View Full Version : What's the biggest barrier in your game?
Is there one factor that you believe presents the greatest barrier in your progress as a Pool player?
For me, it is definately my career. I just don't get to play seriously enough to make as rapid progress as I would like. Sure, my game has definately improved over the years, and continues to do so. But I often feel a bit frustrated that it does not progress as I think it should. (This could also be due to unrealistic expectations, because of the Pool players that I am frequently in the company of.)
Having time available isn't a problem. I'm single, and when I leave work my time is mine and mine alone. The real issue is energy and motivation. Often, I just DO NOT feel like playing serious Pool after a day at work. Playing serious Pool is hard work. I often do not want to do more hard work at the Pool hall after doing hard work in the office all day. Sometimes when I feel like this, I'll go out and shoot around "just for fun". But this usually yields poor results. I feel like doing this can train me into the habit of not putting much effort into each shot. I play much better when playing seriously than I do when I'm just hitting the balls around "for fun".
I am fortunate to know or be aquainted with a great many pro players. I have an amazing wealth of knowledge at my disposal for learning about this game. But knowledge is not enough. No matter how much you know, you still have to be able to step up to the table and consistently make the shots you need to make. And that is only achieved from hours upon hours upon hours at the table.
But hey, we always have to keep things in perspective. Life offers each of us different things. While I am jealous of some my pro friends' abilities at the table, and the fact that they are on TV and have people ask them for their autographs and pictures, some of them are jealous of my income. That's life, I guess. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
Y'know Mike, it seems to me that when a player gets to a certain point in their game, it would be a good idea if they were to get rewarded for all their hard work. Then maybe we'd all spend a little more time taking the game more seriously. That's not to be in this sport, at least up until so far, unless they have aspirations to gamble for big money with the risk of having someone point a gun at their head if God-forbid they should win. Don't think that hasn't happened. It has and it does.
Personal gratification and bragging rights can only take a person so far. If I knew I could win $50,000 for finishing 10th place in a pro event, I'd have my butt in the pool room practicing 12 hours a day.
I've been doing it for 20 years and I have to find other ways to make a living. If I were playing pro golf or tennis I'd be a millionaire by now based on my past finishes in events over the years.
Look at the WPBA tour. If you win every event, you stand to make a whopping 50 grand for the year for your hard work and dedication.
The men's situation isn't much better with the exception of the occasional big bonanza where you have to travel half-way across the planet and hope you get a decent draw or a lucky roll here or there.
I mean, really...which would you rather your child do--take up golf aspiring to be the next Tiger Woods, or take up pool, aspiring to be a great player like Mike Sigel who's now holed up in his workshop, making cues and smelling wood dust and varnish all day long?
Show me the money. Then we'll talk about motivation.
Actually Fran, You are dead right as far as the motivation thing. I think most people that play pool competitively have other motivations(nobody aspires to make 50k a/yr). For me, it's the need to one day be able to play something at the Pro level. This probably goes back to childhood. First love was baseball, then football. After college football, I decided to try something which I liked, and wasn't washed up at 30 years old.
I'm curious to hear what other peoples motivations are.
How about you, Fran?
Eric >my job ruins most of my vises
I completely agree with you, Fran. I hope you didn't interpret my post as a knock against Pool as a career (most of my friends are professional Pool players, including a top-10 ranked WPBA player being one of my closest friends). I certainly agree that the hard work put into a professional Pool career deserves a much better reward than is currently being provided.
Maybe I misinterpreted your reply, but if you thought my post was making a negative statement against Pool as a career, I can assure you it was not intended as such.
Haha! No, Mike, I didn't take offense to your post in the least. I was just venting about how difficult it is to overcome barriers when there's so little reward at the end of that big long tunnel.
I think that lack of money permeates all through the sport, and on all levels too, even amateur levels, and I really think it affects how everyone views the sport and their own place in it.
Eric, my motivation has changed throughout the years. When I was younger and more irresponsible, and didn't care much about the bills or saving money, or even making money, I just played because I loved to play.
Now, I've grown up and find myself without a pension plan, and a projected monthly SSI that would probably leave me broke, my main motivation has to be money. It's an issue of survival. That forces me to make choices about practice time. There's nothing like survival needs to put a damper on motivation.
