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View Full Version : Practice - How do you make it NOT so boring!



preacherman
08-18-2003, 09:33 PM
I find that practice can be quite boring.
I would like some feedback on how to make
your practice time (and I mean just you and
the table) more enjoying, endurable, exciting!

Anyone have any good practice routines, that
won't kill you in boredom.

I know practice is a MUST, and I do it.
Just wanted to know if you all had some
good practice routines.

Jim "preacherman"
www.christianpoolplayers.com (http://www.christianpoolplayers.com)

Tom_In_Cincy
08-18-2003, 11:21 PM
"Boring" implies loss of intrest, mind wandering, not focusing, no goals, no perspective of any accomplishments.

There is an excellent post on AZBilliards website that addresses 'practing'
AZ Post (http://www.azbilliards.com/vbulletin/upload/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1073)

I like to practice my drills. Inside english is one of my weaknesses, so my drills are centered around these types of shots. I also have some drills listed on my website..
www.geocities.com/cincytom314 (http://www.geocities.com/cincytom314)
There is a blank 9 foot table drawing (to scale and with grids) that can be used to set up your own drills or shots you need to work on.

Everyone has shots that they need to work on. The OB on the rail, simple one rail banks, stop shots, draw shots... I could go on.. When you can list these shots, you have the begining of a practice session. Work on your weaknesses if nothing else. How could that ever be boring?

bluewolf
08-19-2003, 04:09 AM
Jim,

You know I am no pool coach, but I am hearing personality factors here. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I can speak to the boring part. It is not necessarily lack of interest on your part or mine, yet it is hard to get in that time. If you really think about it, long hours of practice is a very solitary activity. Folks who are comfortable with and enjoy spending lots of time with themselves, in general, and in my opinion, will find it easier to spend lots of time at the table.

People who do not like lots of solitary practice will find this difficult. IMO, these types of people do better, when part of their practice involves matchups with friends. Also, for me, it is less boring if I have some really lively music going while I am practicing. Varying the practice helps me, like working a little on banks one day, draw and stop another,added in with whatever my usual routine is.

If I am having a real hyper day, then I break it up into small segments, sometimes I just have to skip pool that day and jog or swim.

There are other personality factors too that enter in such as a person's tolerance for repetitive tasks. Write me some time, and we can discuss this in more detail. It sounds like we might have some things in common with this and I have also struggled with trying to get in that practice time. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

Laura

preacherman
08-19-2003, 06:38 AM
Tom,
Thanks for your helpful site and comments in your post.
I guess boring on "all" practice is likely not the picture
I want to paint in your head. Let's just say some practice
time can be real boring. But I like what you have shared
and your link and will apply them to my practice time.

Thanks,
Jim
www.christianpoolplayers.com (http://www.christianpoolplayers.com)

preacherman
08-19-2003, 06:41 AM
Hi Laura,
Thanks for your input as YOU know it isn't my lack of interest in pool that causes the boredom - I LOVE PLAYING - even practice. So we'll have to chat on this subject sometime soon.

jjinfla
08-19-2003, 07:12 AM
Preacherman,

Tell the truth I actually get bored playing in tournaments. I start out good and then lose interest. Maybe it is the waiting around, or the smoke. I don't know.

I actually prefer to go to the club where I live and practice on the table by myself for a couple of hours and hope nobody comes in who wants to play. I really enjoy watching that cue ball go where I program it to go. But then, most of the players here are really bad, only two or three who play at my level, and none of them will play me for money. If I go to the local pool room where the better players are they all want to play me for money but won't give me the 7 anymore.

There are so many drills one can do that the time really flys by for me. But then you have to like doing drills for you to enjoy them. If you enjoy having the cue ball go where you direct it then that can be very gratifying.

I suggest you read Bob Fancher's "Pleasures of Small Motions".

Jake

bluewolf
08-19-2003, 07:31 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jjinfla:</font><hr> Preacherman,
There are so many drills one can do that the time really flys by for me. But then you have to like doing drills for you to enjoy them. If you enjoy having the cue ball go where you direct it then that can be very gratifying.

I suggest you read Bob Fancher's "Pleasures of Small Motions".

Jake <hr /></blockquote>

Jake,

People like you who love drills, I envy. It sounds like our personalities are opposite. Put me at a tournament and I can stay all day and get stimulated with each interaction, each opponent, because there are people there!!!

I can be practicing, turn to my husband, and say, 'wasn't that about two hours' and he says 'try 45 min'. My son came and we played for hours. I swear for me, it is an extroversion introversion thing. I really want to get better, but if I can get two hours of practice in, this is drudgery, due to the solitary nature of the activity of pool practice. It is not laziness, lack of motivation or any of that. It is pure and simple that it is, unlike karate,aerobics, etc,a solitary activity. So I plug along, trying different things to get in those two hours,keeping it as interesting as possible.

