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Do lessons really help? - 04-30-2008, 11:54 AM

Hey everyone me again I wanted to ask all of u if u felt if pool lessons really helped. From what I was always able to gather it was more of a practice game meaning the more you practice and play the more you will get better. Over the ears I have learned that is not the case as you are always learning in this game. I am in ny and am debating starting lessons with tony robles has anyone had experience with him? I have met him before and watched him play and he is definitely someone I would love to model my game after. Any insights would be appreciated.
  
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04-30-2008, 11:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ForumGhost516
Hey everyone me again I wanted to ask all of u if u felt if pool lessons really helped. From what I was always able to gather it was more of a practice game meaning the more you practice and play the more you will get better. Over the ears I have learned that is not the case as you are always learning in this game. I am in ny and am debating starting lessons with tony robles has anyone had experience with him? I have met him before and watched him play and he is definitely someone I would love to model my game after. Any insights would be appreciated.
As with anything in life, education is (almost) always worth the money spent. Pool lessons are just another form of education, i.e., learning something from those with knowledge. You can only learn so much on your own...

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04-30-2008, 11:59 AM

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Originally Posted by ForumGhost516
Hey everyone me again I wanted to ask all of u if u felt if pool lessons really helped. From what I was always able to gather it was more of a practice game meaning the more you practice and play the more you will get better. Over the ears I have learned that is not the case as you are always learning in this game. I am in ny and am debating starting lessons with tony robles has anyone had experience with him? I have met him before and watched him play and he is definitely someone I would love to model my game after. Any insights would be appreciated.
Tony is one of the best instructors out there. I have heard nothing but good things about him and what he does.
  
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04-30-2008, 12:05 PM

Not knowing your speed it's hard to say for sure.
the thing about lessons IMO... is you have to be willing to unlearn and relearn. Most of the time lessons can improve a players game relative to their speed. For instance, for a D player lessons from a pro may not be practical unless they already have SOLID fundamentals (would they still be a D player?) because no amount of knowledge can save a bad stroke but it can greatly effect clumsy thinking. If you can already run out (sometimes) lessons from a pro could go a long way to help you over your hurdles. But if you can't make 3 balls in a row or have NO idea where the cueball is going, it might be better to enlist the help of a solid local player to help you, until you have the skillset to really take advantage of a top pro's lessons. Sure, he could help you with the most basic fundamentals but not very good use of time and money IMO.
  
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04-30-2008, 12:09 PM

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Originally Posted by ForumGhost516
I am in ny and am debating starting lessons with tony robles has anyone had experience with him? I have met him before and watched him play and he is definitely someone I would love to model my game after. Any insights would be appreciated.
There should be no debate. Tony is an amazing instructor and he will help your game no matter where you need the help. Ive worked with him several times and every time I walk away with something great.

I just lad a hour lesson with Chris Lynch at Amsterdam Billiards (who is not only a great player and instructor, a very nice guy) the other night and I honestly could not believe how much knowledge I got from that. By far the best lesson Ive had and also the cheapest.

Ive also worked with Kid Delicious who is also a very good teacher and a very nice guy.

So yes, I think lessons help A LOT... and being in NY, you have a lot of options. Tony, Chris, Danny, Ron V, Ginky... the list goes on.
  
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04-30-2008, 12:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ugotactionTX
For instance, for a D player lessons from a pro may not be practical unless they already have SOLID fundamentals (would they still be a D player?) because no amount of knowledge can save a bad stroke but it can greatly effect clumsy thinking. If you can already run out (sometimes) lessons from a pro could go a long way to help you over your hurdles. But if you can't make 3 balls in a row or have NO idea where the cueball is going, it might be better to enlist the help of a solid local player to help you, until you have the skillset to really take advantage of a top pro's lessons.
I have to disagree. Teaching is something that a lot of people cannot do. If your a D player and need help with controling the cue ball, a good teacher can apply the knowledge. The teacher will also know where the problem lies. A lot of non teaching players that try to help, wont find the real problem (i.e. stance, stroke, bridge) that a proper teacher would.
  
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04-30-2008, 12:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ForumGhost516
Hey everyone me again I wanted to ask all of u if u felt if pool lessons really helped. From what I was always able to gather it was more of a practice game meaning the more you practice and play the more you will get better. Over the ears I have learned that is not the case as you are always learning in this game. I am in ny and am debating starting lessons with tony robles has anyone had experience with him? I have met him before and watched him play and he is definitely someone I would love to model my game after. Any insights would be appreciated.
Depends on who is giving the lesson. I've had lessons that have help enoumously, lessons that were so-so, and lessons which may have been detrimental.
I've never had a lesson from Robles, but have heard nothing but good about his lessons.


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Lightbulb 04-30-2008, 12:24 PM

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Originally Posted by ForumGhost516
Any insights would be appreciated.
Profession instruction will help you game, if you practice what you are taught. Want a good basic instructions DVD for under twenty bucks?

