Stroke limit/skill apex

Guy Manges

Registered
I'm going to take some exception to this. I worked hard on my fundamentals when I was starting because Willie told me to. I had no one to watch me and correct me, so I learned wrong. You can play OK with a wiggly stroke and maybe even occasionally beat a good player, but I think it's much easier with good fundamentals. They are not obvious or easy to acquire.
To some they are and to some there not, But natural talent and the desire and acceptance is with us in this pool game. You know as well.
 

Guy Manges

Registered
I disagree,,, I think they are simple to acquire, they are a must to have.
If a player works on fundamentals and doesn't try to run before they walk, it's fairly easy.
When they can't stand properly but want to learn jump shots, that's a problem. Crawl, walk, run.

All we hear for many years now is fundamentals, fundamentals. Years ago you were lucky if they could spell the word, nevermind sharing info, everything was a big secret. In 30 minutes I could probably post 50 links for pool fundamentals,stance, bridge, eyes, etc. taught by champions, instructors, anyone with knowledge willing to share.

Today there is endless info at the tip of a finger. Youtube videos are a dime a dozen, illustration is everywhere.
Put a cell phone on a tripod and check yourself, cut the learning curve with an instructor, weekly lessons are best.
Guitar, Piano , Pool, etc., instruction from masters are all over youtube.
I study guitar and pool everyday on the internet.
Just when I thought I knew everything I find something new, maybe tomorrow I'll know everything.

As a young kid I played Wille after winning a junior straight pool tourney. Our match was part of the prize to play the great Willie Mosconi. He was grouchy and no help to me, barely shook my hand, I was a kid, whoopy do.
Mizerak told me to Get My Feet Under Me, my head did a spin, looked at him crosseyed. On occasion he would nudge my left foot and remind me of weight distribution.
He would put his hand over my bridge hand, don't move, I caught on, I practiced, I'm a statue.
Colavtita and Steve taught me a little trick to keep my head down, it's idiot proof, it's a simple fundamental.

My opinion is fundamentals are far easier to learn than doubling a rail with reverse english with different cue speeds to straighten or sharpen the cue ball. Drawing the cueball back 1 ft. from any distance. Or stun stroke every number on the clock with speed, spin, redirecting the tangent, compared to keeping your head down on a shot, or not dropping down properly.
Many times I think that people wanted to much from Willie or he though so. I know this happens to a lot of people in their profession ... Thank you for your statement above, Guy
 

Guy Manges

Registered
There's natural talent but I doubt it is pool specific. The combination of geometry, aiming a projectile, and strategy isn't common in other sports that I'm aware of, and pool isn't that demanding of stamina or brute strength, so I guess someone could have talents that align a bit more with pool.


I've realized loose me is a 3:1 favorite over tight me. I just got to find a good way to clear my mind and get loose before a game.
Yes but be careful loose and tight can work both ways, I had to keep my game tight and me loose... Guy
 

Guy Manges

Registered
How one handles the heat is part of the conversation as well. Some guys can’t play a lick when there is someone shooting back at them. Practice champions.
It's easy to get where one had rather play the table than another player. I think it takes a lot of the mental out of the game ...
 

Bavafongoul

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
When I was in grammar school, the Franciscan Brothers were my grade teachers and every day they made us learn
ten (10) new words…..definition, proper use in a sentence. All of us absolutely hated it but by the time we reached HS,
our vocabulary was so much increased over other students that didn’t have to endure this boot camp training we had.

In high school, our physical education teacher, also a Franciscan Brother and former marine, made all of us do as many
push-ups as we could the first day. If you could do more than 20, he set that as your starting number. If you could only do 3, that was your starting number. Every third day we had to add one more push-up to our total and continue doing
that every third day just adding one more push up. By end of our Freshman year, nearly every student was doing more than 50 push-ups and lots of guys were doing 100-125 push-ups. He also did that Freshman year with sit-ups and in Sophomore year he added pull-ups and chin-ups but it was only 1 per week. By slowly incrementing the workload, it is amazing what you can attain. And you can see and measure your progress which becomes a reward in and of itself.

