View Full Version : Compete less, drill more?
Am I right in thinking that beginners sometimes hurt themselves by neglecting drill work and by focusing too soon on play in leagues? League play can be fun, but I question whether playing in a league is an effective way to develop basic skills. Comments from the board's teachers might be helpful...
10-04-2002, 05:25 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Anonymous:</font><hr> Am I right in thinking that beginners sometimes hurt themselves by neglecting drill work and by focusing too soon on play in leagues? League play can be fun, but I question whether playing in a league is an effective way to develop basic skills. Comments from the board's teachers might be helpful...
Twelve Generals <hr></blockquote>
hopefully you will hear from more experienced people than I. i am a beginner and am on a league where in talking to many 2-3,these are observations only, of many of them.
they only want one night of pool and league for them is a social thing.
most do not take lessons, do drills,practice as they are just doing it for fun.it is beyond me, but have talked to many who are content with sl2 or 3. in fact, even met some 4s that way.
gosh, i think drills are very important to me as a beginner. i take lessons to give me more sound fundamentals cuz i would never be any good without a good stroke, follow through etc
as a beginner, i also know i am not going to get good overnight. i have to put in the time, so having a pool table in my house and doing drills and practice 1-2 hours a day, i am logging that time.my hubbie is a 7 so you might say i get constant mini lessons, although sometimes i get irritated when he tells me too much at once. i know i, as a beginner, though, am blessed in ways, have resources at my disposal that most beginners do not.
just think about it. in dc playing pool for an hour costs 7$.if i have limited funds i go to league and get there an hour early.i can practice for an hour,if i dont play that night i got an hour on the table for free. if i do play, i pay $7 to apa so i got 2 hours. i in play and one in practice.that is where ww and i would be right now if i did not have my own table.these are very temporary lean times for us, luckily wont last long.
drills...from a beginner, too much of this and i get bored. i do a few basic ones then knock in balls. while i am knocking in balls, i am paying attention to my followthrough, eyemoves, bridge, stance as well as the things i am working on like will set up a few draws.
i am 50 years old so know some things in general. if a person has the heart and drive to excell at any sport, regardless of talent or lack thereof, with persistence that person will be good.the time it takes will vary and the less talented person may have a lower peak point, but remember the tortoise ran beat the hair.
i know you asked for expert opinions but figured hearing things from a beginner who is willing to do anything to get good, wouldnt hurt.
10-04-2002, 07:05 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Anonymous:</font><hr> Am I right in thinking that beginners sometimes hurt themselves by neglecting drill work and by focusing too soon on play in leagues? <hr></blockquote>
I often wonder about this. I know that the question of "if you had to start all over" comes up, would working on drills and fundamentals early on actually provide a more rapid progression? My opinion is that it will not.
That being said, I think beginners should do a lot of watching, filtering, and emulating (attempting to emulate). The emulation should, imo, start on a practice table and not on a league match. Let's call this the Dick Leonard approach.
10-04-2002, 07:46 AM
I believe it would depend on the goals of the player:
Strictly Social Player
<ul type="square"> Needs to know which end of the cue to chalk.
Should have a basic understanding of how to rack.
Understands "real" pool players don't twirl their cues, regardless of what they saw in the movies.
Should stick to playing in a friendly, bar-box league.
If he/she wants their own cue, they can buy one at Sears. They should also load up on screw-on tips.
Most importantly, they should have fun.
Should understand what the color black is.
Social Player developing a Competitive Spirit
<ul type="square"> A few lessons with a QUALIFIED Instructor (not the guy who sits at the end of the bar everyday) and some basic drills to practice.
DEDICATED practice and drill time.
Knows that only "bangers" twirl the rack after racking.
Should own a decent cue (or be able to sponge one from a teammate.)
Compete in a low S/L (or handicapped) tournament for the experience of competition outside of league.
KNOWS what the color black is.
Competitive League & Tournament Player
<ul type="square"> Drills and Practice time are an understood necessity.
Occasional lessons with an Instructor to improve certain aspects of their game.
Plays in tournaments of all types.
Plays in an "open" league.
Knows who Richard Black is.
Owns a few cues and a couple of nice cases.
<ul type="square"> Watched "The Color of Money" 1864 times and can mouth the words VERBATIM.
Owns a "$3000. Lucasi and once played Earl at a bar in Tecumseh, Oklahoma and won $500. after being down $2500."
Wears all black clothing, plays "Eminem" on the juke box and wears a black glove on his bridge hand.
Thinks Simonis is smooth because it's "worn out".
Twirls his cue, the rack and adds the neat little trick of slamming whitey into the head ball to set it, then wonders aloud why the tables are "so crappy".
Has black chalk and thinks Richard Black is the leader of a civil rights group in Alabama.
<ul type="square"> Knows how to play, who to play and who to stay away from, unless the donated weight is sufficient.
Practices all of the time, some drills and other times, just repeatedly throws the balls on the table and pockets them.
Probably doesn't play in a league, and if he/she does, is on the team that wins every session.
Owns as many cues as he/she has divorce decrees on file at the local courthouse.
Has played with a Richard Black.
Will not play for "play" but will play for "pay".
There are other catagories of players that fit in the middle of these, but this is the jist of it.
phil in sofla
10-04-2002, 08:01 PM
I think Yogi Berra said you can see a lot just by observing. As usual with him, the apparent nonsense had a big kernel of truth to it.
League exposes a beginner to many different players doing many different things, proper strategic play (which can make a win for someone with less shooting ability than their opponent), and many extremely useful things for progress, if you pay attention and ask.
Not even every advanced player does drills, and even those who do may find them boring, tedious, and stultifying. It may even be that drilling should be delayed for that reason, until the beginner gets hooked on the game, because there is some potential that it could kill their interest stillborne at a very early stage. I'd say the average course of a player's development is they play on instinct and maybe some bare instruction or pointers, have some progress to an intermediate stage, and only then turn to drills to fine tune their skills. (Not that they don't 'practice,' but they don't practice drills until later).
Since drills are very much like work, rarely fun, often involving considerable failure, that may be simply too much of a burden for the beginner, whose level of commitment to the game has yet to be established.
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