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View Full Version : Anatomy of a PRACTICE Session



bigbro6060
10-28-2002, 04:25 AM
What is a typical makeup of your practice sessions ?

here's mine

Start off with technique and straight stroking drills, Hitting the cueball up and down the centre spots, potting balls full length into pockets etc

then i move onto potting drills, this is to practice shots i;m not as good on, currently i'm focusing on shots with balls close to the rails

then i move onto cueball control drills, speed control, spin control, practicing positioning from one ball to another

then i move onto just playing a few racks of my version of straight pool. Basically i break the 15 balls up and pot all the balls in. I count how many missed shots i have if any.

then it varies, sometimes i do some break practice, sometimes something more specialist, just depends what i feel like

10-28-2002, 06:12 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: bigbro6060:</font><hr> What is a typical makeup of your practice sessions ?

here's mine

Start off with technique and straight stroking drills, Hitting the cueball up and down the centre spots, potting balls full length into pockets etc

then i move onto potting drills, this is to practice shots i;m not as good on, currently i'm focusing on shots with balls close to the rails

then i move onto cueball control drills, speed control, spin control, practicing positioning from one ball to another

then i move onto just playing a few racks of my version of straight pool. Basically i break the 15 balls up and pot all the balls in. I count how many missed shots i have if any.

then it varies, sometimes i do some break practice, sometimes something more specialist, just depends what i feel like

<hr></blockquote>

Sounds good to me.. I think the best practice is just hitting balls into pockets. I mean, you could practice cueball control all you want, but if you ever miss a shot, then controlling the cueball doesn't mean crap, unless you're playing safe. It's good to learn to pocket balls with all sorts of speeds, english, and angles.. till you can make any half-way decent shot at least 80% of the time, and difficult shots about 60 - 75%.

I just throw all 15 on the table and practice everything.. but mostly at first I work more on HOW I hit them in.. with a good stroke, and not a "poke", and then I work on making all of 'em.

Karatemom
10-28-2002, 07:48 AM
I work on straight ins first. Then I'll move to cut and throw shots. Once a month, I'll do QSkill to test myself. It gives me a goal to work for, too. I also will be doing Target Pool. The shots that I have trouble with, I will set up as drills and make sure I get them down.

When I practice, I'll do 100 of each shot, from each side of the table. That gives me enough repetition to grind it in my mind. When I do the QSkill, I give myself 3 warm up racks first, just throwing 15 balls on the table and shooting them in. The Target Pool drills I will incorporate into my normal 100 drill routine.

Heide

Chris Cass
10-28-2002, 08:50 AM
First I grab the rack from around my neck. Then, I'll comb my hair. Then, I get out 9 balls and rack. Then, I'll comb my hair. Then, I'll get all 15 balls and rack. That's only after I get warmed up with the 9 first. Then, I'll comb my hair. I'm the best at what I do and look good doing it. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif Then, I'll PM Cass and make corn jokes, rub in how nice the weather is down here, talk of how I'm a stones throw away from Dennis Searing and of course, comb my hair./ccboard/images/icons/laugh.gif

Sincerely,

Kato~~life is so rough with trying to keep up with golf, pool, barbeques, new bathing suits, and combs. LMAO

bluewolf
10-28-2002, 09:17 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Seattle-kid:</font><hr>

Sounds good to me.. I think the best practice is just hitting balls into pockets. I mean, you could practice cueball control all you want, but if you ever miss a shot, then controlling the cueball doesn't mean crap, unless you're playing safe. It's good to learn to pocket balls with all sorts of speeds, english, and angles.. till you can make any half-way decent shot at least 80% of the time, and difficult shots about 60 - 75%.

I just throw all 15 on the table and practice everything.. but mostly at first I work more on HOW I hit them in.. with a good stroke, and not a "poke", and then I work on making all of 'em. <hr></blockquote>

This is so true. I can safety pretty good, have decent cb speed control and get decent position sometimes but until I can pocket balls at a high percent, I will go be no good in pool. So while I do a little practice with ball speed and draw, most of my focus is spending time on the table every day just pocketing balls and when I miss one try to figure out what I did wrong.

BTW NPR I GOT A GOOD JOB and cant wait to start!!!

BW

"I feel good dadada...."

phil in sofla
10-28-2002, 09:28 AM
I generally break 15 balls (practicing my second ball 8-ball break), and then either shoot them in at random, straight pool style, or in rotation.

