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JDog_1
06-11-2004, 09:01 AM
I was at my pool league at Amsterdam Billiards last night, looking around the room. The league has players ranging from Open/Pro (Lipsky/Ginky/Robles) to C/D+ players like myself. In a mission to get better, I've taken lessons and try to practice as much as I can (2 or 3 hrs a week since I spend 50-60 hrs a week at work and am newly married ).

It's clear to me that this mission is pointless. My teammates and most of these league players are spending multiple nights per week and entire weekends at Tri-State and other tournaments. The thought of playing a tournament on a summer weekend, sitting around and waiting to play matches in a pool hall, just doesn't appeal to me when I could be outside in fresh air.

My revelation is that it ain't going to happen. I don't have my life to give to the game, which seems like what is required to get to a solid B/B+ level which was my goal.

Has anyone else come to this conclusion? I almost want to quit since I can't tolerate my current level of play now but don't have it in me to flush all my other life interests down the tubes in order to put in the hours to make real improvements. I love the game and get excited every time I walk into a pool hall but does anyone else feel like this game is just too damn hard?

Barbara
06-11-2004, 09:10 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JDog_1:</font><hr> does anyone else feel like this game is just too damn hard? <hr /></blockquote>

It's the hard that makes it great. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

But seriously, right now, you have other priorities in life that supercede pool. The Lipskies and Ginkies and Tonies practically live for pool. Steve Lipsky even said that he and Gina moved to be across the street from ABE so they could play more.

And maybe you're being overwhelmed by all that you want to accomplish, too. Maybe you should take a slow and steady approach instead of trying to get great all at once. I mean, these players that you've mentioned have put in years and years of practice and playing. They weren't overnight sensations. You can't get to be an overnight sensation in this game.

You've got to put the time in, and it sounds like you're not ready for that yet.

Barbara

Chris Cass
06-11-2004, 09:27 AM
Hi JDog,

I feel your pain brother. Pool is a passion and regardless if you admit it or not, it's in your blood. Your frustration is a normal reaction and it doesn't stop there either. No matter what your skill level your at.

I have some good advice for you my friend. Pay close attention to the players you've mentioned. Watch how they play. Watch every move and every shot. Get some accustat videos and watch for the same things, movements, shot patterns and body language.

Use the time you do put in for practice and use it wisely. Document your progress and take a weekend and see a qualified instructor to get you on the right path. All the players you mentioned are extremely approachable. Don't be afraid to ask them for help. Just pick the time to do this. Not when playing in the tourney and not when they look like their mentally absorbed in play.

The practice time you have is valuable to you and your learning curve. You might not see pro but you can obtain a B status in time. Anything higher requires Desire, Dedication and Determination and that's reserved for only a few. Good luck JDog, you can get better. So, can the tude and say to yourself. What can I do with the time I'm willing, to do it in?

BTW, I don't feel sorry for you. Your in the best position to get where most want to be. Look at the players. I'm jealous. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Regards,

C.C.~~is willing to help and ain't afraid to ask.

Candyman
06-11-2004, 09:33 AM
Don't get discouraged Dog and don't give up pool either. You are just as important to the team as the sl7. All year long I have seen the lower skill levels, make huge contributions to the success of the team. Hang in there and enjoy yourself. Ask questions and learn all you can from the experienced players and enjoy the fellowship. I am actually looing for a couple of players just like you right now. Good Luck, Lock

UWPoolGod
06-11-2004, 09:35 AM
Yeah its tough to put forth that much effort and time to getting good. Not sure how old you are and what you do other than pool, but I was just lucky to have had better players to play at college. We all drove each other to get better and beat each other. Kind of got priorities after my freshman year...

Hrs of pool by year:
Freshman year 10hrs/day
Sophomore year 6 hrs/day
Junior year 4 hrs/day
Senior year 2 hrs/day

But by the last years I was already pretty good and didn't need that much practice. But you will definitely need to put forth a lot of time (even if it is summer) to get good.

Popcorn
06-11-2004, 09:45 AM
You have discovered what a lot of players have, it may not worth it, and they are not willing to make the sacrifice. That does not mean you need to quit. Every body could probably make more money then they currently make, but are not willing to trade their lives away to do it. The game is to be enjoyed, enjoy it without sour grapes. You don't have to quit. There are so few champions not because there are so few talented players, (this includes all sports), but few that are willing to commit what may be a lifetime. Pool has very few rewards other then personal. It is fun though, just keep it in perspective.

