View Full Version : Practicing a specific game
Christmas night I was playing some 9-ball with a friend and he pulled up and went home. I kept playing the ghost 9-ball for an additional 3 hours. I found something rather interesting. I've never really practiced a game alone, 8-ball, 9-ball. Sometimes on rare instances I'll practice straight pool but that's it. After about an hour or so my pattern play improved dramatically and my ball potting stayed consistent. I'm not going to stand here and tell you I ran out every rack but I got out of my share. I played safeties and kick shots like I was playing an opponent, when I got tired I stopped for a smoke and a swig of brew. An interesting concept practicing a specific game is.
Do each of you practice specific games while not playing an opponent? Do you play percentages such as safeties when you don't have the clear run out? If playing 9-ball or 8-ball do you legitimately practice your break?
Kato~~~unearthing the possiblities
12-27-2002, 10:52 AM
RJ...I think that is great! Most people don't have the patience to practice like you're talking about. After a couple of racks, they typically start getting bored, and/or careless. It is even more difficult to play against yourself, as your own opponent...playing into and out of safeties, etc. Kudos! Try a game or two of one hole that way!
Thanks Scott, I really need that kind of re-inforcement. I guess that's good thing.
The Rhino Chaser
12-27-2002, 11:03 AM
I pratice 14.1 and nine ball the way you describe. You are correct after a short period of time everything really starts to click. When playing 14.1 I'll play races to 100 keeping two seperate scores, one each for player's A and B. Haven't tried one hole as Scott suggested. Will have to give that a shot. All in all a great way to pratice.
9 Ball Girl
12-27-2002, 11:17 AM
Hey Kato baby! I am glad to see that you're getting back into it again! http://www.gamers-forums.com/smilies/otn/realhappy/luxhello.gif
12-27-2002, 11:46 AM
I notice that a few posters are using the term "potting" for pocketing a ball. I can't help but wonder why? Are you all going to begin screwing the cueball as well?
12-27-2002, 12:15 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> I notice that <font color="red">a few </font color> posters are using the term "potting" for pocketing a ball. I can't help but wonder why? Are you all going to begin screwing the cueball as well? <hr /></blockquote>
Not a few. Just bigbro6060 (he's from Australia) and silverbullet (she's from ....er....Wolf Creek Pass?)
12-27-2002, 12:41 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> I notice that <font color="red">a few </font color> posters are using the term "potting" for pocketing a ball. I can't help but wonder why? Are you all going to begin screwing the cueball as well? <hr /></blockquote>
Not a few. Just bigbro6060 (he's from Australia) and silverbullet (she's from ....er....Wolf Creek Pass?) <hr /></blockquote>
LOL. I got that from somebody on here, was it our australian friend?????
Well Scott, as day manager of a Pool Room, occasionally I'm alone and I do practice 1-Pocket.
I start by practicing the break and the escape. I also practice as if I always need to play safe (defense) and also always trying to move toward my pocket (offense).
The difficulty is remembering which pocket is "my" pocket since I'm alternating.
It's from watching those Mosconi Cup tapes, can't help it. Makes it sound much more regal.
12-27-2002, 04:58 PM
I very seldom get the opportunity to practice, too many players not enough time, but when I do it is usually one hole and I try to practice the way I play (never give up anything). I always start my practice session by shooting the spot shot with the goal of making it at least 10 out of 15 shots and never rolling the cue ball past the side pocket this gives me spot shot practice and cue ball speed control at the same time. I always stop practicing when I become bored because to me this only engenders bad habits that I don't want to take ino a game.
