View Full Version : How To Know When To Quit Practcing?
06-16-2002, 10:20 AM
Thought came to me today that I have those dull, tired or even over-talented times when I'm hitting by myself and start "inventing" ways to break fundamental rules, i.e. slapping silly shots or just physically getting off balance due to a burnt out mood. Is there something you do that suddenly says to you, "Hey this is negative, break down or sit down, stop or maybe even go home?" The most likely time for me to have this happen is when I'm alone on a table and making most everything in the zone sorta, or if I'm simply not having any fun. Seems as if I get cocky(or lazy) and then I find gremlins, of course it's all my fault because I ain't workin', just moving balls around to impress myself, or just to pass the time, know what I mean?
Do you hit those times and decide to get off the felt? What tells you that it's time???TIA sid
06-16-2002, 10:31 AM
Hi Sid. I think we all get those times. I'll get down on a relatively easy cut shot and just won't care if I make it or not. After I've done that a few times, I say to myself, what the hell are you doing????? That's not good practice, so I'll usually take a 10 - 15 minute break, or quit for a while altogether. I don't know when that point comes where you want to make the ball and you don't care if you do or not. I do know that once I've hit that point where I don't care, or get lazy, I have to take a break. It happens when I shoot by myself also, or sometimes when I'm playing my son. It's funny though. When I'm in a tourney, and I miss an easy one, I just blow it off and forget about it, because I know that if I concentrate on missing that one shot, I'll miss all the others and that's not how I am.
06-16-2002, 10:32 AM
I quit practicing when I have hit my goal of repititions. I usually set my practice shots in groups of 15 attempts. I keep track of how I am doing. (i.e. make 8 out 15 attempts, or 12 out of 15 attempts) I never just hit the balls around and call it practice.
It might help if you define what you want to do during practice. Set some goals. Make it a challenge, for yourself. I am sure you know what shots you are having trouble with while competing. These a good shots to begin your practice session.
06-16-2002, 10:36 AM
The minute you lose focus and start banging the balls you should quit or at least take a rest and see if the focus returns after a bit. If not you will just be reinforcing bad habits.
Keep practicing when you are hitting them well because this is the time to super reinforce your grove or turn the conscious to the sub conscious where you dont have to think. Thinking eventually leads to choking.
Having said this- Please be advised i cant make a ball!
06-16-2002, 10:49 AM
Being somewhat obsessive compulsive I just finish on a positive note (long straight in shot) and call it quits...next time out I find that I've benefitted from my previous experience.
9 Ball Girl
06-16-2002, 03:29 PM
I agree. I was out by myself last nite, praticing/playing from 10:30PM - 3:00AM. I usually start by just placing the 15 balls on the table, hit them in with no rhyme or reason to positioning. This is just to warm up my stroke. Then I start to work on my problem shots (cueball on the rail shots, long straight-in/cut shots). Then I start the L drill. And I get psychotic with the whole thing, I have to get 15 in a row for every practice drill. If I don't I make myself start again. Then I'll start by playing 4 racks of 8 ball, 6 racks of 9 ball, and then a race to 100 in Straight pool.
When I start to get sloppy, then I'll just order some food, sit back and eat, and watch everyone else or whatever sport is on the tube (hopefully the Yankees!). My back deserves the rest too!
For me it is when I catch myself one-stroking. I do have one practice routine where I drop and shoot without any stroking but aside from that I try to play as though it's not practice.
06-16-2002, 06:52 PM
I like that analogy, one stroking "click" sums it up. Really, it hit the target for what I wanted, thanks...sid
06-17-2002, 01:03 AM
This is easy, When the all day rate is over. hahahaha
Seriously, I go through a regiment of practice drills. Even when players come over to ask me to hit some. I'll tell them kindly, I have to knock out this practice session first. More than likely they don't come back. I get into my practice and don't like being disturbed at all.
