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eales
01-21-2005, 11:44 AM
Observation suggests that the number one thing that the people I play with
(and myself for that matter) should be working on is their fundamentals.
Yet most books have little to say on the subject. For example, Byrne's New
Standard Book of Pool and Billiards devotes chapter 1 to fundamentals (18
pages). Which book has the best treatment of how to improve?

Jim Eales

DavidMorris
01-21-2005, 12:28 PM
All of the major books cover fundamentals to some degree, but in and of themselves there isn't that much to print about fundamentals so don't expect hundreds of pages on the subject. The proper basics of stance, grip, and stroke mechanics can be detailed in a few hundred words. A good drill book to reinforce those fundamentals is valuable. I recommend Black Belt Billiards written by our own CCB'er Socrates (where's he been lately, anyway?) and Target Pool if you can find it.

The important thing to remember is that no book can be as valuable as a few hours of personal instruction by a pro (I mean a pro instructor, not necessarily a pro player, although some pro players can teach). You need feedback to address any flaws in your fundamentals and improve your game, unless you just have enough natural talent and thousands of hours of practice to play well with flawed technique.

Real-time feedback from an instructor is best, but if you can't arrange a session with Scott Lee or Randy G. or someone along those lines, at least setup a video camera and tape yourself shooting drills and racks of balls. Get good angles that clearly show your grip, stance, stroke, elbow, eyes, follow-through, etc. Then analyze that tape in slow motion, comparing what you see with what the books tell you you should be doing. It's delayed feedback, but it's better than no feedback or trying to evaluate yourself as you shoot (which usually makes you miss).

Even better, enlist a friend to work with you who also wants to improve their own game, so that you can evaluate each other. It's a lot easier to critique someone else's form than your own.

But ultimately you will have much better and faster results by booking some time with an instructor. The realtime feedback is the best by far.

ceebee
01-21-2005, 02:23 PM
There are several books in the market, which are worth their price, many times over. There are several Videos that are worth owning too. Both of these routes really require you to have a table at home, to really get something from your investment, so you can enjoy the results.

Having been a Professional Instructor in the World of Golf, I know the best possible route to take for a student wanting to learn.

TAKE LESSONS from a qualified Professional Instructor. Your instructor will assist you in develop correct Muscle Memory.

There are numerous Instructors around. Go To the BCA website & look for the list of instructors. Find an instructor close to you, that has some credentials & some respect.

Learning on your own has some MAJOR PROBLEMS built into that scenario. When you spend weeks, months & years to no avail & build all that useless muscle memory into your head... you might very well have put a lid on your growth.

There are some naturals, that have never taken a lesson or read a book. They number about 5 for every 20,000 casual players.

Cueless Joey
01-21-2005, 02:24 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Real-time feedback from an instructor is best, but if you can't arrange a session with Scott Lee or Randy G. or someone along those lines, at least setup a video camera and tape yourself shooting drills and racks of balls. Get good angles that clearly show your grip, stance, stroke, elbow, eyes, follow-through, etc. Then analyze that tape in slow motion, comparing what you see with what the books tell you you should be doing. It's delayed feedback, but it's better than no feedback or trying to evaluate yourself as you shoot (which usually makes you miss).
<hr /></blockquote>
Agreed.

pooltchr
01-21-2005, 03:01 PM
I agree. A BCA instructor will do more for your long term game than you can imagine.
www.bca-pool.com/play (http://www.bca-pool.com/play)
Steve

DavidMorris
01-21-2005, 03:09 PM
I know I mentioned Scott Lee and Randy G., but since you're new to the board you may not know who they are. They are both CCB'ers who are professional, certified instructors, and come very highly regarded.

