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andytoh
04-07-2007, 07:31 PM
I was just wondering how often you guys practice. I have a full-sized snooker table and used to practice 6 hours per day. However, I simply could not improve by practising so much, like I was overtraining.

I've been experimenting with 2 hours per day, then 2 hours every other day. So far I've found that I improve the most when I give myself a day's break between practise sessions. It seems like my knowledge of angles and muscle memory improves during rest and not during the practice session itself. What do you guys think?

randyg
04-08-2007, 05:36 AM
I think you are smart. Short, intense practice sessions prove to be more valuable than the longer durations....SPF=randyg

trob
04-08-2007, 07:40 AM
I practice for about an hour every day when I get home from work. I would probobly agree with what your doing..The problem is I love to play to much. I get home from work and the first thing I want to do is head to my pool table to wind down.

andytoh
04-08-2007, 09:26 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote trob:</font><hr> I practice for about an hour every day when I get home from work. I would probobly agree with what your doing..The problem is I love to play to much. I get home from work and the first thing I want to do is head to my pool table to wind down. <hr /></blockquote>

Do you think you might improve faster if you practiced every other day?

BigRigTom
04-08-2007, 10:50 AM
Andy,
It is quality NOT quanity.
You can get a lot more from a 30 minute drill that you enjoy and focus intensely on than you can from 3 hours of gruelling punishing drills that you hate.

I am NOT and instructor but I have helped a lot of new players improve their skill ranking in the APA and the amount of time you practice is a VERY personal choice.
As long as you are enjoying the process there is no such thing as too long.
If you are hating the process, do it in short spurts and then go back to what you enjoy about the sessions.

Tom_In_Cincy
04-08-2007, 10:53 AM
I think that if you don't TEST your skills in a contest, all the practicing you do will be for nothing.

Get a practice partner and/or enter as many tournaments as you can and put your practice time to good use. TEST your skills on the battle ground.

How do you measure how well your practice sessions are?

pooltchr
04-08-2007, 04:19 PM
The answer to this question is determined by how you define practice. If your idea of practice is to throw some balls on the table and shoot them in the pockets, you can practice as much as you want. I don't consider this to be practice, but rather, playing alone.
Real focused practice, doing specific shots with the intent of developing specific skills, like speed control, alignment, stroke drills, personal eye pattern drills, etc., require much more intent focus, and should be done for short periods, as Randy pointed out. Playing for hours at a time is a whole different ball game.
Steve

andytoh
04-08-2007, 06:36 PM
I practice by trying to clear the table (snooker). Whenever I make a bad shot (i.e. I missed or the cue ball did not stop where I wanted), I resposition the balls and try again. Thus I'm practising my potting and cue ball control. I do this for the whole 2 hours. How much rest would you need after this practice session?

By the way, I TEST how much I'm improving by observing whether my percentage of making "perfect shots" (clean pot with correct cue ball control) is increasing or not.

canadan
04-08-2007, 09:05 PM
I think one good reason for long practices is if your going to be in a 3 or 4 day turny. one tuny I was in I lost the first game on the 2nd day and had to play for 12 str8 hours

canadan
04-08-2007, 09:06 PM
I think one good reason for long practices is if your going to be in a 3 or 4 day turny. one tuny I was in I lost the first game on the 2nd day and had to play for 12 str8 hours

canadan
04-08-2007, 09:06 PM
I think one good reason for long practices is if your going to be in a 3 or 4 day turny. one tuny I was in I lost the first game on the 2nd day and had to play for 12 str8 hours

canadan
04-08-2007, 09:06 PM
I think one good reason for long practices is if your going to be in a 3 or 4 day turny. one tuny I was in I lost the first game on the 2nd day and had to play for 12 str8 hours

canadan
04-08-2007, 09:06 PM
I think one good reason for long practices is if your going to be in a 3 or 4 day turny. one tuny I was in I lost the first game on the 2nd day and had to play for 12 str8 hours

TennesseeJoe
04-08-2007, 09:33 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote andytoh:</font><hr> I was just wondering how often you guys practice. I have a full-sized snooker table and used to practice 6 hours per day. However, I simply could not improve by practising so much, like I was overtraining.

