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View Full Version : Want to play? Never picked up a cue?Advice request



LivinGr8
08-13-2004, 05:22 AM
If a person has never played the game of pool and is afraid of "looking like a fool", is there a better approach to teaching someone to stroke the ball with confidence? Is it better to just lay a ball on the table and say "lets just shoot the ball back and forth to each other, as in tennis", for 5 or 10 minutes. Is stroking into a bottle really a good exercise for a beginner, or is it more likely to discourage by boring a beginner.
Do you think that having a get togather for couples to establish a "feel" for stroking the ball would be a good first lesson to promote interest in the game at any given game room?
What ideas can you give that might be a good draw for those that have never played the game and do not know what their missing?

Rich R.
08-13-2004, 05:54 AM
The best thing you can do is find a BCA Certified instructor in your area and take a 2 or 3 hour lesson.
http://www.bca-pool.com/play/instruction/BCA_Instructors_Active.htm
This will help you avoid a lot of bad habits, that most of us have. /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

If there is no instructor in your area, send a PM to fellow CCB member, Scott Lee. He travels the country, giving lessons and doing trick shot shows. He may be coming through your area and you can make arrangements for a lesson.

Good luck. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Wally_in_Cincy
08-13-2004, 06:59 AM
Finding a qualified instructor would be the best option, but if that is not an option:

Tell the person "we all looked like fools when we first started". There's really no way to avoid it.

I would start by just shooting the object balls straight into the pockets without a cue ball.

Teach them to keep their bridge hand steady like a rock.

Teach them to stay down after the shot.

Anybody with a reasonable amount of dexterity, after 30 or 40 hours of practice, should be able to make simple cut shots.

IMO

PQQLK9
08-13-2004, 07:20 AM
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This tape is available most everywhere for under $20.00.

Chris Cass
08-13-2004, 07:52 AM
Hi LivinGr8,

I had to read your post a few times to get. What I feel, I need to answer your question. Addressing your first question of looking like a fool. Looking foolish is ones personal opinion, on what others preceive, as foolish. That isn't the case at all.

Many times throughout playing over the yrs. I have felt I've made a fool of myself but in reality, it was just what I thought. Truth be told, this game builds upon failers. These failiers are merely lessons in humility. These are extremely valuable in establishing a relationship in setting goals for yourself to reach. This learning process will never end as in all education. imho

Once you establish your strengths and weaknesses you'll develope confidence to go on. The game will become more challenging and with challenges comes rewards.

Stroking the cue tip through a coke bottle is what I did many yrs ago after, I was already bitten buy the bug to play. I did this to learn how to hit the cb in the ctr and although it doesn't mean your stroke was right or your mechanics were right. It did mean, I would gain some consistancy in hitting the same spot most of the time. Stroking the balls back and fouth would be boring, after 5 minutes. Getting togather with friends isn't boring imo.

To attract a new crowd into your pool room and spark their interests into playing as a pool room owner my advice would to be. First to realize you might have to invest some money to generate this interest.

Myself, and especially in Texas is to contact RandyG. of pool school right there in Texas. Find out the costs involved and he can do a clinic in your establishment. This clinic involves a few of his top notch instructors that will come in and teach many different aspects of the game and is fun from all I've heard.

Take and make this event a success by promoting the clinic well in advance and getting the word out. You could charge a small fee to attend. The ones that do attend will find it extremely motivating. Returning to spend their time and money trying to learn and have fun.

A cheaper way might be to to spark interest but won't have the guarentee of repeat business is to have a couples tournament. You can have a Scotch Doubles tourney. Make the entry free and add $100. devided into the top 4 places. Make it a race to 1 with double elimination.

Again getting the word out is crutial into making the event a success. You'll make your money easily back through food and drink as it will take sometime to get to the end. You'll draw many people. You could always make it open also eliminating the couple too if you choose, making it a blind draw.

Cherity events and fundraisers. These are especially good for business. Having a tourney, food sales (baked goods, pizza by the slice, sandwiches), 50/50 raffles and even a Texas Holdem game with $20. buyins going to cherity. Using chips and the winners cashing those chips into prizes donated by the community.

