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View Full Version : Theoretically, Practice Is Required To Play Better



TomBrooklyn
05-25-2003, 05:42 PM
The dominant theories of skill acquisition in knowledge-rich domains such as chess, music, mathematics and cue sports assert that large amounts of practice are necessary to acquire the domain-specific knowledge which mediates expert performance.

Qtec
05-25-2003, 10:29 PM
WOW!Tom,baby,youre freaking me out!All i can say is chess,yes.Music,yes.Maths,yes.Cue sports,no.A catcher in baseball doesnt have to know how fast the ball is traveling,its rate of acceleration or the wieght of the ball, to be able to catch it.He learns how to catch through repettion and experience. If you practise the same shot on a pool table 10 times and you hit the Qball exactly on the same spot,at the same pace,the angle that the Qball takes after it hits the object ball will always be the same.You only have to know whats going to happen,you dont have to know why.When i teach snooker i provide information on a need to know basis only.Keep it simple.Too much information can be a bad thing!

Popcorn
05-25-2003, 11:13 PM
I think the why is the most important part. It lets them take that theory and apply it to any similar situation, because they know why they made the choice in the first place. Anyone who does something and has no idea of why they are doing it, is not learning, and can not expand on it on their own. Knowing the answer to a problem, but not how it was arrived at, teaches you nothing. You may be surprised how much a guy who just catches a ball knows about the game he plays. Coaches pound it into them constantly. They may seem dopey in other areas, but not at what they do. Even Yogi Berra, who came off like a dummy, was known to be a genius at baseball. Casey Stangel (sp) thought he was one of the smartest players he ever had play for him. It is a mistake a lot of kids make. They see some guy throwing a basketball around and think that is all he does, they have no idea how schooled at the game he is. Pro sports is not for the lazy. Of course this is my opinion.

eg8r
05-25-2003, 11:57 PM
So you don't ever need to practice speed? What about stroke? Should a beginner never practice a bank shot?

When you teach do you ask your students to not take any of the newly learned information to the table and try it out before entering a match?

I really think practice is required if one expects to get better. I do not believe practice makes perfect, however it does get you closer.

eg8r

bluewolf
05-26-2003, 05:05 AM
I use practice so that I will not get rusty on shots I can do, and learn new stuff.The why for me is important to me because it helps me to not repeat the error.

For a while I was under the delusion that I should make all short shots, which included side pocket shots. There was this one short shot I frquently missed and I did not know why. WW looked at it and said 'that is a 90degree cut'. There was a certain side shot I kept missing that I thought I should make. Well, when he looked at that, it was more than a 90degree cut.

I am now learning position and the why is the most important thing, imo.

Laura

Sid_Vicious
05-26-2003, 08:15 AM
"He learns how to catch through repettion and experience."

Everybody's right but each in their perspective stages of their game. I personally am finding that practice can inhibit your competitiveness edge,,,yea I said inhibit. The statement above by Qtec, in my opinion is where we all should be following the fundamentals we learned in the early years of playing. I truly feel that it is the miles you put on running around the table, ball after ball, loss after loss, cash dropped under pressure, until finally it comes to you, "Your individual game." We're all capable of monumental days on the table, y'all have all had them and it feels good! Getting those more often and climbing out of the loss column and into the winning side comes with relentless play, and contrary to many opinions, putting something on the line($$$) creates individual toughness. All this demands "sticking with it-ness", accepting the losses and riding it out until YOUR game just happens. Does practice make for a bad player? No, in fact that's the way many seem to HAVE TO operate, and like any mental habit, they'd probably lose whatever edge thay now have by trying to get out of that comfort zone by withdrawing from their practice routine. For me, I hit basic straight in or nearly straight in shots and work the stroke for CB position, but that's about all I call practice. Beyond that it is the time and experience that gains my feeling for a run through a pack. Put me back in the formative years and yes I'd practice, just like I did in those years. Today, I'M SIMPLY PLAYING THIS GAME, ALOT!!!SID

