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View Full Version : How long did it take you to "turn the corner..."



Opie9Ball
11-30-2006, 01:01 AM
i've been shooting for about 8 months, the last 4 pretty serious, and have recently been taking lessons...i love the game, i try and take in as much as i can...learned to stay down on the ball no matter what...i feel im improving, but how long will it take until i start running racks semi-frequently?? i mean i can run a rack, but its very seldom.....my question is how long did it take you? and when did you realize you've turned the corner...

Rich R.
11-30-2006, 04:09 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Opie9Ball:</font><hr> how long will it take until i start running racks semi-frequently?? i mean i can run a rack, but its very seldom.....my question is how long did it take you? and when did you realize you've turned the corner... <hr /></blockquote>
What makes you think we can? /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

After only 8 months, if you are running racks occassionally, you are doing well. Turning the corner will come, if you keep practicing.
I'm still looking for the corner. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

randyg
11-30-2006, 07:08 AM
OPIE9BALL: We never stop learning. Keep up the good work. You are what you Train to be!.....SPF=randyg

Sid_Vicious
11-30-2006, 08:30 AM
Which corner? In this game, the corners never end, believe me...sid

SpiderMan
11-30-2006, 09:13 AM
Depends on what you mean by "frequently". It took me at least 15 years to break and run 4 in a row, and I may never get 5. Don't let that discourage you though - I probably don't have much inborn ability, and I don't work on my game as often as I should.

On the other hand, I know guys who could kick my butt after playing less than 5 years. The bottom line is, you can't estimate much of anything about your own progress by looking at someone else's. We're all too different, in natural ability as well as approach to learning.

SpiderMan

Opie9Ball
11-30-2006, 10:45 AM
i mean i've only ran a rack about 4 times, thats what i mean by occasionally haha....how long have you guys been shooting? anyone in the colorado area?

BigRigTom
11-30-2006, 11:34 AM
Playing great pool is not a destination but a journey. You must learn to enjoy the trip. A quote from the original "Kung Fu" comes to mind.

<font color="blue"> Time is carving you, Grasshopper. Let yourself be shaped, according to your true nature. </font color>

You will turn many corners in pool and how long it takes is up to you.

Duckie
11-30-2006, 12:08 PM
For me, it wasn't time that helped get to the next level, but a issue with my hands and wrists joints. I developed servere carpal tunnel in my wrists and tendonitits in my fingers. It was so bad I could not make a bridge or hold the cue. the simples thing now was a issue. The type of simple things we do everyday.

But, in my mind, I stilled played games. Over short period of time, some of the stiffness and pain went away enough that I could make a bridge and hold the cue. It was like starting all over. I had to slow everything. How to make the bridge, how to get in my stance, how to hold the cue, my stroke. I had to be very, very aware of the littlest thing cause of the pain and stiffness.

My game got better because I had to pay so much attention to how I did things, the things that make shots. Now, I'm pain, stiff free, but what I had to relearn has made me stronger player. Having to be so aware of what was going on when I got into my pre shot routine, is now solid muscle memory. Now, if I'm shooting badly, I now know its mostly due to not following my pre shot routine.

Oh , I forgot that when I was almost pain, stiffness free, I hit a deer while riding my motorcycle breaking my right shoulder, my stroke arm. Thats when my stroke got better cause of having to slow down and think. It was kinda funny after winning some games telling people I had a broke shoulder. Its funny how some things in life that seem bad lead to things that are good.

Like life, pool is a journey that takes you down several differnt paths.

bsmutz
11-30-2006, 12:14 PM
I'm not sure about "turning the corner". One day you can play well enough to think that you might have done it, but the next day or maybe a few days later, you find that the corner is still a ways off. I've played off and on for years, but have played nearly every day since I bought a table 2 years and 8 months ago. I run at least one rack of 8-ball almost every day. However, I wouldn't say I have turned the corner. I'm still learning and hope that I never stop. It's a never ending fascination and challenge. From what I've read, most professional players agree that it takes about 10 years to become proficient. There are plenty of players that have put in more than 10 years that wouldn't be considered proficient, though. It all depends on your dedication and work ethic as well as your innate ability.

MrLucky
11-30-2006, 12:15 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Opie9Ball:</font><hr> i've been shooting for about 8 months, the last 4 pretty serious, and have recently been taking lessons...i love the game, i try and take in as much as i can...learned to stay down on the ball no matter what...i feel im improving, but how long will it take until i start running racks semi-frequently?? i mean i can run a rack, but its very seldom.....my question is how long did it take you? and when did you realize you've turned the corner... <hr /></blockquote> <font color="green"> Well I have been shooting for about 48 years now and have turned so many corners I'm right back where I started ! </font color> /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

SpiderMan
11-30-2006, 01:39 PM
I've been playing regularly (at least once a week) since about 1988, when I first joined a league. Before that, I'd played off and on for a few years, but never took pool or improvement seriously.