Added money to the tournament paying cash for the winner spots and half to the cherity. Maker it like $20. entry and throw in the table take too.

You'll need a few people to get involved and many will if the cause is for cherity. The local car dealers and businesses in the area are always willing to give a little back for the return business too.

Set up these donated gifts.(car details, oil changes, theater tickets, dvd players, Jewlery, messages, tanning sessions and many more things even motor cycles) have been just a few things that I've personally have seen throught the yrs as givaways. With paper and pen next to the items for customers to write down their bids on. High bids win.

The room owner gets the satifaction of giving and the bar will often make a $3000. day too. So, it helps everyone. They're fun and start at noon and will go on till well into the nite.

Thsi might be what you think as a way of getting people spark in pool going but it will generate a return business over time. It helps to announce throughout the event of your up coming events too.

You could also get the local hot shots in too for a small clinic. It won't be the qualified and professional bunch that Rang' pool school would have but you can get something going. You'll have to compensate these locals with free lunch and some pool time but you can still make it a success.

Another would be to have a pool exhibition/ trick shot show. Invite all the local business owners, (bank manager, contractors, sheriff, ect.) as special invatation. Set up tables around the exhibition with seats for them as somewhat a vip section. Announce their title and appreciations for their work in the community.

Seen this a few times with Jeannett Lee and hubby George Breedlove. This can be costly being they're high up on the cost chart but are worth the draw. You'll generate much money for the take in business for that nite (alcohol, food) and have autograph sales to go with it. To cover the costs of them coming.

Scott Lee also does a exhibition show too. Much cheaper I'm sure. There's many things in which you could do to spark interest in the locals along with making friends in the community to join in on other ventures you might want to bring about.

All of these examples are just a few ways to generate repeat business. You will have to see the big picture and getting the word out through flyers and promo's are a must in succeeding. I'm also assumming you sell liquir as this is a way of recooping your investments.

This might not be what your wanting to hear and I don't exactly know where you stand or the purpose you have in mind besides sparking interests.

Regards,

C.C.~~strictly my opinion. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

justbrake
08-13-2004, 04:14 PM
go here
http://www.freepoollessons.com/index.html

justbrake
08-13-2004, 04:22 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> Finding a qualified instructor would be the best option, but if that is not an option:

Tell the person "we all looked like fools when we first started". There's really no way to avoid it.

I would start by just shooting the object balls straight into the pockets without a cue ball.

Teach them to keep their bridge hand steady like a rock.

Teach them to stay down after the shot.

Anybody with a reasonable amount of dexterity, after 30 or 40 hours of practice, should be able to make simple cut shots.

IMO <hr /></blockquote>

I don't think saying to get a qaulified instructor to him when he's affraid to look foolish is the answer sorry but thats a overkill for even a person that has a few months of poolroom experience. imo first you have to learn how to crawl then walk but an instuctor that soon is like teaching 3 month old baby how to read a book can't do it.

pooltchr
08-13-2004, 04:43 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote justbrake:</font><hr>I don't think saying to get a qaulified instructor to him when he's affraid to look foolish is the answer sorry but thats a overkill for even a person that has a few months of poolroom experience. imo first you have to learn how to crawl then walk but an instuctor that soon is like teaching 3 month old baby how to read a book can't do it. <hr /></blockquote>

I have to strongly disagree. I have worked with several students who were pure beginners. (Had one today as a matter of fact) Students who have not played have no bad habits that they need to change. They are usually open to suggestions, and they want to learn the correct way from the very beginning. Any beginner who works from the start with a good instructor is going to see greater improvement more quickly that one who trys to learn on their own.
We teach them to crawl first. I don't start a beginner with english and tangent lines. I start them with the fundamentals and bring them along at their own pace. I don't believe getting an instructor can ever be overkill. If someone wants to learn the game, and instructor is, in my opinion, the best way to do it.
Steve

