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glupidio
12-24-2003, 11:59 AM
I know it's a sore subject around here for some folks, but I wanted to talk a little bit about my experience with the Charlie Williams Pro Pool School that I attended earlier this year in Boston. There's always a tendency to talk about the bad, but I'd like to take a moment to point out some of the "not so bad".

My initial feeling after taking the course was that the information presented there was not exactly "ground breaking" and actually a bit over-priced. What I discovered over time is that I did actually pick up several key tools that have improved my game dramatically.

Bottom line results: I have gone up two APA skill levels in six months since I took the course, and I'm not really putting in any more practice hours than I was before (about 8 hours/week). The time that I do spend practicing however, is now being put to much better use and having a bigger effect on my game.

I'm sure everybody that attended walked away with something different, but here are the things that really stuck and made the biggest difference for me:

Tony Robles- 'Stay Down' drill. Huge. Great tips on breaking, fundamentals, and kick systems too. Tony is a great instructor all around. He has developed some interesting 'systems' that I have never seen documented before. Fantastic learning tools.

Karen Corr- Patterns and safety play. Terrific insight. Lots of good practice tips and drills too. I'm seeing safeties that I never saw before, and hitting them much more effectively.

Charlie Williams- 'Rhythm' drill. This is huge.

Since the class I have started every practice session with the Tony's 'Stay Down' drill and Charlie's 'Rhythm' drill, and then run through Karen's drills for patterns & safety play. These tools are indepensable and have contributed the most to the progression of my game since I started playing twenty years ago. The other extremely influental factor was the focus on the mental side of the game. All three instructors had fantastic advice in this area, which has also made a huge difference in my performance during league and tournament play.

Overall, I would conclude that the course is a bit pricey for what you get in terms of new information. The real value lies in the learning tools you can take with you and getting inside the heads of these great players for a while, understanding their approach to the game and the most critical factors to their success. I enjoyed spending time with each of them, I just wish it had been longer (and less expensive).

-Glupidio

Scott Lee
12-24-2003, 12:07 PM
glupidio...It sounds like you got more than your money's worth, if you went up two SL's in less than six months!
Good knowledge, acquired from competent instructors is valuable as lifetime information. It's worth the money (whatever is charged), as long as you get what you're looking for out it...which it sounds like you did. It always amazes me, that people will spend $1000 or more on a fancy named, or fancy looking cue, without batting an eyelash...but balk at spending MUCH less on quality instruction that will last them a lifetime!

Scott Lee

woody_968
12-24-2003, 08:54 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Scott Lee:</font><hr> It always amazes me, that people will spend $1000 or more on a fancy named, or fancy looking cue, without batting an eyelash...but balk at spending MUCH less on quality instruction that will last them a lifetime!

Scott Lee <hr /></blockquote>

Tap Tap Tap

Ralph S.
12-24-2003, 10:34 PM
Very true statement Scott. It really makes me laugh when I hear any of the locals say they dont need any lessons, yet wonder why they are always two and out. Yet they are anxious to show off their new $1000.00 Schon.

Ralph S.&gt;has spent some big bucks on cues and dollar or two for lessons. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Popcorn
12-24-2003, 10:36 PM
Worse then that is the amount of table time they put in. $50.00 a week or more and much of it spent spinning their wheels. I see it all the time.

ted harris
12-24-2003, 11:03 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Ralph S.:</font><hr> Very true statement Scott. It really makes me laugh when I hear any of the locals say they dont need any lessons, yet wonder why they are always two and out. Yet they are anxious to show off their new $1000.00 Schon.

Ralph S.&gt;has spent some big bucks on cues and dollar or two for lessons. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif <hr /></blockquote>
God love 'em! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

JohnBarton
12-25-2003, 09:48 AM
Champions breed champions. It's that simple. Good instruction from seasoned pros or dedicated and knowledgeable instructors can be priceless or wasted money. It depends on how well the student pays attention and absorbs the lessons. Almost all of my lessons with Pros have paid handsome dividends.

John

jjinfla
12-25-2003, 10:49 AM
Hey Glupido how about sharing some of those drills with us.
LOL. Don't say as I blame you if you don't. After all you did pay for them.

Sounds like they have impressed the power of positive thinking on you. It's the old self fullfilling prophesy theory; if you go into a lesson session (or anything else in life) thinking that you are going to lose, get ripped off, then sure enough, you will subconsciously limit your concentration and or performance and sure enough your thoughts will come true. If on the other hand you go into it with a positive attitude your chance of success is much greater.

The only problem I really have with these schools is that I would be afraid of sensory overload. I am sure that they could find enough for me to do to improve in 2 to 4 hours that would keep me busy for weeks. In a three day session I am afraid that my head would be ready to explode.

I take it you now are a SL6 in the APA. Very shortly you will find out that that is not good. You are stuck in no mans land. If you don't win every time you play then the team doesn't want you. If you do win every time then you become a SL7. And then you really are doomed.

We have a guy who just wouldn't listen and became a 7. Now he can't beat anybody and there is no chance of him getting lowered so he doesn't play and soon will be off the team.

I'd say we play pretty even and I am only a SL5. Imagine that. Something must be wrong with the system.

Jake
-25-

snook
12-25-2003, 12:18 PM
It always amazes me, that people will spend $1000 or more on a fancy named, or fancy looking cue, without batting an eyelash...but balk at spending MUCH less on quality instruction that will last them a lifetime!

point taken, when will you be in my area next time?

woody_968
12-25-2003, 02:27 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jjinfla:</font><hr> We have a guy who just wouldn't listen and became a 7. Now he can't beat anybody and there is no chance of him getting lowered so he doesn't play and soon will be off the team.

