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View Full Version : Knowledge... Best thing I ever did for my game!



Billy_Bob
12-09-2005, 11:27 AM
They say "Learn all you can".

Well I did just that. I kept buying books/videos and learning, learning, learning about this game.

It almost got to the point when my head was overloaded with too much information!

I learned all I could about the equipment. Then I learned about various shots. Then I learned about the fundamentals and the science behind various shots (Dr. Dave and Jimmy Reid videos.)

Then I was in a situation where I knew what could be done, what I should try to do, and different ways to try to do it. But of course would fail at most of my attempts.

Well I have been slowly trying to do various things like leaving the cue ball in a good position for my next shot. And have been slowly learning what to do in various situations. How to get the cue ball to go where I want after a shot.

Over time everything is slowly "coming together"!

So study Dr. Dave's stuff and Jimmy Reid's stuff like there is no tomorrow. Understand the principles behind what they are demonstrating. Then just let this information sit in your mind for a year or two. Amazing things will begin to happen!

pooltchr
12-09-2005, 04:21 PM
Or spend a few days with RandyG, Scott Lee, Cane, or any number of other qualified instructors, and see the results much more quickly.
/ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif
Steve

Drop1
12-09-2005, 08:34 PM
I have never seen a good pool player that did not combine knowledge with imagination. Use your knowledge to grow your imagination. "look through the mountain"

Billy
12-09-2005, 11:23 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Billy_Bob:</font><hr> They say "Learn all you can".

Well I did just that. I kept buying books/videos and learning, learning, learning about this game.

It almost got to the point when my head was overloaded with too much information!

I learned all I could about the equipment. Then I learned about various shots. Then I learned about the fundamentals and the science behind various shots (Dr. Dave and Jimmy Reid videos.)

Then I was in a situation where I knew what could be done, what I should try to do, and different ways to try to do it. But of course would fail at most of my attempts.

Well I have been slowly trying to do various things like leaving the cue ball in a good position for my next shot. And have been slowly learning what to do in various situations. How to get the cue ball to go where I want after a shot.

Over time everything is slowly "coming together"!

So study Dr. Dave's stuff and Jimmy Reid's stuff like there is no tomorrow. Understand the principles behind what they are demonstrating. Then just let this information sit in your mind for a year or two. Amazing things will begin to happen!
<hr /></blockquote>

knowledge will only get so far if you don't put it to work Billy_Bob

amazing things do happen when you get out and actually learn how to play

you mention 'slowly' and you say two years, but why not seek a player of the game.why not go see a Jimmy Reid personally and cut years into months.there are many actual players that can teach contrary to what some intermediate players/instructors preach

there is a huge difference in the learning of information of the game and the learning of how to actually play the game

maybe its just me but my time is precious and as we all know its a limited commodity

jmo

ceebee
12-10-2005, 10:07 AM
This is a good point to be made. The knowledge presented in any book or video has to be digested first, understood &amp; then applied. Sometimes assistance is needed to learn how to apply the knowledge correctly.

Taking personal or group lessons is a good approach, for shortening one's learning curve. Studying the mechanics of the game will actually reinforce the knowledge gained from books &amp; videos.

Reduction of bad habits or avoiding the incorporation of bad habits can a real "time saver" gained from personal instruction.

Billy_Bob
12-10-2005, 10:54 AM
Well with me (I don't know about other players), it took me time for "how to use english" to "sink in". Or accurately predicting where the cue ball will go after various shots.

No instructor can make me comprehend and understand these things faster. This is something I need to do on my own.

And this is basically "understanding" the way things work, when one ball hits another, when the CB hits a rail, etc. This can be quite complex.

But I knew I was getting there with one shot I made not too long ago. It was a combination of *many* different elements, practicing many different shots on an individual basis, understanding what makes the cue ball do what, etc. Then putting everything together into this one shot and making it happen.

The cue ball was near a rail and I had to shoot down on the ball to get draw and use right english. And while doing this, cut the OB into the pocket, and use just the right amount of speed and english to get the CB to come off the rail after the hit and break out a cluster.

Well I was able to shoot down on the CB with draw and right english *and* make the OB into the pocket, then the CB hit the rail and hit exactly where I was intending it to hit, then the english made it come off of the rail in the exact direction I wanted, then the CB had just the right amount of speed to break up the cluster and leave me with another shot.

So it has taken me years to understand all the elements of that shot *and* years practicing the individual elements of the shot, and then being able to put everything together.

So you can understand that you can shoot down on a ball and get draw. But doing it takes practice. And you can understand where to hit the OB to make a cut shot, but pocketing the OB when shooting down on the CB takes a lot of practice. And hitting with the right speed takes a lot of practice. And understanding where the cue ball will go after a cut shot (depending on how you hit the ball) takes time. Etc.

