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Icon of Sin
09-05-2010, 06:40 AM
First of all let me say that I used to love practicing. Going to the pool hall, throwing on the headphones and just going at it by myself for 3 hours. I loved it.

Recently, I have had no desire at all to practice, but I still want to compete and get in matches like touries, league, and small action. Has anyone else been through this? How did you fix it if you did?

Rich R.
09-05-2010, 08:35 AM
Heath, I'm not sure what to tell you. You either have to find a form of practice that includes some competition or you just have to compete more.

There are forms of practice that include score keeping and you compete against your own past performances. Although I have never tried it, there are many who play a game called Fargo. I'm sure you can get the details on the internet somewhere.

I am the worst when it comes to practice. I absolutely hate the repitition of drills. What I have been doing recently is just practicing straight pool by myself. I rack and set up a break shot and try to run as many balls as I can, which isn't too many. When I miss, I start over. My goal is to beat my personal best. You can do something similar with 9-ball or 8-ball by playing the ghost.

The only other thing you can do is play in more leagues or match up more often. I don't gamble on pool any more so I'll leave that to you to decide. There are many pros and cons.

I don't know what is available in the pool rooms near you, but you can always take a short drive and come to Big Daddy's in Glen Burnie. In addition to the variety of normal in house and travel APA leagues, Big Daddy's runs their own straight pool, one pocket and 8ball/9ball leagues. These are all singles, handicapped, leagues and they are very flexible concerning when you play your matches. They also have a few weekly tournaments, some handicapped and some not. If you are interested in more details, send me a PM or call Big Daddy's and talk to Rick Molinero.

I think you would like some of these leagues and it is certainly worth the drive. I know I drive from Ellicott City for an APA league and the straight pool league. If I had more time, I would go for some of the other leagues too.

bradb
09-05-2010, 12:22 PM
Rich, I hate drills also. I like to break 10 games of 9ball (or 8ball,) and see how many run outs I can make with the least misses. (Intentional safes do not count as a miss.) I keep track by setting up percentages the same as a baseball pitcher might. Every time I start I'm trying to beat my previous record.

(Nothing more frustrating to have a nice percentage going right up to game 10, then come off the wheels.

/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/cry.gif Brad

Fran Crimi
09-05-2010, 01:22 PM
Sure. This is very common. Try setting some competition goals for yourself, like a particular tournament or league you have your sights on. Then take a look at your competition, or even jump in and see what happens. If you do well, then no problem, but if you don't do well, then it should inspire you to practice. Most people who love to compete often find themselves needing a reason to practice rather than just practicing for the sake of playing. Find your reason and you should be OK.

Pacifist
09-05-2010, 05:14 PM
Getting motivated to practice can be tough. There was quite a period of time in which I only practiced by playing or running random drills till I got bored. This wasn't very effective in improving my game. Now I practice 1 hour each day. I used the pool books in my collection to pick out drills that focused on different areas of my game and I run 4-6 drills in that one hour never using more than one or two racks of balls for each drill. I record the results of each drill. Recording my results helps me track my progress and gives me a more realistic view of my abilities.

I don't know if my method of practice will help you, but having a focused training session each day has certainly helped me. I have also tried running some specific warm up drills before each shooting session and found that to be very beneficial.

cushioncrawler
09-05-2010, 06:48 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Icon of Sin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">First of all let me say that I used to love practicing. Going to the pool hall, throwing on the headphones and just going at it by myself for 3 hours. I loved it. Recently, I have had no desire at all to practice, but I still want to compete and get in matches like touries, league, and small action. Has anyone else been through this? How did you fix it if you did?</div></div>Solo praktis for english billiards on a 12' table iz hard work (ie boring).
But experimenting iz fun. Experimenting iz a form of praktis -- but it iz mostly a way of avoiding proper praktis.
Solo praktis for english billiards shoodnt be boring koz english billiards iz very varyd -- what with 3 ways of scoring (inoffs pots and cannons) -- and what with at least 6 methods of playing.

I reckon that one kood rank cuesports based on a sort of subjektiv Boredom Index -- talking about solo praktis here, not competition.
No, Fun Faktor for solo praktis, sounds better. The ranking might look like this (just guessing).
1...... (Solo praktis least fun).
2...... 9Ball.
3...... 8Ball.
4...... 14.1 Pool.
5...... Snooker.
6...... 3Cushion.
7...... Straight-Rail.
8...... Baulk-Line Billiards.
9...... English Billiards.
10..... (Solo praktis most fun).

Anyhow, mac hardly ever praktises english billiards (solo), after about 30yrs -- and mac gave snooker about 5 months of good hard solo praktis before crying enuff -- i doubt that mac would last 1 month at 8Ball.
But enjoyment of competitiv play iz another thing.
mac.

