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View Full Version : What kind of opponent would you practice with?



Karatemom
06-24-2003, 04:18 PM
During practice play, would you rather practice with someone your own speed, someone a bit better than you, that you can beat sometimes, or someone who is much better than you and almost never beat?

I realize this isn't competition, but the idea is to win the game.

If you play someone your own speed, you won't gain much knowledge and maybe won't progress as quickly as you could. Almost as if you're just shooting for fun.

If you play someone slightly better than you, you learn a bit more and you're forced to play your game.

If you play someone who kicks your butt everytime you get to the table to rack, WHAT'S THE POINT??????? How can you learn anything without getting to the table to apply it?

My whole day has been off by about an 1/8".

Heide ~ can you tell that CC's got his groove back??????????

Tom_In_Cincy
06-24-2003, 04:33 PM
Karatemom,
Practice games? do we put a little wager on the games to make them just a little more meaningful?

I will practice my game (wager or not) with anyone that wants to step up to the table (very few exceptions).

You can also learn from watching two really good players match up.

There are about 5 or 6 players that I enjoy playing just about anytime. We usually do races to 5 (9 ball) or race to 3 One Pocket or 9ball Banks. But, there is always a little something on the game so that we stay sharp.

Some players I play will not wager at all, and that is fine, I can still give them my best game (if I have one that day).

Hope this is close to an answer.