If you don't have a certified instructor in your area, consider contacting Scott Lee. His website is http://www.poolknowledge.com. He travels the entire country and most likely passes somewhere near you at least once a year. He will come to your home or your local poolhall and work with you as much as you like. He spent an entire day at my home a couple years ago, and numerous other CCB'ers have spent time with Scott. He is a class act and I cannot recommend him enough!

dutchboy
01-21-2005, 07:02 PM
I just started playing again after a 35 year [gulp!] hiatus, what really helped me was when I began seeing Alison Fisher and Karen Corr play. It seems the snooker players have a real grip on stance, pre-shot routine that is so consistent and their success is pretty amazing. Watching Steve Davis in the 2003 Mosconi cup drove the point home even more for me.
I grew up watching Mike Sigel and Irving Crane in Rochester, New York. The problem was Mike is a left hander and his pattern's confused me a bit...but he was another one who approached the table with a real science and was never lazy over the simplist of shots. Anyway, I've taped everything I could get on Alison...just read a blurb by Mika Immonen referring to Alison's pre-shot, how many practices strokes she takes etc: He said it had a great effect on him and helped slow him down a bit and really improved his consistancy. I wish I could stroke like Reye's or Bustamonte but those guys are from a different planet.

dr_dave
01-22-2005, 01:42 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote eales:</font><hr> Observation suggests that the number one thing that the people I play with
(and myself for that matter) should be working on is their fundamentals.
Yet most books have little to say on the subject. For example, Byrne's New
Standard Book of Pool and Billiards devotes chapter 1 to fundamentals (18
pages). Which book has the best treatment of how to improve?<hr /></blockquote>

I have received many hundreds of e-mails from readers of my book (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/book_description.html) ("The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards"), Billiards Digest instructional articles (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/bd_articles/index.html), and website (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/pool) who claim my stuff has helped their game a bunch. Many people have found the online videos (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/normal_videos/index.html) on my website very useful. Concerning "fundamentals," I think 6 of the 7 chapters in my book deal with fundamentals (the last chapter dealing with advanced techniques), but that depends on how you define the word.

Other excellent (in my opinion, the best) books include:
- Phil Capelle's "Play Your Best Pool"
- Robert Byrne's "New Standard Book of Pool and Billiards"

dr_dave
01-22-2005, 01:46 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dr_dave:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote eales:</font><hr> Observation suggests that the number one thing that the people I play with
(and myself for that matter) should be working on is their fundamentals.
Yet most books have little to say on the subject. For example, Byrne's New
Standard Book of Pool and Billiards devotes chapter 1 to fundamentals (18
pages). Which book has the best treatment of how to improve?<hr /></blockquote>

I have received many hundreds of e-mails from readers of my book (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/book_description.html) ("The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards"), Billiards Digest instructional articles (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/bd_articles/index.html), and website (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/pool) who claim my stuff has helped their game a bunch. Many people have found the online videos (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/normal_videos/index.html) on my website very useful. Concerning "fundamentals," I think 6 of the 7 chapters in my book deal with fundamentals (the last chapter dealing with advanced techniques), but that depends on how you define the word.

Other excellent (in my opinion, the best) books include:
- Phil Capelle's "Play Your Best Pool"
- Robert Byrne's "New Standard Book of Pool and Billiards" <hr /></blockquote>
FYI, You can find many more suggestions in another thread (http://www.billiardsdigest.com/ccboard/showthreaded.php?Cat=&amp;Board=ccb&amp;Number=172613&amp;page =&amp;view=&amp;sb=&amp;o=) dealing with this topic.

socrates
01-26-2005, 07:23 AM
David, thanks for the kind words.

And since you asked - I am at the tail end of a very long personal situation that has consumed me.

Not playing much pool, but enough to know I can still run a few balls.

Anyway, that will be over in a month or two then hope to get back in stroke and start visiting the board more often.

Best wishes to all.

Bob_Jewett
01-26-2005, 11:55 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote eales:</font><hr> Observation suggests that the number one thing that the people I play with (and myself for that matter) should be working on is their fundamentals. ... <hr /></blockquote>

What do you mean by fundamentals? Is it mechanics? Is it PSR (pre-shot routine)? Is it chosing patterns? Is it concentration?