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recoveryjones
04-19-2006, 10:03 PM
I'm seriously considering investing some cash for some pool lessons.
What are some crucial questions a student should ask a teacher before putting up the cash for a package of lessons?Thanks RJ

Billy
04-19-2006, 11:57 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote recoveryjones:</font><hr> I'm seriously considering investing some cash for some pool lessons.
What are some crucial questions a student should ask a teacher before putting up the cash for a package of lessons?Thanks RJ <hr /></blockquote>

too many of today's 'instructors' can tell you the basics of stance, grip, etc, etc but how many can show how to actually play the game. My first question, if not a total beginner, 'what's your background in actual competition'. and don't believe everything thing you hear, make them show you. talk is cheap and can be very expensive if they've never gone to war

jmo

Rich R.
04-20-2006, 02:53 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote recoveryjones:</font><hr> I'm seriously considering investing some cash for some pool lessons.
What are some crucial questions a student should ask a teacher before putting up the cash for a package of lessons?Thanks RJ <hr /></blockquote>
I'm not certain you can find out what you want to know by asking questions. IMHO, the most important thing for a good student teacher relationship is communication. The teacher has to be able to explain something clearly and the student has to be able to understand what the teacher is trying to say. Also, some personality issues come into play.
The best way to find out if you can work with an instructor is to take a lesson or two and determine if you can work with that instructor. Do this, before committing to a package of lessons.

randyg
04-20-2006, 05:04 AM
RJ: Email me personally at

goettlicher@comcast.net

and we can discuss your choices. This is a huge step in the right direction, let's make the first step the right one.

randyg
04-20-2006, 05:06 AM
Billy: I think RJ asked about Instructors, not great players.....SPF-randyg

pooltchr
04-20-2006, 05:07 AM
I would find out their background. I would ask for the names of former students and get feedback from them. But most importantly, I would pay attention to the questions the instructor asks you. If an instructor tells you all about what they are going to teach you, but doesn't ask about your present skill level, your goals in pool, what you feel you need to learn from the instruction, how long you have been playing, your reasons for playing (socially, competitively, weekly league, etc) or other things about YOU, you may want to look for another instructor.
Some instructors will teach you what they want to teach you...the good ones will work with you to help you develop your own game.
Steve

Billy_Bob
04-20-2006, 05:29 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote recoveryjones:</font><hr> What are some crucial questions a student should ask a teacher before putting up the cash for a package of lessons?<hr /></blockquote>

Do any of your former students regularly get into the money in tournaments? Name(s)?

I don't think it matters if the teacher is a big name pro or not. It is results which matters - how well are the instructor's students doing? Are they getting into the money? Are they winning?

Or you can do things the other way around. Ask those who win tournaments who they learned from. I have done this - asked the winners who they learned from. Came up with some unknown names - instructors who I guess get their business by word of mouth only.

pooltchr
04-20-2006, 06:11 AM
Billy Bob,
You have stated in previous posts that you prefer to learn on your own rather than having an instructor. I'm just wondering, based on this response, if you have changed your maind and are considering having an instructor help you.
Also, winning tournaments may not be the best way to judge the value instruction has had for a student. You have to consider their level when they started, and what their personal goals are. Many good students of the game do not even play in tournaments. There are many factors that go into determining the value of instruction to an individual. Winning tournaments would be just the tip of the iceburg.
Steve

DSAPOLIS
04-20-2006, 06:51 AM
RJ

Prior to working with anybody, I sit down and explain to them what is expected of them, and I encourage them to to do the same for me. When you do that, it opens up the door for communication and it shows each of us what is expected of the other.

I am not an instructor that barks out instructions and says my way or the highway. I believe in two way communication. I have learned that many students are apprehensive to tell me they do not understand something - even when you ask them directly whether or not they understand what you just said. Teaching is like playing catch. You have the pitcher and the catcher. It is up to both of us to prevent wild pitches.

My job is not to only pass along information and knowledge. My job is to also show you how to apply that knowledge and chart your progress. I don't take credit for the acheivements of my students. That was their accomplishment They applied what was taught and they created the results themselves. It belongs on their resume, not mine.

I also believe the following:
a) I can't teach you anything you are unwilling to learn
b) I can't tell you anything that you're unwilling to hear
c) an opened mind is black hole for knowledge
d) a closed mind is a brick wall for knowledge

I believe that there are many fine instructors out there that are well worth the money you will spend. I would recommend RandyG, Tom Simpson, Roy Yamane, Mark Wilson, Tim Miller, Scott Lee, and Joe Tucker.

It is important to find the right instructor that fits your needs. Not every instructor fits every student. If you are expecting miracles overnight, you are only fooling yourself. Progress comes in stages. Your success is directly proportional to the amount of hard work you put into it.

