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TheDragon
10-11-2003, 10:52 AM
As long as I've played pool I've never practiced much, I've been more of a player. But a few years ago I at least had the patience to practice; now its like I start a drill and fail at it and get tired of racking and setting the balls up then just quit.

The strange thing is, I've gotten a lot better in the time that I've been playing against people 95% of the time opposed to when I used to practice close to half of the time I played pool.

To sum things up, I'm just wondering if there is anything wrong with not practicing much as long as you are playing 10-15 hours a week? Will this hold me back from becoming a better player? Also, what are some constructive ways to practice that aren't too boring or tedious? I would appreciate any advice or tips that anyone has to offer.

-The Dragon~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~not playing too well

Popcorn
10-11-2003, 11:04 AM
Hard to say, I have known top players who never seemed to practice. I have known Big Bob for 35 years and can't remember ever seeing him practice, he certainly must have at some time. You will probably continue to improve regardless whether you practice or not to a degree, but proper practice will bring improvement quicker if that is what you are looking for. It is funny to hear you say this though, when I was your age I could not play enough, there was not enough hours in the day. I loved playing pool and practice was just part of it. Even now I can play for hours and not because I am preparing for a tournament or anything, I love to play. Do what you enjoy, that is the key thing. You don't have to aspire to be the worlds greatest player, play in your own way and enjoy the game. There is nothing wrong if it is not at the top of your priorities. I will tell you something else that is interesting, you have a head start since you started young. A lot of good players that were good at a young age had no trouble picking right up where they left off even after years away from the game. Joe Balsas (sp) is a good example. I don't know any really good players, (there probably are some) that took up the game at say 30 and became a top player, it just does not seem to be the case. With what you now know, I would say at almost any time you could decide to really improve your game and it will happen even if you were to have quit all together. You are now and will always be a pool player.

Wally_in_Cincy
10-11-2003, 11:10 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TheDragon:</font><hr> As long as I've played pool I've never practiced much, I've been more of a player. But a few years ago I at least had the patience to practice; now its like I start a drill and fail at it and get tired of racking and setting the balls up then just quit.

<font color="blue">When I was your age I played drums. I was supposed to practice a minimum of 3 hours a week but I did not have the patience either. I just wanted to play /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif </font color>

The strange thing is, I've gotten a lot better in the time that I've been playing against people 95% of the time opposed to when I used to practice close to half of the time I played pool.

<font color="blue">If you had been practicing also you might be even better now. Maybe. I don't know. </font color>

To sum things up, I'm just wondering if there is anything wrong with not practicing much as long as you are playing 10-15 hours a week?

<font color="blue">I wish I could play 15 hours a week /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif </font color>

Will this hold me back from becoming a better player? Also, what are some constructive ways to practice that aren't too boring or tedious?

<font color="blue">It's hard to force yourself to do something that you consider boring and tedious. I don't play anywhere near your level so I enjoy practice because I can see results pretty quickly. Once you reach higher levels the improvement increments are less noticeable .

At the very least you should practice shots you are having trouble with. I know when I miss a shot in a match, or if I find myself in a situation in a match where I don't know what to do, I will practice that shot or situation the next day and hopefully turn that weakness into a strength. Do you do that? That's probably the bare minumum you should do. IMO

</font color>

I would appreciate any advice or tips that anyone has to offer.

-The Dragon~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~not playing too well <hr /></blockquote>

JoJo
10-11-2003, 11:50 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote TheDragon:</font><hr> As long as I've played pool I've never practiced much, I've been more of a player. But a few years ago I at least had the patience to practice; now its like I start a drill and fail at it and get tired of racking and setting the balls up then just quit.

<font color="blue">When I was your age I played drums. I was supposed to practice a minimum of 3 hours a week but I did not have the patience either. I just wanted to play /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif </font color>

The strange thing is, I've gotten a lot better in the time that I've been playing against people 95% of the time opposed to when I used to practice close to half of the time I played pool.