Qtec
05-26-2003, 08:17 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> I think the why is the most important part. It lets them take that theory and apply it to any similar situation, because they know why they made the choice in the first place. Anyone who does something and has no idea of why they are doing it, is not learning, and can not expand on it on their own. Knowing the answer to a problem, but not how it was arrived at, teaches you nothing. You may be surprised how much a guy who just catches a ball knows about the game he plays. Coaches pound it into them constantly. They may seem dopey in other areas, but not at what they do. Even Yogi Berra, who came off like a dummy, was known to be a genius at baseball. Casey Stangel (sp) thought he was one of the smartest players he ever had play for him. It is a mistake a lot of kids make. They see some guy throwing a basketball around and think that is all he does, they have no idea how schooled at the game they are. Pro sports is not for the lazy. Of course this is my opinion. <hr /></blockquote> First of all,I,m not talking about theory,I,m talking about fact.A theory is by definition something that has not yet been proven.I wasnt talking about the game baseball ,only about a guy catching a ball.You learn to catch a ball by trial and error.Before Newton came up with gravity people knew that if you threw a ball in the air,it would come down .They did not know why it came down but they could still catch it.Explaining the law of physics wouldnt neccessarily be helpful.Does knowing everything about running automatically make you fast?If you want to play good pool you have to practice,practice,practice.But if you dont practice the right things ,in the right way,you can practice for 20 years and still be an average player.Every time you hit a ball you should learn something.

Popcorn
05-26-2003, 08:56 AM
Before a plane flies for the first time, the designer 99.9%knows it will fly. This is based on accumulated knowledge, not from his own trial and error experience. The term theory is used because, nothing is known to be fact. What was thought as fact one day may be proven to be wrong the next. As far as learning goes, if I tell someone to stand back from one of my running lathes. It would be much better for me to inform them that they are wearing a tie and it could get caught and pull their face into a 1500 rpm, 50 lb. spinning chuck. That knowledge will help them in the future. Just out of curiosity, how would you teach one pocket? One pocket is based on a knowledge of the why of the game. If you tell a player to say, "Don't slow roll a ball in this situation", you wouldn't tell him why? Is he suppose to just guess? How can I make a move if I don't know why I'm doing it, regardless of how well I may do it. My skill means nothing if I don't know how and when to apply it. I won't argue with you, we believe differently, and so be it.

Popcorn
05-26-2003, 09:12 AM
When you play more you are learning, not just putting in time. You may not know it, but you are, that is why you get better. The thing is, if you are not aware of what you have learned, or how it has applied it's self to make you a better player, the next time you have a bad day you are left scratching your head saying, "I was playing so good yesterday, I wonder why"? I think this may be a lot of semantics. The idea is to find how to shorten the learning curve other then just trial and error.

Qtec
05-26-2003, 10:06 AM
OK,we can agree to disagree.I,m only trying to help.I am a snooker coach that can play a good game of pool.I am not a pool player.I wouldnt presume to try you or anybody how to play pool.What i can do is teach someone how to pot balls.Technique is my speciality.If you can pot balls..?It is also very difficult to do this over the internet.It would be much easier to demonstrate on a pool table.Another problem is the terminology,please correct me if I,m wrong. Shape=position[affecting the angle that the Qball takes after contact with the object ball] Speed=how hard?What is one pocket?I am only familiar with 9B,8B and 14/1.

Qtec
05-26-2003, 12:51 PM
Sid,i read one of your posts about how you first really started to think about pool was when you started giving lessons.I know exactly what you mean.If you give an adult a lesson,lets say the guy plays twice a month,all you can do is try and correct the major faults in his game and answer his questions.If he doesnt practice between lessons he will never be really good,no matter how info you give him.As for playing for cash,I totally agree.When you play for cash,it adds a little spice,the game becomes real,especially when you cant afford to lose.Steve Davis,when asked what makes a great player replied,"if you can play like it means NOTHING,when it actually means EVERYTHING,then you are a great player.

Popcorn
05-26-2003, 01:00 PM
I think we got messed up in semantics. I know if you are a teacher you would explain what the student is trying to accomplice as well as how to go about it. The great challenge of pool is, it requires both knowledge as well as skill in equal, or close to, equal parts. There are so many elements to the game that make for a good player, none can be ignored. I once watched Ronnie Allen give a guy 13 to 6 in one pocket. The guy could not win and quit. They later changed the game to 12 to 7 and finally 11 to 7. The difference was the guy was now playing with two coaches helping. What a difference the combined knowledge made. They were about even after two days of play. If that guy could have somehow had that knowledge instantly implanted in him, he could have played the 11 to 7 game in the first place. Another funny thing, he seemed to be learning the game, not only from the coaches, but Mr. Allen as well. The guy seemed to get better with each hour.

