Good Books for Pool Players

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
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Talent vs hard work is always an interesting debate. I think inborn talent is very real. We all agree something takes thousands of hours to really master then along comes a kid and gets to the same place basically overnight throwing all of the ten thousand hours theories out of the window! I was watching a young man practicing flat tracking. He was a beast! On motorcycles with the size and horsepower to offset body weight he would have still smoked me most thoroughly on the flat track. He was a master flat tracker. I have to wonder just how many hours of experience he had in at his current age of six years old or how much experience he had the year before when he was national champion at five? I had been debating if I wanted to race on two wheels or four for about a year. I decided that day that as an old man of seventeen I was too old to start racing bikes!

I shot pistols with a tweener, ten to twelve years old. He didn't have an athletic build and he was a little overweight. The kind of kid that gets teased at school. Last time I talked to his dad Jr was drawing from the hands up surrender position and shooting five steel plates in 1.7 seconds! Most people will never get there regardless of how many hours they put into practice.

I believe that grinders can often get there, wherever there is for them. I have seen plenty of proof of that. I started off as maybe the worst pool player in the world! Frustrated me that I lost more beer than I won playing in bars the first six months. Thousands of hours later I beat some of the best. Pure dogged determination. Allen Hopkins says he ran out the table the very first time he picked up a stick as a tweener I believe.

Natural talent is real and can make a person's path a lot easier. Rarely all it takes to be a world beater though. Those that think natural talent is a myth are deluding themselves as much as those thinking everyone that gets to the top has natural talent. I think the very most elite probably have a combination of natural talent and a burning desire that sees them putting in the same hours as those with little or no natural talent.

Serena and Venus Williams were mentioned earlier. I don't know that they had much in the way of natural talent for tennis. They did have a father that decided them being tennis stars was his meal ticket while they were little more than crawling! A friend of mine could throw a baseball through the traps at a hundred miles an hour with very little real training. Nothing I could ever do would let me do that.

Most of us have better than average abilities in some area. If we want to compete we need to find and focus on that area we have an edge in. Building on areas we have natural talents in is a whole lot easier than working in areas we have no natural talent.

Hu
 

krelldog

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Great books for Pool Players ?

Bankruptcy for Dummies..

Soup Kitchens Near You..

Employment is so Overrated..

Socialism..A Way of Life

Hope this helps.
 

greyghost

Coast to Coast
Silver Member
Along the same lines....

Charlie "Bird" Parker is considered by many, to be the greatest, or most influential, jazz saxophone player of all times. Many people believe he was just born with some super musical talent that "normal" people don't possess. But Jamey Aebersold (jazz musician/teacher) pointed out there is a rare interview with Charlie (it's actually on YouTube now), where Charlie states that during a 3-4 year period of his life, he was practicing 11-15 hours per day. Jamey said it was like an epiphany to realize that maybe Charlie wasn't born with some special talent, but rather, maybe he was a musical wizard because he worked so hard at it, and practiced so much.

Because Charlie thought he was a bad ass among men at 16. It’s documented that at that age Parker got a gig with Joe Jones. He stunk it up, Jones threw a cymbal at him. Humiliated he was laughed off the stage. It was a wake up call of reality . he was good but he wasn’t the shit like he thought.

He then dedicated himself to better practice habits that improved his skills drastically over the next handful of years of his life. And the rest is history


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

greyghost

Coast to Coast
Silver Member
Great books for Pool Players ?

Bankruptcy for Dummies..

Soup Kitchens Near You..

Employment is so Overrated..

Socialism..A Way of Life

Hope this helps.

Sounds lame and unoriginal like a hateful 5 speed hating on their 5 speed friends.

The correct choices would be:

McGoorty

And

“how to get by without working: a hustlers memoirs”-by Peter Rabbit Lineart

Throw in Cornbread Red too



The game was more important than the money overall. The best pool players never let off their childhood dreams…just wanted to play the game they loved.

For a struggling group we live amazing loves peppered with shit most wouldn’t believe is true .

Cliff Joyner told me once, heck no I wouldn’t go back and change it….then I’d lose all the good stuff.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

BC21

https://www.playpoolbetter.com
Gold Member
Silver Member
Talent vs hard work is always an interesting debate. I think inborn talent is very real. We all agree something takes thousands of hours to really master then along comes a kid and gets to the same place basically overnight throwing all of the ten thousand hours theories out of the window! I was watching a young man practicing flat tracking. He was a beast! On motorcycles with the size and horsepower to offset body weight he would have still smoked me most thoroughly on the flat track. He was a master flat tracker. I have to wonder just how many hours of experience he had in at his current age of six years old or how much experience he had the year before when he was national champion at five? I had been debating if I wanted to race on two wheels or four for about a year. I decided that day that as an old man of seventeen I was too old to start racing bikes!

