PDA

View Full Version : "ghost ball" in books



shakeybake
12-13-2005, 05:42 AM
I believe too much emphasis is placed on the "ghost ball" method in almost every book that is written. I have taught hundreds of people play pool and was using the ghost ball technique long before it was called "ghost ball". Playing this game is by feel and instinct. I just bought Dr. Daves book and DVD and was schooled again in the "ghost ball" method.

More time should be spent writing about methods and drills that will advance a players game. Extensive diagrams and mathematical formulas and explanations are basically no help. You don't have to know why a TV works in order to enjoy.

randyg
12-13-2005, 06:47 AM
Well I guess the simple question is: What?How do you teach them to aim????

No doubt the "Ghost Ball Principle" is a very effective teaching tool for visual learners, but this is only one of several Aiming Methods.

I think you are mistaken if you think that players don't learn from Dr. Dave. Dr. Dave has his own group of people that understand him very well.

Keep up the good work of instructing other players, it sometimes becomes a passion. Are you a Certified Instructor????SPF-randyg

Deeman3
12-13-2005, 07:25 AM
Is there something in the word ghost ball that bothers you or do you feel it is not an accurate way to describe the aim? I feel anything that conveys a starting point for a person to reference is about as good as any other. After all, everyone has to learn by rote memorization and success and failure.

Does the reference to something you deam paranormal bother you? Has Dr. Dave's description not been accurate? What's your favorite fish?

I think many people search for some way to improve their aim. However, IMO, after you have played this game a while, you can either aim or you just can't. Now, improveing your repeatability is another thing that practice will enhance. I wouldeven go so far as to say, if you need a system to aim, you are probably not confortable with aiming. How many good players really have to aim, other than the feel they get when down on the shot?

Deeman

shakeybake
12-13-2005, 08:33 AM
At some point, we have to get away from the idea that we are trying to teach someone that doesn't know how to aim. I have played pool for over 40 years and have played in exhibitions against Irving Crane and "Babe" Cranfield. I am not a certified BCA instructor. Why is that necessary? One of this Forum's favorites, Steve Lipsky, can attest to my ability. Ask him about the guy from Trumansburg, NY.

supergreenman
12-13-2005, 08:42 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote shakeybake:</font><hr> At some point, we have to get away from the idea that we are trying to teach someone that doesn't know how to aim. I have played pool for over 40 years and have played in exhibitions against Irving Crane and "Babe" Cranfield. I am not a certified BCA instructor. Why is that necessary? One of this Forum's favorites, Steve Lipsky, can attest to my ability. Ask him about the guy from Trumansburg, NY. <hr /></blockquote>

I wouldn't take golf lessons from someone who isn't a certified pro, why would I take billiards lessons from someone who isn't certified. Just because you can play pool proficiently doesn't necessarily make you a good pool teacher.(I'm not saying that you're not).
Being certified not only insures that you actually know what you're talking about, it might increase your business because you have more credibility.

Just my $.02

randyg
12-13-2005, 08:56 AM
This is not about your ability to play, this is about your student's learning proccess......randyg

Scott Lee
12-13-2005, 09:36 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote shakeybake:</font><hr> I am not a certified BCA instructor. Why is that necessary? One of this Forum's favorites, Steve Lipsky, can attest to my ability. <hr /></blockquote>

shakeybake...You sound a little defensive. Nobody is saying you're not a good teacher. Being a certified instructor is NOT necessary. It is an advantage, because all certified instructors understand, and are proficient at, communicating and demonstrating the basic elements that make up a quality stroke. Without that, no 'aiming system' or 'feel' will have the consistency necessary for advancement and permanent improvement. Although Steve may vouch for your skill, he also understands the value of what I'm talking about... The necessity and value of being able to deliver the cue in an accurate and repeatable motion cannot be stressed enough, imo, but is often overlooked or 'glossed over' quickly by many teachers. There are two parts to learning how to play pool...behind the CB, and in front of the CB. Certified instructors are taught that you must learn "behind the CB" before jumping to "in front of the CB"!

Scott Lee

randyg
12-13-2005, 10:42 AM
Tap.tap.tap.......randyg (thinks behind, plays in front)

Bob_Jewett
12-13-2005, 11:05 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote shakeybake:</font><hr>More time should be spent writing about methods and drills that will advance a players game.<hr /></blockquote>
I agree that this is important, but there are lots of drills and methods being written about. I write about drills and methods frequently. There are five or six books currently in print that are mostly drills.

[ QUOTE ]
Extensive diagrams and mathematical formulas and explanations are basically no help. You don't have to know why a TV works in order to enjoy. <hr /></blockquote>
This I disagree with, partly. Some players are incapable of understanding even the simpler formulas, and they can get no help from them. Other players do understand the useful relationships, for example the 3 to 1 angle ratio for nearly full follow shots, or the 1/4 drop ratio for what a carom player would call a cross-table shot. As for not needing to know how a TV works to enjoy it, that's true until the TV stops working. Then someone needs to know something about TVs. In terms of pool, if a shot stops working for you, it might help you to fix it if you know how/why the shot works.