Do this with a spot shot drill. Take cue ball in hand in the kitchen on a 9ft. table. This can become too easy on anything smaller. Place object ball on the spot shot. Start with the left CP. After pocketing the OB, play the CB as it lays (where
it stopped) and spot another OB. Play it to the left CP and repeat this every time seeing how many consecutive balls
you pocket before losing shape that causes you to miss and end the streak. As soon as you miss, switch pockets and
do the same thing to the right CP. Most people tend to over cut their first attempt to the right CP after playing the left.

Will you? How many can you consecutively pocket? Do you play one pocket stronger than the other? By stronger, I’m
referring to CB position, not just the run total. If you don’t know what I mean, you still have a lot to learn about practice.

Do each pocket 10 times and establish an average. Don’t just use your best score. Treat this like a golf index and that’s
based on a percentage of your selected best scores. Whenever you play better than your average doing this drill, you
are improving. When you can set a new personal high & repeat 3X, then make that your new average….Now you are
ready to set the bar high and push yourself when you repeat your personal best score to either pocket because you are
developing expectations. Here’s my golden rule….do it once, it could be luck….don it twice in a row, well, that could
just be a coincidence but when you do it three times in a row, you got it mastered and it isn’t luck or a coincidence.

Practice isn’t meant to be fun. Winning is fun. Losing isn’t which is why it tastes so awful so that you never want to experience it again. Learning ten words a day or adding more calisthenics to push yourself wasn’t fun but it prepared
us so much better for what awaited us after graduation. Pool practice isn’t much different. You want to learn so you can
improve and become a better player, not to enjoy the time you spent practicing. Practice is more boot camp than R&R.
 

Guy Manges

Registered
When I was in grammar school, the Franciscan Brothers were my grade teachers and every day they made us learn
ten (10) new words…..definition, proper use in a sentence. All of us absolutely hated it but by the time we reached HS,
our vocabulary was so much increased over other students that didn’t have to endure this boot camp training we had.

In high school, our physical education teacher, also a Franciscan Brother and former marine, made all of us do as many
push-ups as we could the first day. If you could do more than 20, he set that as your starting number. If you could only do 3, that was your starting number. Every third day we had to add one more push-up to our total and continue doing
that every third day just adding one more push up. By end of our Freshman year, nearly every student was doing more than 50 push-ups and lots of guys were doing 100-125 push-ups. He also did that Freshman year with sit-ups and in Sophomore year he added pull-ups and chin-ups but it was only 1 per week. By slowly incrementing the workload, it is amazing what you can attain. And you can see and measure your progress which becomes a reward in and of itself.

Do this with a spot shot drill. Take cue ball in hand in the kitchen on a 9ft. table. This can become too easy on anything smaller. Place object ball on the spot shot. Start with the left CP. After pocketing the OB, play the CB as it lays (where
it stopped) and spot another OB. Play it to the left CP and repeat this every time seeing how many consecutive balls
you pocket before losing shape that causes you to miss and end the streak. As soon as you miss, switch pockets and
do the same thing to the right CP. Most people tend to over cut their first attempt to the right CP after playing the left.

Will you? How many can you consecutively pocket? Do you play one pocket stronger than the other? By stronger, I’m
referring to CB position, not just the run total. If you don’t know what I mean, you still have a lot to learn about practice.

Do each pocket 10 times and establish an average. Don’t just use your best score. Treat this like a golf index and that’s
based on a percentage of your selected best scores. Whenever you play better than your average doing this drill, you
are improving. When you can set a new personal high & repeat 3X, then make that your new average….Now you are
ready to set the bar high and push yourself when you repeat your personal best score to either pocket because you are
developing expectations. Here’s my golden rule….do it once, it could be luck….don it twice in a row, well, that could
just be a coincidence but when you do it three times in a row, you got it mastered and it isn’t luck or a coincidence.

Practice isn’t meant to be fun. Winning is fun. Losing isn’t which is why it tastes so awful so that you never want to experience it again. Learning ten words a day or adding more calisthenics to push yourself wasn’t fun but it prepared
us so much better for what awaited us after graduation. Pool practice isn’t much different. You want to learn so you can
improve and become a better player, not to enjoy the time you spent practicing. Practice is more boot camp than R&R.
Thankgoodness for the Franciscan Brothers and were they right, this could prime many young peoples lives. I see our lives as best through the teaching we have had... At the end of my pool games ( play serious no more after 75 years of play ) I enjoy practice more than I do R & R... Guy
 

Chili Palmer

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Play 10,000 hours then see where your at.