I didn't string four together until after meeting Rod Elliot /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

SpiderMan

DickLeonard
11-30-2006, 02:10 PM
Opie9ball I was making my spending money at 12,Greenleaf was champion of the World at 16. ####

Qtec
11-30-2006, 03:32 PM
What does 'turned the corner' mean to you?

IMO, one 'corner' is technical proficiency. It means you are more likely to make the ball than not, in a non-match situation of course.

The ultimate 'corner' is being able to play the table- no matter WHO you are playing or what the circumstances are.
Top pool and performing in general [ in any sport] comes down to belief in one's self.
If your ARE good, being the best in in pool that you can - will be more about your state of mind and your self confidence, not your stroke.


Q

dr_dave
11-30-2006, 04:59 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Opie9Ball:</font><hr> i mean i've only ran a rack about 4 times, thats what i mean by occasionally haha....how long have you guys been shooting? anyone in the colorado area?<hr /></blockquote>
I'm a Coloradoan ... I live in Fort Collins. Welcome to the CCB forum!

I've played for 35 years, but I've never put in enough time to get really good; although, I'm always still disappointed when I don't run a rack. Life is boring without high expectations.

Regards,
Dr. Dave

BigRigTom
11-30-2006, 05:43 PM
Well Dr. Dave I started when I was about 12 (I'm now 56 ...that is 44 years....I believe...he he) but didn't get very serious until the Summer of 2000 when I joined a friend's APA 9 ball team. He is one of this area's (Thousand Oaks, Ca.)best skill level 9's.
Listening to his wealth of wisdom made me realize just how little I really knew about the game and how much I was missing because I had never taken it very serious.
Learning to be a good pool player is more than learning "just the game". It is learning a lot about life and the people you interact with...opponents, friends, team mates, strangers, fans, hecklers, and then there are always "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!" They all play pool or seem too.

pooltchr
11-30-2006, 05:54 PM
Opie9ball,
With all due respect, I hope you never turn the corner.
By that, I mean that the better you get, the more you will realize how much more there is to learn. There is no corner to turn...only a lifelong curve to move through.
If you ever feel you have turned the corner, you will stop growing.

Steve---45 years of playing pool, and still learning!

Rod
11-30-2006, 10:13 PM
I knew you were laying down! ha ha ha Hey Marty, how ya doing?

To answer the posters question, that was to long ago. LOL I think I played pretty good after 3 years but I played a LOT better after 6. Really I think it depends on a mind for the game and a lot of play. It comes in spurts, one day certain shots are difficult, a few weeks later there fairly simple. You'll start turning a lot of corners with sound basics and hitting the cue ball exactly where intended. It just happens, enjoy the journey.

Rod

ceebee
12-01-2006, 10:08 AM
hmmmm... how long did it take to turn the corner.... does that mean permanently? I turned the corner as a young man. Then I quit playing for 30 years. I started over &amp; made the bend quickly, about 6 months.

My local pool room went by the way, after 6 years, so my stroke &amp; speed is gone again. I have a very good knowledge base, but my application skills are rusty again.

Staying "around the bend" is as much a state of mind, as it is a physical performance.

Sounds like you have a good start, by taking lessons &amp; practicing.

Reading some good books, watching videos or good players play, while trying to understand what the players are attempting to do, will help you build a better understanding of the game.

Practicing pattern shots &amp; building a knowledge base will also aid you in your quest.

Good Luck...

Cornerman
12-01-2006, 01:37 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Opie9Ball:</font><hr> my question is how long did it take you? and when did you realize you've turned the corner... <hr /></blockquote>Pool is like racing in Talladega. Just when you're about to come out of the corner, you find yourself starting into another corner.

{edit: holy$hit... my username tells me that I'll never get out of the corner}

Fred &lt;~~~ the race never ends

Chopstick
12-02-2006, 03:37 PM
The study of this game ia a journey of a lifetime. The corner will always bee there. It never goes away. Don't worry about it. Relax, enjoy your time. It will come along when the time is right. Trying to rush it only makes it take longer.

maxmillion
12-02-2006, 05:26 PM
IMO you should always be turning the corner. (if you are practicing consistently) Don't set your goals up too high if you are not at that level yet. I used to also, in the beginning, measure myself against how many 10 balls I could run but that only lead to dissapointment. Start out by seeing how many balls out of 10 you can sink. Then try to keep that average up. Then once you are doing 10 out of 10, see how many times a practice session you can do it. Then move on to 20 out of 20 and so on.