But beyond that, there are lots of facets of pool and billiards. The science part is only one facet. Some people love that facet. Others like fancy cues. Others like the history of the game. Others like the social interactions at leagues. Others like trimming the suckers. There's lots to like.

wolfdancer
12-13-2005, 11:07 AM
Deeman, I think you guys may have missed his point
He's simply stating that he can play, he has taught many people, and just thinks there is too much dependancy on the ghost ball system......
And while he may not be a certified instructor.....does that mean he can't teach?
Was Linc St.Clair, PGA certified?
And for the record...I like both Carp, and Sucker fish. Especially the great white sucker....in fact that's my pool hall sobriquet
http://www.seagrant.wisc.edu/greatlakesfish/Graphics/Shedd_WhiteSucker.gif

Deeman3
12-13-2005, 11:54 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Deeman, I think you guys may have missed his point
He's simply stating that he can play, he has taught many people, and just thinks there is too much dependancy on the ghost ball system...... <font color="blue"> You may be right. However, I don't know if depandency is the right words here. If you are dependent on the ghost ball system, you probably just have not learned to aim properly from the standpoint of feedback/feel/vision. </font color>
And while he may not be a certified instructor.....does that mean he can't teach? <font color="blue"> Does this mean he can? I agree he may be great as a player and as a teacher but who knows? I just don't see the worry of too many people indoctrinated into ghost ball aiming. Not like it's a cult or anything, just an example until people understand the mechanics.</font color>
Was Linc St.Clair, PGA certified?
And for the record...I like both Carp, and Sucker fish. Especially the great white sucker....in fact that's my pool hall sobriquet <font color="blue"> LOL, I'll side with you on the fish as long as it's Catfish....deep southern fried... </font color>
http://www.seagrant.wisc.edu/greatlakesfish/Graphics/Shedd_WhiteSucker.gif <hr /></blockquote>

Cornerman
12-13-2005, 12:09 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote shakeybake:</font><hr> I believe too much emphasis is placed on the "ghost ball" method in almost every book that is written. <hr /></blockquote> Me too.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote shakeybake:</font><hr> I have taught hundreds of people play pool and was using the ghost ball technique long before it was called "ghost ball". <hr /></blockquote> Did teaching the ghost ball work? I assume it did. That sort of is contradictory to your "complaint."

[ QUOTE ]
Playing this game is by feel and instinct. <hr /></blockquote> .... with a sprinkling of knowledge.

[ QUOTE ]
I just bought Dr. Daves book and DVD and was schooled again in the "ghost ball" method. <hr /></blockquote> What were you expecting? In any instructional, there's going to be a certain degree of repetition. Nobody should teach in a vacuum. Teaching what has been taught is both a method of driving home a point as well as acknowledging those that came before.



[ QUOTE ]
More time should be spent writing about methods and drills that will advance a players game. <hr /></blockquote>Good idea. But, beginners stuff should be available for beginners right? It's the more "advanced" stuff without going back to overly yacked out "basic stuff" that you're looking to see in print. Right?

Fred

heater451
12-13-2005, 08:40 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote shakeybake:</font><hr> I believe too much emphasis is placed on the "ghost ball" method in almost every book that is written. I have taught hundreds of people play pool and was using the ghost ball technique long before it was called "ghost ball". Playing this game is by feel and instinct. I just bought Dr. Daves book and DVD and was schooled again in the "ghost ball" method.

More time should be spent writing about methods and drills that will advance a players game. Extensive diagrams and mathematical formulas and explanations are basically no help. You don't have to know why a TV works in order to enjoy.
<hr /></blockquote>You've got several things tied up into one issue with the "ghost ball" technique: 1) Consider the ease that the method can be related to a complete beginner, compared to the fractional methods, or any method that requires converting 2-dimensional aspects to a 3-d system, 2) Consider that many, non-fractional, methods of aiming can be "distilled" to the ghost ball method--or at least verified with it, 3) Consider the percentage that the teaching of ghost ball aiming takes up in the individual book, and realize that not everyone will be exposed to several books, so they may only learn the technique from one place.

Also, think about how simple it is to learn the ghost ball technique, and then decide if pocketing accuracy would be increased more by learning a "better" way to aim, or learning/practicing delivering the cue perfectly every time. Now, think about having a perfect stroke, but not understanding the simple concept of aiming. To use your words, teaching the ghost ball method "will advance a player's game", if the player doesn't know how to aim.

Furthermore, mathematical formulas and explanations do work for certain learners, and/or may allow them a deeper level of learning, if they understand the vocabulary of what's given to them. (I think of this as another "R" in learning: (R)ote, (R)epetition, and "(R)evelation"---it's the phase of learning where what is learned is actually understood.) Sometimes, learning another way to look at the same thing also rekindles a players interest, and adds to their desire to focus and play.

To address the bit about "feel and instinct". On one hand, I would agree, however, I would also present the argument that one has to learn the basics, and put them into practice, prior to achieving the proper "feel".


========================

BCgirl
12-15-2005, 09:43 AM
I'm not sure that there's any problem with any method that helps people who are struggling with any aspect of the game visualise and make that shot. In fact, time and again, with beginner players who are frustrated by shotmaking, I've found it useful to set up some shot, freeze two balls and demonstrate that the ball will go, so let's (a) work on cueing accuracy to get the CB there and (b) developing confidence in aim so we know where the CB needs to be.

At a far more advanced level, although I haven't read the book you mention, I have read the Science of Pocket Billiards, and found it extremely useful to compare the statistical data on margins of error with my own shot success rates to understand that, on some shot or other, although I wouldn't say I struggled with a shot, my choice of english perhaps was theoretically counter-productive, indicating that there was something I needed to refine or some flaw that was worth identifying.

At the same time, for those those of us who like to understand and appreciate the beauty of controlling movement using simple force and rotation, understanding the complexity of all the little things that humans unconsciously account for simply adds to the appreciation of a mastery of the game.


BCgirl