Steve Lipsky
06-11-2004, 09:56 AM
JDog,

Get out while you can, lol. Actually, it seems you have a very healthy attitude, and you would do well to always keep in mind what it sounds like you already know: this game can take up a significant amount of time. If you can enjoy it as a diversion, that's great. When it becomes more than that, you need to decide, for yourself, if it is truly worth it.

It's been about nine months since I've taken pool seriously. I think I've played in about 3 tournaments since October, and 2 of them were in Vegas during a one week period. I haven't played in a Joss tournament, a hugely competitive tour in the Northeast and sometimes very close to my home, in probably two seasons.

I'm playing about once a week now (might soon jump to twice, as I committed to another league), and spend much of my playing time wishing I could be somewhere else. I have been shooting balls with little care if they go in or not.

Anyway, I am afraid to stop completely because I might never come back, so I try to make myself play those one or two times a week. Strangely, I still identify myself as a pool player, and don't necessarily want to give that up. I just don't want to actually play pool anymore lol.

But I digress, JDog… You should strive to play at the highest level you can attain while not letting the game take up too much of your time. If it “feels” to you like you are spending too many hours at the table, then for you, you probably are.

- Steve

Eric.
06-11-2004, 10:21 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JDog_1:</font><hr> I was at my pool league at Amsterdam Billiards last night, looking around the room. The league has players ranging from Open/Pro (Lipsky/Ginky/Robles) to C/D+ players like myself. In a mission to get better, I've taken lessons and try to practice as much as I can (2 or 3 hrs a week since I spend 50-60 hrs a week at work and am newly married ).

<font color="blue">I've played all of them before and those guys play better than 99% of other poolplayers. </font color>

It's clear to me that this mission is pointless. My teammates and most of these league players are spending multiple nights per week and entire weekends at Tri-State and other tournaments. The thought of playing a tournament on a summer weekend, sitting around and waiting to play matches in a pool hall, just doesn't appeal to me when I could be outside in fresh air.

<font color="blue">A local player (who is probably one of the top roadplayers in the country, right now) got to that level by playing for hours EVERY day </font color>

My revelation is that it ain't going to happen. I don't have my life to give to the game, which seems like what is required to get to a solid B/B+ level which was my goal.

<font color="blue">Everybody has their priorities in life. For the sake of argument, playing B/B+ and working/having other interests is very do-able. There are a ton of guys in our area that play that speed. </font color>

Has anyone else come to this conclusion? I almost want to quit since I can't tolerate my current level of play now but don't have it in me to flush all my other life interests down the tubes in order to put in the hours to make real improvements. I love the game and get excited every time I walk into a pool hall but does anyone else feel like this game is just too damn hard? <hr /></blockquote>

Take this with a grain of Salt; You have to appreciate the learning process. Every missed shot, every lost match is part of it. If you have the love AND the perseverance, I think you can get to where you want to.

I work as many hours as you. I try to squeeze in table time when I can. Even 1/2 hour of solid, 100% effort practice can improve your game at a steady pace. Like you, I would like my game to be better(I don't think poolplayers are ever satisfied with their current level of play). One of the pitfalls of not playing alot is that you will be somewhat inconsistant. I've had days where I run out like a very good player and I've had days where I've lost to C players that were giving me chances to win and I couldn't capitalize. In the end, I pack it up and try to play better next time.


Eric &gt;blah, blah, blah...

woody_968
06-12-2004, 12:38 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Eric.:</font><hr> Even 1/2 hour of solid, 100% effort practice can improve your game at a steady pace. <hr /></blockquote>

Tap, Tap, Tap!!!

Jdog, often times people most people would see more improvement if they practiced in shorter, but more focused sessions. If someone takes a lesson from a qualified instructor and truely practiced what was taught for even 1/2 hour 2 or three times a week they would improve to at least a level most could enjoy playing at.

Before you quit try to decide if pool is something you would do if you had more time. It seems like once playing pool really gets in your blood you will never totally get away from it. You may stop for a few years, but then you will come back. This is what happend to me, and now my only thought is how would I have played now if over the last few years I would have just played 1hr a week?

Keep in mind that one lesson with a good instructor (I chose Scott Lee) can give you the keys to work on in a limited amount of time that will truely help your game.