That gives me lots of reps of stroking and making balls, the first method more the soft, roll 'em in game, close shape in a limited quadrant of the table, the latter, more travelling around the table, and chances to work on safes, kicks, etc.

To simulate game concentration, I'll turn this into a version of equal offense or Fargo, giving myself ball in hand once or twice per rack, see how many balls I pocket with those bihs, and run 10 racks that way for a total score.

I also run a game called Boca ball, a 9-ball game where you take ball in hand after the break, and after every miss, deducting a point from the beginning 10 count per rack per miss (-2 for a scratch or table foul, or for missing the 9), and running 10 racks that way for a total score.

10-28-2002, 10:20 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: bigbro6060:</font><hr> What is a typical makeup of your practice sessions ?

here's mine

Start off with technique and straight stroking drills, Hitting the cueball up and down the centre spots, potting balls full length into pockets etc

then i move onto potting drills, this is to practice shots i;m not as good on, currently i'm focusing on shots with balls close to the rails

then i move onto cueball control drills, speed control, spin control, practicing positioning from one ball to another

then i move onto just playing a few racks of my version of straight pool. Basically i break the 15 balls up and pot all the balls in. I count how many missed shots i have if any.

then it varies, sometimes i do some break practice, sometimes something more specialist, just depends what i feel like

<hr></blockquote>

mayhaps, there is some mixing of terms between "practice" and "warmup". i think they are different. for warm-up, dragging all the balls to one end of the table and shooting them long into a corner while bringing c.b. back is about as good as anything. cuts down on walking around the table and gives you lots of strokes per unit of time.

for practice, unless you've got a specific problem to work on, banks or something, full rack rotation is pretty good. the rack starts out maddeningly tough with all the clutter (even on a 9') then get's easier, letting you stretch your stroke out. i think that just shooting "straight pool" is counter productive. the first 2/3 of the rack is too target rich and it's too easy to get shape on something. even if it's not really what you had in mind.

dan

10-28-2002, 02:08 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: bluewolf:</font><hr> &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote: Seattle-kid:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr&gt;

Sounds good to me.. I think the best practice is just hitting balls into pockets. I mean, you could practice cueball control all you want, but if you ever miss a shot, then controlling the cueball doesn't mean crap, unless you're playing safe. It's good to learn to pocket balls with all sorts of speeds, english, and angles.. till you can make any half-way decent shot at least 80% of the time, and difficult shots about 60 - 75%.

I just throw all 15 on the table and practice everything.. but mostly at first I work more on HOW I hit them in.. with a good stroke, and not a "poke", and then I work on making all of 'em. &lt;hr&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;

This is so true. I can safety pretty good, have decent cb speed control and get decent position sometimes but until I can pocket balls at a high percent, I will go be no good in pool. So while I do a little practice with ball speed and draw, most of my focus is spending time on the table every day just pocketing balls and when I miss one try to figure out what I did wrong.

BTW NPR I GOT A GOOD JOB and cant wait to start!!!

BW

"I feel good dadada...." <hr></blockquote>

Congratulations on your new job, I hope it works out well for you. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

Anyhow, work on your stance and stroke ALOT, when you are practicing, because if you are wobbly or off balance when you are shooting, you're just practicing mistakes. Just throw balls out on the table and take your time lining up a shot, get down on it so that you are comfortable and feel like everything is lined up and stroke with follow through. Work on staying down untill the ball goes into the pocket, and get back up. Do that routine for at least a rull rack.

Another thing that helps you with your stroke and concentration, amazingly enough, is to put all 15 balls on the table and shoot ONLY the shots that you HATE!! I mean, over a ball, in fact, take ball in hand and PUT it infront of a ball and purposely shoot over it. Put the cueball on the rail and practice shooting off the rail. Torture yourself, shoot 90 or 95 degree cut shots. You'll be surprised at how much your game and confidence will improve when you start making the "shots you hate" with consistancy.

