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mike6262
11-13-2004, 08:16 PM
I was wondering if any of the better players here had any suggestions for making practicing more fun, something other than just racking balls and shooting. I am a player who occaisionally will run a rack of 9-Ball or 8-Ball. I almost always practice alone and i am looking for new ways to spice up my practice time.

DavidMorris
11-13-2004, 08:29 PM
Two very good practice/drill aids are Target Pool and Black Belt Billiards.

Target Pool is unfortunately out of production, but you can occassionally find it on eBay (I bought two from there).

Black Belt Billiards is a drill book written by Steve Campana, who happens to be a CCB'er too.

http://members.aol.com/blkbeltbilliards/index.html

silverbullet
11-13-2004, 11:18 PM
Well if you can run racks, you are a better player than I, but you seem to want more..

I came up with all kinds of reasons/excuses that practice was not fun to me, and also asked how to spice it up. But, in looking back now, I think I was frustrated and did not know what I was doing wrong or how to fix it. I got very unmotivated and my practice time suffered.

Then this guy taught me something new. I did not know if it would work, but having nothing to lose, decided to give it a shot. I saw immediate results, at least enough to get excited about. Something had clicked. Nothing succeeds like success and pool is not very much fun when the balls do not drop. Almost over night, my attitude changed to being hard to pull away from the table. I needed to believe. And with that belief, no drill is boring to me. Nothing is too hard anymore, no time to get better is too much time..

I have seen lots of threads on here on how to vary practice to make it more interesting and have seen the suggestions.
I think you have to have a 'dream' and believe in the dream that you can achieve it and not let how you are currently doing or what others say interfere with your quest for that dream, whatever it is.

I do not know if any of this relates to you, but then, without a dream or a goal, it seems that a player is like a spinning top.

sb

yegon
11-14-2004, 02:45 AM
well I might be strange but I consider 300 straight in shots to be lots of fun /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

man there are so many drills practice can't be dull

here is how I do it (I practice alone for several hours a day and still hope to get in more practice time as soon as I get my own table)

- warm up just banging balls
- speed control drills (just white: to the end rail, lag shot, 3 rails, 4 rails)
- stroke test (just white: 3 rail straight back and forth)
- 10 to 20 drills each 3 times max
- some standard shots (shotmaking training)
- running balls (look at Max Eberle's article in IP this month) - I am currently at 43 balls, not very good but I will get there
- straight pool

this can take 2+ hours and is never boring to me

Dagwood
11-14-2004, 02:55 AM
I use this drill to try to fine tune my speed control, and it helps with getting more precise position.

-Start at the head string, and at each diamond across the table, (the 3 diamonds on the short rail), place one ball. Go to the next diamond down the table and do the same thing, and repeat untill you hit the foot string. You should have a 3X5 grid of balls. Make sure they are relatively straight, (don't have to be perfect). Take ball in hand and run them out in any order. You CANNOT hit a rail, and you CANNOT hit another ball.

-Another drill I use, it's similar to breaking a rack and shooting. Start out throwing three balls out on the table. Take ball in hand. Pocket them in rotation. Try to repeat it 10 times. *IF* you get bad postion on any of the balls, start over. If you make it through 10 times, throw 4 balls out, and do the same thing. This is something that Johnny Archer recommended. He said that he can consistantly run the 5 on the table 10 in a row, and occasionally, the 6...though not nearly as often. Seems to work for me.

Hope those help a little.

Dags

Sid_Vicious
11-14-2004, 09:17 AM
Congrats, but for me...I'm bored already just thinking about it. Hell let's rack and play some for 6-12 hours instead, for about 30 years...sid

mike6262
11-14-2004, 10:18 AM
Thanks for the advice guys. And how can you not listen to the advice of Doc Holliday, haha. My favorite character from one of my favorite movies.

Billy_Bob
11-14-2004, 11:06 AM
What I practice are the shots I am not good at and shots which are frustrating. It is a lot of work actually, but it becomes fun when I play other players and can shoot these shots better than before.