I've been experimenting with 2 hours per day, then 2 hours every other day. So far I've found that I improve the most when I give myself a day's break between practise sessions. It seems like my knowledge of angles and muscle memory improves during rest and not during the practice session itself. What do you guys think? <hr /></blockquote>


Most of the replies have focused on practice, especially quality practice. Your concern is " I simply could not improve". And your real concern is how to measure improvement. When you set up your practice shots record how many times you make them successfully. Keep this record and you will not only see the improvement but will challenge yourself to improve.

andytoh
04-08-2007, 09:53 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TennesseeJoe:</font><hr> And your real concern is how to measure improvement. <hr /></blockquote>
No, that is not my concern. I know when I'm improving and when I'm not (based on my "perfect shot percentage"). My concern is how often I should practice in order to maximize my rate of improvement. All I know so far is that more is not better.

An analogy I can think of is weight training. If you overtrain without giving your muscles rest, your muscles won't grow. But have a very intense workout followed by a good period of rest, and then your muscles will grow DURING REST.

I similarly have found that my perception of the correct feathering direction for a pot, and my perception of the correct spin and cue delivery force for the desired cue ball control become more accurate after I have rested from an intense practice session. If I rest too little (say just 3 hours), my mind has not fully grasped the angles and spins that I experienced from the previous practice session. On the other hand, if I rest too long (say 4 days), my mind has forgotten what it learned from the previous practice session and my feathering is also not as smooth as the previous practice session either.

jjinfla
04-09-2007, 06:34 AM
Of course it depends on where the person stands in the pecking order. The lower the skill level the more there is to learn and the more practice it takes.

Look at Tiger. I think it was after round 2, might have been round 3, he said he was off to the practice range to hit some balls. I am sure he went there to practice the exact shots that were not going well for him that day.

Or as Earl Strickland said, no sense for him to practice the easy shots, he knows he can make those so he practices the hard shots. Watch him next time he is warming up before a tournament.

We all know SL 2's who practice table length hard shots when they should be practicing one foot shots until they master them. That is why progressive drills are stressed by a lot of instructors. Master the easy shot first.

Oh well, I have exceeded the Peter Principle as far as my level of play. No hope for me. Downhill from here on.

Jake

andytoh
04-09-2007, 07:15 AM
I follow the "80-90% rule." That is, if there is a shot that I cannot make correctly at least 80% of the time, I don't practice it. Once I reach the level that I can make the shot at least 90% of the time, then I move on to a harder shot. Sounds good? If not, what percentages do you go by (roughly)?

Chopstick
04-09-2007, 10:08 AM
Are you practicing to make balls or win games? How much time do you spend practicing your safeties?

How much time do you spend practicing escaping from safeties that will be played on you?

I once practiced for eight to sixteen hours a day for six and a half years. I think I only missed two days in that whole time. One day after losing yet again, I happened to sit down at the bar beside this old black player. He never practiced and he was one of the best players around. He just sat there day after day and waited for a money game to walk in. I once saw this guy draw the cue ball into the rail so hard it bounced back twice like it had extreme top on it.

I told him, "I practice hard as anybody ever did and I just lose all the time. I don't understand it." What he said is the most important thing I have ever heard about pool. He said, "You pocket balls good as anybody I have ever seen, but you don't play like a player." It wasn't until many years later that I began to figure out what he was talking about. I don't have a fraction of the ball making skills I used to, and I am a far more dangerous player today than I have ever been.

Knowledge of the game,(I said game, not how to make shots) is what leads to improvement not endless mind numbing practice. Nowdays knowledge is everywhere in books, videos and private instruction. Don't waste the prime years of your playing life learning this lesson. If I had my old stroke with what I know now......

BRussell
04-09-2007, 12:48 PM
I can't think of any reason why practicing less should directly result in more improvement. The muscle analogy really doesn't work because we're not talking about anything that has to repair itself like muscles.

In my view, there are two key issues, and others have touched on these:

1. What some people call practice really just reinforces bad habits. When you're competing, you're bearing down and focusing. You care. When some people "practice," i.e., play alone, they don't care and it just reinforces sloppiness. (I'm not saying you're doing this.)

2. Practicing too much could reduce motivation. You could get tired of pool. You should probably only practice so much that you still want to go back for more next time. Stop before you're satiated. That will maintain your motivation better.

BRussell
04-09-2007, 12:50 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr> He said, "You pocket balls good as anybody I have ever seen, but you don't play like a player." It wasn't until many years later that I began to figure out what he was talking about. I don't have a fraction of the ball making skills I used to, and I am a far more dangerous player today than I have ever been.