If you use the wei table, here are some ideas of good shots to know:

START(
%Ae3I0%BS4V5%CN4Y6%Dl3O6%Ek2H8%Fb7R8%GH5N8%HU0I2%I[9U9%JL2F3
%K^3I8%LC6T0%MY3O3%NJ4T5%OG4I9%Pk2L2%Qs3B3%Wh3D8%X j7K6%Yr3D2
%Zk9H3
)END

START(
%Ae3I0%BS4V5%CN4Y6%Dl3O6%Ek2H8%Fb7R8%GH5N8%HU0I2%I[9U9%JL2F3
%K^3I8%LC6T0%MY3O3%NJ4T5%OG4I9%PI5Q2%Qs3B3%WD5R6%X H3Q4%YC9Z5
%ZC7U0
)END

START(
%Ae3I0%BS4V5%CN4Y6%Dl3O6%Ek2H8%Fb7R8%GH5N8%HU0I2%I[9U9%JL2F3
%K^3I8%LC6T0%MY3O3%NJ4T5%OG4I9%PC8N2%WS6J4%XD8N1%Y[0C7%ZU7H5
)END

START(
%Ae3I0%BS4V5%CN4Y2%Dl3O6%Ek2H8%Fb7R8%GH5N8%HU0I2%I[9U9%JL2F3
%K^3I8%LC6T0%MY3O3%NJ4T5%OG4I9%PV3S2%WP4Z7%XR9W0%Y T6U1%ZU5S7
%[N9Z8%\O4Z9%]D3Z9%^M6Z5
)END

(That last one is what is called a "tiki" shot if you didn't already know, you go off the rail, off the ball next to the rail, and the object ball can't go anywhere but towards the pocket if you hit it right. It's a great shot to know and has saved me many times! /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif )

Ludba
10-28-2002, 10:39 PM
"I just throw all 15 on the table and practice everything."

I think that's pretty bad advice for a practice session. And everything I've read or heard from the pool experts suggests that the throw-balls-on-the-table-and-shoot method is bound to keep your game down and your frustration high. I think it was George Fels that said this is the worst way to practice if that's all you do.

The evidence I've seen from most players supports this as well. Most people DO just throw balls on the table and start shooting. This is why it takes most players a very long time to continuously improve. The method you've described usually promotes practice of poor pool habits.

The other problem is that this method is often less focused than a practice session that focuses on specific skills. I do respect that you are suggesting that the practice be focused on how you are shooting, but the issue here is that the way you get to making a high percentage of your shots is to improve the building blocks of a good game like a good stroke with follow-through.

However you are neglecting other important building blocks, for example shot-selection. If you throw out fifteen balls, you have shots everywhere. You don't HAVE to choose one over another, as you do in most every pool game.

Another important building block is speed control, i.e. being able to recall a specific shot speed and shoot it consistently on demand. This is best learned in the two-rail/three-rail/four-rail cue ball drill. There are variations of this drill in almost every pool book. Scott Lee just taught me his version today as well as four other drills. I was quite satisfied with his practice drills and his instruction, by the way.

The best practice is progressive and recordable. Both qualities are negligible in your method. A good start for a practice regimen is a collection of drills that each focus on a specific skill, most importantly stroke, speed, shot-selection, zone/pinpoint position, and thinking 3 balls ahead.

A football analogy: coaches don't just have their players run around the field. They work on specific skills (40-yard dashes for burst speed, long-distance running for endurance, etc.), then on specific plays, and then on bringing it all together. In order to make progress in your pool game, your strategy should be similar: practice specific skills, then play games to incorporate those skills into your game, and then compete. Bigbro's practice sounds pretty good.

bigbro6060
10-29-2002, 01:59 AM
Thanx for your post Ludba, contains some great info

here's how i see it .

I used to do a lot of running (i still do some to keep fit). I ran 10K fun runs. Now if you keep running 10Ks in training to improve your 10K time, you will only be able to improve to a certain point. TO improve beyond that, you need to do speed work, track work, hill work, long runs, anaerobic threshold training,tempo runs etc etc. Every component is designed to improve part of your cardiovascular and related systems and when put together (with proper eating and rest of course), will result in a better 10 K time, much better than just running 10K every time u go for a run

so the same thing i believe applies to Pool

If you practice just as you play, you limit your improvement

you have to strengthen each component of the game so your overall game is stronger.

bluewolf
10-29-2002, 08:21 AM
It seems my biggest hurdles are staying positive and confident, while being realistic about where I am in my ability. IE- Being a beginner, i am not going to kick a 5's a**, but I can be positive that I can play my best against him or her. I also have to believe in myself enough that I don't get frustrated and realize that with good fundamentals and good practice that I will get better over time.

I really appreciate the suggestions for drills here,including drills from scott and randy and the black belt billiards book. It is all good.

bw