<font color="blue">If you had been practicing also you might be even better now. Maybe. I don't know. </font color>

To sum things up, I'm just wondering if there is anything wrong with not practicing much as long as you are playing 10-15 hours a week?

<font color="blue">I wish I could play 15 hours a week /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif </font color>

Will this hold me back from becoming a better player? Also, what are some constructive ways to practice that aren't too boring or tedious?

<font color="blue">It's hard to force yourself to do something that you consider boring and tedious. I don't play anywhere near your level so I enjoy practice because I can see results pretty quickly. Once you reach higher levels the improvement increments are less noticeable .

At the very least you should practice shots you are having trouble with. I know when I miss a shot in a match, or if I find myself in a situation in a match where I don't know what to do, I will practice that shot or situation the next day and hopefully turn that weakness into a strength. Do you do that? That's probably the bare minumum you should do. IMO

</font color>

I would appreciate any advice or tips that anyone has to offer.

-The Dragon~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~not playing too well <hr /></blockquote> <hr /></blockquote>


I hate to practice, I know I must, it's like doing homework in school, who wants to do it. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Wally_in_Cincy
10-11-2003, 12:03 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JoJo:</font><hr>
I hate to practice, I know I must, it's like doing homework in school, who wants to do it. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif <hr /></blockquote>

Well Larry, that's certainly a fine way to encourage the Dragon.

Personally I can practice for hours and enjoy it.

Wally~~thinks pool is better than homework

jjinfla
10-11-2003, 12:41 PM
From reading your posts over the past few years I get the impression you only play pool because it is there, it is free, and you think that is what your dad wants.

If you do not have the desire to really put in the effort at the game you will never be a pro and you are just spinning your wheels wasting valuable time. And even if you did have the desire you need the raw talent before you can attain excellence.

When you are in the poolroom, look around at all the people there, and see if you can find anyone that you can look up to, or that you respect, or think they are successful in life. If not, that's all you can expect for your life, living paycheck to paycheck.

I suggest you hang up the cue, talk to a counsellor at school about what your real interests in life are and set a up a game plan to achieve them. Life will be a lot more rewarding if you are working to attain something you really like then trying to attain something someone else thinks you should do.

Jake

Tom_In_Cincy
10-12-2003, 11:26 AM
TheDragon,
You mean to say you don't have any shots during your normal playing time that you don't 'need to practice'?

How confident are you making that inside english shot all of the time?

How about that straight in shot that you have to draw 4 feet?

What about that backward cut shot?

Or, the backward bank shot?

Are You confident on all of these shots?

Practice routines can be boring, especially if you don't have a goal or purpose to these efforts.

Practice also keeps you 'in stroke' longer, IMO.

Do you play at the same level every time you match up? or do you find yourself just barely winning? Just shooting well enough to win?

In 9 ball, have you won matches by running out everytime you can, or by your opponents making more mistakes than you?

Play the ghost if you want practice. See how many times you can beat the ghost in a race to 11.

Billy
10-12-2003, 09:19 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TheDragon:</font><hr> As long as I've played pool I've never practiced much, I've been more of a player. But a few years ago I at least had the patience to practice; now its like I start a drill and fail at it and get tired of racking and setting the balls up then just quit.

The strange thing is, I've gotten a lot better in the time that I've been playing against people 95% of the time opposed to when I used to practice close to half of the time I played pool.

To sum things up, I'm just wondering if there is anything wrong with not practicing much as long as you are playing 10-15 hours a week? Will this hold me back from becoming a better player? Also, what are some constructive ways to practice that aren't too boring or tedious? I would appreciate any advice or tips that anyone has to offer.

