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iacas
12-15-2005, 09:30 PM
I posted a week or so ago asking what books or DVDs I should buy for $50. The few responses were either of the "I'll sell you mine" or "get an hour of instruction" variety.

I've become a fairly skilled golfer, yet have never taken a lesson. I recommend lessons to just about everyone, but I've gotten where I am in golf largely by "digging the answers out of the dirt," to paraphrase Ben Hogan. I'm a bit "old school," and it's not that I don't take advice from people - I do - but I prefer a little more of an "independent study" route than a "here's $50 - teach me something now" route. I feel I retain things I discover for myself better and I feel that the trial and error of messing up many times before I finally get something right is invaluable.

In short, the journey is far more fun and meaningful to me than the destination, because in golf, I've never had a destination in mind. I set goals and I work to achieve them, but you can never "beat" the game of golf, you can never "master" the game of golf (though you can win "The Masters"), and on any given day, someone can beat you.

Much of the same seems to be true of pool - you'll never run out every table, you'll never win every match, and whether by luck or an "off day," even someone you beat 99 times out of 100 will win that 100th game.

That being said, I don't really believe instruction is something that's right for me. In golf, I've asked players who I feel have a grasp of the golf swing (even if they aren't better than me, as even many golf instructors aren't necessarily better golfers) to take a look at something.

In other areas - in learning a new programming language, for example - I have sought intensive instruction. The goal there was more of a destination, however: to arrive at some point so that I could strike out on my own and "do" something. Golf, pool, they're again about the journey, I think. Eventually I'd like to become the best player I can be, and over the next 20 years no doubt I'll set goals, practice, and work at my shooting. But I'm not going to take my eye off the prize, and that prize is "have fun - it's a game!"

So, given the above, I'm asking that you look at yourself and answer a question: if you've had professional teaching, what did you think? How did it help you? Do you think that I'm "missing some key concept" or something and that I should take some lessons?

I assure you all - especially the instructors here - that I'm not looking to undermine you. Again, for 95% of the people I know, I recommend lessons above and beyond anything else as a solution to their slice or their putting problems, etc. I just don't feel that they're the "best" thing for me, and part of me is curious how many others feel this way and how many feel exactly the opposite way.

Cane
12-16-2005, 01:10 AM
I'm an instructor, but I'm going to answer this as a student, not an instructor.

About 2 years ago, I had hit a wall in my game. I was respectable... well, to be honest, I was feared in this area, but I knew I wasn't as good as I could be. So, I went to Pool School. Now, I'd done my share of "digging it out of the dirt". I have at least 30 different tapes and DVD's downstairs. I got a lot of good information from them. I got a lot more BAD information from them. So, what did pool school do for me.

Well, at first, it blew my game completely out of the water. It took me awhile to get things that I'd learned incorporated into my game. Now, I can go somewhere besides our local pool rooms and compete. I can travel wherever I want, and I know the things that the great pool players know. Now, I've been around for a half a century, so maybe I'll never be able to compete with the young guns out there, but 2 years ago, I was just another fish in the sea to them... today, the second time I go to their town, they remember me. My game is much more precise, much more professional and much more deadly. I still play just for the fun of it, and when I do, I don't get too serious, but when it's time to get serious, now I have the knowledge and the game to get there.

The main difference in my game is that before I had hit a wall... now I hit plateaus and stay there for awhile, then I have another jump in my game. Before, if I was in a slump, I didn't know why, I couldn't figure it out... now, RandyG gave me the diagnostic tools to figure out for myself what I'm doing wrong. Slumps don't last weeks anymore. Usually, they only last a game or two, or at most a day.

Instruction brought me to an entire new level in my game. In those two short years, I've gone from being the small town shortstop to going out and competing with strong players in any venue, whether it be gambling or tournaments. It also brought me to a point where I have the tools and the knowledge to continue to improve my game. I'll continue to do what I've been doing since my first trip to Pool School two years ago and I'll continue to get better and better. In another six months, I'll be steamrolling players that I couldn't beat a year ago, in two years, those players won't even think about matching up with me. By the time I'm 55, I'll be one scary fat old b@$tard when I drag that cue out of the case, no matter where I am, or who I'm playing.

Pool School did one other very important thing for me. It inspired me to want to give others that same oppurtunity. I've been to Randy's Pool School a number of times. One of those times was to become a Certified Instructor. My goal with this was to be able to give others, especially young players, something that I never had the advantage of when I was young... proper instruction and proper pool knowledge minus the myths and BS.