Keith Talent
06-12-2004, 01:06 PM
No doubt you're spending way too many valuable hours on a stinking JOB, when you could be pursuing the art of pool. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

We may have well have crossed paths at Amsterdam, and I've occasionally gotten bummed out in the same way when I think about how much further I've got to go before I'd be real happy about the state of my game.

Think you've got to enjoy the incremental improvements ... a few nice runouts a night, the shots that used to be prayers that maybe you now know, though don't yet own ...

Hope you can work in a few more hours at the table. Maybe you can tread water till you can get those crazy work hours down ... with my own approximately 35-hr week, I usually can squeeze in 3 good sessions a week, despite the fact I've got a couple of infants at home. Thankfully, they sleep all night!

You may have to be creative to wangle that time. My sked rules out leagues and only occasionally lets me play a Tri-state tourney, but I looked at the clock and realized I've got one window if I cheat a little on sleep -- midnight to 3 a.m. -- and I try to make the most of it.
Good luck.

Dagwood
06-12-2004, 03:06 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JDog_1:</font><hr>

Has anyone else come to this conclusion? I almost want to quit since I can't tolerate my current level of play now but don't have it in me to flush all my other life interests down the tubes in order to put in the hours to make real improvements. I love the game and get excited every time I walk into a pool hall but does anyone else feel like this game is just too damn hard? <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> You say that you can't stand your current level of play and that if you can't improve, it's not worth it to continue to try to improve. I've been playing pool for about 8-9 years now, and have been unhappy with the level of my game for 8-9 years. But the one thing that I've found is that over that period of time, in the end I've always improved. I've had dips in progress, but when I rebound from a low point, the level of play is higher than before. Of course, the improvement in your level of play is proportional to the amount of time you spend on the table, along with the amount of concentration and seriousness you put into that time on the table. (going to the table and just hitting balls without thinking can't constitute practice...you aren't really getting anything out of it. But I digress) If you don't have the time to devote to pool to get your game to the level of play fast enough, don't get discouraged. Know that over time, you WILL reach that level. It just takes more time. Every time that you step to the table, if you are paying attention to what is going on, you'll learn something new. I've resigned myself to my current level of progression, that I'm really not going to get any better any faster until I'm out of the military. I just don't have the time to devote to it. But as long as I'm able to get to the table and maintain the level I'm at and maybe put a few hours a week into drilling or pattern play...something, progress will slowly come my way. Stick to it, you'll get there!

Dags</font color>

DialUp
06-14-2004, 12:33 AM
My suggestion is to get your own table /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I used to play everyday after work (pool hall was a block from work) and also play on the weekends just so I could practice for the two weekly tournaments I played. Needless to say, but my wife and daughter did not like that.

So I decided the only way for me to really learn the little things in a timely manner was to get my own table.

When I purchased my first table, I was living in a small apartment but I shoved it in a corner and was able to use two sides of it which was a GREAT help. I was able to practice many drills and learn quite a bit with just two sides. The only thing I could not do was play a game /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.giflater I purchased a house and put the table in the garage.

I find it much easier to learn in the privacy of my home where I can give 100% attention. When I try to practice in a pool hall, I feel that only 5% to 10% of my time is productive and some days I come away with nothing...

Anyways, a table at the house will open a whole new world for you and when you get good, pool gets real fun /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

catscradle
06-15-2004, 06:06 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JDog_1:</font><hr> I was at my pool league at Amsterdam Billiards last night, looking around the room. The league has players ranging from Open/Pro (Lipsky/Ginky/Robles) to C/D+ players lke myself.
<hr /></blockquote>

Let me get this straight, Lipsky, Ginky, and Robles play in the same league as you not just the same room?

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JDog_1:</font><hr>In a mission to get better, I've taken lessons and try to practice as much as I can (2 or 3 hrs a week since I spend 50-60 hrs a week at work and am newly married ).

It's clear to me that this mission is pointless. My teammates and most of these league players are spending multiple nights per week and entire weekends at Tri-State and other tournaments. The thought of playing a tournament on a summer weekend, sitting around and waiting to play matches in a pool hall, just doesn't appeal to me when I could be outside in fresh air.

My revelation is that it ain't going to happen. I don't have my life to give to the game, which seems like what is required to get to a solid B/B+ level which was my goal.