landshark77
08-13-2004, 05:15 PM
I'll tell you my story, as a means of explaining what worked for me. The first time I EVER played pool in my life was when I was around 18. A group of friends (all girls) went to go play pool. I don't know why we chose pool, maybe it was to score some beer, or maybe it was looking for guys, either way we ended up at the pool hall. We all sucked! But we had fun and that was what was important. It was something to do...and in a small town teenagers need something to do. Needless to say we kept going back until we each went our separate ways. At that time pool was just something to do with friends. Fast forward a few years later...I met my husband, a pool fanatic. I could have cared less about pool; it was something to do, not a way of living. I followed him around to leagues and saw how he felt about it. I saw that he had girls on his team that shot. They weren't as good as him, but were given a fair chance. This made me want to play too. (That and the estrogen telling me I needed to keep track of my man, LOL)
So I started playing and that's when we discovered that I sucked. We totally had to start from the beginning, as I couldn't even properly hold a cue. I hated the fundamental part of learning the game. I just wanted to hit some balls; I didn't care if I was doing it right or not. He persisited and showed me how to do stuff, and that is hard because I am VERY hardheaded and tend not to listen. I also started watching other people shoot, and seeing what they were doing. I became more interested because not only was it fun, but I wanted to kick his butt! Now it's 7-8 years later and I still suck at pool, (but I will never admit it openly while at the table, LOL) but I can seriously say I love pool and I want to play ALL of the time and I will play anyone (just to put 'em in their place /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif ).

I guess the point of this is that to get someone, or at least me, interested (in anything) it has to be fun. I would have been deterred for life if my first experience with pool was practicing my stroke, my aim, my position, etc... To me that is the boring part, the part you need to go through once you are hooked, not before you get started.
If you could do something to get the ladies in your place that requires them to goof off at the table, then that's what you need to do, forget the lessons right off hand, lessons are only for those who want to improve, not those who have never played, IMO.

tateuts
08-13-2004, 05:43 PM
Want to hook someone? All you need is a bar table, a quarter, someone to explain the rules of 8 ball and how to hold the cue, and a cue with a decent tip. People have fun even if they can't play at all.

I learned to golf by myself. I was on a hosted trip at a resort in Hawaii and the golf was comp. It was a blast and I was hooked. I went up to the head pro afterward, held up one of the irons, and said "That was fun. What are these for anyway?" His jaw dropped. I had played an entire 18 holes with just a driver and a putter. I teed up every shot because I didn't know any better. I had to drive back to the clubhouse twice to buy more balls.

Chris

Scott Lee
08-13-2004, 09:50 PM
I agree wholeheartedly with Steve! In fact, I have taken someone who has never held a cue, and taught them to play pool in 1 day! There is never too early a time to take advantage of advanced learning techniques (set, pause, finish), that enhance the beginner's ability to execute a smooth stroke more consistently. It takes years off the learning curve, imo.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com (http://www.poolknowledge.com)

Chris Cass
08-14-2004, 12:08 AM
Hi Landshark77,

That was a great story. It brought back memeries of myself when starting out. I was just turning 15 yrs old and everytime I went into the hall with my friend. I was kicked out. Never failed, the old man would kick me out.

I remember once getting passed the doorway before him running up and saying "your not old enough to be in here, now go". Well, I found myself next to table one. That was reserved for the best players and only for gambling. The chairs were oversized made of wood that resembled the ones at Ames ph in the hustler. They sat upon this 1 ft platform in front of Table one and sitting there, I could see the entire table. It was great, and before my bottom could get warm. The old man walked up and busted me. Back out the door I went.

After finally being allowed to get in with a backing from one of the best shots in there as he told the old man to leave me stay and watch. I loved it. I watched all the top players that came through. Didn't have a cue or money. I would collect coke bottles for the 2 cents return money. I'd steal a shopping cart from the local store and go garbage hunting for bottles.

Got the money up weekly just to play. I was so bad. I learned how to play straight pool from an old man. He'd spot me 35 points on 50 and wooped me. One day he couldn't see and had to quit, I learned to love him. His name was George. I soon got better and would play with better players and kept getting beat.