I feel your pain, Fran. We're probably the same age-I got the Soc. Security form a couple of years ago. On the lighter side, my estimated benefits wouldn't support the lifestyle of a parakeet!
04-01-2002, 04:58 PM
That is the case in many things. Not so much the lack of reward, but the reality that life has priorities. We need are ducks in a row so to speak. I am sure there are potentially great writers or painters or who knows what, but the needs of everyday life come first. Pool of course no matters what level you may reach, has no rewards other then personal satisfaction. I often look at people like swimmers or Gymnasts and wonder why they do it. Other then an Olympic gold medal it is a lot of work and sacrifice totally for nothing. I would say pool has many more rewards then most of the other sports. You can play the game all your life. It even comes along with a complete subculture to go with it, like this board. It is fun at any level to play. It is by no means a pro sport and no one should go in to it with the idea it will be their life's work. It is just a game. You get rewards as a teacher and make a little money. Scott does his exhibitions and teaches. I don't like it when I hear what sounds like bitterness from people. No one ever promised you a rose garden. You are in fact lucky to be doing what you do. Why do you seem so unhappy?
04-01-2002, 05:10 PM
Rapid advancement in Pool skill, can only be achieved with instruction, parctice and competing. If you can't afford the time to do all three of these, then you have to accept the fact that it is not going to happen as fast as you would like. Serious intentions are no substitute for actions. Either you do it or you talk about it..
I do all three. But what I was saying is that I don't have the time to spend 10 hours a day every day playing Pool.
I was just curious as to what other people see as the largest barrier? Time? Lack of instruction? No great players to play against? No 9-foot tables within 100 miles? /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Q-guy:</font><hr> That is the case in many things. Not so much the lack of reward, but the reality that life has priorities. We need are ducks in a row so to speak. I am sure there are potentially great writers or painters or who knows what, but the needs of everyday life come first. Pool of course no matters what level you may reach, has no rewards other then personal satisfaction. I often look at people like swimmers or Gymnasts and wonder why they do it. Other then an Olympic gold medal it is a lot of work and sacrifice totally for nothing. I would say pool has many more rewards then most of the other sports. You can play the game all your life. It even comes along with a complete subculture to go with it, like this board. It is fun at any level to play. It is by no means a pro sport and no one should go in to it with the idea it will be their life's work. It is just a game. You get rewards as a teacher and make a little money. Scott does his exhibitions and teaches. I don't like it when I hear what sounds like bitterness from people. No one ever promised you a rose garden. You are in fact lucky to be doing what you do. Why do you seem so unhappy? <hr></blockquote>
I don't want to take sides here, but I don't think Fran is being bitter. If anything, it sounds more like a little remorseful. It really is a shame that you put so much time and dedication for so little reward. I know, I know, we all make our choices, that much is true. BUT, if anyone is passionate about something i.e. pool, it can consume you. I'm guessing alot of choices in life are made by other than rational thought. I can say that if I were any good at pool at a young age, I might have made a different career choice than what I'm doing now!
Eric >wants it all and then some
04-01-2002, 05:34 PM
The majority of us do not have 10 hours a day to devote to things above and beyond our normal commitmemts.
Priorities are Family, work, friends and then recreation (for me it is pool).
I am lucky, I have time (but not 10 hours a day), instructors available, lots of great players, and ample 9 footers (GC, Robertsons and Diamonds) lots of weekly tournaments, and 3 monthly tournaments. NO Barriers here in Cincinnati.
I'm not bitter. I'm also not "lucky" to be doing what I do. It took years of blood sweat,tears, sacrifice and dedication to get to the point where I can do what I do. If anything, I'm certainly pleased with my personal accomplishments.
My point is that once money becomes a priority, regardless of whether your 20 or 70 years old, a pool player has to make some tough choices.
I was one of the many optimists who saw the potential for pool to break out of the box and become a legitimate way to make a living...as a player...not just as a business in the industry.
I am still a believer and still optimistic. The disappointment you may be reading into in my words comes from seeing people who "ran the shows" for the players over the years, make the same mistakes over and over again.