It takes that long for most people to reach their full potential unless they are extremely gifted. Then maybe 3000-5000 hours.

Playing 1-2 times a week isn’t gonna get it done

Best
Fatboy

Outliers ;)
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Have you ever played in an APA Masters Division? You will find that most there ABSOLUTELY know the finer points of the game. Dont believe me? Join one and see how well you do. Yes, it is non handicap, and those dreaded jump cues are allowed, but you wont find stiffer league competition.

As for improving, a person can practice all they want. But if you are practicing bad habits, bad habits is all you will be good at. Get an Instructor. I have been taking virtual lessons for a while now, and I am far ahead of where I was before.

APA Masters are a totally different thing from normal APA. That is setup for players that are already good and are maxed out in normal league play.
 

Chili Palmer

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Have you ever played in an APA Masters Division? You will find that most there ABSOLUTELY know the finer points of the game. Dont believe me? Join one and see how well you do. Yes, it is non handicap, and those dreaded jump cues are allowed, but you wont find stiffer league competition.

As for improving, a person can practice all they want. But if you are practicing bad habits, bad habits is all you will be good at. Get an Instructor. I have been taking virtual lessons for a while now, and I am far ahead of where I was before.

I think the APA masters thing is regional. When I was on a team (we placed the highest in Vegas of any past Idaho team, maybe I'm bragging a bit there ;)) we definetly played teams that were really no different than a regular APA team, maybe they took the 3 or 4 best players from their regular team.

I was the captain of our team and when trying to help promote the division I would emphasize to people that if you want to step up to the next level play this was a good way to do it. There were lots of APA 5/6/7's.

In a larger region I would imagine they have plenty of top level players and don't need to boost enrollment?

Just a thought?
 

alstl

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If he's a AP 5/6 assuming he is devoting time to the game then he needs to be willing to adjust to find what works.
 
With that attitude, I'm sure he will never get much better.

I know a solid 6 that plays really well, once a week. I always tell him he should come shoot more often, but he just likes to come out have a few Whiskeys and play pool. I think there is alot of potential there. I also know 3's that have played for 15 or so years and still scratch on Ball in Hand.....
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'm going to take some exception to this. I worked hard on my fundamentals when I was starting because Willie told me to. I had no one to watch me and correct me, so I learned wrong. You can play OK with a wiggly stroke and maybe even occasionally beat a good player, but I think it's much easier with good fundamentals. They are not obvious or easy to acquire.

The way I tell people that need to adjust the basics is that they want to win because of their mechanics, not despite them. Usually it's those people that once in a while make a nice bank shot then say they can make the tough shots but not the easy ones, not remembering that they missed 5 tough shots before the one they made LOL
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
It's such a chore to groove in good habits if you've ran wild and were self taught for years. I tried to do what the books told me, but it's just not a great way to figure it out. If you want to get better, you have to do the "chore" of getting everything, even down to the way you look at the balls to be consistent. Sometimes an ideal stance isn't possible and you have to adjust as close to ideal as you can. The closer you get to your ideal, the easier the game becomes. It takes work. Some people don't want to do the work and that's OK. Pool is many things for many different people. Some people may end up hating the game they love. Others find deeper love the more they refine their game. There is no right or wrong, but complaining about not getting better or saying you cant is a pretty flimsy excuse. Saying you're OK with where your at is fine too and requires no excuse.
 

Chili Palmer

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
With that attitude, I'm sure he will never get much better.

I know a solid 6 that plays really well, once a week. I always tell him he should come shoot more often, but he just likes to come out have a few Whiskeys and play pool. I think there is alot of potential there. I also know 3's that have played for 15 or so years and still scratch on Ball in Hand.....

