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Allan
11-18-2002, 09:42 PM
Hello everyone,

After a long search for something that we would both be interested in and like to do together, my wife and I decided that pool would be a great game to learn. We are absolute beginners and have just recently begun to find all of the local halls in our area (Cleveland, Oh) We bought Byrne's New Standard book of Pool and Billiards and have read through some of that. We are looking at cues and will be getting one another a new cue as one of our Christmas presents. I wanted to ask this question to all you players out there:

If you could start over from the beginning what would your plan of attack be to learn the game? What would you have done sooner? What did you spend a lot of time on that you wish you would have focused on something more pertinent to your game?

Any other words of advice or thoughts are of coarse welcome,

Allan

Tom_In_Cincy
11-18-2002, 10:08 PM
I wish this was available in 1964.. when I wanted to learn.. no videos or books that are now so plentiful..

I would get a qualified instructor to "BEAT IT IN TO MY HEAD" about the BASICS...

Stance, the proper way to address the cue ball for a shot. Balence is always a good thing.

Grip, holding the cue properly in your backhand and forehand.

Bridge hand (open and closed)shots.

Aiming systems.. My favorite is the 'ghost ball'

Stop shots

Draw

Follow

Long shots

Then, after you have learned the above..

Speed and rails for position..

only after you have become 'good' or at least capable of doing the above consistantly.. then learn ENGLISH

Byrnes' book is a good reference to have.. but a good instructor, that is local, that you can rely on for follow up visits and recording capability (video tape your lessons).. you need to know how well you have progressed from the first video to the current status.


Enjoy.. and please let us know your progress.. thanks for joining CCB

Vicki
11-18-2002, 10:15 PM
If, as you say, you are an absolute beginner then I wouldn't worry about too much more than stance, stroke and just pocketing balls (aiming). Once you have all that down I recommend working on strategy and defensive play. My game would have come up a lot faster if I had really concentrated on these things. There are a lot of beginner players that do very well in handicapped leagues and tournaments because they really understand the strategy of the game they are playing and they are able to play safe (defensive shots) as part of that strategy. One thing I think does terrible things to a newbie's game is trying to learn english before they have substantial control over the cue ball using just draw or follow. I was very fortunate to have learned from a person who used very little sidespin to get shape and relied mostly on good planning, speed control, a good break, and draw and follow. I still use very little sidespin on very few shots. That Byrne's book you have is better than anything else out there! I "borrowed" the one from the pool room where I worked until they told me I had to pay for it because they weren't in the used book business. That one book did more for me than any advice I got from the regulars. Good choice. Good luck! I'd be interested in knowing about your progress. One other word of caution... my boyfriend and I are both so competitive that pool has not always been something that made us "closer. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" lol I hope you and your wife get what you are hoping for out of pool! It is a great game! /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Vicki

11-18-2002, 10:35 PM
There's nothing that could help you more than hitting the books. Go to the library and get every pool book there is. But as previously posted, focus on the fundamentals first. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif <font color="purple">

Cueless Joey
11-18-2002, 10:58 PM
Books are useless for the beginners imo. A good instructor is priceless. One who would teach you how to stroke the ball (everything about the proper way and why).

11-18-2002, 11:40 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Allan:</font><hr> Hello everyone,

After a long search for something that we would both be interested in and like to do together, my wife and I decided that pool would be a great game to learn. We are absolute beginners and have just recently begun to find all of the local halls in our area (Cleveland, Oh) We bought Byrne's New Standard book of Pool and Billiards and have read through some of that. We are looking at cues and will be getting one another a new cue as one of our Christmas presents. I wanted to ask this question to all you players out there:

If you could start over from the beginning what would your plan of attack be to learn the game? What would you have done sooner? What did you spend a lot of time on that you wish you would have focused on something more pertinent to your game?

Any other words of advice or thoughts are of coarse welcome,

Allan <hr /></blockquote>

stop!!!

back away from the cuestick!!!!!!

you are entering a relational minefield. hide all the sharp objects for a while.

if you're going to do like most couples i know, you'll join a league or two and maybe even venture into "scotch doubles".

get pool counselling before you try to teach each other. find a good local player or even a bca instructor (with a minor in marriage counselling or swat tactics).

i really do know a lot of couples in leagues and they all have fun.

dan...the study of successful pool is so complicated that you guys really should get a teacher/coach. it'll be worth it.

smfsrca
11-19-2002, 12:49 AM
The absolute best possible thing you can have is someone teach you sound fundamentals. Some pool halls have a house pro that does this. Some pool room owners do this. Make sure the teacher you get is well respected by the better players in your area. If you are lucky enough to find someone and you get along well then make the teacher your guru. Do everything your teacher says and dont listen to anyone else until you know more and play better than the teacher.

Steve in CA

Rod
11-19-2002, 01:19 AM
Allan,
As mentioned by others, find a good instructor. Books and even tapes are "just ok" for learning. The problem is they don't tell you what you doing wrong. You may think its one thing and its completely different. As a beginner you need to know how things work. A good instructor will tell you that and why it happens. It's the best way to learn the basics and beyond. The best players in the world rely on good sound basic fundamentals. How much time you allot will effect your learning curve. Be realistic on your goals, this game takes a lot of time to learn and it never stops. Good luck to both of you and remember it's a game have fun.