-The Dragon~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~not playing too well <hr /></blockquote>

my game is at a higher level than most but I'll admit I probably should of practiced more while looking back

cheap gambling,giving games that were hard for me to overcome would be my way of practicing.not saying this is correct or incorrect but my mentality would be that it 'meant' something to me,keeping my attention therefore bettering my game

sounds like you are on the right track though at such a young age.keep up the good work and all the best.it will all come together if you really 'want' it

jmo

Ralph S.
10-12-2003, 09:53 PM
Hello Dragon. I understand what you are saying and I want to respond in this manner so you can then determine the answer on your own. I believe this will be most useful to you since you seem uncertain about practice.

This weekend, I played a rather big tourney with a very strong field. I was by far one of the weakest players in the room. My problem was plAaying a simple safe Scott Lee said I should use more often. I never did use it until recently because I wanted to always go for the nuts. I have an agressive style of play that has always hurt me rather than help. The shot? A simple half-inch short stroke. I never could grasp it because I was so used to playing the lowpercentage bank shot or high risk cut and scratching.

The end result is that since I have practiced this short stroke with the half to one inch follow through instead of a normal follow through, I was able to execute my defense much better lately. This tiny amount of practiced won me three racks in one of my sets this weekend. Before this, I would have lost all three racks.

Think about it....practice ain all bad. It aint as much fun as playing, but it has its benefits. BTW, I won that set 9-6. Just imagine if I had lost the racks. I wouldve lost 6-9. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

phil in sofla
10-14-2003, 06:52 PM
A year or so back, Johnny Archer had recovered from a slump in terms of major tournament wins, and had returned more regularly to the winner's circle. It was an impressive turnaround, and when asked to what he attributed his resurgence, he said he had begun doing drills, which he had never done before much.

Now, with his tremendous career accomplishments, I doubt he was drilling on new techniques, and probably was just fine tuning his touch on things he already knew how to do. And that is a very important part of practicing. If you have to draw exactly a diamond's distance to get on a shot, drawing a half diamond or a diamond and a half may end your run. If you're playing cross table shape, is your speed always going to get you off the rail, or do you sometimes end up frozen to the rail? These are things that drilling can give you on shots you already know how to do.

Now, maybe there are things you don't do, or don't do that well, so you'd never use them in a game. That is another area drilling can help with. To advance your tools, which is easier: try them in a game or match, suffer through the missing and losing, or work on them in practice, and then use the new tool with confidence in a match?

At SOME point, maybe not now, practice does become necessary to advance, IMO.

If the common advice to do the whole drill perfectly, or start over again, makes you crazy, then ignore that, learn from the miss, take the missed ball off the table, and finish the drill.

Another form of practice beside drilling is just playing by yourself, with certain additional things in mind. It could be playing games you don't normally play (3-C billiards, rotation, banks), or using given strokes for all the shots (all center ball hits, all top, all draw, use the bridge for every shot, etc.). I like to shoot a rack of carom pool, aka Irish Billiards, where you score by shooting object balls off the cue ball, to get a lot of practice in a short time on carom shots. Other ideas include making an open break, taking ball in hand, and find and execute an out where the cue ball never goes to a rail. Some say to practice that way for a week exclusively, and you'll find your cue ball control and out thinking changing rapidly.

There are many single player games out there, which you can score and compete with your best scores of the past, such as Fargo, equal offense, bowliards, Boca ball, etc. These have the advantage of keeping your interest and concentration over the course of the game, since you are trying, even playing alone, to accomplish something.

The main thing is to realize you don't have to beat yourself up with even an hour of tedium to be practicing. Even a short period, if done regularly as part of your routine, maybe even shooting just a couple of racks of practice in a half hour, will pay dividends over time.

8 ball ho
10-14-2003, 10:06 PM
Phil, that is a great post and great advice. There are people like me who work hard all day long. When I do play in the evening, I do not want to or have the time to practice, on a bar box shoving in quarters. So all I do is play, win free beers and now and then some cash if some fool thinks he can hustle me. Archer is a pro, he can play and do drills 20 hrs a day, the room comps his time. Working people, non pro's have different agendas. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif