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View Full Version : What makes best pool students?



Billy_Bob
01-02-2006, 11:45 AM
Everybody always asks who is the best pool instructor, but I would like to switch that around and ask what type of person makes the best pool student?

I have a lot of people ask me stuff, but it seems to go in one ear and out the other. They never practice what they are taught, etc. so I wonder why they even ask.

I finally found a player who truly wants to take his playing as far as he can, and listens to what people tell him. He is 1 out of 100 seems to me. Unfortunately he does not have money for professional instruction right now.

Anyway wondering who is the type of person that would get the most out of professional instruction?

Brian in VA
01-02-2006, 01:23 PM
I'm not a pool instructor but I do have about 12 years in adult instruction. I'm guessing that the same things I looked for in a good student would be similar for a pool instructor.

My best students were those that were open to learning new things and were excited by the possibilities of improvement. They had a good sense of self-awareness and looked for ways to incorporate what they already knew into what they were learning. (This linkage helps with long term memory retention.) They didn't allow old behaviors (habits) to intrude on their learning of new behaviors. They were willing to make mistakes trying the new behaviors as a step to learning them and weren't embarrassed by them. They were committed to instilling what they learned through practice, repetition and visualization. They asked for analogies when they didn't understand something the first time. They celebrated successes and overlooked imperfection especially during the initial learning.

I think that's the biggest pieces of it. Most people possess at least some of these but I can count on one hand the number that had all of them. /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif I can tell you that being an instructor made me a much better student. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Brian in VA

pooltchr
01-02-2006, 07:35 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Brian in VA:</font><hr> I'm not a pool instructor but I do have about 12 years in adult instruction. I'm guessing that the same things I looked for in a good student would be similar for a pool instructor.

My best students were those that were open to learning new things and were excited by the possibilities of improvement. They had a good sense of self-awareness and looked for ways to incorporate what they already knew into what they were learning. (This linkage helps with long term memory retention.) They didn't allow old behaviors (habits) to intrude on their learning of new behaviors. They were willing to make mistakes trying the new behaviors as a step to learning them and weren't embarrassed by them. They were committed to instilling what they learned through practice, repetition and visualization. They asked for analogies when they didn't understand something the first time. They celebrated successes and overlooked imperfection especially during the initial learning.

I think that's the biggest pieces of it. Most people possess at least some of these but I can count on one hand the number that had all of them. /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif I can tell you that being an instructor made me a much better student. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Brian in VA <hr /></blockquote>

Brian...an excellent answer!
Steve

Fran Crimi
01-02-2006, 11:31 PM
Ditto! It's a keeper.

Fran

Bassn7
01-03-2006, 12:48 AM
When a person realizes that playing great pool is hard work, and getting to the point where it "looks easy" really took years of practice . . . that's when someone becomes a REAL student. Everyone else believes in the quick fix. Thousands of players believe that 'pool tips' will make them a star, forget it. Get an instructor, work hard on repetition and stop trying to win, NOW you're a good student.

cheesemouse
01-03-2006, 06:08 AM
I can't resist this one. The best students are the ones willing to pay good money for lessons, this motivates them to actually do the work...

pooltchr
01-03-2006, 07:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote cheesemouse:</font><hr> I can't resist this one. The best students are the ones willing to pay good money for lessons, this motivates them to actually do the work... <hr /></blockquote>

You may have meant this somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but there is a lot of truth in what you said. I have had students who paid for lessons, and have shown dramatic improvement. I also took a group of beginners and offered to work with them at no charge...most of whom are still at the same level where they were a year ago. I don't give it away any more...it's a waste of my time and the student's time.
Steve

Brian in VA
01-03-2006, 07:32 AM
There's something to be said for this, too, Cheese. I used to teach a time management course. I found that people who went out and purchased a nice branded system, with a leather-bound satchel, were far more likely to stick with it and change their behaviors than those that used something they didn't have to pay for. The investment helps to drive the motivation to a degree.