So what do I like about league???? Simple. The people /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Laura

jjinfla
08-19-2003, 07:35 AM
Tom, That AZ post is pretty good but one has to remember that in order to be able to run out a 15 ball rack in rotation the person has to be a very good player. Someone who has already learned all the drills and knows how to control the CB to a great degree. But if a person does try it he will immediately find out what shots are his weakness and he can practice them. For most people playing the ghost in a 9 ball rack is more realistic. Jake

Sid_Vicious
08-19-2003, 07:42 AM
I practiced relentlessly during a 4 year sabattical from the work force back in the early 80s, maybe not quite as regimented as structured drills and the such, but still lots and lots of study and applied table time. Tell you the truth, I have found that if I'm not casually having fun, even if it is by merely rolling several balls helter skelter and hitting shots for position, then I ain't going to gain much of anything except boredom. My current practice sessions are all about one thing, perfecting my stroke to a tee, timing especially. I know that I KNOW every shot on the table cuz I've made all of them, and when my stroke is "on" I'm runing out and winning games, position is seemingly automatic. Working on the stroke is not booring at all, imo. Well I didn't say much to answer your question, but I'd stress not to worry so much about regimented drills and tedious practice. I bet you've learned this sport, at least the physical body has, already...sid

preacherman
08-19-2003, 08:27 AM
Jake,
Thanks for your input and recommendation of Bob Fancher's "Pleasures of Small Motions". I have not
read that an would be interested in seeing what it has to say.

Thanks again,
Jim
www.christianpoolplayers.com (http://www.christianpoolplayers.com)

Jake

Fred Agnir
08-19-2003, 08:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote preacherman:</font><hr> I find that practice can be quite boring.
I would like some feedback on how to make
your practice time (and I mean just you and
the table) more enjoying, endurable, exciting!<hr /></blockquote>

I don't do drills. Maybe I should, but I could never get through them. I just rack and wack. I'll set a goal, but even if I hit that goal, I'll keep playing. Usually, the goal is a B&amp;R total.

Fred

SpiderMan
08-19-2003, 08:49 AM
Actually, I don't find practice boring at all. I enjoy setting up drills, shots, and situations, and exectuting them over and over and over. That's a lucky thing, because I play pool for fun. If I found practice boring I would probably stop playing pool and take up another hobby.

If I played professionally, boring or fun wouldn't matter so much as I'd look at it as earning my living. Sort of like learning boring material in required classes in order to get the payoff (graduation).

SpiderMan

Fred Agnir
08-19-2003, 08:50 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> I know that I KNOW every shot on the table cuz I've made all of them,<hr /></blockquote>

I doubt it.

At one point, I decided that all I'd do during practice time was to play short rack banks. You know what? There are banks that I never even consider shooting until a started doing this.

When I did the same thing with one-pocket, BINGO. Same thing. Some shot and speed blends simply never come up in the other three major games.

The moment you convince yourself that you KNOW all the shots, you have put up the wall for further learning, IMO.

Fred &lt;~~~ doesn't know half the shots

DSAPOLIS
08-19-2003, 09:25 AM
Jim
The key word that you used is "routine"... Practice should have variety, and should be challenging. It should keep your interest and your sessions should evolve as your game evolves. To do that, you must find build your practice session around your personality. Many of us adopt "robot routines" that are comparable to watching paint dry in excitement level. I have several articles posted at various sights that deal strictly with practice. Most of them are at 8ball.org or Az, or at my yahoo group.

http://www.geocities.com/blkjackds12/Blackjack_David_Sapolis.html?1061009728110

jjinfla
08-19-2003, 12:27 PM
Quote Fred: I don't do drills. Maybe I should, but I could never get through them. I just rack and wack. I'll set a goal, but even if I hit that goal, I'll keep playing. Usually, the goal is a B&amp;R total.
______________
That sure sounds like a drill to me Fred. LOL Jake

NBC-BOB
08-20-2003, 06:25 AM
I like to mix up the type of practice games.Games like 14-1, 15 ball rotation.I find that these games force me to get more involved,and therefore not as boring to practice as 9 ball.

Qtec
08-20-2003, 10:34 AM
Its not a drill . Its a waste of time .

Q

Aboo
08-21-2003, 09:25 AM
I'm not an expert, like some of these folks. But this is what I do. I start my practices by racking 15 balls, blast breaking them and running them all out, as if it were straight pool after the break. After the last ball drops, I decide what shot(s) I'm going to work on for that time. Maybe progression drills on long frozen rail cuts. I then set a goal. And then I choose a reward for that goal. My rewards vary by day.
When I reach my goal, I decide on my reward. So I make 10 difficult cuts in a row. And I'm pumped, so I rack 9 and play the ghost. That's my reward.

If I'm shooting for an hour and can't reach my goal, I re-think the goal. The trick is to be honest with yourself. Make it challenging, but not impossible. Maybe you should make your reward to put the cue down for a bit and go have a soda and chat with a friend. Then come back to it. It's all up to you. But I can gaurantee you one thing. If you get to the point where practice is more work than fun, you'll start finding reasons not to do it.

Running rack after rack of 9-ball or 8-ball isn't productive practice at all for me. It is a lot more fun maybe, but I don't leave the table with the feeling that I've learned anything.

smoovestroke
08-22-2003, 03:40 PM
Jake,

You really hit it on the head for me. I love hitting the balls by myself. It's like therapy to me. All the problems of work and home just melt away as soon as I start putting whitey right where I want him. And, when someone walks in and I know they're going to bug me to play, I feel conflicted because I really want to continue playing by myself. Other players seem to think it's a weakness if you don't play anyone that wants to challenge you so you feel a little pressure to go ahead and play them. They label you a "practice" player. I really don't enjoy playing tournaments that much either because sometimes you have to play real jerks whether you want to or not and that really sucks for me!!

jjinfla
08-22-2003, 05:26 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> Its not a drill . Its a waste of time .
Q <hr /></blockquote>

LOL - Well, I didn't say it was a good drill, did I? LOL
Even smash pool is good therapy - if you can see someones face on the ball you are smashing. LOL Jake

Rod
08-22-2003, 06:32 PM
I been thinking about this thread. Did you smell smoke? /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

It occured to me practice should never be boring. I know for me today it can get a little boring, so I just change to something different, or be more precise.

Years gone by it was never the least bit boring. I was really into the game, I had goals that needed attention and one way to acheive them was practice. Now I don't have all those goals, my goal now is just to keep up a decent game. It really doesn't sound like a goal at all does it? I think thats why practice can be little boring sometimes.

My thought is, if your really bored you haven't applied yourself to the "game". You haven't set any goals, or if you did, there to easy or possibly not realistic. Get involved with the game, don't just hit balls. Feel that motion, and let that motion create your vision. A simple, ya, low left, isn't good enough. Put vision and feeling into every stroke and let it happen. If it didn't happen as expected maybe it was a forced motion. Visualize again and "let" it happen.

Just a couple of simple thoughts but it's more than enough to keep you from getting bored "if" your into the game.

Drills, yes I have them. I created many on my own because I was into the game. There are many web sites with drills. You may want to create your own though, based on any weakness in your game. Thats another thing, many don't like to practice their weak parts, thats why there weak.

Rod

Snyder1
08-25-2003, 10:58 AM
I play 8 ball &amp; actually prefer to play alone. I've come up with a practice routine that works well for me. I use TWO cues - my #1 &amp; another, imagining that the second one is for an opponent. I give myself 5 rounds (by a "round", I mean both cues shooting until they miss) to pocket the 8 ball - if by that time, it isn't in the leather, rack 'em up &amp; start over. It forces you to play position &amp; never give up or waste a shot. I play on an antique 9 footer with rails that have seen better days - I'm lucky to get it done in 5 rounds (of course the key to this 5 round game is to smash the rack &amp; spread 'em out ...)

JS

Snyder1
08-26-2003, 07:00 AM
Just curious ... does anybody else practice using a system similar to this ? It seems to make practice more interesting (for me at least ...)

JS

SPetty
08-26-2003, 09:23 AM
Hi Snyder1,

I, too, sometimes practice as two people by using two cues. It provides a little action slow-down and allows me to imagine that it's a real match a lot better than just keeping on shooting with the same cue. It also allows me the exercise of adjusting to two different cues. Yeah, right. I use a Predator cue, but me as my opponent uses a Predator cue! hahaha Although I have noticed that I'll miss on purpose sometimes so that I can win!

pooltchr
08-26-2003, 09:43 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> many don't like to practice their weak parts, thats why there weak.

Rod <hr /></blockquote>

This could be one of the best comments I have ever read on this forum!

TAP TAP TAP!!!!

Wally_in_Cincy
08-26-2003, 09:43 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Snyder1:</font><hr> Just curious ... does anybody else practice using a system similar to this ? It seems to make practice more interesting (for me at least ...)

JS <hr /></blockquote>

I do that all the time. But just with one cue. Actually I prefer to practice 14.1 and keep track of my runs. It gives you a goal at least.

Qtec
08-26-2003, 09:53 AM
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Sharpen up and be more precise.

Take this example . With only the 1b and the 9b on the table ,stun the 1b into the middle pocket and come straight on the 9.
If this is going well , place two balls as shown and begin to narrow the path that the Qb must take .
To make drills more interesting and challenging , place balls on the table to force yourself to be accurate . The increased effort alone will make the time fly .You can apply this method to any drill .


Qtec