View Full Version : making the most of practice time
First of all, I'm grateful for the forum, glad I found it.
I am in new situation. Before I moved here, I played pool a lot more frequently. I had competition, a variety of regular players to contend with on a regular basis, playing several times a week. Now, I usually play a couple hours after work on Fridays, and maybe once more during the week sometime. I know it's not enough time, but it's all I got.
I need to make the best of my practice time. First, to maintain my technique, and second, to improve. At most, to prepare for local 8-ball and 9-ball tourneys.
I usually just throw all the balls on the table, and start out slowly with focus on stroke, follow through, keep head down, etc. I like to shoot in 10 thru 15, then play 9-ball, to put myself in a situation to work on my safeties, which need work. Problem is, I end up goofing off, playing impossible shots, more like it's a game, than setting up and practicing shots. Sometimes I will practice banks, or long shots, but I usually feel as if I haven't gained much from the practice session.
So I'll ask you guys, what are some practice exercises you do, or would suggest, for someone like me who doesn't quite have the time I would like, but still need to benefit from practice? Any input would help, thanks
03-25-2002, 10:38 PM
I'm no expert and have found myself doing the same thing as you. My available time for practice is short also. I also find that I get to the pool hall and have more desire to play than practice. What I have been doing recently is trying to remember the shots that have been giving me trouble in play and working them out in practice. My brain goes dead sometimes in a game when I look at a shot and try to figure out how to make the shot and leave the cueball in a certain area. Making the shot is usually the easy part. I figure, why waste my practice time practicing things I'm not having trouble with? I know the things that are a problem for me, why not work on them. I setup specific shots and figure out how to execute them. Then practice them over and over to build my confidence.
Hey Stickman, yeah, I do set up some shots that give me trouble. I'm asking for stuff like a friend showed me, like, this:
Set up a ball in the middle of the table. Now put the cue ball farther down the table. Now see how many times you can hit the cue so it will stop before it PASSES that ball, without hitting it. In other words, you want to bring the cue ball alongside the other ball, but stop it without going past the other ball. It sounds wierd, but it is quite a challenge to build finesse. try it out.
I beleive other players, more experienced than me, are a good source for knowlege. If I see a shot they made that I don't understand, I will ask. That is the knowlege I need to beat them later on. It works.
I think the biggest problem I have is, I simply enjoy playing more than I have the discipline to work on harder shots. But some exercises are fun because of the challenge, and that is what I am looking for.
03-26-2002, 11:32 AM
Hopefully someone will post some entertaining drills. Previously, I would get bored with drills and resort to just playing rotation. While this was helpful in grooving my stroke, I didn't feel it was the best use of my practice time. At one time I thought my rail shots were a problem for me. I set up and practiced long rails until I became confident in my ability. Rail shots occur frequently in play and I figured if I could pocket a long rail, a short one should be easy. I then began working on my banks. Recently, I've been working on position play, since I feel this is my biggest weakness. I've been setting up shots at one end of the table and trying to leave the cueball for a shot at the other end. I vary the shot and try to figure out different ways to get there, since often the way you know to get there will be blocked by another ball. There are probably some good drills to work on different aspects that I'm not knowledgable about, but this has helped me make more productive use of my pratice time for the time being.
03-26-2002, 12:09 PM
go here: http://www.poolroom.com/ , follow the "practice makes perfect" link under "Features"
or here: http://www.geocities.com/cincytom314/ , follow the link to drills
That should keep you busy for a while :-)
03-26-2002, 12:34 PM
Thanks, Bob. Your's are exactly the type of shots that I feel I have the most problem with. (getting from one end of the table to the other)
phil in sofla
03-26-2002, 03:15 PM
Knowing what comes up in games and practicing those things are what will help your game improve. Using a progressive kind of drill and keeping dated performance records may help keep it interesting.
Take spot shots, for one example. Put a ball on the foot spot, and shoot it in sequence from the 15 cue ball locations at the intersections of the diamond lines everywhere in the kitchen at the head of the table (including on the rails at the diamonds). If you're in the mood to drive yourself crazy, if you miss, start entirely over from the beginning. Probably better for most of us, try to make the spot shot from all those locations in the lowest total number of strokes, and then strive to better your previous record.
Another idea: put the object ball in the middle of the short rail on the rail, and try to kick it IN from each of the rail diamond positions, in the shortest total number of attempts. (This is several days' worth of work if you don't have a little hint, so maybe start simply with making a good hit on it. Bert Kinnister has a tape where he gives you the precise measurements as to where to hit it from the various diamond cue ball locations, and he does 8 makes in about 18 or so tries). Kicking is of major importance, but often ignored in practice. Once you've done this work regularly, at every practice session, hitting this kick, and maybe making it, will come very naturally in a match.
Bob the drills at poolroom.com are good to practice.
I especially like #8 and #9 from both sides. I also like to spread them out past the side pocket. Those two drills will improve c/b control big time, if anyone will spend the time in practice.
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