Icon of Sin
09-06-2010, 07:36 AM
Thanks for the advice everyone.

My league matches are few and far between due to my rating. My father, another teammate and myself usually end up taking different turns on any given league night. The times I do shoot on league, I have been playing decently and winning and overall happy with my performance.

Along the lines of tournaments, I haven't shot in any in a while. A few weeks ago I jumped in a local 9ball barbox tourney and I split first with my buddy who made it to the finals with me through the losers bracket. Semi tough field. Was fortuante in dodging a few bullets and got some lucky draws I guess as well.

I think I'm going to get in some more tourneys and see how that goes. I've been in a decent playing patch for a while now and would like it to continue and I attribute part of my lack of wanting to practice to what Fran said. I'm sure I'm going to have a disasterous day coming up that will probably get me practicing again.

Thank you for the responses and advice everyone. Rich you have a PM.

JoeW
09-06-2010, 12:42 PM
Personally, I love to practice. Play th Ghost. I don't care how well you play, your are going to miss at some point. When I miss I try to figure out why and then play that shot many times. Can't do that in competition.

If I keep missing the same type of shot, then this is what I need to practice.

I sometimes keep a book with diagrams of shots I missed during competition so I can practice them later. Funny how trying to improve on one type of shots leads to other things I should be working on. Then when I get bored it is back to playing the Ghost.

Try playing the Ghost and playing safe when you need to and then escaping your own safe. Each successful attempt keeps you in the game. Each miss is a loss of game, and time to practice that shot before the next game.

JJFSTAR
09-07-2010, 09:47 AM
What I am going to say will sound like a smart a$$ comment but it actually is quite serious. When I am happy with my overall performance I will stop practicing and just shoot competitively. How well I would have to shoot to make myself happy with my overall performance is far beyond my natural ability as a player (and most humans). And I do believe that is the key; as Fran said.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Fran Crimi</div><div class="ubbcode-body">…. If you do well, then no problem, but if you don't do well, then it should inspire you to practice. ….Find your reason and you should be OK. </div></div>

That is pure gold to anyone who ever says “I hate drills” “I hate practicing” etc.. etc.. What constitutes “doing well” varies from one person to the next as much as there is a variance between nighttime and daytime, as Fran said.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Fran Crimi</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Try setting some competition goals for yourself, like a particular tournament or league you have your sights on. Then take a look at your competition… </div></div>

More gold, some people are quite happy with the way they shoot and they are really good (in their minds) and there is nothing wrong with that. Those people don’t need to practice and they don’t.

The greatest teacher I have ever met was big on this statement “you must need (fill in the blank); like you need shoes when you go for a jog” or “you must need (fill in the blank); like you need an umbrella when its raining”. It was truly amazing how many things he came up with that a person would need.

So I will leave you with this. You must need to practice like you need liquid when you are thirsty. And if you are not thirsty don’t bother practicing. Fran gave one good suggestion of how to get motivated. Here may be another; ask yourself if you are in any way satisfied with the way you shoot. If the answer is yes, don’t bother practicing; if the answer is no, then you know what you need to do and that is to hit the practice table.

The current skill lever of the person I am addressing is completely irrelevant. I don’t care if you are the equivalent of an SL 1 or an SL 1,000. I have seen 1’s who don’t need to practice and 1,000’s that do and vice versa, you have to decide if you do or you don’t.

09-07-2010, 12:19 PM
Personally, I;m not a fan of drills either. One of the things i do to practice is to play the 10 ball ghost, bih after the break and total up the points. 10 racks, and each ball is a point. Joe Tucker has a scale, based on point totals, on what your ability is. I also play safe or kick if I get jammed up and a shot is near impossible (just to practice safeties a lil).

I find that having a goal to achieve keeps me interested.


Eric &gt;prolly said the same thing as everyone else

Sid_Vicious
09-07-2010, 08:01 PM
Practice is totally boring, and unless you are making this sport a career, what real value is there in hours of practice? Drills are even worse. If you can't begin sets of 9B for cheap money, make yourself a spot, and play for days on end, and LEARN to win,,,I say practice is highly overrated. Pressure and play, that's the game of pool IMO. "Play for something", although maybe it will be really cheap, and you will find your are better off than practice hours by yourself.

Oddly, the very first shot I'll find that I miss mostly in playing after practicing a lot, will be the fundamental shot I THOUGHT practice had fixed for me to always make...

BS on practice. It simply distracts you from the shots you already know that you can make...sid

Fran Crimi
09-08-2010, 07:09 AM
Unfortunately, no amount of practice at the table will cure performance anxiety. That's a whole other animal that needs to be addressed in a different way. One way is as you said, by teaching yourself how to adapt to compeition and to become more comfortable in that environment so that the things you practiced will be able to come through in competition.

