View Full Version : Maximizing practice time?

11-10-2002, 11:29 PM
I play 1-3.5 hours per day (hell of a lot for a 16 year old), but I don't feel like I'm getting the full benefit. I usually just play a bunch of games of 9 ball and practice frequently missed shots. Any effective practice routines or drills?

11-11-2002, 01:40 AM
1. Set goals - Figure out what it is you want from your practice sessions. Do want to be a pro? do you want to get better at a game you enjoy? Do you want to win local tournaments. If you can articulate or (even better) write down what you want, it can make your practice more focused. I estimate that focus is probably the thing most lacking from your practice.

2. Evaluate- How good are you right now? Can you run a few balls, can you pocket one ball? Figure out where you are. That's point A. You're trying to get to point B.

3. Learn- Read everything you possibly can about pool. There's lots of info in these discussions, do a search. There are a lot of good pool books now. There are a few very good books that I would recommend. Anything by Phil Capelle, e.g. "Play Your Best Pool" and Byrne's "Standard Book of Pool and Billiards." Also, one of the best things for me has been Bert Kinister's 60 minute workout video. It has 27 drills that I've been working on to improve my game. I also recently got Scott Lee to instruct me for a few hours while he was in Austin, very helpful.

4. Now to practice itself... the best drills I have found work on 5 different aspects of pool: 1) stroke; 2) speed control; 3) position play / use of english, draw, and follow; 4) thinking several balls ahead / high runs; and 5) shotmaking. This also happens to be the order of importance for a drill routine (IMHO). You can find drills of this sort in several books, inlcuding the ones I mentioned above. A good book for shotmaking "drills" is Ray Martin's "The 99 Critical Shots in Pool." I'm sure others on this board will give you more specific instructions on drills they like. I'll post again later with my own.

5. In addition to drills, I would suggest playing a variety of games: 9-ball, 8-ball, straight pool, one-pocket, golf (God, how I hate this game), etc against a variety of opponents.

11-11-2002, 02:03 AM
Basically i practice around 2 hours a day , weekdays and 5 hours a day on the weekend, often more, these are minimums

I start off with straight stroking and technique drills, then move onto other drills such as cueball control, certain trouble potting, safety etc etc

then when my concentration starts to go, i switch to playing 'games' such as Fargo or other progessive games. I also do some break practice cos i love breaking.

So in summary, i start off with the stuff i enjoy least then end practice with the stuff i enjoy most, that way i'm enjoying the whole lot !

11-11-2002, 03:36 PM
I play 1-3.5 hours per day (hell of a lot for a 16 year old), <hr /></blockquote>
Why do you feel this is so much practice. I can gaurantee you, there are plenty of kids your age playing at least that much. A few of the ones when I was in H.S. were playing everyday after school (school let out just before 2 PM) until at least 7 or 8 at night. There grades sucked but that is what happens when you spend a[ QUOTE ]
(hell of a lot...)<hr /></blockquote>of time at the hall.

eg8r &lt;~~~Not sure where they got the money to play all the time but they were good players at their age.

11-11-2002, 09:28 PM
When I was practicing a lot,and not improving, I first got a lesson from a professional bca instructor and that improved my stroke. Randy gs pool school is also great. Maybe your parents would let you go as a christmas or birthday present. Failing that, I would try to get a lesson from one of the good bca instructors. I got my first lesson from scott lee and there are other good ones too. People who have been on here a long time know all of them.

Generally, I believe, especially at the beginner to intermediate level, if I am not improving, there is something wrong in my technique. Even a small error can cause one to not pocket balls up to their potential.

glad to see a 16 year old that wants to master the game. dont give up!!!