One important thing that I realized about getting professional instruction. If I wanted to be happy with where I was (which was pretty damn good in my area) and not improving except by putting thousands of miles on my shoes walking around tables, then I didn't need instruction, and over time, I could have picked up everything I now know that I learned in pool school from just watching and listening (and paying a fortune for another 30 or more tapes and DVD's). I probably would have been in my mid 60's by the time I learned what I know now, but I WOULD have learned it all. Pool School shortened the learning curve and gave me an oppurtunity to improve my game immediately and significantly.

I'm not saying Pool School is the nuts for everyone. Some people are happy just to play recreational pool with their buddies or just pick up a cue once a month and have a good time on their home table with family or friends, but if a player EVER thinks they want to become REALLY good at this game, then why not take an oppurtunity to shorten the learning curve by years and get the advice and knowledge from a professional instructor. I have asprirations that are probably beyond what my old body will give me, but I figure, if I shoot for the starts, then maybe I'll get over the treetops! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I'll never quit my career as a student. Right now, I have plans to, as finance allow, spend time with Bob Jewett, Fran Crimi, Jerry B., Mark Wilson, Scott Lee, More time with Randy G, Jerry Powers, Carl Oswald. I don't every want to stop learning about pool and I never want to stop improving my game. Like I said, at my age, I may never win a major, but when I leave, they'll know I've been there, whether it's as a competitor or as in instructor.

In summary, in two years, I've gone from the point where in a race to 11, I was tickled to death if I ran one rack... now I'm disappointed if I don't run AT LEAST 3 or 4 racks. Scoring wise, I generally shoot in the .800 or better range. My best scored tournament match was a couple of months or maybe a little more back where I shot in the high .900's. Can't do that every time... YET... but it's coming, and it's coming a LOT faster than it would have just "digging it out of the dirt" because I set a goal of being the best I could possibly be at this game and sought out the necessary training to achieve that goal.

Later,
Bob <<<---ALWAYS a student of the game!!!

randyg
12-16-2005, 05:03 AM
You don't know, what you don't know.....OZ

Brian in VA
12-16-2005, 06:04 AM
iacas,
Your post caught my eye because, as a golfer, I had dug it out of the dirt for a long time and managed to get to a 3 handicap before life got in the way. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif (I used to hit 1000 balls a day; one summer I wore out the face of a wedge. But damn I was deadly inside of 100 yards!)

My pool game has been the same. I had purchased a few books, most of which helped me to think better at the table but did little for my mechanics. While my mental game got better, my skills were suspect.

I took a lesson and learned more in two hours than I had in 40 years of playing. Learned so much in fact that I'm still applying it, mainly because I don't have as much time to devote to my game as I'd like. I'm still digging it out of the dirt but I feel like someone gave me a much more efficient shovel. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

I don't think either method is wrong. I believe that things you learn yourself are more likely to stay with you. I also believe that having another knowledgeable person assist in the search really provides quicker results. There is no down side as long as you keep learning.

Just my 2 cents.
Brian in VA

DickLeonard
12-16-2005, 07:24 AM
Iacas I just read your post, I didn't read any other replies I will give you my take on getting good at any sport [golf,tennis,bowling,pingpong,badmitton and of course the hardest sport to master pocket billiards. I am not a scientist but there must be a part of our brain that allows us to imitate others who have mastered a sport or disipline, Ballet Dancers etc. Some of us are totally gifted with this ability while others can languish forever trying to Master a Sport.

I never went beyond high school but I have a Dr. degree in pool, had I gone to school instead of playing pool I would have two or three Dr.degrees. I will explain my thinking why pool is harder to learn than the other sports. In all other sports you play 18 holes of Golf,10 frames of Bowling,Tennis and other racket sports etc, the ball is hit at you. In Pool you play when your opponent misses sometimes you can wait for days to get a shot. Of course now with nineball,eight ball, chances are you will
get to shoot more often. The best way to get good is to play a great player and copy his playing style and his ball pattern of playing. Most people will quit playing him/her because they are not shooting just racking balls.