Drop1
12-10-2005, 12:34 PM
Billy_ Bob What do you think reading the table is after the break? It is imagination,that ability to see how you are going to run out,and if you can't run out,to see where you are going to leave your opponent. Imagination will always be more important than knowledge /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gifif you don't believe me,would you believe Einstein he said it first. You can have the mechanics down cold,but with out imagination,you won't know your next shot. And this from a bad player who beat one of the best players in the house,after he broke,and left me a shot [two rails,and two kicks to sink a frozen nine ball into the side pocket]with one shot. Imagine /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

sack316
12-10-2005, 01:37 PM
I agree with you on how much knowlege can improve your game. Also as others have said applying and practicing it is what really takes you over any humps (i.e. nobody became a winning player by having their nose in a book and THEN jumping on the table for the very first time as a stud).
One thing I did want to add, though, was that you'll be surprised how much you learn from yourself. As someone who became decent as a self taught player, I learned a ton just by watching everything that happened and payong close attention. Not just to a shot going in and doing what you think it should do, but also every miss, positional error, and crappy thing too. For example, say a tough cut down table with some distance and object ball by the footrail. If I missed it badly, I may have noticed that whatever I did ended up having the cueball stoping near the end rail, while the OB that I missed came two rails back to where I was standing. A crappy shot because I missed, but from it I would learn how to play safe given any blocker balls that may be on the table on a given time, as well as how to possibly work with a 2 rail kick or bank when fooled around with. Any shot can be learned from. The "how's" and "why's" you may still have to come places like here to learn about, but the mechanics, rolls, english, and speed etc., you can actually learn a lot just through paying close attention to yourself (or even others for that matter) Just MHO.

Sack

Scott Lee
12-10-2005, 02:30 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Billy_Bob:</font><hr>
No instructor can make me comprehend and understand these things faster. This is something I need to do on my own. <hr /></blockquote>


This pretty much says it all. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif A closed mind remains closed. Good luck to you Billy_Bob!

Caedos said it best..."You don't know what you don't know." I have run across so many students who thought they "knew" what really happens and why...until they found out differently! LOL This is one of the reasons why I offer a money-back guarantee with my students. There is no substitute for a qualified instructor. Some great players can teach...ALL great instructors teach better!

Scott Lee

chicken_blood
12-10-2005, 02:55 PM
My wife and I own a small IT training company that we have been running for about 15 years. We are both certified instructors, so I can speak with some authority. Simply put, if all it took to "Get It" was reading a book or watching a DVD we would be out of business. It is impossible to ask a book or a DVD a question. Not to mentition that there is alot wrong information on pool out there...Example: "The Ninety Nine Critical Shots in Pool" lists several shots that will not go or are fouls. I have had lessons at Randy's school and from Carl Oswald and Bill Sudden (BCA Instructors). I cannot over-emphasze how much they helped my game. I have over 100 pool DVDs and close to 40 pool books. I must admit they gave me knowledege but the instructors tought me how to use it.
Just my two cents.

Drop1
12-10-2005, 05:54 PM
You ever meet a great instructor without imagination, every student is a brick in the wall to the teacher that lacks the imaginative skill to recognize the students particular problems.

pooltchr
12-10-2005, 08:31 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Drop1:</font><hr> You ever meet a great instructor without imagination, every student is a brick in the wall to the teacher that lacks the imaginative skill to recognize the students particular problems. <hr /></blockquote>

If an instructor can't recognize and address the individual needs of a student, he isn't much of an instructor. I dare say the instructors who regularly post on here are open minded enough to understand the individual needs of the students. And I can certainly guarantee that Scott is one of the best instructors you could want to work with. I am hoping to get a chance to teach with him next year when he gets down in the Carolinas.
Steve

Billy_Bob
12-10-2005, 09:30 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote sack316:</font><hr> ...The "how's" and "why's" you may still have to come places like here to learn about, but the mechanics, rolls, english, and speed etc., you can actually learn a lot just through paying close attention to yourself (or even others for that matter)...<hr /></blockquote>

Yes this is quite true. With my new knowledge and understanding of the game, I am now watching other [good] players and understanding what they are doing or trying to do. It is like going from a "black and white" world to a world of "living color".

So when I watch better players now, I get a lot more out of watching them play.

Drop1
12-10-2005, 09:58 PM
I could not agree with you more. I have seen many posts by Scott,and I appreciate the time he gives to this forum,but I'm talking about a person's ability to think out of the box. There are a lot of people on this forum that have helped me,and I can learn from. Chopstick did a classic reply to my post"The New Guy" if you have time go back and read it.

