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View Full Version : Do leagues help you?



Popcorn
12-17-2002, 10:03 AM
Let me say first, I don;t play on a league and I never have. I do know a lot of league players and have seen lots of league matches over the years. I am curious if any of the leagues have an organized program for player improvement? In other words, when you join a league, can you expect to become a better player as a result, or are you always on your own, except for maybe some help from teammates and friends? Do any of the leagues offer clinics, say every few months, that you can attend, maybe bring in a guy like Scott. I know years ago in the bowling industry it was very organized. If you walked in a bowling alley as a beginner, they had a structure in place for you to learn the game. You would begin on something like a mixed league and if you had the desire, could expect to be bowling on a scratch league at some point and the help was unlimited, They were very geared toward player development, it was their goal. I am curious, when you joined the league you are now on, what was your expectations? I believe that leagues could do a lot for the future of the sport, beyond the carrot on the stick trip to Vegas and the art of sandbagging. I know players who play on leagues, whose games have not improved in years. It is not because they don't want to get better, but they need help that is just not there. I don't see a league player advancing to a top level player from playing on a league. At least, not as a result of anything the league has to offer. The players seem to be on their own, am I wrong? This is by no means a knock on leagues, they represent the biggest portion of the sport. Pool would have all but died years ago, if it were not for the bar tables and forming of leagues. I just wonder where their place is, in helping the future of the sport. It saddens me to see players who don't even know any of it's history. They fancy themselves as pool players and could not tell you the size of the balls or dimensions of the table they are playing on and it is not their fault. I know I am rambling, this would be easier sitting around a table BSing, I don't type very well. I think you know what I mean though. A big opportunity I believe is being missed. Just some thoughts.

Wally_in_Cincy
12-17-2002, 10:46 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr>

I am curious if any of the leagues have an organized program for player improvement?

<font color="blue"> Not the league I play in (APA) </font color>
In other words, when you join a league, can you expect to become a better player as a result, or are you always on your own, except for maybe some help from teammates and friends?

<font color="blue"> I've been pretty much on my own. The only thing I've learned from my teammates is some good safety strategy. </font color>
I know players who play on leagues, whose games have not improved in years.
<font color="blue">I would say that describes the majority of league players. They could get help if they wanted, they're just not driven to get better like us pool nuts /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif </font color>

I don't see a league player advancing to a top level player from playing on a league.
<font color="blue"> There's no reson that could not happen. But you're correct in the respect that it would take a lot more than league play to reach that level.</font color>
They fancy themselves as pool players and could not tell you the size of the balls or dimensions of the table they are playing on and it is not their fault.

<font color="blue">I know quite a few like that </font color> <hr /></blockquote>

If some formal instruction were offered some would take advantage, some would not.

=k=
12-17-2002, 11:55 AM
i would have to say they have helped me. to get to the top of the heap, i sought out a instructor to obtain my goal. also we get free table time after the matches.. i can usally get a good match then. you have brought up a good point and i will ask the league operator to see if he would sping for part of the cost and get it set up. he set up having the bar set out a buffet for a real reasonable price. (still wondering how good of an idea that is) tables kinda look like they have been used as a banquet table before. oh well at least they are 9 footers..

Ryan
12-17-2002, 12:40 PM
I would say that leagues help in the sense that they provide a beginner with an opportunity to both witness and play against a wide variety of opponents. A beginner would learn much more in a league setting than they would just "banging" in a bar on their own.

In terms of becoming an "advanced" player, I would say that the league itself does not promote advancement, but it does provide a measuring stick as a player improves his/her game. In the end, the player is still responsible for the amount of dedication that he/she is willing to put forward to advance his/her game.

Overall, they help get people into the game, but there is definitely a point where a player must go beyond a league setting if he/she truly wishes to become an advanced player.

Scott Lee
12-17-2002, 12:45 PM
Popcorn...Although APA seems, in some ways, a step above other leagues, in terms of offering some advancement in ability, due to the 'coaching rules', it does not offer consistent play with top amateur players. For that you have to get into local and regional tournaments. BCA leagues seem generally to have better players. I have done clinics for MANY APA, BCA and other league teams, as well as poolroom clinics that were not league affiated.