I played with Joe Canton 1951 Natioonal Champion for two solid years. The first 8 months or so he would run 140 miss I would run 10 miss, he would run 120 miss, I would run 10. I was just racking balls then I started to mentally copy his stroke while he was shooting, within three months of copying his stroke I started running 100s. A Note [Joe Canton was the finest position player/selector of shots to ever live] I had discovered the secret of pool when watching a great player don't be a passive observer but an active participant in his playing. ####

Fran Crimi
12-16-2005, 08:17 AM
Your post shows a lot of insight.

I think you're right. It all comes down to how you view the process. People who view the process as something to overcome will be more likely to get to an instructor quicker. (There are exceptions but I've found this to be generally true.) In many cases, any instructor who flashes a certificate in front of them will do. On the other hand, even if you do enjoy the process, it doesn't hurt to have someone take a look at your game and give you their opinion every now and then.

As a player, the big question for me has always been, who should I trust my game with? After all the work I did on my own, I don't want someone pushing their own agenda and methodology on me without even trying to understand what I've been working on or where I'm coming from. The last thing I'd want to have to deal with is someone who has put in half the time I have, acting like a know-it-all when clearly they're not.

If you could find the right person to take a look at your game, their help could be invaluable. But as someone who delves into the process as yourself, you'll have to be more discriminating in who you choose. The wrong teacher could turn you off to instruction forever.

Unfortunately for those who haven't delved into the process on their own with any depth, they won't always be able to tell the difference between someone who's qualified and someone who isn't. How can they? I'm talking about someone who's REALLY qualified. Not someone who goes throught their "routine" with you.

So, it would seem to me that someone like yourself would be a better candidate for getting help because you would be able to tell the genuine article from the blowhard.

For me, there were sometimes years between getting help. I don't let just anyone "take a look at my game."


Fran

wolfdancer
12-16-2005, 08:56 AM
Bob, good post !!
I remember Robert Byrne signing my book "to a fellow student of the game"
and I believe it was he who said something like " we are all students of the game; some are more advanced in their studies"
Going to big tournaments, just to watch the pros, or local hotshots, was my pool school....and now I find it can be a learning experience, just watching the guy I'm playing against.

supergreenman
12-16-2005, 10:10 AM
Sigh.....

I find it ironic that when I went to college I studied pool instead of business admin. Now, almost 20 years later, I want to go to pool school.

I wonder if I can get a scholarship from the Government and spend it on pool school. LOL or a student loan. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

Keith Talent
12-16-2005, 10:18 AM
Seems like you're clear about wanting to get more info and get better. I tend to be more of the self-taught type myself, too. I don't take guided tours, I don't get the tapes and headphones at the museum and I never ask for directions.

There's a definite satisfaction in working things out for yourself. That said, I think there's a lot to be learned from those who know more than me. But I can't stand to get fed some line or some fad, either, or just be a passive blank slate. Some folks are always taking lessons and that works for them, I guess, though I know the type and they never seem to have any originality or naturalness despite all the study, or maybe because of it. Perhaps they just don't ever have the confidence to go with what feels right for them.

We've all got to make our way best we can ... for me, the couple of lessons I've taken over the past year have gone a long way, and I'm still incorporating various things I picked up. In tennis it was the same ... learned a few things to get more or less proper form, then I took it from there mostly on my own.

I do think it's valuable to get your technique checked out and maybe tweaked some by somebody you have reason to trust, though. Otherwise, you run the risk of falling into the self-taught trap, which is that these folks develop all kinds of eccentricities that tend to keep them down in the second-rate category. Unless you're a total genius, that is! But I'm not putting my whole bankroll there ... on myself, at least.

scaramouche
12-16-2005, 10:45 AM
Even Tiger has his coach....

iacas
12-16-2005, 10:59 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote scaramouche:</font><hr> Even Tiger has his coach.... <hr /></blockquote>
Tiger's goals, as I stated, are clearly quite different than mine. Golf is his job.

wolfdancer
12-16-2005, 11:11 AM
Keith, my post may not have been all too clear. When I began playing in the late 80's there were few books, no tapes?, and no qualified instructors around. So my "schooling" was the tournaments in Reno, and Sacramento. And then it was the Accu-stat tapes...the first ones had one stationary camera, and no dialogue, no audio....
I learned some pattern play, but without personal instruction....never had much of a stroke, and a bad setup to go with that. However on the bar box , you can get away with some errors, esp when the other guys are near your speed.When I began playing on the 9 ft'rs....against good players.....it was a humbling experience
If I was beginning right now....I'd find an instructor, or school...with a good reputation.