I shot pistols with a tweener, ten to twelve years old. He didn't have an athletic build and he was a little overweight. The kind of kid that gets teased at school. Last time I talked to his dad Jr was drawing from the hands up surrender position and shooting five steel plates in 1.7 seconds! Most people will never get there regardless of how many hours they put into practice.

I believe that grinders can often get there, wherever there is for them. I have seen plenty of proof of that. I started off as maybe the worst pool player in the world! Frustrated me that I lost more beer than I won playing in bars the first six months. Thousands of hours later I beat some of the best. Pure dogged determination. Allen Hopkins says he ran out the table the very first time he picked up a stick as a tweener I believe.

Natural talent is real and can make a person's path a lot easier. Rarely all it takes to be a world beater though. Those that think natural talent is a myth are deluding themselves as much as those thinking everyone that gets to the top has natural talent. I think the very most elite probably have a combination of natural talent and a burning desire that sees them putting in the same hours as those with little or no natural talent.

Serena and Venus Williams were mentioned earlier. I don't know that they had much in the way of natural talent for tennis. They did have a father that decided them being tennis stars was his meal ticket while they were little more than crawling! A friend of mine could throw a baseball through the traps at a hundred miles an hour with very little real training. Nothing I could ever do would let me do that.

Most of us have better than average abilities in some area. If we want to compete we need to find and focus on that area we have an edge in. Building on areas we have natural talents in is a whole lot easier than working in areas we have no natural talent.

Hu

People can be born with genetic advantages that make certain talents easier to develop, but that doesn't mean they are born talented. Traditionally it has always been believed that talent is something people are born with, and you either have it or you don't. That has been debunked, yet people still believe it. Research into "child prodigies" has shown that there is not one child prodigy that did not spend his or her childhood wrapped in the optimum environment for developing his/her talent.

It just happens to be that the best windows of opportunity for learning skills and talents occur at a very young age. So a kid that starts riding a mini bike at 2 or 3 can be a champion rider by the time he/she is 6. A kid who starts playing a piano at 3 or 4 can be a worldclass pianist before turning 6 or 7. Name the talent and the same windows of opportunity are at play. All it takes is the proper environment that provides interest and opportunity, plus a willingness or desire to do whatever it is the kid is doing, whether it's playing guitar or piano, riding motorcycles, shooting a bow or a gun, playing pool or baseball, etc....

Naturally, if your parents are tall people, you'll likely have a genetic advantage for playing basketball, if you happen have the opportunity and desire to do that. If not, you'll be one of the millions of people out there who surprise others when they say "I bet you played basketball", and you reply with, "Nope....I never got into it."

Here is a diagram showing our most effective windows of opportunity for learning. If we don't develop a talent at these young ages, it doesn't mean we can't become great at something later on in life. It just means we'll have to work harder to do it.

full
 
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bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Talent vs hard work is always an interesting debate.

Those that think natural talent is a myth are deluding themselves as much as those thinking everyone that gets to the top has natural talent. I think the very most elite probably have a combination of natural talent and a burning desire that sees them putting in the same hours as those with little or no natural talent.


Hu
i agree ... (y)
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
I think we are in agreement other than a bit on our definition of talent. For example, hand eye coordination far above normal is a talent. A person might apply that talent to playing some variety of ball, or flying a fighter jet. They aren't born with a talent to play one sort of ball or to fly that jet but they do have the talent to see that speck coming at them and recognize speed, distance, and direction before most people can even find the speck.

There are talents at birth, what is done with these gifts and talents are other things entirely. We learn things more easily at certain ages with the teenage years being some of the last before it is hard slogging. We can't put it to the test but I suspect a baby could be taught to think in music or colors as easily as in words with equal exposure. We are working with pretty much a blank slate. As the child learns borders are created. It becomes harder and harder to teach something "outside the box".

Hu
 

BC21

https://www.playpoolbetter.com
Gold Member
Silver Member
I think we are in agreement other than a bit on our definition of talent. For example, hand eye coordination far above normal is a talent. A person might apply that talent to playing some variety of ball, or flying a fighter jet. They aren't born with a talent to play one sort of ball or to fly that jet but they do have the talent to see that speck coming at them and recognize speed, distance, and direction before most people can even find the speck.