I find it interesting that several years ago, I proposed a plan to the top management at APA, to establish and implement an "APA Instructor Program". This would have been somewhat similar to the BCA Certification program, but not as extensive, nor costly. They turned it down flat, not giving any reasons why! LOL The only reason I can think of is that I was both a BCA Certified Instructor, and an award-winning APA League Operator...which ALWAYS was a burr in their backsides! BTW, other APA L.O.'s that I talked to about the plan at the time, were VERY supportive and interested.

Scott

Wally_in_Cincy
12-17-2002, 01:07 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Scott Lee:</font><hr>
...They turned it down flat, not giving any reasons why... <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="green"> $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ </font color> LOL

Seriously, if you think about it APA would be wise to offer free instruction once or twice a year in each area. Think about it, players get better, handicaps go up, teams have to split up and find new lower skilled players etc. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

One thing league play has done for me, it has motivated to improve so as to be a contributing member of the team.

socrates
12-17-2002, 03:19 PM
My overall feeling is that any form of competition helps you if you pay attention.

For example if you are playing someone in casual play and they are the weaker player you can play down to their level and still win. In which case this hurts you as you can not turn precision on or off. On the other hand you can bear down and not let them win a game and capitalize on their mistakes. In this case I believe the competition helps.

Another example - The other night I played some eight ball with a friend who plays in leagues. While I seldom play eight ball my observation from his first couple of games was that he was playing his patterns to get balls off the table and not necessarily playing the pattern that would lead to a win. (He has this mindset since I know he is always concerned about his ball average.) He won the first couple of games but I felt if he kept playing patterns this way that I should come out on top during the evening.

This proved to be true as I don't believe he won another game after that.

My point is that if you let your average in league play be your primary concern you will never stretch yourself. Running the five ducks and not solving the problems may get you a fifteen average but what does that mean if you go 0 for 3 each night.

My goal when I sub in leagues is to win period.

Like anything you get out of league night what you expect from it so why not expect to win.

phil in sofla
12-17-2002, 07:25 PM
A league setting with the right coaching can show you some better strategic play than you might ever figure out on your own.

As to helping fundamentals of mechanics and the like, probably it won't help, except by osmosis watching better players. But as to gamesmanship, smart play, absolutely, it can really give you an education.

Scott Lee
12-17-2002, 07:35 PM
Wally...Funny thing is, I NEVER mentioned $$$! I was going to do it just to benefit APA! Go figure! LOL

Scott

stickman
12-18-2002, 10:02 AM
Advancement is primarily an individual responsibility. My leagues don't offer any sort of instruction. Some advanced players will sometimes offer some advice and even work with lower skilled players, but my experience is that sometimes bad advice is given. (unintentionally) You have to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

I feel that the time at the table is beneficial to my game, even if not as beneficial as structured practice. I do sometimes get some structured practice on league nights before or after I've played my match.

One thing I've noticed is that I feel more pressure to perform in league than I do elsewhere. Compared to money matches, tournament play, or casual play, I put more pressure on myself in league play. I think this is because it's team play. I don't want to let the teammates down.

Wally_in_Cincy
12-18-2002, 10:11 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote stickman:</font><hr> Advancement is primarily an individual responsibility. My leagues don't offer any sort of instruction. Some advanced players will sometimes offer some advice and even work with lower skilled players, but my experience is that sometimes bad advice is given. (unintentionally) You have to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

<font color="blue"> Spoken like a true Kansan /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif </font color>

I feel that the time at the table is beneficial to my game, even if not as beneficial as structured practice. I do sometimes get some structured practice on league nights before or after I've played my match.

One thing I've noticed is that I feel more pressure to perform in league than I do elsewhere. Compared to money matches, tournament play, or casual play, I put more pressure on myself in league play. I think this is because it's team play. I don't want to let the teammates down.

<font color="blue"> Compared to the pressure of team play tournaments are not quite as pressure-packed. Of course I rarely get to the money matches in tournaments /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

The guys in the Mosconi Cup say the team play is the most pressure they've experienced. </font color> <hr /></blockquote>

Perk
12-18-2002, 11:36 AM
Individual advancement. Great term. A league is a setting where an individual can improve if they try. By watching other equal/better opponents, playing competitive pool, and talking with other league members a person can learn more about the game and make improvements. If the league is more for socialization, then maybe not. Still, its up to the individual.