09-08-2010, 10:25 AM
PErformance anxiety is a whole 'nutha topic. Regarding the original topic of lack of motivation to practice, IMHO, I feel that one good way to stay motivated is to have a practice goal to strive for. The worst thing in the world is to mindlessly hammer out the same drill for hours. Again, IMHO.


Eric

Fran Crimi
09-08-2010, 04:19 PM
I agree wholeheartedly with you, Eric. If you're going to practice, might as well make it worth while.

Fran Crimi
09-08-2010, 04:19 PM
Hey, thanks for the nod.

JJFSTAR
09-09-2010, 07:55 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Sid_Vicious</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Practice is totally boring, and unless you are making this sport a career, what real value is there in hours of practice? Drills are even worse. If you can't begin sets of 9B for cheap money, make yourself a spot, and play for days on end, and LEARN to win,,,I say practice is highly overrated. Pressure and play, that's the game of pool IMO. "Play for something", although maybe it will be really cheap, and you will find your are better off than practice hours by yourself.

Oddly, the very first shot I'll find that I miss mostly in playing after practicing a lot, will be the fundamental shot I THOUGHT practice had fixed for me to always make...

BS on practice. It simply distracts you from the shots you already know that you can make...sid </div></div>



Possibly the most absurd thing I have ever heard. What is there in life that is done extraordinarily well in the absence of practice? Golf, tennis, bowling, bobsledding, boxing, tiddlywinks, football, basketball, swimming, dancing, chess, violin or whatever in order to be “better than the next guy” all require practice just like pool.

You yourself admittedly have “practiced a lot”, what to you think got you to the skill level that allowed you to compete? The answer is; a lot of practice, just like anything else. No one could argue that there is some substitute for competitive experience; because, of course there isn’t, that would also be just plain silly.

To say that there has ever been anyone who has ever done anything extraordinarily well competitively with the absence of practice is as ridiculous as saying that there has ever been anyone who has done anything to the highest degree competitively in the absence of competitive experience.

In order for a person to play anything to the best or their natural ability they must practice and compete. If they do not do both they cannot possibly reach their full potential as a player, that is not a reality of pool that is a reality of life.

Bambu
09-09-2010, 08:23 AM
I always thought that if I ever got my own table, I would finally start practicing. Well, so much for that. I only find myself practicing when my wife nags me so much, I just have to leave the house.

But even with terrible practice habits, I did learn to play the game. Things just took longer than they might have. You can play competitively, gamble, take lessons, or just practice long enough and anybody can learn. It's all a matter of how good you wanna get, and how fast you want it to happen. Like the song says, its a long way to the top if ya wanna rock and roll.

cushioncrawler
09-09-2010, 05:40 PM
ACDC never hadta praktis, koz all of their songs were the same.
U too, if you had only one repeating stroke.
mac.

Chopstick
09-10-2010, 06:31 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Fran Crimi</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Unfortunately, no amount of practice at the table will cure performance anxiety. </div></div>

I thought they had pills for that now. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

All you guys that don't wanna practice. No problem. We're always looking for a few good rackers. It's called DISCIPLINE and if you don't have it, you aren't going to win many pool games. You certainly are not going to improve your skill set. If you are playing as good as you ever want to then that's fine. Do you ever want to be something more than you are?

There is no end to the perfection of swordsmanship. No escape from the endless hours of solitude. If you were to ask the swordsman, why does he practice? He would tell you he does not know. He seeks only to forge his will in the discipline of practice. To make himself straight and sharp. Like the edge of his sword.

Each will perform according to their own capabilities. If you do not practice, you will never know what those capabilities are.

JJFSTAR
09-10-2010, 07:59 AM
Very well said

Bambu
09-10-2010, 08:11 AM
Sorry, but thats just crazy. Hardly anybody reaches full, self actualization. How could you, and still live your life? Anybody who gets their quality table time in at some point can learn the game. And no matter how slow, they can continue to build on what they learned.

If the swordsman works as an executioner but does not fight or even practice, he won't be the toughest SOB in the valley. But, he will still get pretty dam good at chopping heads off.

Rich R.
09-10-2010, 07:07 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Chopstick</div><div class="ubbcode-body">All you guys that don't wanna practice. No problem. We're always looking for a few good rackers. It's called DISCIPLINE and if you don't have it, you aren't going to win many pool games. You certainly are not going to improve your skill set. If you are playing as good as you ever want to then that's fine. Do you ever want to be something more than you are?

There is no end to the perfection of swordsmanship. No escape from the endless hours of solitude. If you were to ask the swordsman, why does he practice? He would tell you he does not know. He seeks only to forge his will in the discipline of practice. To make himself straight and sharp. Like the edge of his sword.