Rod
06-24-2003, 04:36 PM
Someone near my speed or better. Lately I haven't been all that speedy! /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

~~~ rod, off, under a foot. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Barbara
06-24-2003, 05:20 PM
Heide,

I like to play someone better than me, but not so much better that I get discouraged. I also don't like to play with a spot, which is what I usually get from anyone who approaches me at a pool hall. I hate spots. I mean, Karen Corr's not going to give me a spot in a tourny, why would I want one in a non-tourny match? BTW, can you tell I don't gamble? Well, maybe for table time, or a soda or coffee, but that's it.

But then again, I haven't been playing in a pool hall for over a year. Well, this is going to change. That thread on motivation has me thinking.

Barbara

Ralph S.
06-24-2003, 05:51 PM
Heide, to answer your question, I would prefer to play someone that is going to beat me the majority of the time but not so much better than me that they dont have to work a little for the win. If you can make them work for the win a little more each time you play them then it is fair to say that you know your game is progressing.

Keith Talent
06-24-2003, 05:57 PM
Hello, everybody. New to the board, but had been lurking for awhile.

Also like to play folks at my speed or somewhat better. Theoretically, I think playing down on occasion is a good social gesture and could boost your confidence. If I could find anybody like that. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

HalSmith
06-24-2003, 06:15 PM
I like to play someone better than me. I watch him all the time , to see how he is playing situations and how he gets out of the trap I put him in. I have learned alot about one pocket from playing this one man. I respect him as a player so much. If I play someone my own speed I give a ball or two to make me play tougher.---SMITTY

Brian in VA
06-24-2003, 07:18 PM
I prefer to play someone better than me. Fortunately, it's never hard to find a game /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif I find it makes me concentrate harder and really watch their game to see if I can learn something.
Brian

bluewolf
06-24-2003, 07:22 PM
I like to practice with someone who is quite a bit better than I am, someone whos game I admire. Out team does that before the match for about an hour. I feel that if I practice with someone a couple to three skill levels above me, i try harder, feel good if I play well even if i do not win, and if I do ocasionally win, I feel good too. I think that it is easier to see my progress if i am playing against someone significantly better, not say an apa 7, but better.

Laura

randyg
06-24-2003, 07:46 PM
I like to PRACTICE with somebody who knows my game and can help.

I like to WARM-UP on my own.

I like to COMPETE against the best......randyg

pooldaddy9
06-24-2003, 08:55 PM
I prefer to play someone better than me. If I don't, I don't try as hard and find myself just banging balls, cause I know I will get another shot. I try much harder if I think I might not get another shot.

Sid_Vicious
06-24-2003, 08:57 PM
Good question. I've carried that question myself for a period of 4 maybe 5 years years, and had the privilege to play a super player and great friend relentlessly for all those years, free except for an occasional (but rare) token wager on the game. Take my word for it, grab the one who makes you rack the most. Then work to keep from racking, possible means a lot of time Heidi, but you've got the desire...there's your tool and answer...sid

GreenLion
06-24-2003, 09:22 PM
I like to play someone thats far better then me cuase that way i can judge where i stand as a player Each time i improve on something and play him.Its usually someone who run a rack of 9 if i miss.If i start getting to a point where i can beat him alot more then lose or at least keep up then i know that im really getting up there in my ability.

Icon of Sin
06-25-2003, 04:53 AM
There is a sl8 on my 9 Ball team that I love practicing wit. Im a sl4 and I learned so much from him its ridiculous. Plus on my 8 ball team im a sl4 and my father is a sl6 and we shoot around at home alot. I would have to say, my favorite people to practice with for improvment is a 6 or higher. But just for fun, I'll practice with anyone.

pooltchr
06-25-2003, 05:55 AM
For practice, I prefer someone at my own level or maybe a bit better. I will practice with lower skilled players, but usually end up working more to help them than to work on my own game in those cases. The exception right now, since I am trying to learn better one pocket, I usually play a small wager with one of the best in town. We can play 5 or 6 games and I can learn a lot about the game from him. If it costs me 20 or 30 bucks, it's a very inexpensive lesson!

Predator314
06-25-2003, 06:13 AM
I've got two friends that I practice with a lot. They shoot great (much better than me). I like practicing with them because they do kick my butt. I learn from watching them shoot. It has also made my game much better.

Karatemom
06-25-2003, 06:41 AM
I can understand learning so much from a better player, but how on earth do you keep from being discouraged? I'll get so frustrated that my motivation is gone.

Heide ~ thinking maybe she needs some anger management courses, LOL

NBC-BOB
06-25-2003, 06:44 AM
I alway's looked to play people that were much better then I.One local pro I played 14-1 with every sat, would run 100-150 at least one game every sat on me.Some other player's would ask me how I could just sit there and rack the balls week after week.Well I studied his game and would ask him to explain, why he played a particular shot. He would explain it all to me and I learned a lot.I told him I would rack the balls,but when he was done I alway's wanted a chance to shoot back.Now I'm not,bothered by whatever my opponent does and am able to get out of the chair and run a few racks.Now the end of the story is we don't get to play anymore,and he's so much better then me.He's beaten me 100 games to my one game lots of times,but I'm one of the very few amateurs that has beaten him, on several occasions.
So I vote for playing better players.

Brian in VA
06-25-2003, 07:25 AM
To me it's about expectations rather than anger management. If you play a better player and expect that you'll hold your own against them, then you're going to be frustrated. Instead, plan to rack and learn until your game improves and you get to make them rack. Expect to be seated most of the time and make that part of your practice session a study in what they do. Learning from them and then applying it to your own game means you'll improve.

Brian

Sid_Vicious
06-25-2003, 07:35 AM
You could do this, if your opponent is agreeable, get a spot of say the wild 8 & loser breaks. If you win, he gets his 8 back, but if you lose you now get the wild 7-out. As soon as you win, he gets the last level back. Whether you decide to do short sets or individual games, this system should be beneficial for both you and your strong player. I can't imagine that they continiously like drumming you, I wouldn't. I'd get dull in my focus and wild in my decisions. The increasing spot will soon give each of you a game, and eventually you'll find fun again and the increasing challenge you need, unless asking for the spot makes you uncomfortable...sid

