enjoyable. I've learned that input = output. The more I put in, the more of those breakthroughs I have. I've done this enough that I actually feel the joy of the payoff while I'm doing the hard work. It's like any acquired taste where you learn to associate the payoff with the behavior. So I do have a ton of fun every time I play. Sometimes it's the intrinsic joy of preparation for competition. Sometimes it's the fun of showing up and reaping the extrinsic rewards. But it's all good.

That being said, there are a lot of competitors that are so perfectionistic and egotistical that they never enjoy themselves. They mistakenly believe that through self abuse and unrealistic standards they will motivate themselves and achieve a higher level of play. For this reason they sacrifice most of the joy in the game as part of their improvement strategy. I would argue this isn't effective either for good play or for quality of life. If you're referring to those players or if those players are the image you have of competitors I don't blame you for keeping it casual. I'd rather see hobby play than unnecessary misery.

So each to their own. Enjoy the game how you like.


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09-21-2020, 03:50 PM

Great analysis...many thanks!
  
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09-21-2020, 04:13 PM

I'm going to play the Devil's advocate on this one. Explain to me how someone who hits their head in an accident can instantly become a savant in music, math, or the arts. I think there is a natural talent, but I think all talent can improve with hard work and knowledge. I think the key to life isn't greatness, few achieve that. I think the key to life is self-improvement.

Just because some guy writes an article or book about a topic doesn't make it true. Examine for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

Disclaimer: I didn't not read the whole article, so forgive me if my comments were covered in the article.


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Last edited by jason; 09-23-2020 at 07:12 PM. Reason: grammar-mar
  
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09-21-2020, 05:27 PM

Talent and hard work are not unrelated. Talent itself is a significant component in having the motivation to work hard, as are also environmental factors beyond our control.


  
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09-21-2020, 05:29 PM

hard work helps get you into the top tier when you are close to it. but it takes innate talent to get very far.

i knew lots of top pool players who hardly ever worked on their game. and also took up golf or some other skill game and became very good in a short time. so talent matters in my book.

people that believe anyone with hard work can make it to the top in a sport are ones without that amount of talent. so they use that to justify their place in the line.
  
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09-21-2020, 06:52 PM

talent +hard work
yes will get farther than
no talent
+hard work
but
no talent +hard work will get you farther than your innate skills suggest
meaning if you want to be the best you can be
dedicated practice for long total hours will get you there
jmho
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09-22-2020, 12:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Man View Post
I agree 100% that pool should be fun. Different people find joy in different things.

Recreational players enjoy using pool as an excuse for a gathering of friends. They enjoy the boys night out, the drinking, the joking around. Sometimes pool can play a role in that with some trash talk or a choked 8 ball. This is one way to enjoy the game.

Another is that of a more hobbyist like yourself. You enjoy playing a bit, maybe learning a new shot or making a good run now and then. But it's meant to be an escape from the hardships of life, not another hardship in itself. My dad falls into this category. He has had a lot of fun playing despite not reaching a particularly high level.

Then some of us play competitively. For us the joy in the game comes from finding ways to develop ourselves into more effective players. For competitors the game goes beyond trying hard when at the table and becomes a meta strategy that combines with how we live our lives. Formulating a budget of time and energy and money to put into pool. Finding the most effective uses for that time and money. Analyzing our games. Sparring with better players. Doing drills. Watching the elite and breaking down pattern and technique. Getting coaching. Playing tournaments. Reading mental game books and journaling about our feelings during a match. And so on.

Much of this involves a sacrifice of the short term. We don't get to joke around like recreational players, and sometimes it takes discipline to put the break rak on and shoot 100 break shots when we really just want to run around and mop up easy runs. But the payoffs are sublime. There is nothing quite like finding yourself in a serious competition against players that were beyond you a year or two ago, then using the physical and mental tools you've worked hard on to hold yourself together and get a job done in a big way.

In fact, as you have more and more of those experiences they become so gratifying that they are not only worth all the hard work, they make the hard work enjoyable. I've learned that input = output. The more I put in, the more of those breakthroughs I have. I've done this enough that I actually feel the joy of the payoff while I'm doing the hard work. It's like any acquired taste where you learn to associate the payoff with the behavior. So I do have a ton of fun every time I play. Sometimes it's the intrinsic joy of preparation for competition. Sometimes it's the fun of showing up and reaping the extrinsic rewards. But it's all good.