It will get better, but I believe the lead may very well come from other countries that will either put some fire under the butts of people in this country who feel threatened by their existence, or the global pool world will help provide good ideas and possibly new affilliations.
We shall see.
04-01-2002, 06:29 PM
No nine footers with in a 120 miles doesn't help for sure. Not having that pool hall atmosphere and that built in friendly competition is another barrier to stimulating the drive to keep ones game really sharp. Having a nice 9 foot Brunsiwick in my house is the only thing that keeps me interested. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
I think we also might be talking about different levels. I am not talking to barrier to ALL progress. I am talking about a barrier to playing at a professional level. If you really wanted to become a pro-level player, what would the biggest barrier be?
I see that yours is the same as mine: other responsibilities limit our time. Like I said before...such is life! I know I'm not giving up my day job anytime soon! /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
A 9-foot table in my home would certainly help matters! Seattle has the 2nd worst traffic in the nation right now, and there are no 9-footers east of Lake Washington. And traffic getting across or around Lake Washington is BRUTAL on most days. But there is just no room in my townhouse for a pool table, of any size. (Have you ever priced homes near Microsoft? The prices are OUTRAGEOUS! I gave up on affording a place that can fit a Pool table, because it was just TOO MUCH more for it.)
04-01-2002, 06:43 PM
The greatest barrier to my game, at the present time at least, is TIME! More specifically, the lack there of to devote to a game and sport I have come to love. The busier I become with my clients, the less my game develops.
04-01-2002, 06:49 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Eric:</font><hr> I think most people that play pool competitively have other motivations(nobody aspires to make 50k a/yr). For me, it's the need to one day be able to play something at the Pro level. This probably goes back to childhood. First love was baseball, then football. After college football, I decided to try something which I liked, and wasn't washed up at 30 years old.
I'm curious to hear what other peoples motivations are.
By golly, where's Bob Fancher, Ph.D.?
04-01-2002, 06:53 PM
Myself and a partner had a restaurant on the strip by Sea/Tac for a year in 1984ish and the traffic was impossible then. That city is just screwed for getting around. Our restaurant failed as there was some guy called the Green River Killer operating in the area and there was no one going out for dinner. Bad timing. Ya gotta love the NW though. Push the table against the wall and use half of it as a practice table only. It would be a conversation piece at the least. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
Q-Guy...Yes, you are correct that I do make a nice living doing exhibitions and teaching. However, the downside is that I must travel the road for up to 8 months of the year, living out of my car and a suitcase...and spending YARDS of money for hotels/food/gas/tolls etc. The upside is that I am doing something I truly LOVE (sharing what I know about pool), and having the chance to meet new people everywhere I go. Fran has a homelife, and a great teaching opportunity with regular hours at Corner Billiards. I admire what she is able to accomplish in NYC, along with keeping a full schedule of WPBA events (which, unfortunately, do not always turn out to be moneymakers, or even breaking even!). With all of that, she is NOT an unhappy person! She just wishes (like ALL of us) that professional pool could pay more...and is doing her fair share to help that along...as much as an individual can do!
04-01-2002, 08:20 PM
I would have to also say that career is the biggest barrier to my growth. Time spent at work is time not spent at the table. Currently I get to practice once or twice a week. Clearly not enough to excel, and certainly not as much as I would like. I believe I'm going to structure my practice time & get away from just playing others at the room. That way I can focus on each of my pool deficiencies. Jeanette Lee once said (when she was developing as a player) that she always felt like she needed to be practicing b/c that's what she thought the other girl was always doing...and while I'm at work, my competition is working out their inabilities at the table...
Just a thought,
Mike, I'm thinking age and the eyes could be better.
Years ago my talent was close, but still I had no real desire to be a pro player. There wasn't any money in the sport.
Yea, the job. I seem to miss the best local tourneys and the ones I do make usually cause me to remember the job the next morning around the time early evening sets in. Consider all the relaxed, non-stress of actually living the days as I would like and I would say again, "Yea, definetely the job"...sid~~~but damn thankful today to have that job since "Mr Mortgage needs my check each month...when's the tech sector coming to save me ;-)
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