Ken
05-26-2003, 01:30 PM
Qtec
One pocket is usually played with a full rack of 15 but can be played with 9 balls. The breaker designates a corner pocket at the foot of the table to be his scoring pocket. His opponent gets the other one. Player continues to shoot as long as he scores in his pocket. Any balls put in your opponent's pocket score for him unless you scratch (ball off table) and then the ball is spotted. 3 foul loss and normal ball into rail requirements apply.

Game is won by making majority of balls (8 or 5) unless a different number is agreed upon as a spot. All balls going into non-scoring pockets are spotted at the end of the shooter's inning unless he runs out of object balls and then they are spotted as in 14.1. On a foul shot scoring balls are spotted along with a ball penalty, but any you made for your opponent score.

Playing 13-6 is a spot where one player has to get to 13 before the other one gets to 6. Since that requires 18 balls, early scoring balls are spotted until the players have enough balls on the table for the numbers to work.

If I got anything wrong please correct me, anyone.
KenCT

05-26-2003, 02:00 PM
When I first glanced at Tom's post, I thought he was being ironic ... i.e., that given the fair amount of high-minded, academic and theoretical posts you see here, say, about aiming, eye dominance and such, still, there's no substitute for repetition and time at the table.

That I would have to agree with ... it speeds up the learning curve, as Popcorn was saying, to know why you're doing certain things or should do them, but it's the repetition that makes all of that knowledge second-nature. You can't just go down the list every time you line up a shot. Without putting in the long hours practicing -- and competing (gotta do more of this) -- I think you end up with a mechanical, inhibited stroke. For myself, I know that the more times I see certain shots or patterns, the more quickly I can lock in on aim, speed, cueing ... then I take that smooth ol stroke and look up suddenly when I don't hear the ball drop and say WTF!! Again. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

TomBrooklyn
05-26-2003, 09:57 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> WOW!Tom,baby,youre freaking me out!<hr /></blockquote>Hey Qtec, if that's freaking you out, check this. (http://library.thinkquest.org/C005704/content_lt.php3)
I've copied the most applicable parts below for your convenience.

Psychomotor Skills

Psychomotor skills result from organized muscle activity in response to stimuli from the environment. Throwing a ball, driving, and typing are all examples of common psychomotor skills. Psychomotor skills are controlled by the sensory and motor cortex of the brain, as well as the nerve fibers that connect the two hemispheres of the brain.

A skill is not a reflex action. A skill is a complex movement that requires practice. To acquire psychomotor learning, we usually develop the skills quite quickly during reinforced practice. Studies have shown that we retain psychomotor skills longer than we retain learned text material, because we tend to overlearn these skills. Environmental factors, such as heat, cold, and noise have been shown to interfere with the acquisition and performance of psychomotor skills.

The term "skill" also refers to the level of proficiency at which someone can perform a certain task. For example, sports are often complex tasks, requiring coordination, speed, and endurance. These motor skills are essential for a player to be considered "skilled", but performance will always be limited by our basic abilities. The most common method of classifying motor skills is to separate fine motor skills (such as aiming ability) from gross motor skills (such as strength).

Skill performance is analyzed using several criteria at fixed intervals. First, the performer must be alert and attentive enough to realize that sensory information is being transmitted. At the sensory cue, the performer must be able to decide whether or not to respond, and with what type of response. Performance is based upon past experience in similar activities, speed, the amount of force exerted, and the person's basic ability.

The three major factors that affect the acquisition of psychomotor skills are feedback, motivation, and the amount of practice undertaken. The more specific the feedback received, the faster the skill is acquired. Motivation serves to encourage skill acquisition, often speeding up the process. Practice may be the most powerful factor, but the effect of the amount and intensity of practice is unique to each person. The complexity and distribution of the skill may also contribute to its acquisition. The more complex a skill, the more difficult it is to learn, and therefore the longer it will take. Distribution of work and rest also affects the acquisition of a skill, especially if the person is overworked or is not receiving sufficient rest.

bluewolf
05-26-2003, 10:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TomBrooklyn:</font><hr> large amounts of practice are necessary to acquire the domain-specific knowledge which mediates expert performance. <hr /></blockquote>

In practice, i think it is good to think about and try all of the things one is trying to master, practice easy shots, hard shots, and focus on the fundamentals. That is practice.