12-27-2002, 05:11 PM
glad I'm not the only one who does that. I usually get out earlier than my friends or just go shoot alone, and I practice alot of 9-ball by myself. Some racks I attempt to do nothing but play safeties on myself because it helps on both playing safe and getting out of it at the same time. Only bad thing is to the casual passer by they must think I'm really bad for still shooting on the 1 ball for 20 minutes /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif
Another thing I do on my own is for example set up the 8 and 9, and work on getting position on the 9 from various areas. Then as I go on I spread them out further apart and work on position from there. Then I add the 7 ball and so forth. Really good for learning how to work a few balls ahead
Sack, that's an awful strong idea. I played the ghost at home tonight and he just overwhelmed me. I couldn't get out from anywhere, 3 balls, whatever. Something evil was creeping into my mind though at every turn. I would look at the table with 5 balls spread out in a nice pattern after making my first 4, swearing to the pool gods I'm supposed to get out from here. I'd immediately figure out a way to dog it. Not good.
12-28-2002, 03:23 AM
I throw out all 15 balls-take ball in hand and run them without cueball hitting a rail,then straight pool,then shots,this one shot that bothers me,100x,and then go into 9-ball!
12-28-2002, 06:08 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> I notice that a few posters are using the term "potting" for pocketing a ball. I can't help but wonder why? Are you all going to begin screwing the cueball as well? <hr /></blockquote>
There are some people on this board with a snooker (and English Billiards?) background. This a world wide web board, afterall.
I also use the word "pot" when I'm specifically talking about snooker play. It wouldn't sound right if I didn't.
Fred <~~~ flukes, canons, and pots, oh my
12-28-2002, 06:47 AM
"play like you mean it"
Once I get past the drills & skills phase of my practice sessions I do practice the games and I try to simulate actual competition playing conditions even though I am both player 'A' & 'B'. Suffering from short term memory loose makes this a discipline in it's self...LOL Between the counter wheels, the string of beads and a coin on the rail I can somehow keep track of ennings, score, who's break, runs and any other thing the game I'm practicing requires. For me simulating these conditions is important, as it seems to transport me into focused good play and keeps my interest up in these sessions. The one thing that it impresses upon me is the strange fact that even though both players are of equal skill( A&B being me) the one that gains and keeps control can flat smoke the other nearly everytime...Interesting.....
12-28-2002, 07:38 AM
My post was to Kato who has begun using the term. He lives in Miami and was not referring to snooker. Bluewolf has also begun using it, I just found it weird.
12-28-2002, 12:30 PM
I spend a pretty fair amount of time practicing specific games, 14.1, one-hole, 9-ball, and bank pool. I think it's very helpful to your game because each has some of its own specific patterns and safes. Also, I spend a lot of time working on the break, particularly in 9-ball and one-hole. For 9-ball, probably (I know this is excessive, but it pays the bills) 5-6 hours a week, give or take an hour. One hole, a little less. Also, when practicing 9-ball, I tend to play to the aggressive side, I find it's helped my confidence in shotmaking and tough position play in game situations. One hole, I play both sides, aggressive and very tight, against one another.
12-28-2002, 01:25 PM
A great practice for 8 ball and general cueing goes like this. Throw 7 solids and the 8 ball out onto the table. Ball in hand try to run out. If you fail, place a striped ball on the table. I try to put the balls somewhere in the center of the table so they become blockers. I play races to 5 and believe me their is pressure to win because running out with 4 stripes and the 8 ball in the way is not easy. Every time you lose put another striped ball on the table.
12-28-2002, 10:40 PM
Cheese...LOL I can sympathize with the dismay of trying to keep track of everything, as you play against yourself. One Pocket is probably the hardest to keep track of! Interesting point about the one side of you that overpowers the other...and you're not even getting INTO the "head" part of the game...just strictly technical...because in the back of your mind, you already KNOW what you are going to do with a particular shot situation (and the outcome has no bearing on who you're playing, because you're playing YOU!).
12-29-2002, 01:02 AM
What about the mental angle? Does it happen (winning leads to more winning, etc.)outside of practice too?
Part of my own practice session is looking for patterns. A little navel searching is healthy. We each benefit from honest self appraisal. Sometimes our motives (winning/losing) are hidden to us. In casual play it might be unimportant WHY we play. But why we win or lose can give us an insight into who we are or what's really important to us. I think it IS interesting that you noticed this pattern.