Fran Crimi
12-10-2005, 10:20 PM
Good for you. It's called w-o-r-k, a word that many people are allergic to.

Keep in mind though, that all information isn't necessarily good information. As you posted, you have to 'experiment' to figure out what's good and what's not. That's another word people are allergic to: Experimentation.

Sheesh...so many pool allergies going around these days.

As Drop1 posted: You gotta think out of the box...

Use your imagination...get the heck out of that comfy cozy place in your head that you're at....try what feels wrong.

Fran

Billy_Bob
12-10-2005, 11:42 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> Good for you. It's called w-o-r-k, a word that many people are allergic to.

Keep in mind though, that all information isn't necessarily good information. As you posted, you have to 'experiment' to figure out what's good and what's not. That's another word people are allergic to: Experimentation.

Sheesh...so many pool allergies going around these days.
<hr /></blockquote>

Ahhhh... Chooo! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Yes, I have always been one to work hard at things. With other things in my life, other people see me do something and it looks easy. And they think they can try the same thing, but they can't get to base 1. Well they don't realize how much work I put in getting to the point where something I do looks so easy. It wasn't easy getting there!

So far as wrong pool information/advice, I am well acquainted with this. Took me awhile, but I have found some very good sources of accurate information and this forum (thank you again!) is one of them. Some of the local players in my area are the biggest source of misinformation known to mankind! And I notice they dish out their "advice" when someone starts playing well enough to beat them. If the person follows this advice, their game will be wrecked with a quickness.

And experimenting is one thing I have always liked to do. I've always been curious about things, so kind of naturally will go to all ends to see what happens when I do this or that. But that can get to be expensive with this sport (so far as experimenting with equipment goes).

pooltchr
12-11-2005, 06:57 AM
Fran,
You are correct that without the effort to apply the things you learn, the knowledge is pretty useless. I'm sure you would agree that the ones who combine learning with practice are going to be the most successful. BB has been working a long time to improve his game. My point is that had he spent a few days with you or any other qualified instructor to get that road map to success, his development would most likely have come along at a much faster rate.
He seems to feel that reading everything he can and practicing what he reads is best. I just think that ruling out having a professional instructor may have held him back.
If I'm lost in the woods, I can probably find my way out through trial and error, but I will get out quicker if I have a guide. I'm not saying he can't get there on his own...but it sure is easier with someone who can keep you on course.
Steve

Snapshot9
12-11-2005, 07:17 AM
I disagree that Knowledge leads to imagination, just the opposite is true, imagination leads to knowledge. Imagination feeds curiousity which in turn leads to questions which lead to seeking solutions which provide knowledge. Look at any young player that is really good in a short time, and you will find a great imagination.
I was turned onto 'The Art of War' by Sun Tzu, considered
the world's foremost strategist that ever lived, when I was
pursuing a graduate degree via the internet. It will do more for your mental game, and the proper attitude to have
about Pool than anything I have run across in 44 years of
playing. I only wished I could have read it when I was in
my early 20's.
A mental exercise I always put myself through when studying a particular player is to find out how he thinks when he plays Pool, keeping in mind that if you know how a player
thinks, that you can defeat him because you will be in a better position to evaluate his strengths and weaknesses.

Fran Crimi
12-11-2005, 07:51 AM
Sounds like you're on the right track. It reminds me of a story: Back when Jack Nicklaus was winning event after event, Lee Trevino approached him and said, "Jack, I'm gonna beat you one of these days." Jack replied, "Lee, you'll have to work harder than I do to do it."

Fran

pooltchr
12-11-2005, 08:36 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Snapshot9:</font><hr> I disagree that Knowledge leads to imagination, <hr /></blockquote>

I don't recall ever saying that.
Steve

Fran Crimi
12-11-2005, 01:23 PM
Here we have a person who is happy that he's making progress with his game, and he's doing it all on his own. Shouldn't we be applauding him rather than telling him, too bad...it could've been faster if you had one of us helping you?

Isn't that a little presumptuous? Nowadays we teachers fill people's heads with all this must do and don't do stuff that it gets kind of crazy, even to the point of stupid sometimes, to be perfectly honest. We can't save the student from every bad thing in the game. Some things they just have to learn for themselves.

Lately I've been thinking that there's something to be said about the old way people used to teach pool. I learned under that methodology which was strictly by watching the teacher. It was frustrating as hell, but boy, did I learn.

I remember my first teacher, Ray Martin, would demonstrate a shot and tell me to learn it because it was an important shot. I'd say, yeah, but HOW do I do it? He'd say to me, "That's the part you have to figure out yourself." I felt like he was cheating me out of a lesson because all he would show me was the end result. I'd head to the practice table, usually angry, and try to do the shot. By the time I figured it out, I had discovered, strictly by trial and error, 4 different ways to shoot the shot PLUS, I had learned somethng else that didn't work for that particular shot but would help me in some other shot.

