View Full Version : Adopt-a Student

10-26-2003, 08:54 AM
I'm beginning today with tutoring a 12yr old, pro bono, in her pool education. It's my goal to learn as much in the process as she does, teaching raw fundamentals does that for me, and my game certainly could use a refresher course in that area, as most anyone elses' I imagine. As far as I know at this time, she's nearly an absolute beginner so my plan is to start with a complete revamping of a solid stance, proper grip, concept of pre shot routine, chalking techniques, and then drill on straight in(some lengthy) shots to refine stroke habits early. Also, I'll use video taping for visual feedback. Assuming that I can keep enough fun in these lessons(kids could be impatient and quit being there's actual work involved), I'm figuring to have this student for several weeks or months to come.

Anyway, I'm excited to start this. It's been a while since I worked with anyone this new to the sport, and I've never worked with anyone this young. Something tells me that she will develop well, simply because there is an interest already in computer pool at home and the situation in her life doesn't allow her many outside freedoms which distract many young people, so I'll probably have a captive audience.

I didn't post this to tout my abilities or my free lessons, I instead posted to suggest that you might think if there's anyone you could take under the wing and give your pool knowledge to. It beats the heck out of them learning the old fashion way,,,by hit and miss. Plus I'll wager that you too will have some A-HA! moments just because you resurface fundamentals you've gotten rusty with. Just a thought...sid

10-26-2003, 11:38 AM
Sounds like a win-win situation. Like to hear how it turns out.

10-26-2003, 11:42 AM
You are a brave man indeed...I hope it is a rewarding experience for you both....don't forget the fun part as she will not have the passion for the game in the beginning that you have. Give her plenty of table time to do whatever she wants, you know, exploring time...

I can tell you from years of experience giving youth golf lessons that your communication skills will be tested to the max....LOL....good luck.

10-26-2003, 11:54 AM
"I can tell you from years of experience giving youth golf lessons that your communication skills will be tested to the max"

You mean using words like perpendicular and the such? I've got some regressing back to my childhood to do it seems. Tell me Cheeze, will stroke instruction be too much at the start? I'd truly love to get some stroke ability in a pure, untainted mind, cuz if I'd had that way back then, I'd be betting and winning more today. You could say I've played pool since I was a pre-teen and yet I didn't gain stroke ability until the mid nineties. MAN I wish I'd learned that much sooner!

A long as we've tripped into the communication skills situation, I'd welcome any hints from anyone on how to get it mostly right from day one. Thanks...sid

10-26-2003, 11:54 AM
Cheese...Thinking the same thing. Got to remember young'ns and us old farts don't have a long attention span. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

10-26-2003, 11:55 AM
Good luck to you Steve...Darn where could I get a Padowan like that /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif ?

10-26-2003, 03:22 PM

Where did this young person come from? I mean did you go to a school, or did they find you?

Fundamentals, yep it shouldn't be anything new. However for most people it is, they find, oh man that's a problem. LOL In your case, I'm talking about the teacher not the student! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Yep, it should be a test and you will learn something if you've never done it before. As far as kids go, well the old kids can be difficult sometimes too. Your going to get good at finding new or different ways to get your point across. I sure wouldn't try to teach much the first time or two. I'd do more with letting her get familiar with the real game, and observe her actions.


10-26-2003, 05:02 PM
Hello Sid,

It is funny to me that you posted this. I am doing the same thing with a 13 year old skater/wakerboarder. LOL His attention is only focused on pool when the Vans Skate Park closes.

I certainly am not the right person to tutor him but he is learning fairly quickly. I have just been going over shooting straight and speed control type shots with him. I am not sure how to teach him much about pocketing balls (worrying about how much to cut or how full to hit the ball) since I really am not sure what I do (except miss /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif ). It is fun and gratifying to see him listen to what I tell him, then work on what we went over, and then succeed. He is catching on quite well.


10-26-2003, 07:21 PM
Time will tell if there's a solid interest here, but it's all positive so far. My words were that I'd stick with her as long as she would hang in there, so we'll see. Like Texas weather,,,interest change pretty quickly with young'ens..sid

Ralph S.
10-26-2003, 11:43 PM
I also help a younger teen that frequents the American Legion we both belong to. Great eye, helluva shotmaker, just drives me batty after awhile due to his hyperness.

What I am really interested in is to hear what the actual instructors that post here think of the situation and what their advice would be to Sid or any others in this situation.

10-27-2003, 07:05 AM
Hey Sid, Hate to say this but I sure hope you are not bringing the young lady to your home for those lessons. 12, 13, 14 year old girls are nothing but trouble. You will find that if you are right in the open in the middle of the pool room tongues will wag. What is that old man doing with that girl? It would be best if she had her parents with her during the lessons. Your intentions may be innocent and honorable but in this day and age if you accidently bump her and she thinks you did it intentionally and accuses you of fondling her you are dead meat. Sorry to say, but that is the world we now live in, leave the teaching to a certified school. And of course that is another problem, there really are no schools where kids, beginners can go to learn how to play pool.