One thing which is fun/interesting is to shoot an entire rack with left English, then next rack all with right English, then draw, then follow, then force follow. FYI what I call follow is just hitting the cue ball with top - Force follow is when you hit the cue ball with top so that the cue ball is spinning faster forward than it is rolling.

Anyway it is good practice and you see some interesting things happen with the cue ball.

Another fun practice is to shoot each shot so the ball stops just before falling into the pocket. Great to learn how slowly you can hit various shots to make a pocket. Comes in handy if you want to block a pocket or shoot a shot as softly as possible so the cue ball stays in that area.

Shooting natural banks with one ball only is interesting. If you hit the ball with anything other than dead center, it will not go where you are aiming. Great to learn about how spin will change the direction balls which hit the rail.

Then shooting a rack when using the mechanical bridge for each shot is fun. Good way to learn to use a mechanical bridge. I shoot with my elbow near my belly button and my hand directly under my chin.

DSAPOLIS
11-14-2004, 07:54 PM
At my web site www.geocities.com/blkjackds12 (http://www.geocities.com/blkjackds12)
I have many drills and articles that deal with practice - specifically. There are enough drills to keep you busy well into the next milenium. I highly recommend Steve Campana's book, Black Belt Billiards. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you add variety to your practices to ensure that you don't become bored, settle into a rut, or abandon the practice altogether.

Good Luck & God Bless

wolfdancer
11-15-2004, 12:10 AM
Mike, the key to becoming a good player is running racks...and you will need to run about 10,000 racks, to truly learn the game. Get 10k marbles, about a barrel full, and when you run a rack, discard a marble. You will become a great pool player, when you have lost all your marbles....hope this helps

Stretch
11-15-2004, 06:48 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Mike, the key to becoming a good player is running racks...and you will need to run about 10,000 racks, to truly learn the game. Get 10k marbles, about a barrel full, and when you run a rack, discard a marble. You will become a great pool player, when you have lost all your marbles....hope this helps <hr /></blockquote>

Good advice Wolfdancer. I agree, the secret is of course puting runs together. You need to devote at least 60% of your practice time running racks. The tempo, and rythem of your shooting has to be ingrained so that your optimal speed in practice is what you do in a game. When the pressure is on, you will do what your body knows best.

First rack 4 balls, break and run them (give yourself ball in hand to start) do this till your 80% successful. Then add a ball and repeat. Do this till your up to full rack runs. St

Breaking is so important that you should never just throw the balls out and play. Never miss a chance to break. St

JimS
11-15-2004, 07:03 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Stretch:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Mike, the key to becoming a good player is running racks...and you will need to run about 10,000 racks, to truly learn the game. Get 10k marbles, about a barrel full, and when you run a rack, discard a marble. You will become a great pool player, when you have lost all your marbles....hope this helps <hr /></blockquote>

Good advice Wolfdancer. I agree, the secret is of course puting runs together. You need to devote at least 60% of your practice time running racks. The tempo, and rythem of your shooting has to be ingrained so that your optimal speed in practice is what you do in a game. When the pressure is on, you will do what your body knows best.

First rack 4 balls, break and run them (give yourself ball in hand to start) do this till your 80% successful. Then add a ball and repeat. Do this till your up to full rack runs. St

Breaking is so important that you should never just throw the balls out and play. Never miss a chance to break. St <hr /></blockquote>


I hit 4 racks, 60 shots, of long straight in shots, diagonally end to end on 9ft table, and then do the 4 ball run out routine that stretch has recommended. The 4 racks are to warm up and work on the stroke so while doing them I pay particular attention to the fundamentals; aim while standing, move into the shot, stance, preshot routine while down, slow back...pause, follow-through, stay down.

I don't like drills...I get bored, so I think that in their place this 4 ball run out thing is good practice...but what do I know. I do know that "just banging a few" is a BAD idea...for me at least.

I haven't followed Stretch's advice about breaking but it makes sense to me and I think I will.

If there's a pro or a school in your area you should, imo, consider getting lessons. The instructor will help you improve and keep you interested.