I'd say we play pretty even and I am only a SL5. Imagine that. Something must be wrong with the system.

Jake
-25-
<hr /></blockquote>

He wouldnt listen? That doesnt mean you were trying to keep his skill level down through dogging balls does it? Surely that doesnt happen in APA /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Seriously I do think there are many things wrong with the system, and thats why I havent played in it for years. No I dont have a better solution so Im not really trying to bash them. But I just dont see how they can base your handicaps off of local players and then expect you to compete at higher levels with players that could be playing out of a much more competitive area.
Believe me the 7s in my area could not compete with the 7s located in say Indianapolis or some of the other larger towns with better talent.

JMHO

glupidio
12-30-2003, 10:39 AM
Yeah I've always been one of those guys that spends a lot of money on equipment. My priorities have always skewed in that direction for whatever reason. In retrospect, I know I would be a much better player if I had invested all my cue money over the years in lessons. For some reason, until recently it never even crossed my mind that there were people out there teaching! Getting better has always been about books &amp; practice for me. It's no wonder my progress has been so slow. Seems like there are schools and instructors starting up all over the place now, and that's great news for the game.

As for those drills, I would love to share them with you guys; they really help. But, I know that a lot of work went into preparing the curriculum and it wouldn't be fair to the authors to publish them here. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if Tony Robles came out with a book real soon, his approach is fantastic.

JJinfla, you may be right about the sensory overload. There is a lot of material presented so you have to take good notes for review after you leave. When I attended, each instructor also prepared hand-outs for each topic, which are a big help later as well. Your guess on my apa sl was close, I was a 5 for about a year before I took the class. I was winning about half of my matches. Now I'm a 7 and I haven't lost yet. :-) (oh crap, I've just jinxed myself)

dmgwalsh
12-30-2003, 05:29 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote glupidio:</font><hr>
As for those drills, I would love to share them with you guys; they really help. But, I know that a lot of work went into preparing the curriculum and it wouldn't be fair to the authors to publish them here.

We had a post going a while back about some Scott Lee drills. I don't think Scott minded. A lot of Pool instructors would be the first to admit that they did not invent particular drills. Black Belt Billiards contains quite a few drills off Bert kinister tapes, which are attributed to Bert. Why don't you email your instructor and see if he would mind?

No big deal, but I was just wondering what the keep your head down drill would be.

<hr /></blockquote>

dmgwalsh
12-31-2003, 03:17 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote glupidio:</font><hr>
As for those drills, I would love to share them with you guys; they really help. But, I know that a lot of work went into preparing the curriculum and it wouldn't be fair to the authors to publish them here. <hr /></blockquote>

We had a post going a while back about some Scott Lee drills. I don't think Scott minded. A lot of Pool instructors would be the first to admit that they did not invent particular drills. Black Belt Billiards contains quite a few drills off Bert kinister tapes, which are attributed to Bert. Why don't you email your instructor and see if he would mind?

No big deal, but I was just wondering what the keep your head down drill would be. ( My last post didn't format right and it was too late to edit)

glupidio
12-31-2003, 09:23 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dmgwalsh:</font><hr>
Why don't you email your instructor and see if he would mind?
<hr /></blockquote>

Good idea. I'll ask!

nAz
12-31-2003, 11:34 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dmgwalsh:</font><hr>
No big deal, but I was just wondering what the keep your head down drill would be.
<hr /></blockquote>

Probably to spread out all 15 balls, pocket each one and force yourself to stay down till the CB stops moving. If thats the one it is a good drill also good to get your stroke back if you been out of practice.

glupidio
12-31-2003, 12:21 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nAz:</font><hr> Probably to spread out all 15 balls, pocket each one and force yourself to stay down till the CB stops moving. If thats the one it is a good drill also good to get your stroke back if you been out of practice. <hr /></blockquote>

That's the one!

Alfie
12-31-2003, 01:02 PM
OK, nAz, what is Charlie's rhythm drill?

nAz
12-31-2003, 03:28 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Alfie:</font><hr> OK, nAz, what is Charlie's rhythm drill? <hr /></blockquote>

Simple while shooting focus on ways to keep Earl and others out of UPA sanction events there by eliminating possible arse kicking opponents. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

actually i am not sure about the rhythm drill ( do not want to give false info), but like toni robles drill I'm sure its better to have someone of thier level showing you the glaring and subtle mistakes you will be making. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

bluewolf
12-31-2003, 05:47 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dmgwalsh:</font><hr>

No big deal, but I was just wondering what the keep your head down drill would be. ( My last post didn't format right and it was too late to edit)

<hr /></blockquote>

Freeze!!! That is what keeps the head down. I learned that at randy gs pool school and I do not think he would mind revealing it. WW says I never lift my head because I was taught set-pause-finish- freeze when I had only been playing pool for 6 weeks. 24 hours over three days of randy or one of his assistants standing over me making sure I did at least that part right. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

I got a good stroke lesson from scott when I first picked up the cue but that 'freeze' I got from Randy G.

Laura

dmgwalsh
12-31-2003, 07:45 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bluewolf:</font><hr>
Freeze!!! That is what keeps the head down. I learned that at randy gs pool school and I do not think he would mind revealing it. WW says I never lift my head because I was taught set-pause-finish- freeze when I had only been playing pool for 6 weeks. 24 hours over three days of randy or one of his assistants standing over me making sure I did at least that part right. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

I got a good stroke lesson from scott when I first picked up the cue but that 'freeze' I got from Randy G.

Laura <hr /></blockquote>

Laura- I was listening to my Scott Tape, Concentrating on a long pause, slow backswing ala Scott and keeping my head down a few hours ago and things went well. It's always good to go back to the basics.