Good Luck

Billy_Bob
04-20-2006, 06:59 AM
I'm learning and improving. What I said a long time ago applied to my playing at *that* time. And I still feel the same about that (and have noticed this with others).

That being there are just some things you need to learn on your own. i.e. shots. Practice, practice, practice. And learning too much all at once is overwhelming. Better to work on one thing at a time. Maybe even spend two months working on one shot.

OK so I have practiced and have gotten to be pretty good at making shots...

Now I am at a stage where only the *right* advice will do. And very few players know the right advice. This is 8-ball strategy. Position play. Which balls to shoot in which order. Safeties. Etc.

So I'm needing someone who knows what they are doing to follow me around the table, watch what I am about to do, then say "STOP! Why are you doing that? This would be a better shot. And this is why." Etc.

I have also had the experience of getting very bad advice from a *very* good player. Seems he wanted to teach me how to lose so I would not beat him! (Selfish &amp;*^%) Anyway I knew his advice was wrong because of my access to various billiards forums. What he was saying was totally opposite to what everyone else on the forums told me.

Other very good players do not want to help me because we play in the same tournaments. So they would be shooting themselves in the foot to do so.

So I guess I'm thinking about an instructor in the near future.

So far as students of instructors winning tournaments... There are some "helpful selfish types" around here who will suddenly give free lessons to players who are starting to play well (or are getting close to winning in tournaments). Their advice makes them play worse. None of their "students" ever wins anything. They never get into the money. For example one guy tells everyone to use english on almost every shot. Then of course they start missing a lot of shots. And this is what he wants.

So certainly don't want an instructor like that (or like the selfish very good player who game me wrong advice intentionally)!

Scott Lee
04-20-2006, 07:24 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DSAPOLIS:</font><hr> It is important to find the right instructor that fits your needs. Not every instructor fits every student. If you are expecting miracles overnight, you are only fooling yourself. Progress comes in stages. Your success is directly proportional to the amount of hard work you put into it. <hr /></blockquote>

Great post Dave! This is the ultimate truth, in seeking instruction from anyone. There is no magic pill. Some will "learn" at a faster rate than others. Some will have more time to commit to a deliberate, disciplined practice routine. IMO, learning "shots" or "strategy" is of very limited value, if you don't already have a repeatable stroke, and a well-defined pre-shot routine. Why? Because you cannot stroke the CB the same way each time.

Teaching yourself to become a better, more consistent player is about two things: repeatability (the ability to stroke the CB the same over and over), and sustainability (the ability to call up a certain stroke in a certain shot situation, under pressure, and still perform). Without a great stroke, no matter how much you practice, you're likely doomed to frustration, boredom, and/or anger...none of which are condusive to effective learning. I have yet to see a student who didn't need "some" tweaking in developing a better stroke. I think Randy would agree with me. Every student that comes to pool school, finds out that what they thought was 'okay' is usually in need of some basic repair.

Scott Lee

SpiderMan
04-20-2006, 07:48 AM
Talk to their former students. Ask them how the lessons were structured, did they feel it was worthwhile, and why. What was good, what was bad? Would they pay this instructor for more lessons in the future? Then ask yourself whether the described style of instruction is what you want.

Talk to as many as you can find, so that you're not captive to one person's glowing praise or damning complaint. You'll also learn how the instructor customizes his agenda to an individual student, or whether he has a "cookie-cutter" approach.

In other words, don't depend on the person selling you a service to tell you whether that service is good or bad. There's a huge temptation to tell you what you want to hear. Find the former students and get the story from the perspective of someone who was in the position you're about to be in. For a well-known instructor, or even a not-so-well known one that is local to you, there should be plenty of discussion available.

SpiderMan

Fran Crimi
04-20-2006, 08:35 AM
RJ, I used to believe that the questions you ask at the beginning are crucial in picking the right instructor. I've sort of changed my tune on that over the years.

Reputation, reputation, reputation.

I think back on how many times I've been referred to someone I would never have picked on my own, simply because that person may have been abrubt or not exactly 'socially skilled.' And I also think back on how I would have missed a golden opportunity if I had gone with my instincts.

That doesn't mean you should ignore your instincts. If you smell a BS machine, then you're probably right. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Fran

PoolSharkAllen
04-20-2006, 10:26 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Billy_Bob:</font><hr> Now I am at a stage where only the *right* advice will do. And very few players know the right advice. This is 8-ball strategy. Position play. Which balls to shoot in which order. Safeties. Etc.
<hr /></blockquote>

Billy Bob,
Phil Capelle has a fairly advanced book on the above topics that might interest you if you haven't already read it. The book is called: "How to Play your Best 8-Ball." Since you're the type that likes self-instruction and practice, this book should be right up your alley.

dr_dave
04-20-2006, 11:48 AM
FYI, a ton of advice on this topic can be found in a past thread. If you want to check it out, see "selecting an instructor" under "advice" in the threads summary section of my website (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/threads.html).

