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View Full Version : The Billiards Workbook ----- Review ------- long



Rich R.
01-28-2004, 08:36 AM
I have been spending some time with The Billiards Workbook and I am going to tell you about it, but first, let me tell you what it is not.

The Billiards Workbook is not a “How To” book for playing pool. It does not give any instruction on how to play pool and it does not tell you how to complete the large number of drills included in the workbook. This is not the book for the novice to buy, in order to learn how to play pool. A novice with a good instructor is a different story.
The Billiards Workbook makes it very clear that this workbook is best used in conjunction with some form of instruction, whether from books, videos or, best of all, a qualified instructor. In my opinion, an experience player, possibly a C player or better, with sound knowledge of the game of pool, could use this workbook for practice drills without an instructor. However, working with a good instructor or coach, in conjunction with the workbook, would be the ideal situation for any player.

The Billiards Workbook is comprised of 5 sections, with the largest, section number 5, separated into 15 subsections.

Sections 1 and 2 are small and consist of an introduction from the publisher,
Dr. Diana Sorrentino, an overview of the workbook and a discussion of goals and objectives.

Section 3 talks about record keeping and it provides forms to chart your progress, document your practice sessions and record your performance in tournaments. It also includes a form for writing player profiles of your opponents, noting their strengths, weaknesses and vulnerabilities, for future use.
Multiple copies of these forms are provided for your use and you are encouraged to reproduce them, as needed, for your personal use.

Section 4 is a very short discussion about taking notes during, or immediately after, a session with your instructor/coach. It also has a small list of, well known, instructors and pool schools.

Section 5 is why you buy the workbook. After a discussion of the contents of the entire section, it has 15 subsections of drills and exercises. They include the very basic to the extremely advanced. Also, in subsection 5.15, there are sheets to record your own drills, and drills from other sources or problem shots for future reference. The drills in the first two sections cover Fundamentals and Speed Control. After that, you get into Pocketing, Position play, Bank Shots, Kick Shots and a number of other sections. Most of these drills have a position for the object ball, multiple cue ball positions and a target area for you to leave the cue ball after the shot. Therefore, most drills actually consist of a number of variations, because of the multiple cue ball positions. Also in subsection 5.14, is a group of table drills, which will be familiar to most experienced players.

Now for my opinions, observations and comments, for what they are worth.

The Billiards Workbook is large. In fact it is very large, measuring approximately 5 inches thick and weighing in at a substantial 12 pounds. I guarantee, only the weight lifters will be tucking this book under their arm and carrying it to the poolroom.
Could it have been made smaller? I’m sure it could have, but at the risk of making it less convenient to use. It is housed in a 3 ring binder and all pages have printing on only one side. At first, you think the size could have been reduced by at least one half, by printing on both sides of the pages. However, because all pages can be easily removed and carried to a pool table, for reference, without constantly flipping pages, I believe the extra heft is worth it. You can keep the workbook in one place and take pages out, as needed, for practice and then return them to the workbook. Although a target page is included, I found myself using the drill page as my target. That way it was on the table for easy reference for the next cue ball position of the drill.

The drills and exercises included in the workbook are too numerous to mention. Each drill has a table diagram and instructions contained on one page. Between the different drills, cue ball positions, target positions and the ability to perform the mirror image of each drill combination, suffice it to say, you will have thousands of possibilities. I don’t think you will be running out of possibilities any time soon.
Most drills have a number of variations, which will both help the novice player and challenge the experienced player. The publisher also makes it very clear that all drills are not possible, using all cue ball positions. I believe this is a very good thing, because it is just as important to learn, and recognize, what shots can not be made, along with the shots that can be made. This is another good reason the workbook should be used in conjunction with an instructor.
Some may say that you could never have that many unique drills. They are correct. In many cases, one drill is a variation on a previous drill, with the only changes being, either, the beginning cue ball positions, the object ball position or the ending target position for the cue ball. Although these drills could have been combined, the fact that the table diagrams for the drills are already showing as many as 10 starting cue ball positions, in addition to the object ball position and an ending target position for the cue ball, to include more on the diagram would get too confusing. The diagrams, as they are, are quite clear and easy to follow. If you choose to say the workbook includes a smaller number of drills and exercises, with many variations, that would be up to you. The fact is, there are a lot of possibilities in this book.

Will The Billiards Workbook help your game? Not if you don’t use it, along with the proper knowledge or instruction. Especially for the novice player, many of the drills could use some instruction on the techniques needed to achieve the desired results. Assuming you are using the workbook, with instruction and/or knowledge, I believe the drills could lead to substantial improvement in your game. Of course, if you hate to do drills, or can’t put in the table time, the workbook will do nothing but catch a lot of dust.

• Is this workbook worth the equally hefty price tag of $159.95?
That is a decision everyone will have to make for him or herself.

• Should a novice buy the workbook to learn how to play pool?
Definitely not!