Scott Lee
12-16-2005, 11:26 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote iacas:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote scaramouche:</font><hr> Even Tiger has his coach.... <hr /></blockquote>
Tiger's goals, as I stated, are clearly quite different than mine. Golf is his job. <hr /></blockquote>

iacas...And teaching pool to folks like you (and others totally unlike you) is ours! The easiest way to explain it, although Cane's post was a superior explaination, is "different strokes for different folks"! You've heard two testamonials from a couple of my students, who saw, and took advantage of the lesson opportunity. You don't choose to, and there's nothing wrong with that either.

My story is a little different. I never played a game of pool EVER, until I went to college. Soon after I got there, I started messing around, because my roommate liked to play, and he had a friend who thought he was good! LOL
That first quarter, Jack White came to my school and put on an exhibition, that knocked my socks off! I thought, WOW, if that's pool, I HAVE to learn how to play like that! LMAO
Jack showed me a couple of things, and recommended Mosconi's little red book (which was about it in those days, for books), and off I went, struggling, as I tried to learn a stroke, aiming, etc, by trial and error. The next summer, I returned to Chicago, and went to the BCA HQ, and asked if they knew anyone who gave professional lessons, in the area. They steered me to an older gentleman, named Frank Oliva, who took me on as a student (to my delight), and I took lessons twice a week, in his basement. On the days I'd take lessons, I also played in handicapped tournaments at Marie's Golden Cue, with all the top players, including Dallas West. I did the same thing the following summer. What I learned from Frank, and what I picked up, playing (in tournaments and gambling) hooked me forever on this game. After college, I made the majority of my living, gambling pool, all over the country, for a long time.

After a few years, I started teaching (creating a program at my alma mater), and when the idea of the BCA Certified Instructor organization came up, I joined in immediately. I LOVE to play pool...but I love TEACHING even more...and I continue to learn new and better ways to teach, every year. Better instructors get continuing education in ANY field!...and it happens to be a requirement of the BCA instructor program.

There's nothing wrong with trying to learn, by 'thinking out of the box', as you describe. However, for the majority of people wanting to play better...personal instruction, by (as Fran described it) a QUALIFIED professional teacher, is a direct route to success, imo!

Scott Lee

Scott Lee
12-16-2005, 11:33 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> If I was beginning right now....I'd find an instructor, or school...with a good reputation. <hr /></blockquote>

Jack...You DID! Which is partly why you play as well as you do NOW! LOL I know you're a little dissatisfied with your current skill, but you certainly play better than you did before I met you! BTW...have you watched that tape in the past 3 years? LOL...I know it was VERY loud in the poolroom that day, and you might not be able to hear the audio too well, but you can still WATCH, and pick up a lot.
Maybe you could take the tape to someone who could separate out the background noise?

Scott

wolfdancer
12-16-2005, 11:54 AM
Scott, that one lesson from you did help....and my game has improved from that time.I might be able to give that "guy" the 5 ball. It's not an automatic loss now,when I
match up against some of the good players here....While no one should expect to take one lesson, then have your game move up several notches....I began working on some errors that you had pointed out.....improved my setup, and stroke, etc.....It was money well spent....
And I don't think I could bear to watch that tape...although I've been tempted lately . Not sure I wouldn't get motion sickness.
As I remember , I couldn't make a ball....and now I'm disappointed if I miss one...course I get disappointed several times a tournament....but I also run out a lot more then I ever did.......

Keith Talent
12-16-2005, 12:40 PM
Hey Wolfdancer, didn't mean to address my reply to you ... was really speaking to the original poster, Iacas. But of course to myself, and to anybody else who might be interested! And I'm sure you could show me some stuff worth knowing ...

Drop1
12-16-2005, 12:41 PM
If you ain't playing to win,you ain't playing. Now not playing to win is a choice a person makes,maybe they are having fun with friends,and the beer is better than the pool. But play long enough,and some day you will be in a situation where you really want to when. It happened to me in Hong Kong. I had read the books,looked at the tapes,played in a local tounament back home. But I ran up against my own ignorance,and lost every game to a young Indian fellow. The upshot is sometimes someone has to show you what you don't know. Now if you don't care if you win or lose,ignore the instructors,and enjoy your game. It is possible to do. I'm just not wired that way.