The regulars at the ph where I go all know this and leave me be. When, I'm not doing drills they know too as I'll bs awhile. The key to practicing is mainly have a plan or a goal in place. Take ten minutes each hr. to relax and take your mind away from pool. Keep a record even if mentally of your progress. IMHO Now, if a money game walks in that's another story. LOL
C.C.~~believes your practice should be just as intense as your game. You get what you put into it.
06-17-2002, 05:59 AM
I ususally stop practicing when my legs will no longer support me at the table or, when the eyes can no longer focus. Typically, this takes about 10 hours...
06-17-2002, 10:24 AM
I have to be honest here, practice for me is really assorted balls on the table and playing above average(high percentage) shots, lots of straight in or nearly straight in shots with force follow, stun, etc. position. I'm prone to play through if I hang a ball and get shape 'cause I KNOW that I can play that shot. To me it is more important to hit good center pocket on my high percentage shots, move the CB and keep rhythm than to do drills. Do I rank with the big boys? Nope. Can I surprise people, yep. On a regular basis,,,well that's where drills would be helpful, but they are s-o-o-o boring.
I do drift into a good routine and improvise my shots during this kind of play/practice and the self-game does get easy. That is when I soon or later drift into fundamental breakdown, hopefully more later than sooner. A 10-15 minute break usually kicks me back in gear again and I try and end with a couple of solid stroke shots with minimal CB motion for shape, try for a positive finish.
I recently left the home table covered for the entire week until Saturday morning before the trip into town to play, and it amazed me how much more confident my stroke was than when I hit balls every day. Something about taking short breaks from playing lets the gremlins fizzle out, "the brain getting in the way" kinda thing...sid~~~admits to being lazy in practice but does have fun, that is the most important end result, "playing" pool says it all for me
06-17-2002, 10:43 AM
Now that's strong. Dr. D. I'm the same way. Once a long time ago, when I had a job. I took 2 weeks vacation. Out of the 2 weeks I played 92 hrs. That was by myself. I was determined to move ahead. I went up two balls. Sadly, I had to go back to work but I accomplished alot.
I was determined to get back the game I lost, after a 6 yr lay off. The next yr playing, I broke my entire stroke, stance, and rebuilt them from the ground up. That's what it takes sometimes and I know you can understand by the way you practice. When you love the game and are determined to move ahead like you and I do. Nothing is going to get in the way.
C.C.~~poor Heide, she's dealing with it now after 10 yrs. That's a hard road but in the end. It makes ya or breaks ya.
06-17-2002, 12:25 PM
I agree with you, Sid. When I'm not doing drills, I just throw 15 balls on the table, let them lay, take cb in hand, and try to run from there.
I'm not a huge fan of doing drills. They are boring, but once I'm in stroke, I could go for hours. It is such a rush for me to make balls and get the shape I'm looking for, that I just want to keep going. So after a drill of 45, I take a short 5 minute smoke break and then get back to work.
Right now, my goal is 100 balls a day in drills. Then I shoot whatever I need the most help in, like throw shots. But with a family, house, work, and our son's karate and baseball, I have very little time to practice. So I just do it when I can. I'm not willing to sacrifice my son's extracurricular activities for mine.
By doing this, I can see the improvement in my game already, and I've only been at it now for a few weeks. I know where my mistakes are and try to fix them, and I know where my strengths are and take advantage of them. I guess that means I'm balancing things around here pretty well.
I do love this game, as frustrating as it is, and just try to have fun and better myself at the same time.
06-17-2002, 12:29 PM
When the pool hall closes, it's time to quit. LOL
06-17-2002, 12:30 PM
Got news for you babe. I'm not breaking!!!!!!! I know you see the improvement, and if I can see it then that is enough initiative for me to keep going and get better.
