View Full Version : Practice

Trot Nixon
07-14-2003, 10:14 PM
I got my pool table today and have been playing on it for about 4 hours now and I still pretty much (excuse my language) suck. What is your favorite way of practicing, I read in a book that the best way to practice is using 2 balls and putting them on the table and try to sink both balls without missing. Don't laugh it's hard for me to do it 1 out of 5 timeshttp:// but I'll get better, hey I'm only 18 I got plenty of years to improve.

07-14-2003, 10:43 PM
Good for you!.. work on two ball runs until you can pretty much get both of them 4/5 of the time or so.. then move to 3 balls, which in practice is about as far as most players look ahead.. get a knowledgeable friend or good local player over to give you some of the basics of stance, aim, stroke, english, planning, etc.. if you're from a reasonably good sized city, your library should have books and/or videos which will help.. you seem to have a realistic evaluation about where you are at - and an understanding that it will take some time to be proficient.. I think you have a good chance of becoming an (at least) decent player.. good luck..

Trot Nixon
07-14-2003, 11:05 PM
I seriously give props to all the good pool players out there, man is this game hard...I've never really struggled with any kind of sports before but I just can't figure out this game, I'm gonna keep on practicing though and HOPING to get better and thanks for the idea of going to the library and renting out a video, going to have to do that soon /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

07-15-2003, 05:35 AM
Two things you might want to try. First, find a qualified instructor to help you get the basics of stance, grip, stroke, etc down right. It's much easier to learn the right way from the start rather than have to unlearn bad habits later on. You can find a list of qualified instructors at www.bca-pool.com (http://www.bca-pool.com) go to "play" then "instruction" then find active instructors listed by state.

If you are looking for good drills to build your game, pick up a copy of Black Belt Billiards. It's full of drills that can take you as far as you want to go in this game depending on your willingness to put the time in. From the sounds of it, I think you are willing to do that, and the book will give you a plan to get to the level of play you desire.

Good Luck, and congrats on the new table!

07-15-2003, 06:54 AM
pooltchr recommeded "Black Belt Billiards". I am also a big advocate of that book. You also would do well to buy "Play Your Best Pool" by Phil Cappelle.

More importantly though, now would be the perfect time to seek out a qualified instructor, before you ingrain any bad habits. Where are you located? Even 1 or 2 sessions would be beneficial. And don't take advice from just any old Schmoe at the bar or pool hall. There's probably more bad advice floating around than good advice. After a while you will know who you can trust for good advice and who the pretenders are.

Good luck and don't get too frustrated. Just enjoy the journey.

07-15-2003, 07:19 AM
When I first started, not so long ago, I got a good instructor to fix my stroke. Then I practiced easy short shots first.That will build your confidence. When I tried the hard ones too soon, I got real frustrated. So, imo, best to get a stroke doc then practic easy shots and go from there.

my .02


07-15-2003, 08:13 AM
Definitely hitting the books is a great way to start. If you do find a local player to help you out on the fundamentals make sure they know what they're talking about so they don't screw you up.

07-15-2003, 08:25 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote UTAddb:</font><hr> If you do find a local player to help you out on the fundamentals make sure they know what they're talking about so they don't screw you up. <hr /></blockquote>

Good advise. As a new player, it's hard to determine who knows what they are talking about, and who doesn't. Even the best players aren't necessarily the best coaches or teachers. That's why I recommended looking on the BCA site. In order to be there, instructors had to work with one of the master instructors such as Fran, Randyg, Jerry, etc. At the very least, they have been shown how to teach, and what to look for to help the student.

07-15-2003, 08:53 AM
a good way to get better alot faster is dont worry about using only two balls. just take the whole rack out and throw them on the table. then just start making balls. it teaches you to just pocket balls. thats the most important thing in the game. because if you cant pocket balls then playing safe and getting ball in hand is pretty much useless. i wouldnt worry to much about getting shape or anything yet. just learn how to pocket balls. and learn how to play straight pool. thats a wonderful game to learn for a beginner. it teaches every aspect of pool. and like pretty much everyone has said... read books. "99 critical shots" by Ray "cool cat" Martin, is a good one. and "play your best pool" by Phil Cappelle. Just remember... its going to take alot longer than 4 hours to get to where your running racks... trust me i know. ive been playing since i was 7 and just put together my first 7 pack 3 days ago. well best wishes on learning the game.

07-15-2003, 09:02 AM
Don't try to learn it "all at one time",...learn one step well, then go to the next step/level. When you try and cram too much at one time, when you shoot, you will be thinking too much and not concentrate. Don't worry about the diamond system, banking, kicking, or english for now.

Get your basics,...stance, grip, timing, follow thru and so on,....keep it up and it will get more fun at each level you attain.


07-15-2003, 11:04 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> If you are looking for good drills to build your game, pick up a copy of Black Belt Billiards. It's full of drills that can take you as far as you want to go in this game depending on your willingness to put the time in. <hr /></blockquote> Black Belt Billiards web page (http://members.aol.com/blkbeltbilliards/index.html)

07-15-2003, 11:18 AM
When I first started, I was trying to read too many pool books. I found that I was spending so much time reading these books that I was not getting to the table much. I found out that two good books was all I need as a new person in pool. For me these were 'black belt billiards' and '99 critical shots'. The reason these were good was because they had pictures for each shot or drill which showed how to make the shot, or where to hit on the cueball.

There are lots of good books out there but too many was not good to start with. Some of them,even though they are good books, can be confusing to a person just starting out.I would keep it simple, a couple of books with pictures telling you how to make the shot and start out easy. Since almost everyone has recommended 'black belt billiards', I would choose that one.

It starts with easy shots and builds from there. It is also spiral bound so you can take it right to the table with you and look at the diagram while you are learning the shot.

I was like you. Had found other sports so easy and pool so hard.

Good luck.


Trot Nixon
07-16-2003, 05:49 PM
well it's been 3 days since I got my pool table, I'm improving which is good but last night, had a couple friends over and doing pretty well until I got to the 8 BALL! 2 times I scratched on the 8 ball, WHO DOES THAT??? oh well, I love my pool table and I'm gonna keep on playing