My problem was and still is to a degree that I could regualy do 18 or 19 out of 20, but there was just that one I would miss. I think it is more of a mental aspect problem because potting 95% of balls kinda indicates the technical aspects are ok. Learning the game is a progression. Rate your self against your current skill level and not the absolute best. If you practice it will come - atleast in practice sessions.

As for how long it takes, well, I was running 20/20 runs regularly in 4 weeks. (1 hour a day practice in the morning before university and 2 hours after)

mantis
12-07-2006, 09:04 PM
Maxmillion,
What type of instruction and drilling did you do to practice and improve like that?

maxmillion
12-08-2006, 08:29 PM
I spent the first week on technique making sure that I used the same repeated pattern for all shots and that I had correct bridge, wrists, stroke etc. I tried not to care how many balls I was sinking - only that I was practicing the correct fundementals.

I researched into how top players aim and found an approach that suited me and that I could visualise. Then I just practiced for the rest of the month.

Practice drills don't work for me. I can be sinking balls in a practice drill left and right and then go into a game and be hopeless. So I don't use then. I play Snooker and the only drill I use is a warm up of taking the colors off their spots. Then I play from 5 to 10 games by myself.

Thats pretty much all I did.

av84fun
12-08-2006, 10:02 PM
There is no ONE corner to turn. There are HUNDREDS of them and you will turning them your whole pool life. One of the awful things about learning pool...or anything really...is that you have to bore yourself to tears repeating certain aspects of the game over and over until you can't STAND it anymore.

As the old saying goes, amateurs practice a shot until they make it and pros practice it until they can't miss it. If you miss a shot in a match...or practice game for that matter...try shooting that shot 100 times in a row and you will get an idea of what kind of commitment great players make...in order to get great.

Have fun!

FatsRedux
12-09-2006, 01:30 AM
Could not be said better! /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Fats

jjinfla
12-09-2006, 06:57 AM
Then it also takes a good memory. You must remember what the balls do so that if the situation comes up again you will be able to repeat it.

Otherwise you will have to keep relearning what you have learned at an earlier time.

So make sure you do not destroy those little grey cells.

Jake

Gayle in MD
12-09-2006, 08:42 AM
I'm curious, which aiming method did you settle upon?

Gayle in Md.

Fran Crimi
12-09-2006, 08:56 AM
I remember that the biggest corner I had to turn was how to play position. I thought I would never get there. I watched players all around me in the pool hall moving the cue ball to their next shot and I didn't have a clue how to do that.

Yes, I knew about draw and follow and a little about English, but I still had trouble putting it all together. I just kept trying and trying for months, frustratedly thinking that I was never going to be able to figure it out.

But I just kept on playing, and I slowly started to figure out one small thing at a time. And then I started to put together two or three of those small things, and I was able to run a few balls in a row intentionally, not randomly. I was playing position!

That's when I realized that we learn this game one shot at a time, and I wasn't so impatient anymore. I'm still learning new shots.

Fran

av84fun
12-11-2006, 03:26 PM
Gayle...&lt;&lt;I'm curious, which aiming method did you settle upon?&gt;&gt;

That is a question for the ages. MANY top pros who have written books WILL NOT disclose how they ACTUALLY aim but rather give one or more of the "stock" systems and take their ACTUAL methods with them to the grave.

Best,
Jim

Gayle in MD
12-11-2006, 05:26 PM
LOL, You're not the first person to tell me that. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Gayle in Md.

kd5kfl
12-11-2006, 07:13 PM
The first corner: Watching Robert Byrnes Standard video of pool volumes I &amp; II.

Next corner: I'm hanging out in my local bar. Playing against some rabbit without a clue, but with a fine date. I got nothing to prove, so I sandbagged it - took the toughest shot on the table, gave myself nasty leaves. Didn't let him win; I let myself lose. Lady was impressed that he shot down a gunslinger, cost me nothing. When you realize there is no glory in a tiger swatting a rabbit, you have learned one of the better lessons of the game.

jjinfla
12-12-2006, 05:43 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote kd5kfl:</font><hr> The first corner: Watching Robert Byrnes Standard video of pool volumes I &amp; II.

Next corner: I'm hanging out in my local bar. Playing against some rabbit without a clue, but with a fine date. I got nothing to prove, so I sandbagged it - took the toughest shot on the table, gave myself nasty leaves. Didn't let him win; I let myself lose. Lady was impressed that he shot down a gunslinger, cost me nothing. When you realize there is no glory in a tiger swatting a rabbit, you have learned one of the better lessons of the game. <hr /></blockquote>

Great story.