06-17-2002, 12:35 PM
Doing drill is an integral part of my practice routine, a routine to which I devote a minimum of 15 to 20 hours each week. Drills, absent variety and/or challenges, can be boring however they are essential and very useful. What makes doing drills easier for me is the fact that I have developed a Billiards Workbook; which I use to schedule, structure and record my drills and progress. This workbook currently has over 300 different drills and practice routines. Needless to say, when not competing or breaking racks, I am never at a loss for something unique and/or different to do and/or practice.
06-17-2002, 12:36 PM
I'm just now starting to run racks of 15 every now and then. I do get upset when I miss one out of a rack, but if it takes me an hour to make the damn ball, then it'll take me an hour. If I miss it, I don't count it. Only those that I make count towards the 15.
I do the same thing when I get lazy. I get aggravated, order a coke and if I'm real lucky, the White Sox, NASCAR, or boxing will be on. LOL
My back isn't what gives me the most trouble, it's my shoulders. When I first started up again, they bothered me something awful. But now that I'm into it a little more and practicing when I can, they don't bother me as much.
06-17-2002, 12:43 PM
Without a doubt, drills are what brought my game up. I didn't realize what I was doing wrong in my game until I started doing them and Chris taped me and I could see exactly what the problem was. Now, I know what and how to fix it.
It's the motivation to get off this damn computer and get to the ph to do the drills that is hard. Once I'm there, I have no problem getting started. Once I'm in stroke, I could go forever, but know better.
I'm just using a notepad to record my progress. It's kind of the neaderthal way to go about recording it, but I suppose I could type up a spreadsheet and go about it that way. Thanks for the tip. Any bit of help is greatly appreciated.
Heide ~ wishes I had 15 - 20 hours a week spare time LOL
Well I'm going to the pool room to hit a few Sid, when I get back I'll give you the answer. Seriously I quit when I lose real interest. Not a specific time, but if I am practicing it is usually after 2 or 3 hours. If I practice 3 times a week I hit em pretty good, not great but good. If I have a reason to play better, such as a good tournament, or possibly gambling then I will put in more time. That's how I view practice.
Sid today was one of those days that I knew when to stop. A lovely lady come in the room. I haven't seen her for over a year. We needed to catch up on each others lives. It was fun, then she went to work./ccboard/images/icons/frown.gif I did practice for about 3 hours and played for 2 more. I finally got the cob webs out. I got to hitting them pretty good. Going to leave again and see if there is a ring game, just need to refuel!
06-17-2002, 08:59 PM
I have a drill for you. 9 foot table, (NOT on a Diamond... but if you must.. its a great challenge)
15 attempts for the right side pocket, 15 for the left side pocket. I use this to sharpen the aim and soft stroke. I like the cue ball to endup in the spot "A"
06-17-2002, 09:00 PM
I think I like this answer best.. thanks Joey
Before I almost lost my lady to the game, I played about 5 hours a day after work, six to ten. When I realized I couldn't marry the game, I purchased a table and practiced solo for 3 hours a day, one hour in the morning 2, once in the in a while 3, in the evening. I focus primarily on two weakness per hour then play nine. If I have a money game coming up I make up for time on the weekends real early like six am to ten. Maybe an hour more around two, do the wifey thing till 7 or so and I'm out . When I practice I guess I quit when the weakness that seemed to diminish for a half or so starts to reappear. That's a good indication of fatigue or boredom. Then I move on to the next drill. However, if practicing for a money game, I think its good to try and push past the fatigue. Because some guys just don't know when to quit and they are silentyly praying that you will get tired, if they can hold out. It's nice to know what you are made of sometimes you know.
06-17-2002, 09:49 PM
It happens to me frequently. Tonight after running through my drills, I was just hitting balls and eventually was becoming bored. Normally, I am able to practice for about an hour before I start losing interest. Tonight, for some reason, I thought about a trick shot I have seen before and decided to try to see if I could do it. It is a force follow shot. I doubt that it is a shot that will come up in a game, but it did teach me some things. Follow is one of my weakest shots. In executing the shot, I found that it's all in the stroke, just like a good draw shot. I entertained myself with this shot for quite a while.