Has anyone else come to this conclusion? I almost want to quit since I can't tolerate my current level of play now but don't have it in me to flush all my other life interests down the tubes in order to put in the hours to make real improvements. I love the game and get excited every time I walk into a pool hall but does anyone else feel like this game is just too damn hard? <hr /></blockquote>

As Tom Hank's characther said in "League of Their Own" ... "Of course it's hard, if it were easy everybody would do it".
I'm 58 and didn't pick up a cue with serious intent until 4 years ago. I'll never reach the level I would have had I been serious when I was young, but I'll get as good as I possibly can at this stage in my life with the physical abilities and time I have available to me. What more do you want? You don't have to be the best, just the best YOU can be given your abilities and circumstances.
That said, the game is by it's nature frustrating as h-e-double hockey sticks.

#### leonard
06-15-2004, 06:26 AM
You don't need a pooltable in your house, just the dividing line on your Kitchen/dining table and just practices shooting down the line.

If Dave Pelz can make you a great putter with 10 minutes a day. Shooting down the line 10 minutes a day will greatly improve your stroke. Then move up to the coke bottle. Straight back straight thru.####

pooltchr
06-15-2004, 08:06 AM
JDog,
I think you have already figured this out. You have to have your priorities straight. If work and family comes first, then pool can not. If pool is not going to be a top priority, then you need to set a realistic goal. If you can devote 4 or 5 hours a week to the game, the improvements will still come, just at a slower pace. Accept your decision with your priorities, then adjust your goals accordingly. Many people enjoy this game without becoming top ranked players. It is only frustrating if you let it become so.
I don't think I will ever be as good as I would like to be...but I do enjoy seeing the improvements come along at a reasonable pace. I will continue to play as long as it's fun. It's a game, not life or death.

Cane
06-15-2004, 10:25 AM
J_Dog,

I started playing pool when I was 8 years old. I played hard, fast and furious for most of my young life, learning everything I could, practicing every chance I got. As a matter of fact, other than my newspaper route, my first job was at 10 yrs old as a rack boy in a pool room in NW Arkansas. The operator charged a dime a rack and the rack boy got 3 cents of it. I never drew pay, just traded all of my HUGE proceeds and tips in on table time.

I worked at this game, paying my way through it (and through College) by gambling, buying and selling cues, etc, until I was 32 years old. By that point, my love of pool had cost me three wives (which in turn cost me three houses and three cars and three bank accounts), so I met my fourth wife and decided that I needed to lead a "normal" life. I went to work as an engineer (finally used that education I'd gotten years ago) and saved every penny I could until I could retire... not richly, but retire nonetheless. Not long after that, I found out that pool was not costing me the marriages, it's just a plain simple fact that I'm a helluva boyfriend and apparently a pretty lousy husband. Divorce #4 ensued. From the time I was 32 until I was 46, I didn't pick up a cue. Two years ago, I was in a night club and someone asked me to play a game... this was about 8pm. I thought, why not, I used to love to play. Man, I was like a drug addict in a free crack house. I played until 5am. Now I manage the bar and pool room for my girlfriend (not wife... seems they don't stick around as long as girlfriends) and I play every night. We're open 5 nights a week, TUE - SAT, on Sunday I play at least one nightime tourney and on Monday I play in a local league. I have a cue in my hands probably 50 hours a week, at least. When I'm not playing, I'm teaching. As for practice, I just don't practice that much. I'll put in about 45 minutes to an hour, 3 days a week, and the rest of the time is spent in competitive play.

I guess what I'm saying is to become a top notch player (which I'm not back there YET, after a 14 year layoff) that it does take dedication to the game, but more than that, you must have a PASSION for playing pool. I absolutely love the feel of a cue in my hand and the sound of a ball dropping in a pocket. To me, there's nothing else like it.

Pool talent comes with good instruction, hard work and about 200 miles of walking around the table. You have to love the game to put that much effort into it.

That being said, there is nothing at all wrong with being a recreational player that plays league once a week and satisfied with the level game they play, no matter what it is. Not everyone that plays pool has the passion and dedication to become a high level player, but just because they don't, doesn't mean they can't enjoy this game as much as the players out there who dedicate their every waking moment to pocket billiards.

Just have fun,

Bob
Breakers Billaird Academy (http://members.clnk.com/caneman/academy.htm)