There are talents at birth, what is done with these gifts and talents are other things entirely. We learn things more easily at certain ages with the teenage years being some of the last before it is hard slogging. We can't put it to the test but I suspect a baby could be taught to think in music or colors as easily as in words with equal exposure. We are working with pretty much a blank slate. As the child learns borders are created. It becomes harder and harder to teach something "outside the box".

Hu

I believe the only thing we disagree on is whether or not some people are actually born with "talent". And yes, it's because we have different definitions of talent.

For me, talent is the ability to perform or create something that exceeds what the performance or creations of the average person. It's a development process, not a genetic trait. I wouldn't consider the ability to learn more easily to be a talent.

A co-worker once told me that his 10yr old son was born to play football, said the coach of the youth program said he was the most talented kid he's ever had on the team. He showed me videos of this kid running and catching the ball, throwing the ball, etc...

I told him he must have practiced quite a bit to get that good, because people aren't born with that skill already intact. They have to develop it. He insisted that his boy was born with these skills. Then he showed me older video clips of him throwing the football to this kid when the kid was only about 3 years old. The ball hit the kid in the face several times because his hands weren't timing it correctly. And a few times he caught the ball awkwardly. I asked how often he played ball like this with his boy back then. He said every day for about a year or two. I laughed and said, "That's why your kid is so good now."

Somewhere right now there is likely a pregnant woman singing while making lunch or folding laundry. And perhaps a future worldclass musician is in her womb, listening, developing an ear for music. In this respect, I do see how some talents can begin to be developed prior to being born. But that is still a process of development. Not sure how physical coordination or hand-eye coordination can be developed in the womb, but that would be the only way a person could be born with seemingly natural hand-eye coordination skills/talent. Not saying it's not possible, just saying there is no talent gene that automatically makes some people more talented at birth than others.

Neurologists and geneticists once believed this...

Talent = Genes + Environment

Now they understand it's more like this....

Talent = Genes X Environment

There's a big difference in those equations.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
People can be born with genetic advantages that make certain talents easier to develop, but that doesn't mean they are born talented. Traditionally it has always been believed that talent is something people are born with, and you either have it or you don't. That has been debunked, yet people still believe it. Research into "child prodigies" has shown that there is not one child prodigy that did not spend his or her childhood wrapped in the optimum environment for developing his/her talent.

It just happens to be that the best windows of opportunity for learning skills and talents occur at a very young age. So a kid that starts riding a mini bike at 2 or 3 can be a champion rider by the time he/she is 6. A kid who starts playing a piano at 3 or 4 can be a worldclass pianist before turning 6 or 7. Name the talent and the same windows of opportunity are at play. All it takes is the proper environment that provides interest and opportunity, plus a willingness or desire to do whatever it is the kid is doing, whether it's playing guitar or piano, riding motorcycles, shooting a bow or a gun, playing pool or baseball, etc....

Naturally, if your parents are tall people, you'll likely have a genetic advantage for playing basketball, if you happen have the opportunity and desire to do that. If not, you'll be one of the millions of people out there who surprise others when they say "I bet you played basketball", and you reply with, "Nope....I never got into it."

Here is a diagram showing our most effective windows of opportunity for learning. If we don't develop a talent at these young ages, it doesn't mean we can't become great at something later on in life. It just means we'll have to work harder to do it.

full
I've often heard that our basic personality is formed by the age of five. The only problem I have with such tables above is how does this explain the learning curve of a group of people who are introduced to something completely new to all of them. Why do some prospective pilots learn to fly a jet plane faster than others who are enrolled in the same school/program. Why does one or two kids stand out when a group of them is introduced to a new sport. For some unexplained reason there are people who have a faster learning curve than others that cannot be explained by more practice. I have known pool players who practice diligently for years and never achieve the level of success of others who have not put in as much time.
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
I've often heard that our basic personality is formed by the age of five. The only problem I have with such tables above is how does this explain the learning curve of a group of people who are introduced to something completely new to all of them. Why do some prospective pilots learn to fly a jet plane faster than others who are enrolled in the same school/program. Why does one or two kids stand out when a group of them is introduced to a new sport. For some unexplained reason there are people who have a faster learning curve than others that cannot be explained by more practice. I have known pool players who practice diligently for years and never achieve the level of success of others who have not put in as much time.