We had an SL1 on our team that has worked her butt off (not really, she still has just enough left) to improve and she remains a 1. I mean, she would show up an hour before league and practice, a buddy of mine (a very good stroke mechanic) worked with her but no luck. She came to my house for lessons and no luck. This was all about 1.5 years ago, she had been trying for at least a year by then. Literally 6 months ago she texted me asking if I could give her more lessons. I declined, some people will just never get it. Great person, just not a pool player.
 

Straightpool_99

I see dead balls
Silver Member
We had an SL1 on our team that has worked her butt off (not really, she still has just enough left) to improve and she remains a 1. I mean, she would show up an hour before league and practice, a buddy of mine (a very good stroke mechanic) worked with her but no luck. She came to my house for lessons and no luck. This was all about 1.5 years ago, she had been trying for at least a year by then. Literally 6 months ago she texted me asking if I could give her more lessons. I declined, some people will just never get it. Great person, just not a pool player.
That is hard to believe. SL1! I doubt that is the skill ceiling of ANYONE living. Can she make a ball straight into the pocket? She is obviously aiming shots wrong or maybe she is half blind? There is no other way someone is that bad. I once taught a mentally challenged person to play 100% better in an afternoon of practise. If he could do it, anyone can. I set his body up into position, over and over again. Guided his arm/cuehand in the beginning, holding his elbow in place. After that he ran 5 or 6 balls every now and then in 9 ball which was a big improvement for him. Some people don't respond so well to words. You have to take them through it physically, bit by bit. It takes a lot of patience, but it's very rewarding too. If you are dealing with children or people who are mentally challenged or perhaps severely lacking in talent, it's important to set them up for success in the beginning. Set up hangers and work your way up from there.
 
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Chili Palmer

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That is hard to believe. SL1! I doubt that is the skill ceiling of ANYONE living. Can she make a ball straight into the pocket? She is obviously aiming shots wrong or maybe she is half blind? There is no other way someone is that bad. I once taught a mentally challenged person to play 100% better in an afternoon of practise. If he could do it, anyone can. I set his body up into position, over and over again. Guided his arm/cuehand in the beginning, holding his elbow in place. After that he ran 5 or 6 balls in 9 ball which was a big improvement for him. Some people don't respond so well to words. You have to take them through it physically, bit by bit. It takes a lot of patience, but it's very rewarding too. If you are dealing with children or people who are mentally challenged or perhaps severely lacking in talent, it's important to set them up for success in the beginning. Set up hangers and work your way up from there.

I read the first three sentences and already had an answer - NO - she CANNOT make a ball straight in. Yes, it's that bad.

I have spent my entire life training people (restaurants, gas stations, driving a semi, software, more efficient assembly of products (efficiency is where I spend most of my time)) and you'll just have to believe me - she will forever be a 1.

She has had more single games of 9B with 20+ innings than anyone I, or any of our former teammates, know of.

After continuing to read it, I also played a handicap guy once (that story is in the league thread somewhere) and even he had the capability of moving up to a 2 if he chose to.

Again, great lady, she just simply doesn't have what it takes.

I am also a firm believer that the best pool to ever live has/had/will never pick up a pool stick. I liken that thought process to Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Ukraine President if you've been living under a rock). The guy was a comedian and actor but due to circumstances out of his control he has emerged as and amazing leader while his country is being torn apart. I also shake my head when people talk about actors getting into politics, they may or may not have what it takes to be a politician but that has ZERO to do with them being an actor - that's just ignorance on the person making the comment ;)
 

tomatoshooter

Well-known member
We had an SL1 on our team that has worked her butt off (not really, she still has just enough left) to improve and she remains a 1. I mean, she would show up an hour before league and practice, a buddy of mine (a very good stroke mechanic) worked with her but no luck. She came to my house for lessons and no luck. This was all about 1.5 years ago, she had been trying for at least a year by then. Literally 6 months ago she texted me asking if I could give her more lessons. I declined, some people will just never get it. Great person, just not a pool player.
That's tough. I'm definitely not progressing as fast as I'd like, but I do see progress. My frustration is that my game performance doesn't seem to improve even though I get better at the drills I do. I have to admit that I'm a bit of a pessimist, I expect a lot and feel like the worse games are me failing to live up to my potential, it's rare that I shoot better than I think I should. I need to get my head straight, not my stroke.
 
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