A few years back I tried to tell people here that they should let others beat them once in a while, especially their son, and was taken to task

The consensus was you should go all out and win every time. He will be strong by being beaten down.

Oh well, I have more fun your way and I feel better about it too. Not a bad Christmas present for someone either.

Jake

Qtec
12-12-2006, 07:18 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote av84fun:</font><hr> Gayle...&lt;&lt;I'm curious, which aiming method did you settle upon?&gt;&gt;

That is a question for the ages. MANY top pros who have written books WILL NOT disclose how they ACTUALLY aim but rather give one or more of the "stock" systems and take their ACTUAL methods with them to the grave.

Best,
Jim
<hr /></blockquote>

IMO this is a total myth. There is no mystery.

Even proponents of Hal's systems will tell ou there are only 3, 5 or 9 angles in the whole game. How long does it take to learn 9 angles?
What happens is that a pro eventually just 'sees' ball-to-ball contact [ through experience and practice] and can acurately predicict where the OB will go.
That's it really.
BTW, If you have a long straight shot ,[ OB just past the mid pocket and the QB a 1/2 inch from the top rail,] anyone can see the contact point [ its the exact center of the OB!] but very few can hit it!
Even fewer can make that shot more than 50% of the time.
A pro could.
After years of practice a player builds a 3d mental picture of the table and just 'knows' where the pockets are.

Q....JMO

Rich R.
12-12-2006, 07:53 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>What happens is that a pro eventually just 'sees' ball-to-ball contact [ through experience and practice] and can acurately predicict where the OB will go.
That's it really.
BTW, If you have a long straight shot ,[ OB just past the mid pocket and the QB a 1/2 inch from the top rail,] anyone can see the contact point [ its the exact center of the OB!] but very few can hit it!
Even fewer can make that shot more than 50% of the time.
A pro could.<hr /></blockquote>
Q, IMHO, this is the hardest part of playing pool.
The average beginer, with a little bit of experience, can tell you where to hit an object ball to make it. That is not the problem. Getting the cue ball to hit that spot is the hard part. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Snapshot9
12-12-2006, 10:14 AM
Being an old money player, to me, turning the corner, would be when you attained a money rating of 5 on a 1-10 money scale (old days scale). Attaining this level meant you were not just someone that played Pool, you were a 'Pool player' (subtle semantics held meaning back then).

This is when you had enough expertise to know what to do in most situations, you could plan out a table, and be pretty good at carrying it out. This is also the level that you began playing for money on a regular basis at $5 or more per game, depending on location and competition available. This is also the level you thought about playing in tournaments, and there were NO handicapped tournaments back then.

In otherwords, you had reached a point in your game, where you could really be considered a 'competitor' (halfway point on the scale). This was considered 'turning the corner' because usually Pool took on new meaning for you then.

And to answer your question, I started playing at 14, and I turned the corner when I was 16, about a year and a half for me, but each person is different.

WoodMonkey
12-23-2006, 01:39 PM
Like a lot of the other letters said, there really is no corner, just a continuous upward climb. Problem is, in the early days of anything, the improvements are quick and regular so we get used to that. Later, each improvement takes more work and may be less obvious so it can feel like you've plateau-ed. That's possible, but how to know?

I think that one way is to have some sort of rating system, like used for some other sports (chess, ping-pong, etc.) Since pool can be played solitaire so easily, a solitaire rating system shouldn't be too hard to devise. I use one I made up called 8-ball bowling.

To play, just rack up the balls and break. Then run either stripes or solids. When you miss, run the other group. Add up total balls sunk plus one if you made one on the break. (Zero for a run if you foul in any way.) If you complete a run plus 8-ball, score 25/30 if it was the first group (25 if no ball on break) and 15/20 if it was the seconf group (15 if no ball on break).

That's about it. Do that 10 times (frames) for a bowling-type score up to 300. Use that as your rating. Keep track of your average to see if your game is improving slowly. Be honest when you play, it's tougher than it sounds.

My personal best is only 134. Try it and let me know what you score.

wayne crimi
12-24-2006, 12:58 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Opie9Ball:</font><hr> i mean i've only ran a rack about 4 times, thats what i mean by occasionally haha....how long have you guys been shooting? anyone in the colorado area? <hr /></blockquote>

You are doing fine for 8 months. Expect continued rapid progress for awhile, but you'll have to define "turn the corner" if you want more specifics.