CarolNYC
11-19-2002, 03:07 AM
I would've found a teacher IMMEDIATELY!
Good luck!
Carol

bigbro6060
11-19-2002, 05:54 AM
some people get more from books and videos than others just like some people can teach themselves Microsoft products from the manual and help, others need to go on a training course

i personally love reading and get a lot from books. I'm very good at teaching myself stuff

i have just found someone worthy of being my instructor (he is one of the Top5 players of 8ball in Australia) so i hope to learn lots from him too

i agree that fundamentals are everything

Rich R.
11-19-2002, 06:57 AM
Pool is a great game for both men and women. As a couple, it should make it that much better. Although my wife is not a player, she loves to watch pool and that is good too.
You have already received the best advise for starting, "get a good instructor." I would not really consider approaching the good players for instruction. Not all good players are good instructors. Find an instructor with proven capabilities as an instructor, perhaps starting with the list of BCA certified instructors for your area. You may have to try more than one to find one that both of you can learn from. Take one lesson at a time from instructors, until you find one that you both really like, then try for a cheaper rate for a package of lessons.
I regret that I learned in a time and place where pool instructors were not heard of. You learned the game by quietly sitting in the pool room, watching the good players, then trying things out on the table. This is not the most efficient way to learn.
Good luck.

Voodoo Daddy
11-19-2002, 07:38 AM
Welcome Allan, Start over again? First, I would have taken all the lessons Danny "Young Greenleaf" Gartner gave me and used them like I didnt. I would have used all the knowledge I absorbed from guys like Toby Sweet, Ritchie Ambrose and Johnny Ervolino to good use. I would have gotten my attitude towards losing in perspective and not let it kill a part of me after every loss. I wouldnt change the way I learned my stroke, patterns or creativity because its came pretty natural. But, we cant turn the hands of time back so I deal with the NOW...instead of the past.

stickman
11-19-2002, 07:45 AM
I echo what most of the others have already said. Get a qualified instructor. Learn the correct basics. This will make your advancement much easier and your enjoyment much greater.

Ralph S.
11-19-2002, 07:45 AM
I read through the responses given so far and I agree with them about the basics and fundamentals. The one thing I didnt see mentioned that should be is the comittment to wanting to learn the game. There will be times where you get frustrated and exhasperated as you go through the cycles of learning this game. On the flip side you will also encounter lots of fun and grat memories. Just remember to stay focused and comitted and you will have something to enjoy as a couple and as individuals for many years to come. Best of luck to you and welcome to CCB.
Ralph S.

SPetty
11-19-2002, 08:39 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cueless Joey:</font><hr> Books are useless for the beginners imo. <hr /></blockquote>Books are extremely helpful for the beginners, imo. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Mr. Blonde
11-19-2002, 09:11 AM
This may not be the most popular answer but i believe that you don't need personal instruction. All you need is Byrne's standard video of pool and billiards volumes 1&amp;2 to help you get started. I hate to say this but pool isn't as complicated as some would have you believe. I hope this helps.

Allan
11-19-2002, 11:01 AM
Wow....

EVERYONE...THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE REPLIES AND WELCOMES!!!

Lots of ideas to think about. I actually have been looking at a BCA instructor and think that some "hands on" instruction certainly can't hurt. I've always been one to ask why? and why not? so I think an instructor will prove useful. I certainly think the books are helpful as well. We had no idea of basic fundamentals until we read the first few pages of Byrne. Heck, we are both almost getting the cueball back to the tip of our cues off the rail now!!! Its a nice feeling to be able to hit the damn CB straight. As for those who wonder wether it will be something that brings us closer. I don't know if it really was intended as a relationship "thing". More as a recreational activity that could get us out of the house and both knew nothing about. Firarms didn't appeal to her and ballroom dancing was pretty far down on the list of activities I wished to know more about. I am actually surprised out how interested she has become in the game....Again thank you all. I'm sure to post again and will keep the forum updated on our progress. I'll probably ask some equipment questions next.

Allan

griffith_d
11-19-2002, 11:42 AM
To start over,...I would have got my own table within the 1st year, played daily, taken lessons sooner, good equipment, sold all other hobby material, made my wife/girlfriend learn and play together.

Griff

bluewolf
11-19-2002, 04:50 PM
From the time I saw the first pool table at the age of 10, if I had it to do over, I would have played at least 2 hours a day for the years following in my life. Then I would be better than I am today.

btw-welcome to a really great sport

blu

Barbara
11-19-2002, 05:05 PM
Allan,

If I could start over, I'd get with an instructor that would pound the basics and stroke fundamentals into my brain. Whatever kind of stroke I had got worse when I tried to imitate some WPBA players I saw on tv in the early 90s. I ended up with a stroke across the front of my body, not to the side. When I hit a wall in my game I turned to Dawn Hopkins to help me out and when she stripped down my stroke and re-built it, I felt I had wasted 4 years of playing with that "homemade" stroke.

The fundamentals are the building blocks.

Barbara

phil in sofla
11-19-2002, 07:35 PM
I wish I had concentrated on the all-mighty stroke sooner, and learned the geometry of aiming that I use now earlier. For the second to work, you need the first in good working order, and for a good stroke, you need the other fundamentals in good shape. (My original biggest flaw was a weak and unsteady bridge).

11-19-2002, 08:54 PM
I believe that it is more about perspective in the beginning. Be sure to have fun and enjoy the game. Don't get down on yourself for missing shots. If I were starting out again, I wish I would have just tried to learn excellent position play. That means mastering the speed needed for good position on your next shot.

After that, the book that others have mentioned is extremely helpful at learning shots and the fundamentals of the game - "The 99 Critical Shots of Pool". Take it with you to the pool hall and practice the shots that are described in the book.