• Should that same novice buy the workbook to use along with proper instruction?
In my opinion, it would be very beneficial.

• Should an advanced player purchase the workbook?
They should, only if they are willing to put in the table time to do the drills.

• Should an instructor buy the workbook?
It would be an excellent reference to use with their students.

• Should a pool hall owner purchase the workbook and make it available to customers?
That would be a great idea, which would generate income, through table time, for the room.

One thing is for sure, everyone should check out The Billiards Workbook and consider its potential benefit to their pool game

pooltchr
01-28-2004, 09:50 AM
Now there's a well thought out review of a product that gives me what I need to make a well informed decision whether or not to purchase a product!
THANK YOU, Rich!

Wally_in_Cincy
01-28-2004, 10:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> Now there's a well thought out review of a product that gives me what I need to make a well informed decision whether or not to purchase a product!
THANK YOU, Rich! <hr /></blockquote>

ditto that.

I always prefer reason over emotion /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

woody_968
01-28-2004, 11:39 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> Now there's a well thought out review of a product that gives me what I need to make a well informed decision whether or not to purchase a product!
THANK YOU, Rich! <hr /></blockquote>

TAP TAP TAP.

Well done Rich, I was leaning towards getting this book, your review will help greatly in my choice. Thanks.

Barbara
01-28-2004, 12:08 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rich R.:</font><hr> The publisher also makes it very clear that all drills are not possible, using all cue ball positions. I believe this is a very good thing, because it is just as important to learn, and recognize, what shots can not be made, along with the shots that can be made. This is another good reason the workbook should be used in conjunction with an instructor.<hr /></blockquote>

This is an interesting feature that I don't think has been dealt with in many other instruction books, if at all. You would most likely have to learn this from an instructor directly. Some players see scratches that aren't there and fail to see the ones that are. Others believe they can defy the laws of physics with an impossible shot.

Barbara

SPetty
01-28-2004, 12:32 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rich R.:</font><hr>The publisher also makes it very clear that all drills are not possible, using all cue ball positions. <hr /></blockquote>Does the publisher identify which drills are not possible, or is that left up to the student to decide?

Thanks for taking the time and effort to write this.

Qtec
01-28-2004, 12:44 PM
[ QUOTE ]
The Billiards Workbook is not a “How To” book for playing pool. It does not give any instruction on how to play pool and it does not tell you how to complete the large number of drills included in the workbook <hr /></blockquote>


??????

Qtec

Rich R.
01-28-2004, 12:56 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr> Does the publisher identify which drills are not possible, or is that left up to the student to decide?
<hr /></blockquote>
SPetty, it left for the student to decide. That is why I think good basic knowledge or an instructor are a must. A novice student would not know if they were doing something wrong or if the shot was impossible. Even the knowledgeable player would have to try some shots a number of times, using different technics, before determining a shot was impossible. All of this is a learning experience.

Rich R.
01-28-2004, 01:06 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> ??????

Qtec <hr /></blockquote>
Qtec, the workbook provides drills. It does not provide instruction.

9 Ball Girl
01-28-2004, 01:53 PM
I don't know how much you can see or tell from here but you can see sample pages here:

The Billiards Workbook (http://www.billiardworkbook.com/workbook_content.html)

Ralph S.
01-28-2004, 01:53 PM
Excellent reveiw Rich. I had initially balked at this book. I do beleive I will be rethinking about acquiring it. The price just seems to be a little high though. This book may have went over better if it were able to be sold for just a little less.

dg-in-centralpa
01-28-2004, 03:02 PM
Rich - I enjoyed your review. It was well thought out and not pro for or against. I will probably get it in time when I have less things going on.


DG - appreciates an unbiased review

Harold Acosta
01-28-2004, 08:36 PM
Based on what you are saying it seems that the book could be of much benefit for the intermediate to advance players. The title says it all; The Billiards Workbook. I could see myself purchasing the workbook but not for the current price.

Like I said in a previous post; Ms. Sorrentino should have promoted the Workbook with a special introductory price. (Maybe around the $100 mark, including her signature). That would have attracted more interest but then that is only my opinion.

The Billiards Workbook will be on my wish list. I hope it is still around when I decide to purchase it.

Rich R.
01-29-2004, 05:32 AM
I want to thank everyone for the positive response to my first, and maybe last, book review. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
It wasn't as painful as I had imagined. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

At the risk of sounding like a huckster, for those of you who have reservations about the price, and will be attending the Super Billiards Expo in Valley Forge, I suggest you stop at Dr. D's booth and check it out. It doesn't cost anything to look. However, it isn't that large of an investment, when you consider what most of you have spent on cues, cases and table time. But, as I said in the review, the decision to buy has to be yours.

Before anyone asks, I have NO financial interest in this workbook. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

RUNaRAK
01-29-2004, 07:41 AM
Good review. Thanks for taking the time to be precise and detailed.