View Full Version : Read About my Upcoming Adventures in Holland!
01-06-2010, 11:27 AM
WPBA Pro Liz Ford here...
I just posted a new blog entry about my upcoming trip to The Netherlands to go train with Johan Ruysink.
Read more about it here! (http://sticksandballsandholes.blogspot.com/2010/01/netherlands-adventure-is-on-deck.html)
01-08-2010, 11:13 AM
I was in the Hague for about a week and found a snooker hall near my hotel. This was some sorta club but that was good cuz they wanted to pare me up with a willing member. That worked well since now I had someone to play against. I had to pay some euros of course... I don't recall.
The place was full of only 12 foot snooker tables. A sight to be seen since I know of only one of these in a 50 mile radius of where I live in the US.
Have fun in the Netherlands! Pool is played alot in that country - wish it could be the same here in France. I met Dutch players last weekend at Paris Open tournament. Neils Feijen was there as well as other players of any levels.
I guess here in Europe we play pool like in the US, except that we don't train the same way maybe. I had a talk with US pro Steve Moore last Sunday in Paris and we talked about differences between the way to play pool from a country to one another. To his mind, there's not really a kind of pool for one country or culture, but it would be more a matter of persons. In his opinion, it's each player's style that is different to one another. However, generally speaking, I agree that at first sight European players don't look or play quite the same way.
Anyway, good luck with your trip, I think it'll be a great pool and human experience for you. There's a Eurotour tournament in Paris scheduled in February, if you ever have the opportunty to cross the borderline and get there, even just to watch matches, you'll be able to see most of the best European players in action. I'm looking forward to going there maybe, but as a spectator, not as a player!
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">to go train with Johan Ruysink. </div></div>
BCA Master Instr
01-26-2010, 08:10 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Qtec</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">to go train with Johan Ruysink. </div></div>
01-26-2010, 02:41 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BCA Master Instr</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Qtec</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">to go train with Johan Ruysink. </div></div>
Good question??? </div></div>
I don't know who this guy is, but I have to believe there are equal or better instructors here in the U.S.A. In addition to our own Randy G., there is Mark Wilson, Jerry Briesath and a few others. Also, Liz has Tony Robles right in her hometown of NYC. Why go all of the way to Holland?
I guess that Liz simply wanted to add an 'exotic' touch by traveling to the Netherlands, maybe to get some experience about how pool is played or taught in Holland and in Europe as well, in order to maybe see if there are some differences compared to what is available in the USA. At reading her post, she seems to find some interest in European players. So perhaps it's one of the reasons why she's flown to the Netherlands. Also, in this country, pool is very popular and considered as a sport not a hobby. So, in my opinion this European experience was a main reason for here to go for it in Holland.
What she said was,
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
When I found myself on an airport shuttle with Johan, I saw an opportunity (ie. a captive audience) to do a little investigating. <u>After hearing him talk about a philosophy of training already proven with a cache of champions,</u> I decided to go experience it for myself. Ten hours a day for five days is what I'm set to do next week. </div></div>
What philosophy would that be?
01-31-2010, 07:20 AM
We are involved in top professional coaching (Snooker) and as you are talking about going to Holland for some training I just asked myself the question how pool players are actually exercising. For snooker we have may be 50+ pratice shot routines which are increasing various aspects of your game. Do professional pool players also use these kind of routines ?
And what about the mental coaching ? As billiard is also to a very big extend a 'mind game' ... How to cope with stress ... etc.
Thanks for your reply.
First off, I'm happy to see I'm not the only European guy on this forum! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif
I'm neither a pro nor a high-level pool player. I guess pros like Liz or others on here would give you further more interesting and precise information than me. Nevertheless, I can at least tell you about my own way to practice pool.
In my opinion, pool requires as much practice as snooker, and I guess the way to practice would be quite similar, even if pool gear (table, cues and balls), stance and stroke, and the diversity and specs of the several pool games can be different compared to snooker.
I train on myself, with the help and advice of a master player I consider as my coach. He's shown me some tips and basic drills, told me some remarks after playing games with me etc. Afterwards, sarting with his advice, I've been seeking drills, tips and other methods here and there. Each time I train, I start by kinda warmup, playing a few racks, generally 9-ball, which is the game I play the best. During the first games I play without thinking, just pure warmup, no matter if I miss shots or position. Then after 2 or 3 games, I start playing more seriously, but not too much though, because I think it should remain as a warmup. Then I start basic drills common to all pool games. These dirlls are mostly about fundamentals : straight and cut shots, line-ups and other drills of that kinds. During this series of drills, whatever the exercise, I always pay attention on my pre-shot routine, stance, bridge, stroke and aiming. Also, depending on the drill, I take care of what I do about basic cue ball hits : stun, draw and follow. To my mind, whatever the level of play, fundamentals shall remain trained and practiced. I'm also lucky to have a large mirror next to the pool table I play on, which is very useful to watch what I'm doing when I'm alone, especially concerning my stance and stroke. On some of these drills, I'll only focuse on shot making, wherereas on others I'll also pay attention to position play. Generally, I start with the ones about shot making only, and then I switch to the ones requiring position play.