iacas
12-16-2005, 12:55 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Drop1:</font><hr> If you ain't playing to win,you ain't playing. Now not playing to win is a choice a person makes,maybe they are having fun with friends,and the beer is better than the pool. But play long enough,and some day you will be in a situation where you really want to when. It happened to me in Hong Kong. I had read the books,looked at the tapes,played in a local tounament back home. But I ran up against my own ignorance,and lost every game to a young Indian fellow. The upshot is sometimes someone has to show you what you don't know. Now if you don't care if you win or lose,ignore the instructors,and enjoy your game. It is possible to do. I'm just not wired that way. <hr /></blockquote>

I hate to be so blunt (well, no, I don't really...) but that's all BS. It may be true for you, but taking lessons doesn't mean you're not "playing to win." I've done quite well for myself playing competitive golf, as I said in the first post, without taking lessons, and I think I've gotten more personal satisfaction out of it to boot.

I may take a pool lesson because getting "good" and then improving from there may be the best option, but I know right now that my decision to take or not to take a lesson or two has nothing to do with "playing to win" or drinking beer.

Drop1
12-16-2005, 01:34 PM
So don't take lessons,and avoid beer /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Billy_Bob
12-16-2005, 01:36 PM
People are different. And I am quite different from most people when it comes to learning things. I did very poorly in grade school. Then when I went to college, I took a class where the teacher taught very quickly. Most of the people in class complained he was going too fast. Well I got an A in that class and realized something. All my other classes were too slow for me! I was bored. I do best when getting lots of information fast. Daydream if teacher going slow.

Anyway I do better teaching myself. Again I am not like most people, so for others, they may do better going to an instructor.

And I have learned that some people learn better with some methods, but others learn better with other methods. Again, people are different.

In Japan, they first give the students the problem. Then let them try to figure out the answer on their own for 15 minutes. Then the teacher gives them the answer. And you can bet your bippy all the students are listening to the answer since they just spent 15 minutes racking their brains to find a solution! A very good method of teaching.

Qtec
12-16-2005, 01:41 PM
Whats 'fairly skilled'?

Lets say you have been playing for 15 years, 30? yrs old and a Handicap of lets say 5 and you are stuck. Do you really think a video will help you?

The problem with a lot of sub-toppers who have taught themselves to play is they havent developed methods. In certain situations of pressure and high stress, when you really want it to happen, it helps to have a series of steps to get you thru it. If a player wants to stay a player, the last thing he wants to do is analize his own technique. In all situations you must be able to play your shot with 100% conviction. Its an absolute neccessity. Thats what its all about...........few can do it when they really need to.
Do you think you can you do that?

Golf and pool are both games of choices. Can you make a decision and believe it 100% ? If you can will make a big step.

If you are as good as you imply, a good coach would probably have very little to say over your swing. Maybe your timing tho.............. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
Q

iacas
12-16-2005, 01:49 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>Whats 'fairly skilled'?<hr /></blockquote>
I guess you're talking to me. Fairly skilled is just that. But if you're looking at skill level as the main point of my post, you've in fact missed the point...

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>Lets say you have been playing for 15 years, 30? yrs old and a Handicap of lets say 5 and you are stuck. Do you really think a video will help you?<hr /></blockquote>
In golf where I am right now, no. But when I was just starting out, sure it would. But again, if you're responding to me, I think you've missed the point.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>The problem with a lot of sub-toppers who have taught themselves to play is they havent developed methods.<hr /></blockquote>
If you're talking about my golf game, then you're wrong. And since I imagine that I'd take the same approach to learning pool, you can bet your butt I would have a method. The pre-shot routine, right on through to the stroke itself, is all carefully constructed to maximize the chance of success. That's not a lesson I need to be taught. Without lessons from a pro, it may take awhile before I find my pre-shot routine and overall "method," but again, that's not the question I've attempted to bring up here.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>Thats what its all about...........few can do it when they really need to. Do you think you can you do that?<hr /></blockquote>
No, I don't think I can do it. I know I can do it. You don't win golf tournaments or beat the snot out of people in money games if you can't. You don't excel under pressure as I have without the things you've said.

You don't get those things from an instructor. They're something you get on your own, and something some people never get. The desire to win, the drive, the ability to focus and run your routine, your "method."

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>Golf and pool are both games of choices. Can you make a decision and believe it 100% ?<hr /></blockquote>
Uh, yeah.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>If you are as good as you imply, a coach would probably have very little to say over your swing.<hr /></blockquote>
That's not true. As some have pointed out, even Tiger Woods has a coach, and he's the best there is.