12-29-2002, 01:24 AM
I love playing nine ball against myself, if you think the improvement in your game is good after three or four hours, wait and see what it will do over time. After a couple of months you will notice your game improving by leaps and bounds. Playing nine ball against yourself is really good practice for correcting any problems you have playing for position.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote snipershot:</font><hr> I love playing nine ball against myself, if you think the improvement in your game is good after three or four hours, wait and see what it will do over time. After a couple of months you will notice your game improving by leaps and bounds. Playing nine ball against yourself is really good practice for correcting any problems you have playing for position.
why stop there? the better practice is full 15-ball rotation. be generous in giving yourself b.i.h. but full rack rotation is one of the best practice games out there.
dan...the early game will drive you crazy.
12-29-2002, 07:05 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote landshark1002000:</font><hr> [/i]
What about the mental angle? Does it happen (winning leads to more winning, etc.)outside of practice too?
Last night on ESPN I watched Fisher beat Corr 7-1 in the finals of a tournament. It was a demonstration of one player keeping control of the game. Fisher gave no air to Corr, of course, the format was winner breaks and this allowed her to keep the control because her break was working very good. She was pocketing balls on her break and getting a good look at the one ball nearly everytime. Corrs first four shots were kicks. The proof here was the old adage 'play like you practice'. If in your practice you are clinically playing the percentages you become comfortable passing on the low % offensive blitz shots because you know that you are potentially relinquishing that cherished control when these shots don't go. It's fun and exciting to go for everything but if that's the way you practice that is also the way you will be comfortable playing in competition. It is a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when you passed on the sort of boring high % safety enlue of the exciting bank that swells up in the pocket and the monster your playing slowly gets up from the chair with a grin on his/her face...It's too late now you gave up control and it's your turn to sit and watch and hope that your opponent is as stupid as you.
In answer to your question quoted above my answer would be YES.
12-29-2002, 07:54 AM
i try and go by myself to the pool hall once a week. i usually throw 5 or six balls on the table and try to run out., after i stroke some balls for a little while i will start setting up 9 ball. it definately helps out when i go to the bar on fridays and shoot on a 7ft wide pocket table /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
12-29-2002, 12:59 PM
Thank you for offering such a sincere and honest view of your game. Your personal insights speak volumes to all of us who love the game of pool.
In my own game, I struggle with a silent, internal conflict. It’s like having two motives for play. I suspect (and hope) these two drives will eventually merge together. But for now they compete for my attention. The two motives? – Love of the Game vs. Love of the Win. The reason I’m hopeful is they don’t seem impossible to reconcile.
Love of the Game is my “personal pleasure”. Pool is a delightful, emotion provoking challenge to my creative mind and aging body. Love of the Game invites my emotional pleasure. These feelings draw me to play, or, if delayed, make me long for it. This desire is a willful, emotional “reason” to play pool. It’s part of my motivation.
But Love of the Game provokes UN-reasonable play. Or that’s how my other motivation looks at it. “Love of the Win” is a kind of social or status reason I play pool. Winning creates identity. “He’s a winner”, is socially preferable to being labeled, “a loser”. Keeping and maintaining a status position like, “first among equals”, or becoming accepted within a peer group is another kind of challenge. It, too, is emotional. Pride is an emotional motivation. To be respected and acknowledged by your peers is generally considered to be a social necessity. But not everyone agrees that this is a social necessity. But Society has a pecking order and a place for everyone, even for the unsociable. So, Love of the Win is the natural motivation of folks who desire to find and maintain a place in pool society. For them, this willful desire is a motive for playing pool.
Love of the Game and Love of the Win can both have their extremes of course. Personal pleasure and social status are misused, distorted, and abused every day. Love is no guarantee of goodness. But Loves extremes often (and ironically) also bring about the most unique and extreme forms of success and failure.
Howard Hughes enjoyed the extremes of success and failure simultaneously. His wealth and status were the outward signs of success. But few would call his life a model of social fulfillment. Some folks would say he was too fearful and too paranoid to enjoy the love of people.
That digression aside; for me, finding a balance between the two Loves is just one of pool’s many great challenges.
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