Brian in VA

Stretch
01-03-2006, 11:33 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote cheesemouse:</font><hr> I can't resist this one. The best students are the ones willing to pay good money for lessons, this motivates them to actually do the work... <hr /></blockquote>

You may have meant this somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but there is a lot of truth in what you said. I have had students who paid for lessons, and have shown dramatic improvement. I also took a group of beginners and offered to work with them at no charge...most of whom are still at the same level where they were a year ago. I don't give it away any more...it's a waste of my time and the student's time.
Steve <hr /></blockquote>

I noticed the same thing Steve. Although i'm not a teacher often i come across players (recreational, and sometimes others) that are sufficiently impressed to take heed of a few pointers that they happily devour. The improovement is almost instant and dramatic, i get a real kick out of enjoying it with them and send em off happy as clams. But then when it comes to my fellow teamates who i'm in the trenches with every week, when it comes to some of them I'll remind them of a few things and it goes in one ear and out the other. You can't save them all. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif St.

jtlabs
01-03-2006, 05:25 PM
It is unfortunate that someone who is offered free lessons would not commit himself to learning. I wonder, as a instructor offering free classes, are you just as committed to teaching those who did not pay you? I imagine in some cases the coin could be double sided. I guess it boils down to passion.

As a beginner pool player, I can certainly see the advantages of having a instructor if you can afford one. I myself can not afford a instructor(although I would love to have one), so I am learning on my own. I try to get my hands on anything I can read that is pool related, even Dr. Dave's articles and videos on the physics of pool. Dr. Dave's research has been very interesting and has been a very valuable source of information for someone like me.

With that said, if someone offered to give me lessons for free, you can guarantee I would provide 110% cooperation. I am so dedicated and focus to learning pool and playing to the best of my ability that I drag my family out to the billiards just so I can practice some of the stuff I learned. Unfortunately, I am not able to get the concentrated practice I really need.( Hence my desire to get a pool table, most likely used).

This brings me to a few questions I was hoping someone can answer for me. Is it possible to become a top notch player with out instruction? What would you advise for someone with a limited budget do to learn and become the best pool player he or she can be?

I myself am fresh out the gate as far as pool players go.
I'm starting by learning to stroke, then aim, then cue control etc.. I even have a digital camera to record myself . I know practice is the key, but I feel I need a pool table to get the most out of my practice. 12 bux an hour is too much for me.

Regards,
Jay

cheesemouse
01-03-2006, 06:47 PM
jtlabs,

It sounds like you are doing it right and have the desire to go as far as you can. I've heard it said that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. In my post I didn't mean to infer that there aren't those that take to free lessons. I have given many lessons free for the asking but it has been my experience a majority of those freebees the guy/gals are looking for the magic buttet. What's the secret magic bullet~~~ hard work.
As pooltchr so eliquently said "I don't give it away anymore...it's a waste of my time and the students time." I think the student wants his moneys worth and if he/she isn't paying it just doesn't seem to mean anything to them...they're expeceptions but I only have one I can site out of many.
The reason I started giving lessons was the great pleasure I took from the improvement shown...it didn't take long to figure out the free lesson where not getting it so I just won't do it anymore...well, maybe, I would give free lesson one more shot with you jtlabs because you sound like a guy who really wants it bad. Keep with it you will have a joy for a life time... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

jtlabs
01-03-2006, 10:00 PM
Cheese, I would take you up on that offer in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, I live in NY, quite a distance from you it seems. At any rate, I am sure their is a lot I can teach myself through practice exercises and what not before I hit the wall and need professional advice to advance me further. Thanks for the encouraging words.

Regards,
Jay

Scott Lee
01-03-2006, 11:26 PM
Jay...Check your PM's!

Scott Lee

Fran Crimi
01-04-2006, 12:08 AM
Well, Jay, you're in luck. Hop on over to Slate Billiards on Monday nights at 6PM and you can get free (or very cheap, maybe $5) instructions from a very competent BCA instructor named Mark Finkelstein. Slate offers it's customers free (or cheap) workshops every Monday night. The instructions are free. I'm just not sure if they're charging a minimal table time fee.

Enjoy!

Fran