Wally_in_Cincy
06-25-2003, 07:38 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Karatemom:</font><hr> During practice play, would you rather practice with someone your own speed, someone a bit better than you, that you can beat sometimes, or someone who is much better than you and almost never beat?

<font color="blue">Someone my speed or a bit better. </font color>

If you play someone your own speed, you won't gain much knowledge and maybe won't progress as quickly as you could. Almost as if you're just shooting for fun.

<font color="blue">I think you can learn something anytime you play, if you take it seriously. I can always watch great players from the rail or watch accu-stats tapes. Why pay for table time just to play rackboy. </font color>

If you play someone slightly better than you, you learn a bit more and you're forced to play your game.

<font color="blue">yep. </font color>

If you play someone who kicks your butt everytime you get to the table to rack, WHAT'S THE POINT??????? How can you learn anything without getting to the table to apply it?

<font color="blue">Agree. But's this is JMO. I was practicing one Friday after work. The guy who had just won our Cincy Straight Pool League championship asked to play some 8-ball. In the next hour I got 3 makeable shots. At one point he ran 5 racks on me. I think my time would have been better spent practicing. </font color>
<hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue">I have trouble finding people to match up with. The upper echelon players really don't want to play down and I don't want to be rackboy. The players at my level are mostly league players who don't really want to play unless it's a league match. Strange.

CincyTom and I have had some pretty good games of 14.1 though. In that game at least I know I'm going to get to the table and run a few balls.

Fortunately my fiancee plays about my speed so we can practice and nobody usually gets blown out. </font color>

Rich R.
06-25-2003, 07:43 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Karatemom:</font><hr> I can understand learning so much from a better player, but how on earth do you keep from being discouraged? I'll get so frustrated that my motivation is gone.

Heide ~ thinking maybe she needs some anger management courses, LOL <hr /></blockquote>
To keep from getting frustrated, you have to keep in mind that it is PRACTICE and you are not suppose to beat the better player.

Assuming you are practicing with a teammate and/or friend, use him/her to gain knowledge. If you get in a spot, where your not sure what to do, ask. If they do something that you don't quite understand, ask.
I'm sure the better player won't mind the questions. If they do, find another better player to practice with.

The only dumb question, is the one not asked.

bluewolf
06-25-2003, 07:58 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Karatemom:</font><hr> I can understand learning so much from a better player, but how on earth do you keep from being discouraged? I'll get so frustrated that my motivation is gone.

Heide ~ thinking maybe she needs some anger management courses, LOL <hr /></blockquote>

Maybe if you are used to winning all of the time, this would happen, unlike the situation I am in.

I think it is the reason you practice, what are your long term goals and such. I cannot speak for others. Fpr me it is the big picture 'i want to get better at pool' and it is an opportunity to learn. The short-term wins or losses do not matter to me because I assume that when I get better I will win more and will have achieved my goal of being better.

Sheesh these are my friends. These practice games are to help each other and have fun. It does help me gage my progress though.

bw

Kato
06-25-2003, 08:02 AM
I'd practice with you Heide but you NEVER call me to invite me to play. hahahahahaha

Me, I guess I like to play someone better. That's not incredibly hard to do. But I play so little now that when I do get to the pool room I just wanna bang a couple of balls around. Don't matter who I play with.

Kato

Predator314
06-25-2003, 08:24 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> <font color="blue">Agree. But's this is JMO. I was practicing one Friday after work. The guy who had just won our Cincy Straight Pool League championship asked to play some 8-ball. In the next hour I got 3 makeable shots. At one point he ran 5 racks on me. I think my time would have been better spent practicing. </font color>
<hr /></blockquote>

This is true on most of the time. But I've learned so much in the last year by getting my butt kicked on the tables. I started playing with the big dogs instead of picking on the lambs. If you play one pocket, you learn so many tricks by getting your butt kicked. If you play 8-ball, you learn patterns and safeties just by watching your opponent run out. If playing 9-ball, you can learn some great safeties and position play. If you are easily discouraged by losing, then this might not be for you. I hate to lose, but when I'm practicing, I can hack it.

UGOTACTION
06-25-2003, 10:19 AM
well i have taken lessons from pro's and they have all said the same thing about practicing. its best to find someone that plays a little but not much better than you. and play your hardest when your practicing. every now and then either play someone that can just beat your brains out or watch them match up and play someone the same speed as them. and pay very close attention to how they shoot certain shots and learn when to try to play safe and when you need to go for the run-out. just see what you can learn. now depending on the person and your relationship with them if you see something and dont understand how they did it then just ask them... you never know... they might answer it... or better than that. get a table bye yourself and figure it out for yourself. also there is a great deal of knowledge of many games that has been published. a couple good books are "99 critical shots by Ray "cool cat" martin" and "play your best pool" by Phil Cappella. those two books should really get you started and give you some good practice drills.

jjinfla
06-26-2003, 07:27 AM
Sounds like you answered your own question, but,

playing a weaker player lets you practice different techniques/shots.

Playing the better player allows you to see how he plays the patterns as compared to how you would have played them.

Playing the very good players shows you how important it is not to miss and adds that extra bit of stress/pressure. There is always the thought when you start on that 4,5,6 ball run, that if you miss or get out of line and let him get to the table he will run out.

And Barbara I met Allen Hopkins in Tampa and he looks better in person than he does on TV. Nice and friendly and even signed a cue ball for me. Jake