Then, after basic drills, I start practicing drills that are a bit more specific to some games in particular. Depending of the game I want to work on (I often try vary from a pratcice session to onr another). For example, for 9-ball or 10-ball games, I practice drills like progressive rotation, drills to train on long distance position play (still playing balls in rotation order), in order to work on cue ball control and storke specific to these rotation games, or also drills about combo shots (above all carom and billiard combo, that can often occur in these games). For 8-ball and 14.1 contunuous, I practice drills more focused on short soft stroke (sorry if I don't use the right terms, I mean the stroke is different than in rotation games, involving less shaft length, and a softer hit), position play in a small-radius zone of the table, postion play strategy and plan of attack (how to choose the right path among many possibilities). And then I also drills more specific to 8-ball and 14.1 : running out solids or stripes for 8-ball, break shot drills or strategy drills (finding the right break ball for instance) for 14.1.
Whatever the game I want particularly to work on, and regarding this game, I also drill on safeties. Defence is an important part of any pool games to my mind, and I work on safeties more and more.
Afterwards, I finish my practice session by training on playing. If I'm alone, I play ghost games (whatever the game, even if I've never tried this at 14.1 yet) : you play a kind of match in a race to 10 games. Your opponent is the 'ghost' and never misses when he's on the table. You always start each game, take the cue ball in han after breaking the rack and then you must run out the table. If you ever miss, the gohst will win the game. This is a good drill to apply drills practiced before, train on one particular game, and also deal with pressure quite similar to the pressure you can have in a real tournament match. If I'm not alone, I prefer testing my play with a strong player, like my coach. When I play him, we play serious and I feel kinda pressure as in a real official match, because I want to show him what I can do, play my best, and beat him (someday!). Depending on the day, we just play a series of games, but we also often play matches. The final score when I play a player like him is then a good assessment about my current training and self-improvement.
I've also recently started to work on self-test games to sort of measure my improvements, using tests like Q-Skill for instance. I've decided to regularly do these tests, once a week. Then I end up my training session playing for fun, in order to relax. To my mind, fun is also important, and ending with games played for fun is quite similar as stertching for athletes after their physical traning. Intense training can be tiring and I guess it's important to relax this way in the end.
I don't do all of the things mentioned above everytime I practice, depending on the time I have. But I try to plan all of this along the week, and I do almost all parts when I have time like 3 hours for instance.
About mental, I have no clue and I'd really like to get information about that! So, I'm eagerly waiting for replies from Liz and others here about that! Mental is a major weak point for me in competition : I often lose games because I'm nervous or so, and I don't play my best then.
Well, that's it. I hope I had some clues - my personal version at least - about pool training. And I'm sure you'll find further more about it here.
02-01-2010, 06:09 AM
thanks for this elaborate information!
On the mental aspect you should consult with Chris Henry, my business partner of Acuerate. He's very good at that aspect and helped Peter Ebdon to become world Champion of snooker by working on mental rehersal. One tip is : you have to visualise the outcome of the match you play over and over again before it starts and see yourself victorious. This kind of mental rehersal is very powerful. Further more I advise breathing excercises before your match which will make you relax more. You can find such excercises on the internet easily.
Hope this is helpful.
By the way : what cue are you playing with ? If you're nervous surely you will apply more sidespin to the cue ball (unintentional) which will make your cue ball deflect more and miss more (difficult) pots (long pots)... be aware of this. Better to use a low deflection shaft.
Enjoy your game !
Thanks for the tips Johan, I'll look forward to them. My play cue is a Joss, with a standard Joss shaft (hard rock maple, 13-mm tip). This cue is pretty stiff, providing solid hit with low deflection. I've had this cue for nearly a month. Before I had a Meucci, wich was an extremely lively, flexible cue. Now my play has improved alot since I got the Joss, my hits are more stable, very less missed shots than before, especially on long distance shots or shots with lateral spin. A better cue ball control has helped me recover self-confidence, which is a good new start I think.
When I get nervous during a match, I mostly don't miss because of undesired side-spin. Most of the time, anxiety makes my aiming wrong, or it had bad effect on my stroke, especially regarding stroke speed on the final follow-though just before hitting (too much slow or fast, depending on the shot). I can also have my heartbeat increase, and feel kinda dizzy, confused at the table, not 'seeing' the game, my plan of attack as I am used to doing it when practicing. I try to isolate myself when giving hand to my opponent, just focusing on the table he/she is playing, not the player. I am not that bad at training, maybe because competition pressure is not around, even if I play a high level player for practice. But, as I am a low level player, and have no big experience about competition (I had a several-year break away from pool and competition before I went back to it last Summer), I don't feel at ease, as if I was 'afraid to win' : for instance, at 9-ball, when nervous, I sometimes miss the 9, even with a good position or I miss a final runout (7-8-9), whereas at practice, I train alot on these phases of the game, and I do it well.
I try to think positive, and enter the arena as a winner, but i guess I need to play a lot of tournaments to gain experience. As we say in French : when you fall off the horse, you must climb up again. For the moment, regarding mental, my new cue has been the first remarkable step forward : I have a better stroke, I shoot better and feel better. Now I'm looking forward to feeling that in competition.
I think Liz's report about her trip to Holland will bring us good information about that and training pool in general.
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