Good luck with your game,
Dave
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote recoveryjones:</font><hr> I'm seriously considering investing some cash for some pool lessons.
What are some crucial questions a student should ask a teacher before putting up the cash for a package of lessons?Thanks RJ <hr /></blockquote>

ceebee
04-21-2006, 09:02 AM
The preceding posts are full of great ideas...

Here's my two cents...

The biggest problem we all have is communication. If the personalities don't work, the lessons may not take. If two folks can communicate easily &amp; the instructors knowledge is presented well, the only limitation will be the student's talent for the game &amp; the time required to implement the new knowledge.

I think any instructor should have a curriculum (a map). You may already be a good player &amp; just need some tweaking, that would mean your starting point should not be at the beginning.

A discussion at the beginning is the place for detailing the map &amp; some explanation of his demonstration media. This discussion will give you some idea of the finished product, you hopefully can expect.

This is 2006, there is a mountain of info &amp; media, such as video/audio/pictures/props/books/handouts &amp; equipment (training or practicing cue balls, stroke trainer, weighted cues, pocket blockers &amp; so on). Hopefully your instructor uses some of these helpful items.

Voodoo Daddy
04-21-2006, 01:18 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr>If you smell a BS machine, then you're probably right. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Fran <hr /></blockquote>

The best advise in this thread!!!

yaffabernstein
04-21-2006, 01:32 PM
I am interested in the best teacher who works well with women. Can any body post some names of the ones who have this reputation?
Thank You. Yaffa /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Deeman3
04-21-2006, 01:53 PM
Where are you located?

pooltchr
04-21-2006, 03:20 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote yaffabernstein:</font><hr> I am interested in the best teacher who works well with women. Can any body post some names of the ones who have this reputation?
Thank You. Yaffa /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif <hr /></blockquote>

Most instructors I know who are good instructors will work well with every student. They all get treated the same.
Steve

yaffabernstein
04-21-2006, 03:22 PM
Birmingham, Alabama, Hoover.

yaffabernstein
04-21-2006, 03:49 PM
Another question please. I am told, hall of famers Bob Byrne and Bert Kinister are the best two teachers in the country. Byrne has done the most books and tapes as Kinister has as well. These two made the most money so why are they not on you all's list. Don't you like them?

randyg
04-21-2006, 03:58 PM
Robert Byrnes is a famous AUTHOR, not Instructor. Burt Kinister can help anyone....SPF-randyg

Billy
04-21-2006, 04:19 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote randyg:</font><hr> Billy: I think RJ asked about Instructors, not great players.....SPF-randyg <hr /></blockquote>

thanks Randy

just thought it would be a must question for RJ's quest for a quality instructor that could be a quality player

jmo

sorry but what what does the SPF mean?thanks Billy

Rich R.
04-21-2006, 06:28 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote yaffabernstein:</font><hr> Another question please. I am told, hall of famers Bob Byrne and Bert Kinister are the best two teachers in the country. Byrne has done the most books and tapes as Kinister has as well. These two made the most money so why are they not on you all's list. Don't you like them? <hr /></blockquote>

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote randyg:</font><hr> Robert Byrnes is a famous AUTHOR, not Instructor. Burt Kinister can help anyone....SPF-randyg <hr /></blockquote>

Yaffabernstein, you just heard from one of the best instructors in the country.
http://www.poolschool.com/

pooltchr
04-21-2006, 06:33 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rich R.:</font><hr> Yaffabernstein, you just heard from one of the best instructors in the country.
http://www.poolschool.com/ <hr /></blockquote>

I would have to second that motion.
Steve

recoveryjones
04-21-2006, 06:45 PM
Thanks to everyone who posted and to all the instructors who answered my PM's and emails.The support has been phenominal and is greatly apreciated.

Someone from AZ Billiards gave me a link to Phil Capelle's website that has on topic pertinant information:
http://www.billiardspress.com/gettinginstruction.html

With this info and all the other info gathered here, I'll be able to really ask the potential instructor some really good questions.
Take care, RJ

Voodoo Daddy
04-22-2006, 02:38 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote yaffabernstein:</font><hr> I am interested in the best teacher who works well with women. Can any body post some names of the ones who have this reputation?
Thank You. Yaffa /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif <hr /></blockquote>

Although I have worked with both genders in the past...I have found myself leaning towards helping the women progress in their games. I the recent past I have worked with Carol Clark on her mental game and two Florida tour players, Crystal McCormick and Kelly Coyle. I also recently helped tune up Jennie Seaver before she went to Taiwan. Seem the women are more receptive to what I am trying to get across. I am tossing the idea around for a 1-2 day seminar along with two other great unknown, unpublished instructors...more to come.