Jerry Biesath's DVD How to play pool right. Available from www.poolndarts.com

Master 90% of what Jerry teaches, and you will be an awesome player IMHO.
  
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04-30-2008, 12:28 PM

You could probably benefit from lessons if you've never had one before. That said, it all depends on how your basics are now and what your weak points are. How good you play now is a good indication of how much lessons could benefit you. You may need a pro caliber player to take a good look at your game and make some recommendations.
Personally, I'm a bit leery of getting lessons from just anybody. I've had formal lessons from three former World Champions and one road player. The only thing any of them had me change as far as basics was that one of the Champions had me change my grip on the butt. The lesson that has stayed with me the longest was the one from the road player and it became the basis of my current 9 ball game. If you don't mind spending the money at this time, it would probably be money well spent, but bear in mind that it may not be cheap. I don't know what Tony and the guys around the City get for formal lessons. I know that some people who teach pool for a living are not cheap and whether some of them are worth the money is debatable. These days, you'll get all kind of recommends for different instructors. If you want to travel a bit, I'd suggest Joe Tucker, Jerry Briesath, Mark Wilson, or Stan Shuffett. I suggest these folks because I've heard good things about them not just on AZ but out in the pool world as well. But, that's just my opinion.


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04-30-2008, 12:32 PM

Yes they do really help.

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04-30-2008, 12:33 PM

All caliber of players could and do use lessons from other players. There is always room for improvement in anyone's game. Take that to heart.
  
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04-30-2008, 12:44 PM

Find a teacher that is just as motivated to teach as you are to learn - and Tony is definitely one of those teachers.

No amount of instruction from anybody will help if you do not have the proper attitude. I tell all of my students that an open mind is a black hole for knowledge. A closed mind is a brick wall for knowledge.

Over the years I have worked with plenty of open minded players, and I have had my share of closed minded players. One is a lot of fun and the other is a waste of our time.

My advice is to go out to lunch with Tony PRIOR to the lesson and talk about what you expect to get out of a lesson - what your goals are and how he can help you to get there. Tony is a good guy and very easy to talk to - he has a great attitude toward teaching and instruction, and he is also one of the best players in the world (including being the reigning NJ Straight Pool Champion).

IMO, taking lessons from Tony Robles is a win-win for any player at any level. Just remember that in the world of billiards instruction, the teacher can't do all the work for you. As an instructor, I provide information and it is up to the student to take what is learned and practice it until it is mastered. Good luck!


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04-30-2008, 12:46 PM

I think Tony is great but honestly, it's more about the student than the instructor. You have to practice what he teaches. Seriously, if I taught lessons and had to go over the same thing twice with a student, I'd probably tell him he's wasting my time and I'd end the lesson right there. Tony is a far more patient person that I am (also a far better player). With that said, onus is on you.


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04-30-2008, 12:50 PM

Of course, the instructor is the key to whether a lesson for a given player will be productive, but with Tony Robles, the risk of not learning enough to justify the MODEST fee he chages is exactly ZERO.

Tony is a SUPER teacher. He adapts immediately to the student's flaws and doesn't take the "do it this way because I say so" approach.

In addition, he's one of the world's nicest guys. Don't even think about it...just do it.

Having said that, you need to understand how to be a student. Tony is so good that if you don't adopt everything he recommends re: your basic mechanics then you would be a poor student....as are MANY people who take lessons.

You have to be prepared to go BACKWARD in your game for a while before the modifications you are given become imbedded in your subconscious...which can take weeks if not MONTHS to do. MANY students become disillusioned after only brief efforts to adopt the instructors advice and return to their "default" habits.

Finally, at the end of the session...take a least a half day to start...you will be given FAR too much information to absorb. So TAKE NOTES or better yet, have someone video the session.

Then at the end, ask Tony the following question..."If I could ONLY work on TWO things you have told me...what would you suggest they should be.

Then STOP RUNNING RACKS for at least 2 weeks and do NOTHING but work on drills that will encorporate the advice you get.

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04-30-2008, 12:55 PM

Generally speaking lessons can be great for a beginner with little knowledge of how spin causes the balls to react, a poor stroke with a bad bridge, lack of understanding on the aiming point to make a shot, ect...

Once a person has the basics down reasonably well lessons do little to help and a person will get better via simply shooting balls, lots and lots of balls. Once you have the basics the way to get good is simply to play as much pool as you possibly can to make the muscle memory of the stroke more natural and make the aiming of all shots more automatic. Shooting shots with every type of spin, top, bottom, left, right, mixes of both, inside juice with tops, inside juice with bottoms, ect... basically you want to shoot a ludicrous amount of pool and make all of that stuff start to feel second nature to where getting down and stroking almost any shot into the heart with almost any siding and speed becomes easy. This does not come from lessons, it comes from shooting a huge amount of pool.
  
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