10-27-2003, 08:14 AM
I won't have her here without her Grandmother not being present in the same room. Believe me, I'd never consider any solo lessons. You're right about wagging tongues, and I even considered posting here on the board for a long time, but figured we were big folks here. Thanks...sid

10-27-2003, 09:06 AM
I think this is great. By all means, start with the basics. Stance, grip, stroke, etc, get a solid pre shot routine going, then go to work on aiming, speed control, center ball, etc. Save the spin stuff for later. Listen to her. The questions she asks will help you figure out where she is, and what she is ready to learn. I have one student I have worked with for almost two years at no charge just because I thought he had some serious potential. I suspect that within the next year, I might have to get a spot from him!!! He is like a sponge soaking up everything he can. I sincerely hope his game elevates to levels way beyond my own. As a teacher, it is the ultimate success.
Best of luck!

10-27-2003, 10:59 AM
JJ, its a sad day when people jump to such conclusions.


10-27-2003, 11:13 AM
You're right about wagging tongues, and I even considered posting here on the board for a long time <hr /></blockquote>

Are you nuts? Do you really think that WE are that small minded?

Its an even sadder day when an honourable man with only good intentions, who is willing to give up his time to help a kid ,hesitates because of what small minded people might think.

If I was you, if you can, do the lessons in the PH. Once the other players get used to her, I think you will find they will eventually be supportive.

Good luck,

10-27-2003, 11:15 AM
Good post.


10-27-2003, 11:46 AM
Teaching and learning go hand in hand. I am teaching my daughter how to play and she has really learned a lot. She is starting to make full length table shots.

When we teach we have to bring out what we know in words and then we use another sense(hearing) than just thinking what we know. This will make someone learn it all over again and if it is not perfect teaching will help you correct in yourself.

Sounds like you will enjoy it.


Scott Lee
10-27-2003, 05:51 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jjinfla:</font><hr> there really are no schools where kids, beginners can go to learn how to play pool.

Jake <hr /></blockquote>

Jake...How do you figure that? Any of the BCA academies are prepared and equipped to handle kids of any age! I realize the expense may be prohibitive for some, but the opportunities are there, much the same as they are in golf or tennis. Naturally there are many more of those than pool schools...but there are many qualified instructors capable of teaching kids effectively. As a side note, I am planning to resurrect the defunct BCA kid's cue camp on a national level, with the help of several other BCA instructors, including Jerry Briesath, Randy G, and others.

As far as mentoring, I have taken on a fine young man under my wing, who I believe has the potential to be a collegiate national champion. He has the skills, the patience, and most important, the right "attitude" about the game! He also posts here. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Scott Lee

Scott Lee

Ralph S.
10-27-2003, 06:32 PM
Okay Scott, tell us what this young mans name is{CCB nic}. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

10-28-2003, 08:03 AM
Scott, Maybe up north, or northeast there are schools, or in California, but I don't see any down here in Forida. Especially close to Ocala. But I am not talking about private lessons but clinics where several kids can learn at a time - like the Karate schools that are all over the place.

Tennis, golf, baseball, football, soccer are all taught in school now a days where the kids can get a good grasp of the fundamentals.

Most kids around here are taught by their fathers who just pass along to their kids the same mistakes that they are making.


10-28-2003, 08:21 AM
There are several BCA instructors working on getting pool into the schools in their areas. I have met some resistance here due in part to a somewhat negative image of pool in general, but more so due to budget limits in the schools. My problem is that I don't make enough as an instructor to give up my day job. This severly limits the time available to teach in the schools. I guess it's a chicken and egg problem. Get enough classes, and I could make a living teaching, or put the time in setting up classes so there would be enough work and students. It's not easy. The BCA also works with the BEF (billiard education foundation) which is trying to get these kinds of programs set up. There are several around the country already, and I suspect more to come. I would love to be able to make something like this happen in my area, and I know other instructors that feel the same way. There just aren't enough full time instructors around the country. Maybe you should consider getting your BCA instructor certification and starting up something in your area.

10-28-2003, 08:23 AM
Hey Qtec,

Did you read the Brady post?

Then tell us again where people's minds are. How we are all adults here?

But as long as Grandma is there everything is fine.

There is a pool hall here where they have parties for the kids, 18 and under, and I hear all kind of snide remarks about the owner and the young girls. All completely without merit. Just out of spite or jealousy. But who really knows? And that is the problem - how do you defend yourself?

But he is just doing it mainly for the money. He makes more money in one night with the kids then he does all week with the adults in the pool hall. From what I see he runs a tight ship, takes care of the kids, and the kids really have a good time. No alcohol, drugs tolerated.


10-28-2003, 09:59 AM
JJ, Brady,s post was a joke.

As for Sid,s dilema,I wouldnt let it stop me.

The people who automatically think like this are the real sickos. Either that or they are paranoid, which BTW seems to be encouraged in America the last couple of years.