So, I applaud anyone who is willing to put in the work to figure out things for themselves. Oh yes...It will definitely take longer, but they'll know a whole lot more in the end.

Fran

pooltchr
12-11-2005, 02:34 PM
Fran,
Please don't get me wrong. The guy has been working very hard based on some of his previous posts. My point isn't to belittle that fact...but to point out how much farther along he might be, had he combined all that hard work with the guidance of someone to help him spend more time on trial and less time on error.
You and I came up in the same generation. I learned the same way you did until I was in my 40's. Then I spent 3 days with a great instructor and learned much more in those 3 days than I could have imagined. I learned things that I didn't even know that I didn't know. That's the additional benefit that an instructor brings.

How many students would you have if you used a similar teaching method of saying "learn to do this, and when you can do it, come back and I will teach you something else."?
You and I both know that's the hard road to learning.
Steve

Qtec
12-11-2005, 06:39 PM
I think you and Fran are both right. It sounds to me that BB's progress is more due to table time-ie trial and error- than due to his knowledge of the game.
One of the problems of a board like this is that there is too much info! Players who cant run 3 balls are reading posts on SIT, CIT, IE,OE, etc when really they should be on the table just learning how to shoot the Qb in a straight line! Just reading the 'jacked-up, draw, OE shot' from BB says it all to me.
I wonder, did he calculate the CIT, swerve etc? Did he just feel the shot?


The ideal situation would be a student taking one or two lessons a week and practicing inbetween.
Ideally, information would be given on a need to know basis, depending on the player and his or her progress.
A friend of mine is a top 16 player by the World Pro Snooker and I bet you a $, he couldnt tell you how many degrees a 1/2 ball shot is! I,ve never met a pro who uses an aiming system!
Just reading books and watching video tapes is not going to make you a better player. There is also no substitute for personal instruction and practice- trial and error.


Qtec........

PastPrime
12-11-2005, 10:19 PM
A young pro-golfer called Ben Hogan at home one night and asked him how to correct a "Fade" he was having trouble with. Ben Hogan said "Go out to the Driving Range and hit 250 Drivers and call me back" and hung up. That was his solution to learning and teaching the correct way to hit the ball straight.

pooltchr
12-12-2005, 07:10 AM
Q...Thank you. That was what I was trying to say. By using ALL the available resources, you will see faster improvement. The most successful student I ever had used to spend about an hour a week with me, and about 10 hours a week on the practice table. We took it step by step, and I never let him get ahead of himself. When we started, he couldn't run 3 balls, now he strings racks together.

I also agree that we are reaching a point where many players are suffering from information overload. If you haven't mastered the fundamentals, what good is knowing how to shoot a jump shot with draw?

Good post!
Steve

Billy_Bob
12-12-2005, 10:48 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> ...I wonder, did he calculate the CIT, swerve etc? Did he just feel the shot?... <hr /></blockquote>

Actually I go through a process of learning shots...

At first I need to "think" about what all will happen. I hold up my fingers, hold cue across tangent line and so forth. Figure out what direction(s) CB will go after shot, etc.

Then after I have shot the same sort of shot many times, I can then just "picture" it in my mind. I just kind of know what to do, picture where I want the CB to go and just kind of know what to do. So at this point in learning, I'm playing and not doing much of any thinking. (Sort of "autopilot"?) Same with how fast I shoot a shot. I just do it to the correct speed - from experience.

Billy_Bob
12-12-2005, 11:08 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> ...I remember my first teacher, Ray Martin, would demonstrate a shot and tell me to learn it because it was an important shot. I'd say, yeah, but HOW do I do it? He'd say to me, "That's the part you have to figure out yourself." I felt like he was cheating me out of a lesson because all he would show me was the end result. I'd head to the practice table, usually angry, and try to do the shot. By the time I figured it out, I had discovered, strictly by trial and error, 4 different ways to shoot the shot PLUS, I had learned somethng else that didn't work for that particular shot but would help me in some other shot... <hr /></blockquote>

Very good point! I have done a lot of trial with a whole lot of error!

I think the "error" parts are *the* most important things I have learned. I have learned what not to do in certain situations.

An example; Had I followed the advice of an instructor I know, I would not ever attempt to shoot a combo shot. Well I did it the hard way. I practiced all sorts of combo shots until I had blisters. Well now I know which combo shots are very low percentage (don't even try), which combo shots can be made, but require extreme accuracy and a certain speed (take time to study and aim for these shots before shooting), and others which I would have a hard time missing (so just whack it).

I see other players attempting the "never make shots" and I know they will not make the shot and they don't.