That being said, there are a lot of competitors that are so perfectionistic and egotistical that they never enjoy themselves. They mistakenly believe that through self abuse and unrealistic standards they will motivate themselves and achieve a higher level of play. For this reason they sacrifice most of the joy in the game as part of their improvement strategy. I would argue this isn't effective either for good play or for quality of life. If you're referring to those players or if those players are the image you have of competitors I don't blame you for keeping it casual. I'd rather see hobby play than unnecessary misery.

So each to their own. Enjoy the game how you like.
Hello Tin Man, I like how you put your thoughts into words, well written. I already know I'm a perfectionist and never put much thought into it. I actually spent a couple hours researching about a perfectionist. I guess that's not a great trait to have and guess that's why my wife is pissed at me half the time.
I guess now it's time to perfect the perfectionist in me. lol

What's the point in practicing a weakness and being ok with failure? I definitely over do it when practicing, always have. I definitely have fun playing with the guys, even though they prefer playing on the barbox.

When I was young I seen this guy banking racks of balls nonstop without missing. I walked up to him and asked him how the hell does he do that without missing? He simply said you keep doing it until you can't miss. We later became friends and I guess you can say he was kind of my mentor. The way I practice is what he always pushed for. He actually put tears in my wifes eyes when he told her she's not practicing enough when he was teaching her. My wife actually became a decent player.

He didn't get out much, but he was a force to be reckoned with with any seasoned pro. I noticed how someone mentioned years ago on here about a guy breaking and running 2 full racks in a row in one pocket. He did that on a regular basis. He didn't get there being gentle on himself in the practice room. He was a gentle guy, but a beast on the table. That was perfect pool that I'll probably never achieve, but still trying. He just recently passed away and will be missed.

Your a good player and looks like your students enjoy your instruction. I guess there's more ways to skin a cat to get there.
  
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Practice is everything
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Practice is everything - 09-23-2020, 08:07 AM

I don't have natural talent when it comes to pool. I do for getting cars or motorcycles around corners quickly so I understand the difference between talent and practice.
I was good but got much better driving with lots of thought and practice. The more you understand something the better you can be.
I SLOWLY improved at pool by learning the physics and spending a lot of time at the table, but progress was slow. Then I stumbled upon Mark Wilson, tried what he showed in his videos which supplied consistency to the stroke. Bought his book whose drills exercise each aspect of the stroke that resulted in a quantum leap in my game. Best guidance I ever got. I'll be visiting him in the near future for instruction, hope I have the stamina required.
So in my experience proper instruction and tons of practice are more important than talent by a huge margin.

https://playgreatpool.com/product/play-great-pool-book/
  
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Surprising? - 09-23-2020, 07:11 PM

Is this some sort of revelation? It's pretty well known that pros usually practice several hours a day, and we have all met novices who seem to have a natural ability to see angles and make shots but don't aspire to play at any level beyond amateur.
  
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09-24-2020, 08:18 AM

The motto of a lot of people in the business world, politics and one or two pool players is if you lack talent - cheat, lie, misrepresent.
  
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09-24-2020, 08:24 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Man View Post
Thank you for sharing. This article really demonstrates that talent is overrated. I couldn't agree more.

I've always said INPUT = OUTPUT. I should modify this to "Effective Input = Output". If you put in the wrong input you won't get results. If you don't put in a ton of input you won't get results.

When people talk talent, what they are really saying is "I put in a lot of input and I'm not seeing the same results as others. They must just be more gifted. It isn't fair!" The truth is that the other person you are comparing yourself to has probably 1) Put in way more input than you realize, and 2) Has put in more effective input.

I want to talk a bit about the effective piece of this. Why would people not put in effective input? Well, most people have a faulty narrative. They insist they have the knowledge and are on the right path, but the path they are on doesn't lead towards the results they want. But they are close minded. They want to prove their path is right more than they actually want to get better. I see this all the time. Then when they don't get results they aren't accountable, they blame a talent gap.

One small example: There is a guy I know who refuses to not try to crush the break. He wants every break to be 23mph with a huge cue ball pop that makes people turn their heads like in the Color of Money. The problem is he doesn't get consistent results. So we are playing on this one table that doesn't rack well, and with tight pockets the hard break wasn't working. Turns out this table responded better to a medium speed break. But when he heard this he refused to change his break and insisted this was how the pros do it. Fast forward to the competition, he was totally ineffective. In fact, at one point down 7-6 in a race to 8 he broke and jumped the table. His opponent ran out.