(included text)
Blessed with exceptional 20/10 vision, Yeager had eyes that could “see forever.” He combined this advantage with cunning, concentration, relentless ferocity and superb piloting skills to rack up a final total of 12.5 aerial victories—including five Me109s on 12 October and four FW 190s on 27 November.

Of his 27 November experience, he recalled: “That day was a fighter pilot’s dream. In the midst of a wild sky, I knew that dogfighting was what I was born to do.”
(end included text)

Note that all but superb piloting skills are things that we would say we are born with. Chuck really could see at ridiculous distances, impossible for most people. I suspect he also had the ability to track all of the action around him when two groups were dogfighting.

Hu
 

BC21

https://www.playpoolbetter.com
Gold Member
Silver Member
I've often heard that our basic personality is formed by the age of five. The only problem I have with such tables above is how does this explain the learning curve of a group of people who are introduced to something completely new to all of them. Why do some prospective pilots learn to fly a jet plane faster than others who are enrolled in the same school/program. Why does one or two kids stand out when a group of them is introduced to a new sport. For some unexplained reason there are people who have a faster learning curve than others that cannot be explained by more practice. I have known pool players who practice diligently for years and never achieve the level of success of others who have not put in as much time.

Because these are just optimal windows for learning, and based on the average person... average intelligence, memory function, sensory inputs, etc... we don't all experience the same results equally.

It certainly isn't a one-size-fits-all type of chart/table, meaning not everyone benefits immediately at an early age. But it fits most people at some point in their lives.

A good example...Let's say a child is raised in a multilingual home where both parents speak German and English fluently, but the parents only speak English to their child because they want their child to learn English, not German. But the kid occasionally hears bits and pieces of German from birth to when he's 3 or 4 years old, which by then he's already learned how to speak English.

Years later, in college, that kid signs up for a German language class and amazes the teacher at how quickly he catches on to the German language, prouncing every syllable as if it were his native language, and he never spoke it before then. Many people would say the kid has a knack for it, or he's a genius, or he has better than average language learning skills, or so on... But in reality, his brain picked up those German tounge sounds from words he heard at the most opportunistic time of his life for the development of language skills - from birth to about 5 years old. And those memory cells remained dormant until he decided to put them to work years later.

The same thing occurs with so many things in life that adult learning abilities and logic skills and coordination skills are almost always tied to early childhood environment, where the mind was exposed to these things during the most opportune time to develop the appropriate networks needed to make learning seem natural or easy or gifted.
 
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jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Because these are just optimal windows for learning, and based on the average person... average intelligence, memory function, sensory inputs, etc... we don't all experience the same results equally.

It certainly isn't a one-size-fits-all type of chart/table, meaning not everyone benefits immediately at an early age. But it fits most people at some point in their lives.

A good example...Let's say a child is raised in a multilingual home where both parents speak German and English fluently, but the parents only speak English to their child because they want their child to learn English, not German. But the kid occasionally hears bits and pieces of German from birth to when he's 3 or 4 years old, which by then he's already learned how to speak English.

Years later, in college, that kid signs up for a German language class and amazes the teacher at how quickly he catches on to the German language, prouncing every syllable as if it were his native language, and he never spoke it before then. Many people would say the kid has a knack for it, or he's a genius, or he has better than average language learning skills, or so on... But in reality, his brain picked up those German tounge sounds from words he heard at the most opportunistic time of his life for the development of language skills - from birth to about 5 years old. And those memory cells remained dormant until he decided to put them to work years later.

The same thing occurs with so many things in life that adult learning abilities and logic skills and coordination skills are almost always tied to early childhood environment, where the mind was exposed to these things during the most opportune time to develop the appropriate networks needed to make learning seem natural or easy or gifted.
I also think that IQ has something to do with it. Some people are blessed with a better brain/computer than others. A few million more synapses makes a difference!
 

CESSNA10

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
This thread is for players that enjoy a good book on occassion. There are so many great books out there that can improve your game, and choosing just a few was quite a challenge. I've added a few more since snagging these screenshots: "The Flight of the Cue Ball", by Robin Kelly, "Byrne's Standard Book of Pool and Billiards", and Dr. Dave's "Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards".

Anyhow, these are screenshots from an unedited book I'm working on, but hopefully the image quaility is good enough to read. You might find something you'll like. And if you have a favorite book that isn't on my list, please suggest it.

