View Full Version : Learning to Play Better (Instructors and Practice)

03-14-2002, 11:23 PM
There has been some posts that might lead this board to believe that only the best instructors can make you a better player. I happen to believe this and agree.. but what has been left out is the fact that you can learn from the very best, but if you do not take this knowledge to the practice table routinely... you are wasting your time.

The Best instructors will always provide DRILLS that you need to improve your game, but you must provide the time and effort to "learn" to practice better POOL.

Practice does not make you perfect, Perfect Practice does.

03-15-2002, 07:37 AM

Just the other day as I was feeling frustrated about my pool game (have been on a plateau for a few months), it occurred to me that I really haven't been "paying my dues" on the practice table lately. I haven't been putting in the hours of practice that I did last fall. I think my lack of improvement (or, heaven forbid, DECLINE) in pool is mostly attributable to my lack of practice. I have a couple of drills I use, but I'd be glad to learn a couple more.

03-15-2002, 08:18 AM
Lessons are terrific but without actually executing the lessons learned to the exclusion of returning to "old habits" is a difficult task. Focus on your goal of being a better player and remember, that is the reason you took the lessons in the first place. Focus and Flow, Baby...that's the key.

Focus is complete attention to the execution of a skill learned during your lessons.

Flow is the state of being completely engrossed in the execution of a performance to the exclusion of everything else.

When you are in a state of flow (the ZONE), concentrating intensely on the execution of skills, lessons, drills, etc., you will give your best performances. You enter a state of almost Zen-like meditation in which mood, distraction and different stressors simply have no place in your consciousness. You are free to execute skills just as you have trained to execute them. This is an immensely satisfying state to achieve, second only to the release of the new "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition".

The qualities of flow are:

All your attention is focused either
on the skills, lesson subject matter or routine being performed or on the input from your senses relevant to the your goals on the table.

You are fully focused of the activities being performed, and are:

Not aware of your own awareness, consciousness of self or ego.

Not evaluating the quality of execution of skills during performance. Remember, I said "performance" not "practice." Failure to evaluate successes during practice would be to fail your goal of getting better. Tournament day is NOT the time to employ a new lesson.

Not concerned with distractions such as results, judges, audiences, nude spectators or that "pink elephant" that you have been seeing since last night's binge drinking. Other peoples expectations shouldn't effect your performance either.

Not making any conscious decisions in your mind or reasoning with words - you are trusting your body to follow its training. We know this as "getting the rolls" or "being in the zone."

You are in complete control of actions and reactions.

You feel almost in an altered state of consciousness: achieving flow is exhilarating, and gives a powerful feeling of competence.


Ken (...learned this stuff while brainwashed & imprisoned as a teen in a religious cult in the hills of the San Fernando Valley. For me, a pitcher of beer, my notebook of practice drills, my lucky rabbit's foot and prayer, all help my game.)

03-15-2002, 08:22 AM
Well said

03-15-2002, 08:40 AM

Enjoyed your reply. You mentioned, "For me, a pitcher of beer, my notebook of practice drills, my lucky rabbit's foot and prayer, all help my game.) " Since I don't drink much, am not religious, and don't hunt rabbits, I guess I'd better focus on the practice drills. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif BTW, how did you add the poolcue image to your signature? Everytime I try to do this with the URL routine, it just puts the text "...." in the signature, not the image. Thanks!

03-15-2002, 08:59 AM

If you want to, we could skip this Saturday's 8 ball tournament and spend time on the 9 footers. I will be glad to introduce you to my practice routine/drills. Regardless, I will be there Saturday.

03-15-2002, 09:03 AM
You have just summarized two of my favorite books on the mental aspect of competition. "The Inner Game of Tennis" by W. Tim Gallwey, and "Golf is not a game of Perfect" by Bob J. Rotella.
If you haven't read them, please do yourself a favor. Both are very good.

03-15-2002, 09:59 AM
Bill, I believe that I used to erroneously post that the tags to embed a picture were [ image] and [ /image].

The actual tags are [ img] and [ /img] (without the extra spaces).

03-15-2002, 10:12 AM
To all of the above,
This thread is what I need to wake up too. I've been sluffing off bigtime on my practice drills, I simply haven't done them for two months. Hell, I haven't hit a ball in...checking calender...13 days.
The heat is on in the pool room, the drill notebook is dusted off and breakfast is being made. The coffee is hot and I nearly forgot the fricking blizzard dumped over 12inches and I can't leave the house anyway. Thanks guys /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif /ccboard/images/icons/wink.gif

03-15-2002, 10:33 AM
See, here's what happens...But thanks for your attempt to help!

03-15-2002, 12:21 PM
You can use URL OR URL

The URL for the pool cue pic is: http://www.canadianbilliards.com/images/poolcue1.jpg

Just add before http: and after .jpg

Hope this helps.


03-15-2002, 12:35 PM
It could be that AOL doesn't support this UBB code.

03-15-2002, 08:09 PM

Thanks for the offer. I'll be coming over with Gary Robbins (the guy I introduced you to last week). So I'll probably play in the tournament...(I'm about due to win my entry fee back!). But afterwards, I like you to show me at least one of the drills that you use in your practice. See you Saturday.

03-15-2002, 08:18 PM
Good going on getting the pic in your signature.. nice touch with the BP initials..

03-15-2002, 11:17 PM
My cue is missing and someone told me they saw Bill Porter with it!

Nice job Bill!


03-16-2002, 08:18 AM

Thanks for the idea. I think I finally figured it out.

03-16-2002, 08:21 AM

I'd be embarrassed to say how much time it took me to figure out how to do it! Oh well, us semi-retired guys have a lot of time on our hands. BTW, hope your job stress has gone down.

03-16-2002, 08:54 AM

Since you still have your pool cue down there in your signature, I guess your pool cue isn't missing after all. And MY pool cue has a black leather wrap with my initials on it. I think we did get our cues at the same place, and I'll admit I stole your idea. BTW, you're in Dallas, right? I lived there for years and still visit an old friend there who's a pool player and knows all the Dallas pool scene. I'll be there for a week in the early part of May.

03-18-2002, 01:11 AM
"The Best instructors will always provide DRILLS that you need to improve your game, but you must provide the time and effort to "learn" to practice better POOL".

Agreed Tom, and thats where many will fall short or fail.
Sometimes they may provide the effort, but time may be a problem, or vise versa. I've always felt it's a waist of time for a person to take lessons every week especially if they don't have time to practice. A review is in order each week and if there is no improvement, its hard for a person to move on to another drill or stroke that's part of the last lesson. So one is kind of stuck untill they have the tools to move on. Yes it can be skipped over per-say and eventually they learn to some degree. As an instructor I'd feel like the student isn't getting their moneys worth. I want them to choose a time frame where they will have time to practice. If providing the effort is the problem, then they can come every day and I'll just repeat myself. I will at some point give up because I don't want them saying they took lessons from me.

03-20-2002, 04:51 PM
Not that anyone asked, but:

The path to the graphic ends with the file extension ".jpg".

The question mark and everything following it are most likely variables/parameters for a CGI (Common Gateway Interface) script, and are probably there for the servers benefit.