Knowledge of the game,(I said game, not how to make shots) is what leads to improvement not endless mind numbing practice. Nowdays knowledge is everywhere in books, videos and private instruction. Don't waste the prime years of your playing life learning this lesson. If I had my old stroke with what I know now......<hr /></blockquote>

So true. I've found the best "practice" for that is playing with friends who are better players than you, and willing to talk about the game as you play. Scotch doubles in 8-ball is great.

Deeman3
04-09-2007, 02:02 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr> I don't have a fraction of the ball making skills I used to, and I am a far more dangerous player today than I have ever been.



<hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> Therein lies the heart of the secret of those who will always be players and those who will forever be chasing this silly game. It is funny that most us, when we can't miss a cut shot the length of the table (me and you at 19, I saw you, I know you didn't miss), waste all those years until it finally hits us and we actually grow as players. </font color>

I can't make half the shots I could back then but I'd gladly take myself on age 54 and give that 19 year old a spanking... /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif Almost no one wants to "learn" this game anymore. Everyone wants to show you how much they "know" and can do. As I have said many times, many of us profit off that attitude. I guess the others will when they are ready, hopefully not waiting until they are 40 to learn. /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

wolfdancer
04-09-2007, 02:34 PM
Good post !!!!

SpiderMan
04-09-2007, 03:52 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr> I don't have a fraction of the ball making skills I used to, and I am a far more dangerous player today than I have ever been.
<hr /></blockquote>
<font color="blue"> Therein lies the heart of the secret of those who will always be players and those who will forever be chasing this silly game. It is funny that most us, when we can't miss a cut shot the length of the table (me and you at 19, I saw you, I know you didn't miss), waste all those years until it finally hits us and we actually grow as players. </font color>
I can't make half the shots I could back then but I'd gladly take myself on age 54 and give that 19 year old a spanking... /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif Almost no one wants to "learn" this game anymore. Everyone wants to show you how much they "know" and can do. As I have said many times, many of us profit off that attitude. I guess the others will when they are ready, hopefully not waiting until they are 40 to learn. /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif <hr /></blockquote>

Dee, Charlie,

I think you guys are falling into the old "I used to could do this and that" trap.

It's easy to remember the great shots made, and forget the ones missed, and think that somehow we were just "naturals" at rolling the balls into the pockets. Youth is a magical time, and we want to remember it as blessed.

I was there, right there, same time and place as the both of you, and I remember clearly - AT 19, I SELDOM MADE FIVE BALLS IN A ROW. I BROKE AND RAN MAYBE ONCE EVERY HOUR OR TWO. We were gunning, too - safety games were rare, because there was no ball-in-hand reward. Yet I make shots now that didn't even exist for me then!

Deeman, I didn't know you in Memphis or I'd probably be able to offer you a reality check too, but Chopstick and I were the best of friends. I mean, we literally thought alike about almost everything. And we've played pretty even all our lives. That means he couldn't have been a runout shotmaker either. If you saw him, and you think he didn't miss, it's probably because you can't remember missing any yourself /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Chopstick's easily TWICE the shotmaker he ever was in Memphis, and I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would want to depress themselves by thinking they're losing the touch.

The only thing I'll admit to, other than the occasional back pain, is losing some of my up-close focusing ability. This makes it tougher to see if balls are frozen or interfering. But my shotmaking continues to improve, and I run out about a third of the time I make a ball on the break.

Jesus, it makes me want to buy you guys walking canes, soft food, and training pants /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

SpiderMan

Deeman3
04-09-2007, 04:03 PM
Hey, Spiderman! Don't rain on our pity parade.... /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

cushioncrawler
04-09-2007, 04:09 PM
I used to praktis one or two days a week. Solo english billiards is very wearying to praktis, u havta go retrieve a ball, and perhaps spot it, allmost every shot, 12' table too. I would do 3 to 4 hours, then sit down (collapse) and have a 50/50 coke and stout (for lunch), then drag myself up, and do another 3 to 4 hours solo. Didnt do me much good -- duzzenmadder -- praktis is more fun than play i reckon. I reckon that few players can improov much without help. And without watching and talking to better players.

But, do u uze a diary ??? Me, myself, i note every little thing about what iz or iznt working etc. Writing it down helps my memory, and forces me to fully analyze what iz (or iznt) going on. I wonder how many (good) players keep (or kept) a praktis diary. madMac.