And what do you consider mastery of pool? i certainly do not think that one can put a number on it. To me, you can either run racks or not. I cannot see that anything else is important when talking about 8ball and 9ball.

Laura

Fred Agnir
05-27-2003, 08:33 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TomBrooklyn:</font><hr> The dominant theories of skill acquisition in knowledge-rich domains such as chess, music, mathematics and cue sports assert that large amounts of practice are necessary to acquire the domain-specific knowledge which mediates expert performance. <hr /></blockquote>I think this is absolutely true. I don't see anyone disagreeing with the statement either.

It says "skill acquisition" not "knowledge acquisition."

Fred &lt;~~~ thinks some people don't understand what the statement is saying.

Ken
05-27-2003, 10:19 AM
I guess I don't understand. It seems that the statement is saying this: If I'm a beginning player and see someone make the cue ball back up after hitting the object ball I need only practise and I will acquire the knowledge required to hit the draw shot.

Sort of like the monkeys typing a Shakespear play.

It does say "acquire the domain-specific knowledge" not "acquire the domain-specific skill".

Let's face it. It would make a lot more sense to acquire the knowledge first from an instructor or another player and then do the practising to acquire the skill. I might come up with one method by practise and then assume I have all the knowledge. I might be wrong, however, and never know it.

I know, I don't understand.
KenCT

Fred Agnir
05-27-2003, 11:18 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Ken:</font><hr> I guess I don't understand. It seems that the statement is saying this: If I'm a beginning player and see someone make the cue ball back up after hitting the object ball I need only practise and I will acquire the knowledge required to hit the draw shot.<hr /></blockquote> I think you're attacking from the wrong angle. It's not saying that "only" word. It's simply saying: you have to practice what you've learned. And practice a lot.


[ QUOTE ]
It does say "acquire the domain-specific knowledge" not "acquire the domain-specific skill".<hr /></blockquote>Right. It's saying that "knowledge" in what seems to be knowledge-dominant activities, must also have application practice, not just mental practice. This is not a "one over the other" saying. It's a "you need both" saying, even in what seemingly is a "knowledge dominated" activity (read: mental game).

Fred

Qtec
05-27-2003, 08:51 PM
Love it,i agree 100%.If you practise in the right way the info that you need to pot that long 9ball is already in your head.Your arm ,after a million times or so,has written a program and installed it in your brain,you just have to access it.Now here comes that Zen thing,for this to work,you have to have to let this program take over.When you are at the table chalking your cue you study the position,choose your ball,decide where you want to put the Qball etc.These are the things you should be thinking about,then imagine in your head the shot you want to play:this is the command,once you get down on the shot the program will take over,but only if you let it.This is why you can do something and not actually be thinking about it. You have to let go. Specific feed back-when practising concentrate on one thing at a time.

hadenball
05-28-2003, 05:56 AM
A quote I heard 15 or more years ago "perfect practice makes for perfect play" other wise you are just shooting balls. If you don't mind , it don't matter!!!! I think it's all in how you go about it, there are so many different variables it's hard to say true or false. hb

Qtec
05-28-2003, 06:24 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote eg8r:</font><hr> So you don't ever need to practice speed? What about stroke? Should a beginner never practice a bank shot?

When you teach do you ask your students to not take any of the newly learned information to the table and try it out before entering a match?

I really think practice is required if one expects to get better. I do not believe practice makes perfect, however it does get you closer.

eg8r <hr /></blockquote>Here is a demo that i use to teach people how to pot a ball and get the Qball to go where they want it to.First i start by playing straight shots on the 1 into pocket B.I play stop shots[the ball stops dead after hitting the 1.]I show the guy wher i am hitting the Qball [in the center or maybe a fraction below.see dia.]I place the Qball as indicated and pot the 1,and the Qball takes path A, if you are hitting the Qball in the same manner,the path of the Qball will be close to A, every time.I now play the same shot,but hit the Qball[no english],lets say 1cm lower .The Qball now takes the blue path and kisses the 4, full ball.If i now ask this person where i need to stike the Qball,in order to go into the pack.?If you believe what you see,you dont have to be a rocket scientist to work it out.Try it.Everybody.START(
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