I appreciate the response, but, to put it another way, you don't "get me" very well, because you've really misunderstood or misinterpreted the point of my post.

Alfie
12-16-2005, 02:31 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cane:</font><hr> Before, if I was in a slump, I didn't know why, I couldn't figure it out... now, RandyG gave me the diagnostic tools to figure out for myself what I'm doing wrong. Slumps don't last weeks anymore. Usually, they only last a game or two, or at most a day.<hr /></blockquote> a couple examples?

Qtec
12-16-2005, 03:30 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote iacas:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>Whats 'fairly skilled'?<hr /></blockquote>
I guess you're talking to me. <font color="blue"> If you notice at the top of the post you can see in blue who you're relpying to. <font color="red"> .........you just learned something! Bet you didnt expect that! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif</font color></font color> Fairly skilled is just that. <font color="blue"> WTF is 'fairly skilled'? Is it a secret? You are starting to sound inbelievable!</font color> But if you're looking at skill level as the main point of my post, you've in fact missed the point... <font color="blue">Maybe I did, but a little more info from you might help. </font color>

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>Lets say you have been playing for 15 years, 30? yrs old and a Handicap of lets say 5 and you are stuck. Do you really think a video will help you?<hr /></blockquote>
In golf where I am right now, no. <font color="blue"> Where would that be then? </font color> But when I was just starting out, sure it would. But again, if you're responding to me, I think you've missed the point.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>The problem with a lot of sub-toppers who have taught themselves to play is they havent developed methods.<hr /></blockquote>
If you're talking about my golf game, then you're wrong. And since I imagine that I'd take the same approach to learning pool, you can bet your butt I would have a method. <font color="blue"> How would you know it was the right one for you? </font color> The pre-shot routine, right on through to the stroke itself, is all carefully constructed to maximize the chance of success. <font color="blue">??????? </font color> That's not a lesson I need to be taught. <font color="blue"> LOL </font color> Without lessons from a pro, it may take awhile before I find my pre-shot routine and overall "method," but again, that's not the question I've attempted to bring up here. <font color="blue"> Maybe by the time you find 'it' you may be past your best. ie, been wasting time.</font color>

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>Thats what its all about...........few can do it when they really need to. Do you think you can you do that?<hr /></blockquote>
No, I don't think I can do it. I know I can do it. You don't win golf tournaments or beat the snot out of people in money games if you can't. You don't excel under pressure as I have without the things you've said. <font color="blue"> If you can excel under pressure, you would already be know- if you have the talent that is.
Have I seen you at Augusta or the British open? Are you a pro? Are you a 25Handicap that plays 'fairly 'well? </font color>

You don't get those things from an instructor. They're something you get on your own, and something some people never get. The desire to win, the drive, the ability to focus and run your routine, your "method."

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>Golf and pool are both games of choices. Can you make a decision and believe it 100% ?<hr /></blockquote>
Uh, yeah. <font color="blue">Are you sure? Do you do it ALL the time? </font color>

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>If you are as good as you imply, a coach would probably have very little to say over your swing.<hr /></blockquote>
That's not true. As some have pointed out, even Tiger Woods has a coach, and he's the best there is. <font color="blue"> Why do you think Tiger has a coach? </font color>

I appreciate the response, but, to put it another way, you don't "get me" very well, because you've really misunderstood or misinterpreted the point of my post. <hr /></blockquote> <font color="blue"> Like I said, you want 'us' to be specific but your are at the same time being very vauge and evasive- even about your own standard of play.

You start off by saying you 'recommend' others to take lessons but YOU yourself dont think there is anything anyone else can teach you?
You dont see the contradiction in that?</font color>



Q....as usual....sceptical. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

iacas
12-16-2005, 03:48 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>Like I said, you want 'us' to be specific but your are at the same time being very vauge and evasive- even about your own standard of play.<hr /></blockquote>
I don't have a level right now in pool. I'm a beginner.

Again, if you think my post was about "standard of play" then you've missed the point. Other people seem to have gotten the gist of my post and responded appropriately.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>You start off by saying you 'recommend' others to take lessons but YOU yourself dont think there is anything anyone else can teach you?<hr /></blockquote>

I never said I couldn't learn something from other people. Not once. And for you to think that I did, or to assume that it was implied, really displays how little you've understood what I've said.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>You dont see the contradiction in that?<hr /></blockquote>
There isn't a contradiction unless you're the "one size fits all" type.