SpiderMan
04-09-2007, 04:11 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr> Hey, Spiderman! Don't rain on our pity parade.... /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif
<hr /></blockquote>
Sorry /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

SpiderMan

mantis
04-09-2007, 07:55 PM
The more I play, the better I get. An occasional short break seems to help, but I try to play at least a little each day. If I am just too tired, or the stroke is not there, then I do not linger for too long, as it usually returns the next day. That, or I just try to concentrate harder. I think a mix of drils and just playing are good.

TennesseeJoe
04-09-2007, 09:16 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote andytoh:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote TennesseeJoe:</font><hr> And your real concern is how to measure improvement. <hr /></blockquote>
No, that is not my concern. I know when I'm improving and when I'm not (based on my "perfect shot percentage"). My concern is how often I should practice in order to maximize my rate of improvement. All I know so far is that more is not better.

An analogy I can think of is weight training. If you overtrain without giving your muscles rest, your muscles won't grow. But have a very intense workout followed by a good period of rest, and then your muscles will grow DURING REST.

I similarly have found that my perception of the correct feathering direction for a pot, and my perception of the correct spin and cue delivery force for the desired cue ball control become more accurate after I have rested from an intense practice session. If I rest too little (say just 3 hours), my mind has not fully grasped the angles and spins that I experienced from the previous practice session. On the other hand, if I rest too long (say 4 days), my mind has forgotten what it learned from the previous practice session and my feathering is also not as smooth as the previous practice session either. <hr /></blockquote>


Thanks for the clarification.

Chopstick
04-10-2007, 03:01 PM
I don't think he's remembering correctly. He went off to college while you and I were busy wasting our youth. After that he moved away to Texas.

Back in those days I could draw the ball three rails without even trying hard. Now I'm lucky if I can get it halfway back up the table. There's all kind of shots that I used to make that I wouldn't even try now. I am surprised I can even make a ball. I even miss the ball with ball in hand.

SpiderMan
04-10-2007, 03:45 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr> I don't think he's remembering correctly. He went off to college while you and I were busy wasting our youth. After that he moved away to Texas.

Back in those days I could draw the ball three rails without even trying hard. Now I'm lucky if I can get it halfway back up the table. There's all kind of shots that I used to make that I wouldn't even try now. I am surprised I can even make a ball. I even miss the ball with ball in hand. <hr /></blockquote>

My memory's OK. I "went off to college" 70 miles from home. We played every weekend except for the two years when you were in the army, and at least twice a year after I moved to Texas. Didn't slow down until you moved to Atlanta - maybe once a year then.

Sure, we used to make some "God-like" plays now and then. That probably still happens. But now we can also shoot "fairly-richeous" pool all the time, which we couldn't do then. You're much better now, yes, even at draw. And still improving. Don't brainwash yourself into denying it. Enjoy.

ps - The only reason I don't rack immediately after giving you ball in hand is that I want to see if you pick the same shots I would.

SpiderMan

jjinfla
04-20-2007, 06:59 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr> I once practiced for eight to sixteen hours a day for six and a half years. <hr /></blockquote>

Talk about doing something over and over and expecting a different result.

So what do you have to show for all of that time you spent at the pool table?

Please tell us that you do play at the pro level and actually compete against the pros?

Jake

maxmillion
04-24-2007, 05:26 AM
Experimentation and Information for me is the key to good practice. You have to know exactly what you're doing, try some different approaches and give it time to be learnt on the table.

I've tried a number of aiming methods and finally found one that I can use effectively 95% of the time. If I didn't experiment I still could be using a method thats not suited to me. I practice about 2 hours a day for a month and then get sick of it and take a month off. Luckily though when I come back I am still close to the standard I was when I took the break.

I'm not a pro but I can make 50-90 breaks in Snooker regulary. I would say if you want to be better than that, it would take 4-6 hours a day of practice. I'm happy with my standard and I don't want to get any better. I've won the local A-Grade competition a number of times and took a bit of cash from a few guys and I have a reputation as a good player where I live. Thats enough for me.

In the end you can practice 8 hours a day and not even break 20. Hehe, I've seen it done. When you go to take each shot make sure you are concious of everything you do and try new things.

It takes time to get better. You can't measure your improvement day to day. You have to measure it from year to year. (thats if you want to be a pro, I don't know how good you want to get) I mean I broke 65 my second week of playing and I didn't get close to that again for around 18 months. Then, another 6 months after that I was doing it most of the time. If you want to 'own' the game - where total clearances are the norm along with century breaks, you will need 8+ hours a day. (assuming you know how to practice) When it comes to the fine motor skills as are used in this game, the only thing that works is brute force - hours upon hours.