Does a person entering tourneys learn? Depends on what they "Want" to learn. The key for learning in life is up to all individuals and their own internal drive.

Everyone may reach a point regardless of when or where it occurs that they need some sort of professional instruction to make gains.

Just my thoughts!

silverbullet
12-18-2002, 08:57 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Scott Lee:</font><hr> Wally...Funny thing is, I NEVER mentioned $$$! I was going to do it just to benefit APA! Go figure! LOL

Scott <hr /></blockquote>

i think that league can be beneficial. for a rank beginner, it gives them an opportunity to hold the stick, get cheered on by teammates and build some confidence. i have also seen players of all sl who just want a night out and are satisfyed with their level of play.

as in all sports, i think a person gets what they put into it. if a person is willing to take lessons, do drills and practice to achieve good fundamentals, then sooner or later, the person will improve.

we have this ball banging three on our team. in spite of what looks like a poor stroke, he can get in many difficult cut shots, is good on long shots and can bank some. one thing he has is visualization and a love of the game. he plays league and in the local tournament on sunday and is always an hour early to league. this fellow is of german descent and their is a slight language barrier, but this session our captains have taught him a little about safety and and hitting softer. but i give him much credit. he wants very badly to become better and when scott is here again, this man is signed up for a two hour lesson so that he can get good fundamentals.

one thing else i have noticed about him. he is unflappable and does not seem to be affected by pressure. he seems to have confidence, not in the ego since, just tries to do his best and feels good when he does well.

i believe in him. i love playing him. when i make a good shot he cheers me on, when he makes a good shot i build him up. to me, this is what teamwork is about and helping and encourage all players with a sincere desire to be better. even with the things i dont like about league play, i have found that friends who are better give me good advice and encouragement. they do not withhold secrets because i may one day be good and beat them. it is about encouraging and helping anyone who loves pool and is sincere about improving. just my humble opinion.

blu

Popcorn
12-18-2002, 09:22 PM
You just touched on something I had not thought of. A guy who in his daily life, goes about things mostly unnoticed. Yet he can go out with his league friends, get a pat on the back, be cheered, maybe even be a hero for the night. You know, that is a pretty big thing and a great thing for someone. Everybody needs to be cheered for once in a while.

Scott Lee
12-19-2002, 02:29 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote silverbullet:</font><hr>

he wants very badly to become better and when scott is here again, this man is signed up for a two hour lesson so that he can get good fundamentals.

one thing else i have noticed about him. he is unflappable and does not seem to be affected by pressure. he seems to have confidence, not in the ego since, just tries to do his best and feels good when he does well.

i believe in him. i love playing him. when i make a good shot he cheers me on, when he makes a good shot i build him up. to me, this is what teamwork is about and helping and encourage all players with a sincere desire to be better. even with the things i dont like about league play, i have found that friends who are better give me good advice and encouragement. they do not withhold secrets because i may one day be good and beat them. it is about encouraging and helping anyone who loves pool and is sincere about improving. just my humble opinion.

blu <hr /></blockquote>

Laura...What a great attitude! I can't wait to meet this gentleman, and help him to improve his stroke!

silverbullet
12-19-2002, 06:06 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Scott Lee:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote silverbullet:</font><hr>

he wants very badly to become better and when scott is here again, this man is signed up for a two hour lesson so that he can get good fundamentals.

one thing else i have noticed about him. he is unflappable and does not seem to be affected by pressure. he seems to have confidence, not in the ego since, just tries to do his best and feels good when he does well.

i believe in him. i love playing him. when i make a good shot he cheers me on, when he makes a good shot i build him up. to me, this is what teamwork is about and helping and encourage all players with a sincere desire to be better. even with the things i dont like about league play, i have found that friends who are better give me good advice and encouragement. they do not withhold secrets because i may one day be good and beat them. it is about encouraging and helping anyone who loves pool and is sincere about improving. just my humble opinion.

blu <hr /></blockquote>

Laura...What a great attitude! I can't wait to meet this gentleman, and help him to improve his stroke! <hr /></blockquote>

he is very excited about getting a lesson with you, scott!!! his name is carl and he is a very nice man.

blu