I think I'm an exception, rather than the rule, and the main gist of this post was to see if others felt the same way or if they were of the other, majority type. That's it.

I derive satisfaction from working through a problem on my own. I'm not looking to become a pro pool player, just the best I can be on my own. And I may not even take that route - I'm just saying it's the one I'm likely to take because it's worked for me in golf.

You can respond if you'd like, but given the nature of your responses, I'd be happy to discuss your thoughts via email or PM. They are a bit of a tangent for this thread.

And BTW, it's "skeptical."

Cane
12-16-2005, 04:01 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Alfie:</font><hr>
a couple examples? <hr /></blockquote>

Alfie, yeah, I can give you examples. Lets say I get to the table and I am missing everything a quarter ball to the left. The first thing I look at is "Where is my finish". Where you finish your stroke is VERY important to a consistent stroke. I'm lucky in that because of my build, my finish is in a particular physical place on my chest. So I fire a shot and check to see where my grip hand is on the finish. If my finish is OK, then I look to the initial alignment I do in my preshot routine. Am I doing something different, out of sync with what is my normal alignment. Am I crouching a little more because the lighting is too low, or am I leaving something out of my preshot or shooting routine? I have checklists for my standing, preshot, shooting and finish routines. If something is out of kilter, I go over those checklists and I can find it very quickly.

Now, sometimes it's just because I don't feel well (at my age that happens more than I'd like). Now, I can't do anything about not feeling my best, but when I have a flaw in my stroke, stance, grip, preshot routine, shooting routine, etc, then I have the diagnostic tools built into my game to immediately correct those flaws. When you can correct them immediately, then the slump is over. There are no more "weeks at a time" slumps... usually only minutes at a time. If I'm sore or tired or the blood sugar is down and I'm shaky, well, then I just have to struggle through a match until I feel better, but health aside, everything else in the game is easy to fix once you know how to spot what's wrong.

Bob

Scott Lee
12-16-2005, 08:39 PM
tap, tap, tap. Bob!

Scott

pooltchr
12-16-2005, 09:32 PM
Iacas,
A good instructor isn't going to take you on your journey to learn the game. A good instructor is going to give you a road map, help you pack your supplies, even check to make sure your vehicle is tuned up, and then send you on your way. You and you alone will make the trip through your own hard work, practice and dedication.
A good instructor will give you the things you need to be successful on this wonderful trip of learning this game, but they are not going to make the trip for you. That part is totally up to you.
I don't think it's a bad thing to want to do it yourself, but it sure is easier if you are well prepared before you begin. That is what a good instructor will do for you.
Steve

Qtec
12-17-2005, 04:50 AM
iacas, my apologies. I,ve re-read your original post and my reply was way off on a tangent of my own imagination. My bad.

Q

scaramouche
12-17-2005, 07:04 PM
I have three professional designations, all obtained by correspondence courses or by simply completing the reading list and writing the exams. So I tend to look for self learning assistance.

I started to play snooker with the guys at my first full time job. They headed for the poolroom every lunch hour. I bought an el cheapo table (much to my mother's delight) and got good enough to beat them, learning by trial and error, much error.

Then I moved on to other employment and only played occasionally, usually 8 ball. In the past year I've gone back to snooker, playing two or three days a week.

Picked up Capelle's Play Your Best Pool, a useful book. Bought four other books. My rule is that if you can find four books that do not use any of the others as authorities, and any three agree on a point, the advice is probably correct.

That said, I have found no book that is uniformly accurate or has consistent presentation of information.

I downloaded the University of Colorado clips and put them together in a DVD with titles and Eartha Kitt singing Mack the Knife for the sound track, running 66 minutes.

Downloaded lots of video from various websites, including the BBC. Not good quality.

I have only learned one shot from watching games on TV, a bank shot executed by Buddy Hall in the 2003 US 9 Ball Championships. It took about 30 minutes to figure out how he did it and to make it fairly reliable (requires a lot of spin). It has only come up once since then, but the pot was made.

Match downloads available for free on the web are not good quality

TV matches rarely show the cue shot. Concentrated coverage is provided of breaks, pocket shots, ring girl, rack girl, and rack girl's rack, and players seated contempating the rack girl's rack.

The Women's 9 ball championship had good shots of the competitors cueing.

Trick shot competitions show the spectacular shot, not how it is set up or hit.