I was able to do it a few times, but not consistantly. Don't worry Scott Lee, I'm not going to take any trick shot business away from anyone. LOL /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
Basically, when I get bored, it's time to quit. I can play for 6 to 8 even 10 hours. I'm still working on trying to make practice fun.
06-18-2002, 06:42 AM
Know what you mean Kahn about endurance in cash games. I know I've lost good money because my wheels were shot, and then again later in a re-match I've been fresher and recouped some dough, even over the same lengthy period or longer. It's a tougher answer when you mix in toughness training isn't it...sid
06-18-2002, 08:06 AM
Most of the time I don't know how long I am going to practice. I don't often practice much more then an hour at a time. But I may play several times a day as the mood moves me, a benefit of having a billiard room in your home. I almost always play first thing in the morning when I get up, as well as last thing at night. This has been my routine for as long as I can remember. I then play again during the day or maybe after dinner. It will total more then 20 hours a week of just practice. This is combined with real play, ( matching up) at the pool room. One of the problems of practicing alone is the pace of the game. If you practicing running balls in say, 9 ball by yourself. You will play at a different pace then you may with an opponent and you have to be aware of this. After a miss, it is still your turn, whereas in a real match you sit and wait. You may fool yourself as to how good you are playing. The zone seems to come more often in practice then in a real game situation, and the tendency to free wheel is there. I see people practice in a manner they would never play in a real match all the time. I think one of the real problems most people have with practice is, being able to practice in a frame of mind when they can get real benefit from it. If you work in, own a poolroom or have a table at home, you have the luxury of playing when to mood moves you. I can imagine a lot of players just going to a pool room, practice sometimes just because they are there and they feel they might as well play before going home. They are not really in the mood and the practice may be a waste of time. As a side note, It is really worth having your own table, even if you don't have the perfect room for it. The benefits are huge. I bought my first table when I was 18 and set it up in our garage. I have not been without a table since. I would hate to have to practice only at the poolroom.
06-18-2002, 08:14 AM
Practicing to many hours at a time may have a negative effect. A top player may say they play four or five hours a day. It does not mean five straight hours. It means in the course of the day, or with substantial break in between. Once you go beyond a certain point, you may begin do undo what ever you have accomplished.
06-18-2002, 08:53 AM
Very good point IMO. I could easily practice for an hour several times a day, if I had a table available to me, but personally, I find it difficult to practice several hours straight. After about an hour of individual practice, I begin to loose interest. My biggest personal goal right now is to get a table at home.
06-18-2002, 10:34 AM
Have you ever set up two ball in the mouth of each corner, and tried to make them all in the fewest shots possible? (A friend introduced me to it.)
BIH on the 'opening shot', I either use the shot you diagrammed, side-follow, for two corner balls, or I carom off of a side-pocket ball, and run to a corner.
It's a diversion. . . .
06-18-2002, 10:53 AM
I haven't tried this, but I think I'll start devising some challenge shots like this to breakup my practice sessions. The interest factor may make it possible for me to practice for longer periods without losing my focus.
Jim try this, same shot one more ball. It can be made with 3 balls, but it is a special stroke!
Here is another, it really is not that difficult if you hit rail first on the 5. It can be made ball first though. It is in the stroke as you mentioned, but just as important is where you hit the o/b. This stuff can come up in games, such as a break out shot.
sveral of my friend have come to believe that any kind of play without an opponent and something on the game is counter productive. that it actually harms their game. i'm not real sure but i suspect there may be something to that.
it seems to me that practicing to figure out a specific shot or groove in a stroke probably has value but i can see where just lazily stroking in balls can hurt your game. overall, i'm a huge believer that the one most important factor in developing or maintaining one's game is table time but i'm getting to see that not all table time is equal.
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