My interests were fun motivated also. I just had this drive to hit balls. I finally bought my own cue. I remember stroking at home through a coke bottle also. I was taught that by the old guy in order to keep my cue level.

Gosh, I loved the game so much. I do think my best times in the beginning was playing with guys that were so far superior than myself. I swear I could watch them play all day. I liked the bonding with the other player. Most were older than myself.

We used to go to a poker game after the hall closed. I was so young but they liked me. I couldn't play poker as I didn't have money but they'd send me out for food at the alnight grill and tip me too. I made enough to get in but I told them, I'd rather play pool with it.

These guys were burglers, hustlers, gamblers and all around bottom of the barrel. They treated me like one of their own. They never hurt me or got me involved with any of the things they did. Boy, could they shoot pool.

My story is a bit different from yours but as you, I loved the game and it's never left me. It's been there for me through the best and worst time of my life. I've used escape many difficult times in my life. It seems to put me in a place that pain and suffering, isn't allowed in.

Regards,

C.C.

Wally_in_Cincy
08-14-2004, 07:43 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote justbrake:</font><hr> ...I don't think saying to get a qaulified instructor to him when he's affraid to look foolish is the answer sorry but thats a overkill...<hr /></blockquote>

I did offer some other viable options.

I don't know if it's overkill. Why not teach a person correctly from the start? So they don't ingrain bad fundamentals.

ceebee
08-14-2004, 01:43 PM
I second that feeling WALLY... it's easier to learn than unlearn. That's a proven fact. Building good or bad muscle memory can remain with you for your entire life. There are great Pool Players with crummy mechanics.. they have to be what we call "a Natural". There aren't very many of those around.

wolfdancer
08-16-2004, 10:45 AM
"Want to play? Never picked up a cue? Advice request..."
DON'T !!!
why complicate your life any more then it is now? This game will grab you, and never let go....

"What ideas can you give that might be a good draw for those that have never played the game...?"
Well, I've been playing for years, and still working on my own draw....but a level cue, and a low hit will be a good start.....

landshark77
08-16-2004, 11:14 AM
Hey CC,
Interesting story. Sounds much more exciteing than mine! Thank you for sharing. Has a thread already been started about how everyone has gotten into the pool game? I think I saw one on a message board a few months ago, but I could be wrong. If not, it may be an interesting thread to start. Maybe I'll do a search when I gots da time. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

Chris Cass
08-16-2004, 02:46 PM
Hi Landshark,

Sometimes I like to talk a bit, too much. lol We did have a thread a longtime back and it was very interesting to hear of the posters up coming. It was on pool halls. I like the pool tips postings. We could never get enough of those. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Regards,

C.C.

landshark77
08-16-2004, 03:15 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chris Cass:</font><hr> I like the pool tips postings. We could never get enough of those. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Regards,

C.C. <hr /></blockquote>

Those are the threads you don't want me posting in. A monkey could give better tips than I could. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Scott Lee
08-16-2004, 03:21 PM
If there is no instructor in your area, send a PM to fellow CCB member, Scott Lee. He travels the country, giving lessons and doing trick shot shows. He may be coming through your area and you can make arrangements for a lesson.

Good luck.

Rich R.

Thanks Rich! For anyone interested, I will be traveling in the Southeastern U.S. for the next month. PM or email me for more details.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com (http://www.poolknowledge.com)

Rod
08-16-2004, 03:38 PM
Chris,

That reminds me of when I started playing. I was 17 and one day doing something stupid, LOL I ripped the cloth! Wow, unbleivable. The owner of course kicked me out. BTW, the cloth was brand new to make it worst.

I apologised after him giving me a good reaming. I went back 2 or three days later and he kicked me out again. Something to the effect of respecting other peoples property. I had to play pool. LOL I went back again and give him my best respectful speech ( I was prepared ) and apology once again. It worked, he let me back in and we became fairly good friends. I never ripped another cloth in my life. Man that was tough at the time.

When I left that city, Herman had a supprise for me. He gave me an old Willie Hoppe he had stored since before WWII, he had 3 or 4 there I could choose from. He made me promise I would never sell it. I still have it to this day. I guess they'll have to put it in the casket with me when I go, a promise is a promise. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif Hey, I might you know.