Each will perform according to their own capabilities. If you do not practice, you will never know what those capabilities are. </div></div>
I will speak for myself but I think it also applies to others.

I never said, and I never will say, I don't practice. I don't like to do repetitive drills. I do try to put in some table time every day.

Sometimes I play 14-1 by myself, sometimes 9-ball and sometimes I just roll out balls. While shooting, I practice a good stroke and I take shots that may not be the proper shot but they are more challenging. If I miss a shot, I try to figure out why I missed and play it again. I also practice cue ball control and position play. I think practice can take a lot of forms and this is the form that works for me.

Sid_Vicious
09-11-2010, 11:41 AM
Sure, I practiced, a lot, over the early times, for years. The thing about practice with some people though is that they let themselves get into over analysis into practicing, and miss the one, KEY element to their progress, playing and playing and playing. I myself have a bookshelf of pool books, pool videos in every format possible, and training aids out the yang-yang. It was a phase I went through, but in the end it was also a limiter to true, personal toughness in getting through a rack against good players. That's why I don't practice much anymore. I will concede this...if someone puts in at a minimum of 3 times the hours in REAL play that they do in PRACTICE, preferably much higher play hours, the the practice time can definitely be good for them. If it's the other way around, you'll only dishearten yourself when you miss shots that you made 90% IN PRACTICE. sid

pooltchr
09-11-2010, 11:56 AM
I try to get 20% of my table time as practice.
If I have 4 hours in the pool room, 30 minutes should be practice.

Steve

JJFSTAR
09-17-2010, 07:33 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Sid_Vicious</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Practice is totally boring, and unless you are making this sport a career, what real value is there in hours of practice? Drills are even worse. If you can't begin sets of 9B for cheap money, make yourself a spot, and play for days on end, and LEARN to win,,,I say practice is highly overrated. Pressure and play, that's the game of pool IMO. "Play for something", although maybe it will be really cheap, and you will find your are better off than practice hours by yourself.

Oddly, the very first shot I'll find that I miss mostly in playing after practicing a lot, will be the fundamental shot I THOUGHT practice had fixed for me to always make...

BS on practice. It simply distracts you from the shots you already know that you can make...sid </div></div>


<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Sid_Vicious</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Sure, I practiced, a lot, over the early times, for years. The thing about practice with some people though is that they let themselves get into over analysis into practicing, and miss the one, KEY element to their progress, playing and playing and playing. I myself have a bookshelf of pool books, pool videos in every format possible, and training aids out the yang-yang. It was a phase I went through, but in the end it was also a limiter to true, personal toughness in getting through a rack against good players. That's why I don't practice much anymore. I will concede this...if someone puts in at a minimum of 3 times the hours in REAL play that they do in PRACTICE, preferably much higher play hours, the the practice time can definitely be good for them. If it's the other way around, you'll only dishearten yourself when you miss shots that you made 90% IN PRACTICE. sid </div></div>

I find the statement that “practice is BS” and “one needs to strike a balance between their play and practice time” to be totally different statements. I agree with your second post, but it isn’t what you said in your 1st post.

Soflasnapper
09-26-2010, 12:30 PM
I still like to practice, and I still don't like to drill (which is quite different, IMO).

However, I think at a certain point, practice should be lessened in favor of drilling. All the hours of practicing create a base of competence (hopefully) which remains in your 'muscle memory' (which I take to be really your brain/body performance system, nothing actually to do with memories in your muscles).

Drilling would be to really fine-tune skills you mainly already have, or to develop things you don't actually have reliably in your game, and/or maybe to check back on certain skill sets, to see if they are still working reliably (especially when new problems arise in your game, to diagnose the trouble).

And most importantly, a drill ought to be strictly time-limited to whatever time you find on that day you can maintain your full attention. 15 to 20 minutes is not excessively short.

I still like (specialized) practice as a form of drill. For instance, I'll play a couple of racks of Irish billiards to work on carom play (with or without an opponent, doesn't matter much). Or if you want to improve your play with the bridge, play a couple of racks using the bridge on every shot. Want to work on speed/position control using top spin, or draw? Play a couple of racks using only that type of stroking.

Doing 'mini' practicing with a purpose, and/or time-limited drills, you can get the benefits without the 3-4 hours you maybe used to spend 'practicing,' while keeping in stroke and extending the range of your skill set.

A couple of years back Johnny A had been absent from the tv rounds or the winner's circle for some years, only to seemingly be revitalized. One commentator asked him how he'd done this, and he said, for the first time in his life, he had started to do drills. He said he never needed to before, just throw out balls and he was in stroke, but as the competition got better, and he got older, that was what worked for him.

So maybe, if you have &lt; 30 year old eyes and nerves of steel, you don't need to practice/drill right now. But it will probably come up down the road.