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full
Mark Wilsons book is A+++++++++++++++++
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
In most things in life; being a good anything is tied to opportunity, hard work, sacrifice, and learning from those who've walked the path.
I will relate this to pool in this way. I always told aspiring players that learning how to play the game is composed of two basic elements. The first is practice, practice and more practice. There is no substitute for putting in those eight and ten hour days, especially against someone with equal or slightly better skills than you. My own personal experience was that you had to play at least two hours to be sufficiently warmed up to begin to make any improvements in your game. And the biggest breakthroughs usually come when you are tired after maybe six or eight hours of constant play. You will unconsciously find easier ways to make certain shots and that's when something clicks and you've made an advancement in your skill level. It could be a minute change in your stance or where you place your shooting arm in relation to your body. It is by a series of minute adjustments that players improve their skills. There is no one big breakthrough that will immediately advance you a speed or more. Remember that in case someone tries to sell you on a quick fix to your game.

Now for the second thing, which I consider almost as important as the first. It's called Observation! Watch good players and see how they go about it; how they play position, how they make certain shots, how they kick at balls, and on and on. Even better is to find a player whose style suits yours. Maybe they are the same size as you or maybe they get down on the balls and stroke like you (or like you'd like to be able to stroke). The more you watch, the more you learn. Pay attention to what you see and then try to replcate that in your game.

That's it, lesson over. (y)
 

336Robin

Multiverse Operative
Gold Member
Silver Member
The poem "If," by Rudyard Kipling.

Let me know when you plan on reciting it at the Pool Room. I want to be there for emotional support! :D

I will drunkenly recite "The Daffodils" by Wordsworth and we can have a wooathon!
 

bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Because these are just optimal windows for learning, and based on the average person... average intelligence, memory function, sensory inputs, etc... we don't all experience the same results equally.

It certainly isn't a one-size-fits-all type of chart/table, meaning not everyone benefits immediately at an early age. But it fits most people at some point in their lives.

A good example...Let's say a child is raised in a multilingual home where both parents speak German and English fluently, but the parents only speak English to their child because they want their child to learn English, not German. But the kid occasionally hears bits and pieces of German from birth to when he's 3 or 4 years old, which by then he's already learned how to speak English.

Years later, in college, that kid signs up for a German language class and amazes the teacher at how quickly he catches on to the German language, prouncing every syllable as if it were his native language, and he never spoke it before then. Many people would say the kid has a knack for it, or he's a genius, or he has better than average language learning skills, or so on... But in reality, his brain picked up those German tounge sounds from words he heard at the most opportunistic time of his life for the development of language skills - from birth to about 5 years old. And those memory cells remained dormant until he decided to put them to work years later.

The same thing occurs with so many things in life that adult learning abilities and logic skills and coordination skills are almost always tied to early childhood environment, where the mind was exposed to these things during the most opportune time to develop the appropriate networks needed to make learning seem natural or easy or gifted.
so since i played very little pool from 16-21 then nothing for 30 plus years and only started to get serious about pool when i turned 60
i am doomed???????
 

BC21

https://www.playpoolbetter.com
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Silver Member
so since i played very little pool from 16-21 then nothing for 30 plus years and only started to get serious about pool when i turned 60
i am doomed???????

Absolutely not. The mind is always capable of learning and developing skills and talents, at any age.

But in order to become the best of the best at any skill or talent, a worldclass performer, not just good and more talented than average, the mind needs to be exposed to the talent or skill at a very young age, before we develop certain habits and personality traits that might affect our learning and skill development potential.

A 2 year old living in a house where he hears music being played everyday will develop a better ear for music than a person who grows up in a house where music is never heard. If this 2yr old starts playing guitar at 4 years old, and sticks with it, practicing everyday until he is 7 or 8, he will likely be a worldclass guitarist. And people will call him a prodigy.

But if he didn't start playing guitar until later in life, whether it's at 16 or 60, his early childhood environment (hearing music everyday, watching his mom or dad playing the guitar, etc...) will make it easier for him to develop a musical talent and become very good at it, maybe even worldclass with enough hard work. But had he pursued that talent when his mind was being primed for it (when he 2 to 6 years old), he would not have had to work as hard to become worldclass.

The same thing applies to hand-eye coordination skills/talents. There are windows of opportunity where the mind is most primed to learn and soak up things quickly and proficiently, and those windows are in our toddler years. That doesn't mean we can't learn and develop talents at any other point in our lives. It just means we'll have to work harder to do it.
 
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