People continue to insist pool is all fundamentals, or pool is all talent, or whatever narrative they create in their head. These narratives are very dangerous. The truth is that pool is all IMPROVEMENT, and you have to adapt your narrative to what works in reality, because reality won't adapt to your narrative. It pays to spend time talking to top players and being open minded.

In short, do what works. Anyone that stubbornly goes down a dead end road and loses steam and stops putting in the right amount of work has to be accountable for their choice. Talent isn't a factor here.

Excellent post!

I remember years ago seeing an interview with Tony Ellin. He said that he always felt like most pros had more talent or innate skill than he had, and so he felt like he had to practice harder than other pros in order to maintain a competitive performance.

Last edited by BC21; 09-24-2020 at 08:29 AM.
  
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09-24-2020, 08:48 AM

I have seen this a lot over the years and have always felt like this talent is overrated concept is almost arguing against a strawman. I say almost because a lot of people do believe that top performers have a special indescribable something that gives them an edge. I would argue that talent should be observable or definable otherwise, we might as well say that SVB is so good because, magic.

But this premise that all it takes to be a top performer is deliberate practice is more complicated than it sounds. Someone has to have the stomach for it, the drive to commit to dedicated practice on a daily basis for years. They also should have good observational skills to be able to figure out what they are doing wrong and then make adjustments. How many players spend hours shooting the same shot in the same way and missing constantly?

So although this can be taught to a certain extent, I do think that talent with respect to pool, may be largely psychological. I would guess that if you ran a study you would find that top players had certain personality characteristics that lend itself to deliberate practice and/or great observational skills.

I truly believe that anyone can reach a 600 range Fargo rate by doing the right things. But I think to get above 700 or higher you probably need a mixture of certain psychological traits mixed with opportunity (tough to get competition experience if you are from the Yukon). In the short term, deliberate practice isnít hard to do if you have a coach helping understand what is worthwhile to spend your time on. But in the long term, I think it might be too much for a lot of people.


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09-24-2020, 10:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbb View Post
https://www.drdouggreen.com/wp-conte...-Overrated.pdf
i posted this in the instructor forum (i am not an instructor)
thought it might be helpfull for those of us wondering
do i have it?
how do i get better?
I completely agree with you.......listen i've been saying this for ages to my friends, I been telling them, that these ppl who play good, its not that theyre gifted, they just practice more than anyone else.

Not just in pool, but in everything, but let me go back to pool related example, I told you a friend of mine the other day when Sky lost to Dennis, I told him, look, Sky is busy selling stuff on fb, while Dennis wakes up, eats a snack then go to the table, plays until the end of the day, then go back to sleep, thats the difference.

So you want to be really good? play 12 hrs a day, if you dont have a job or family, then sure you can be a pro and win tournaments, skill in pool is a function of time, very simply put.

EDIT: I just wanted to insert this one edit, back in the 90's when archer + earl strickland + efren reyes were winning everything, I heard ppl that say, whenever they walk into the poolhall, they see these guys practicing, you go in, they are shooting balls, you go out and they're still shooting balls, you get it?
  
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09-24-2020, 01:11 PM

I don't believe in natural talent. I think that the major difference among players is how players choose to learn.
  
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09-24-2020, 03:34 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason View Post
I'm going to play the Devil's advocate on this one. Explain to me how someone who hits their head in an accident can instantly become a savant in music, math, or the arts. I think there is a natural talent, but I think all talent can improve with hard work and knowledge. I think the key to life isn't greatness, few achieve that. I think the key to life is self-improvement.

Just because some guy writes an article or book about a topic doesn't make it true. Examine for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

Disclaimer: I didn't not read the whole article, so forgive me if my comments were covered in the article.
Do people really suffer head injuries and wake up being incredibly gifted at something that was otherwise unknown to them??? If this really happens anywhere except on the interweb my guess is that they were familiar with the subject beforehand and maybe their head injury just helped them understand their special skill. I dont think people are born with innate talent for shooting pool. Things that are required to play well like great eye sight and good hand eye coordination, yes but pool skills?? What part of evolution required us to develop those skills? We are generally wired to be naturally gifted at things that helped us survive and evolve thru time but I dont see how pool skills fit that need. It also seems that the people who are called naturally talented at pool are all around good athletes in many sports.
  
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