My stroke, when on, is reasonalby good. But it goes on a walkabout, putting right hand spin on all shots. Bought a stroke trainer. Much improvement.

Found pool forums on the web. Trying to separate the wheat from the chaff. Much chaff.

Recently found out that there is a billiards school in my town - snooker, pool, carom. Contemplating enrolling, not withstanding my opening paragraph. But since I'm competitive with the opposition I now encounter, one wonders if it is worth the money.

Bob_Jewett
12-18-2005, 04:20 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote iacas:</font><hr> ... So, given the above, I'm asking that you look at yourself and answer a question: if you've had professional teaching, what did you think? How did it help you? Do you think that I'm "missing some key concept" or something and that I should take some lessons?
... <hr /></blockquote>
See http://www.sfbilliards.com/articles/2005-09.pdf for my experience with taking (and sometimes giving) lessons.

I think that at your present stage of development, you have plenty to work on alone -- you seem to have plenty of self-motivation. I urge you to watch good players, and when you see some useful, remarkable shot they do, see if you can do it yourself. If you can't figure out how they did it, you may want to ask for help.

The main problem I see with self-instruction is that it is likely you will develop flaws in your fundamentals and groove them through practice. They will be hard to get rid of later. If you do not want to go to an instructor to check this, at least video tape yourself shooting shots at the edge of your competence and see how you compare to the good players you have watched.

As for the suggestions you asked for on books and DVDs, several people made what I think were useful responses to your question over on AZB. Didn't you find any of those suggestions helpful?

wolfdancer
12-18-2005, 04:44 PM
Bob, nice article, and thanks for posting it. I find it interesting that a former NCAA billiards champ,pool author, and someone who has their own pool school, would take the time to "student"....but I think once we "know it all" and stop learning.....it's time to take up bocce, or quoits.
Any chance then that you'll share the secret grip? or does one have to be a 32cd degree Mason, or in the K.O.C.?
I got to see one tournament at the old Ca. Billiards...nice tournament room....and sadly helped take a few tables apart, when the place closed

Bob_Jewett
12-18-2005, 05:54 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> ...
Any chance then that you'll share the secret grip? or does one have to be a 32cd degree Mason, or in the K.O.C.?
... <hr /></blockquote>
The European bridge is mostly useful only at balkline. Take the normal fist bridge and move your middle finger gradually under the thumb to raise it and the cue stick. The point is to have a precisely variable height of attack on the cue ball without jacking up the cue stick. Maybe this bridge was mentioned or used in the US, but I hadn't seen it before.

wolfdancer
12-18-2005, 06:27 PM
Bob, thanks again.....useful to know,even though I don't play balkline billiards....I'm still working on the "rail nurse"

wolfdancer
12-18-2005, 07:00 PM
I think you have answered your own question.....you enjoy digging out the info on your own, and question the value of any paid instruction. Bob has posted some good suggestions along those lines, to help you, help yourself.
My biggest self-learned mistake was playing with an error prone setup, and a weak stab of a stroke....I still got good enough to win some bar tournaments.But if an instructor had corrected my pre-shot.....
I was also self taught in golf....I hit very good iron shots, and not so good woods.....I could occasionaly score 78 or 79, even broke par for nine....once
What I didn't realise was that, the decent iron swing I had,needed to be flattened out to get some real distance from my woods....maybe a good instructor...might have helped me correct that flaw...
To further answer your question....any golf lesson I paid for, was not as good as I expected it to be. And of the many pool lessons that I received....I'd only place value on Scott's. However I'm now out there every day with my stolen shopping cart, collecting bottles and cans, old newspapers, etc....trying to save enough to go to Randy's "Natural" Pool school....................
You probably won't get much negative feed back here,from those that took lessons, but I'd stick with your routine, it's what you are comfortable with....but maybe when you hit that plateau....that we all seem to find....maybe then...

DickLeonard
12-19-2005, 05:51 AM
Fran just a quote from a famous person. A person who practices without reason is like a sailor with out a rudder. The same person teaches using the images in your mind to learn how to paint. The quote is from Leonardo's Notes.####

randyg
12-19-2005, 06:17 AM
Wolfdancer: We are still waiting.

We have added to our syllabus for 2006 in which we are introducing two new concepts. Yes, we still teach SPF&amp;F and SAM. Merry Christmas.

PLAY BETTER QUICKER.....randyg