View Full Version : starting young
06-23-2003, 06:10 AM
At what age can you start teaching a child to play pool? My grandson is only 2 years old and he loves to throw the balls around on the table and make them go in the hole. He hasn't got the hang of it to hit the ball with the cue stick yet.
I'm gonna get him a small table to play on. Just wondering when to really try to get him started.
I woundnt teach him anything till he is 7/8yrs. If he is interested in playing he will begin to copy what you do .
06-23-2003, 03:49 PM
You're off to a great start with your grandson. Letting him throw balls around on the table gives him some very good eye-hand coordination practice. And there's nothing wrong with the feedback he's getting from seeing balls roll around a table.
(Still on the table)At age four I'd let him have a short stick, but one with some weight so he can steady it as he aims to make very easy shots set up near a pocket. Keep in mind, he's still on the table at this point in a crawling posture. He'll hold the cue about 8 inches or so from the tip-end of the cue and the shaft will stroke over the top of his backhand(bridge). He will have a fairly steady stroke in this manner and his elbow can be upright. He can start a pendelum movement. Assist him with this movement until he gets okay with it. Teach him to move the tip-end of his cue through the cue ball an inch or two.
At age five or so, but more importantly when his height is such that his shoulders are sufficiently over the rail, he may begin standing on the floor to play. He will begin with a sidearm stroke. His stroking elbow and forearm must be level a little above the rail so that he can continue with a pendelum stroke. He's going to be a sidearmer for awhile. I do not teach the cokebox way, I did not find it to be necessary with my son.(I am not saying platforms are wrong, just didn't go that route.)
Shooting balls directly into a pocket using a closed rail bridge is the best way to start him off once he's on the floor.
You must raise his elbow up an inch at a time as he grows. His stroke movement will not change. Please show him pictures and model the appropriate elbow up position. It will take him anywhere from one to three years to get in the ideal elbow-up stance.
Also, don't be too concern about which eye he aims with as he might start out aiming with his left eye if he is a right hander. Again, he'll be in a sideways stance. Encourage him turn his head and aim center of both eyes as he grows. Again, modeling is very important.
I have had the time of my life teaching my son to play pool and now I'm getting to do it all over again with baseball.
Keep it fun! Enjoy every moment of the experience. Be sure to get a qualified instructor to assist your grandson as you nuture him along.
06-23-2003, 04:56 PM
Hi Stan, hows Landon doing? Is he still playing every day? Terry
06-23-2003, 05:12 PM
Yes, he plays a couple of hours daily and more on tournament days. Between baseball and pool he's killing me, but I love every minute of it. Honestly, I was sort of hoping he would not take up any other sport. Anyway, baseball has turned out to be a wonderful activity to get us both away from pool each day. It's all part of letting him be a kid. He also spends a lot of time swimming and playing outside with his little construction site. He loves to play in the dirt.
06-23-2003, 05:21 PM
Stan, I coach my son in hockey and he has just joined baseball as well, I will help out there too. I help my daughter who also plays pool as well as other sports, she will be playing at the canadians this august.
I watched Landon on the David Letterman show and thought he was great, I was not impressed with Letterman though. Good Luck to Landon, he's seems to be in love with the game from the way in which he spoke on the show he has a life time of pool ahead of him. Terry
06-23-2003, 06:59 PM
On a somewhat unrelated topic, do you think you can start pool to early, to the point where the kid is sick of it after awhile? For example, I've been playing soccer since I was about 5, tennis since I was 11 or 12, and pool for a year or two (I'm 16 now). Consequently, I like pool the most, tennis second, and don't really like soccer at all anymore. Also when compared to others in the same sport I'm a much better pool player than I am a tennis player and a much better tennis player than I am at soccer. Just some stuff to think about.
06-24-2003, 12:10 AM
I started playing the violin when I was 4. At first I hated it and wouldn't ever practice, but as I grew a little older I began to love it. From ages 5-9 I really ejoyed playing and wanted to keep improving at it. I'd practice everyday, take weekly lessons, and go to workshops to try to improve. I was really good at it, and probably had the potential to go a long ways. Then, at about age 10 (Ironically the same year I started playing pool) I began to hate it. I'd still play it to make my family members happy, but it seemed like with each note my disinterest grew. Every year since then I've played less and less, getting it out only at the occasional family gathering, and never for my own pleasure.
Now I'm 14. I've stopped taking lessons and I've played it probably twice this year. I can now say that I HATE that instrument, and if I had much of a choice, I would never play it again. People try to tell me I'm going through a faze and in a few years I'll want to play it again. I tell those people in return that I was going through a faze when I LIKED playing it and now I've come back to my normal self. My parents tell me I'll regret quitting when I'm older. Things change, but I can confidently tell you that I will never want to play the violin ever again in this lifetime. It just wasn't meant to be.
06-24-2003, 12:18 AM
phase... I really should pay more attention to my spelling.
06-24-2003, 07:00 AM
I had the distinct pleasure of wqatching Landon Shuffet do an exhibition at 2002 DCC in Louisville. Needless to say. I was very impressed. That kid has all the potential in the world.
VERY GOOD THAT YOU START THEM YOUNG..
MY GRANDSON WHO IS 9 NOW SHOOTS PRETTY GOOD AND KNOWS THE BCA RULES FOR 8 & 9 BALL..I STARTED HIM AT A LITTLE OVER 3 YEARS OLD..WITH HIS OWN CUSTOM BUILT STICK..HE WOULD GO WITH ME DURING THE DAY TO MAGOO'S IN TULSA AND THE MANAGERS THERE WERE SO HELPFUL FINDING HIM A CHAIR TO STAND ON..HE HAS OUTGROWN HIS CUSTOM CUE AND HAS USED A COKE-A-COLA CUE FROM WAL-MART FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS.. JUST THIS SUMMER (only have him a while during his summer vacation) HE DECIDED HE NEEDED A BETTER CUE SO WITH HIS LAWN MOWING MONEY HE BOUGHT HIM SELF A NICE SCHMELKE CUE AT THE FACTORY RETAIL STORE..OH...AND THE CHILD SIZE CUSTOM CUE THAT HE OUT GREW IS BEING USED BY HIS 4 YR. OLD BROTHER WHO OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS HAS DEVELOPED QUITE A NICE STROKE /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif.
ANOTHER COUPLE OF YEARS AND I WILL UPDATE YOU ON THIER 2 YR OLD COUSIN AND SEE HOW SHE IS DOING ON THE TABLE THEN.. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif
06-24-2003, 12:25 PM
I thought CC would post to this, but since he didn't, I will.
He started our son on the table very young. He had him throwing the balls around on the table around 2 - 3 years old. Then had him stand on a chair at the edge of the table and use a shaft to shoot with. Worked out pretty well, I'd say. As he got older, he went from a shaft to a children's cue (I forget the size), and now he uses a regular size cue.
He has gone through his stages of "I don't feel like shooting anymore, I want to do karate, or baseball, or whatever". But like all other poolplayers, he's hooked like a big fish, and keeps coming back, LOL.
I don't think there's anything wrong with starting your child or grandchild at a young age, as long as it keeps their interest. We don't force any sport on our son. If he doesn't feel like doing it anymore, it's not fair to him to make him do it. Besides, pool is one of those sports where you don't have to worry so much about injuries, unless, of course, Fran is around with a piece of chalk, LOL.
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