Rod

Rod
08-16-2004, 03:57 PM
I suggest instruction, but first I'd buy a good instructional tape. I'm going against the grain here but I think you'd be better served to know a little more about the game first. Not so much as a learning tool right away but the terminology. Just to get familiar with certain terms, how there use and what they mean. Why pay an instructor for that in the very beginning?

After a primer then seek an instructor and you always have the tape to help guide you along. It also helps to give you an idea of what you can or should ask. But do find an instructor in a short time before you ingrain any bad habits. Playing and experimenting for a couple of weeks isn't going to hurt anything.

Rod

Sid_Vicious
08-16-2004, 05:12 PM
I agree with you, the automatic "you should get with a BCA instructor", IMPO, just does not fit into every player's needs. I once knew a student from a past BCA pool school who was actually told in middle of a 3 day class, "You should have taken an elementary lesson instead of this school, you are slowing down the rest of the class." I've had a sour taste for organized BCA instruction ever sense then, at least the ones requiring $500 plus. Maybe that person should have had elementary lessons first, and maybe this poster's question has the same needs as well....sid

LivinGr8
08-17-2004, 02:45 AM
My question was asked so that I might better understand what I can do to encourage more people in my community to get involved with the game. I enjoy all of the posts and am very courious about the way that I hold my cue right now. I have been told that a level cue is slightly raised at an angle. I have always played with mine more level to the table. Could you please help me understand, If I change the angle to one I am not familiar with, can I expect good results or could it actually hurt my game?
I understand, Scott, that you are going to be in the East Texas Area in Sept., and am interested in being a part of that effort to get you down here if at all possible. Thanks again to everyone for your posts. They have been helpful to this ol' boy!
Mike

CarolNYC
08-17-2004, 03:13 AM
[ QUOTE ]
is afraid of "looking like a fool <hr /></blockquote>
Hi there,
Don't ever be afraid of "looking like a fool"-I've done some of the stupidest things, but you just gotta shake it off and laugh at it /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif
You'll find the majority of players are willing to help-being its your FIRST time, I would advise a lesson with an instructor!
Good luck!
Carol

LivinGr8
08-17-2004, 03:51 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote CarolNYC:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
is afraid of "looking like a fool <hr /></blockquote>
Hi there,
Don't ever be afraid of "looking like a fool"-I've done some of the stupidest things, but you just gotta shake it off and laugh at it /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif
You'll find the majority of players are willing to help-being its your FIRST time, I would advise a lesson with an instructor!
Good luck!
Carol <hr /></blockquote>

Not my first time, Carol, however, I am learning new first-time techniques that have sparked a new fire inside. I really wanted to understand a little better how to bring new people into the game enviroment with as little discouragement as possible prior to their "spark". I probably should have been more specific, but the responses have really helped to give me "food for thought" with peoples first experiences and the things that they dealt with in the beginning. Thanks for the note.
Mike

Scott Lee
08-18-2004, 09:24 PM
Mike...Generally speaking the cue is "reasonably" level at the point of striking the CB. The cuestick will never be PERFECTLY level, just as level as necessary. The more elavated the cuestick, the more likely you are to jump the CB off the table. I look forward to coming to your area to work with you next month. It will be Sept. 14 or 15.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com (http://www.poolknowledge.com)

LivinGr8
08-19-2004, 04:30 AM
Scott,
I appreciate the response. I played tonight against two of the others interested in your services,(friends), and I think that level for me is slightly raised from what I have been playing, as my tip contact on the CB feels better and CB control has improved. I used to lay the cue on the table for shots that I am now bridging for the above reason.
Thanks again and I look forward to Sept. and am trying to establish a solid request for the 15th. So far 3 of us want an evening of instruction. If we can "swing it" in the next week, I'll be making the request. That would be Great!

Wally_in_Cincy
08-19-2004, 09:15 AM
Gr8,

You will be pleased with Scott's instruction. Many here can vouch for him.