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Thread: Practice thoughts

  1. #1
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    Practice thoughts

    I kind of wanted to make a comment regarding practice. I have read a few posts about players practicing hard shots,(very hard shots), as well as seeing people doing it in the pool room. My definition of a hard shot would be a shot that even with practice, would still remain a low percentage shot that, would never be shot by choice. Shots like these do not require practice. Playing good pool consists of doing the simplest of things, with the utmost consistency, that is what champions do. You will never see a champ practicing impossible stuff during a practice session. In fact if watch them practice you would think "Don't they get board doing all that simple stuff all the time"? Sometimes, but that is what the game is. You just have to be a little creative with your practice time so it doesn't become boring. Regarding the hard shots, as long as you try to hit all shots, with the greatest accuracy, the hard shots will just come. No shot should be taken for granted, even a hanger. In a poolroom, I would never go over to someone and tell them they are practicing wrong, but wish I could sometimes. Here it is OK to express ones ideas and I hope it is taken in the spirit in which it is mente.

  2. #2
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    Re: Practice thoughts

    Reminds me of some the stuff I see after APA league night is over. You'll see guys practicing 3-rail kicks, jumps etc. basically just showing off for each other (and pocketing hardly any of them BTW). These are guys who are lucky to make more than 3 balls in a game without getting out of line or missing an easy shot. Methinks their practice time could be better utilized.

  3. #3
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    Re: Practice thoughts

    FINALLY!!!! Someone who understands the whole point of practice speaks out!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I spent quite a few years in local poolrooms working on my game, doing what I gather Popcorn is trying to say is a good, solid routine -- shots and drills that don't require you to take "fliers" very often, but require precision, thought, and cue ball control. During these practice sessions, on a daily basis, no fewer than two other players would approach me, interrupt my routine, tell me I'm wasting my time, I need to swing at this 9 foot shot frozen to the rail, I need to shoot this shot and draw the CB two table lengths, and so on. I am now very happy I was able to shoo them away and do what I knew to be right. Two important keys to success in this game are simplification and execution. Pool is primarily a game of simple to moderately difficult movements, and the more consistently you can execute them, the more successful you'll be. I do believe practicing difficult shots has its place, because there are times when you have no choice but to come with a tough shot. However, it's not worth devoting TOO much time to, as mastering the simpler aspects and shots will win you far more games. I'm glad someone here has thought to start a thread on this subject, maybe it'll open some people's minds up and help their game.
    Good luck and shoot straight.

  4. #4
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    Re: Practice thoughts

    I totally agree with you Popcorn. Practice is reserved for the shots your having problems with that come up in your previous matches. Also, the 11 common shots that come up consistantly in the game. The jump shot for instance. If I practice my jump for 30 minutes. I'm good for 2 weeks and almost deadly. I do also have a sore shoulder for 2 days but it's worth it. It's like going to the dentist. You kind of don't want to go and put it off but you know it must be done. [img]/ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Regards,

    C.C.

  5. #5
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    Re: Practice thoughts

    How do you determine which (most difficult) shots you don't need to practice?


  6. #6
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    Re: Practice thoughts

    I think the point is about the mindset you have when practicing. If you are practicing "hard shots" (per your definition), because you don't feel comfortable shooting, for instance, table length shots that have been coming up in your games a lot lately, then that is probably a good idea. If you are practicing fantastically difficult shots that only come up once every 50 games, then you're probably doing the wrong thing. The question you have to ask yourself is,"How often does this shot or this skill come up in a game?" If it's fairly regular, then you should feel comfortable that it has a greater chance of improving your game than a shot/skill that comes up infrequently. That's how you determine which difficult shots you need to practice.

  7. #7
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    Re: Practice thoughts

    That is not easy to answer, I hope Scott Lee chimes in. But to me if I hardly even cut a ball 90 degrees from eight feet away I would not care. As long as I never miss all the shots that should be easily made. You don't win games making tough shots, you lose games missing easy ones. I would say the answer is work on what comes up in games all the time, the stuff that wins for you. By the way, a hanger is not that easy to deal with. It can be tricky to get position from a ball deep in the pocket. When is the last time you saw a player practicing that though? Just use your common sense, you will know.

  8. #8
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    Re: Practice thoughts

    I practice basic drills, and short banks. The only deviation is occasionally I'll setup a difficult shot that came up in a match, and try to figure out how I could have shot it better. Actually the shot itself isn't difficult, but figuring out how to shoot the shot and position myself for the next one is. This is usually due to getting out of line, or not leaving myself an angle to be able to easily play position. A person with better cueball control would seldom get themselves in these situations, but at my level, you have to occasionally be able to figure out how to get yourself out of these messes. [img]/ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

    I just figure them out. I don't spend a great deal of time on them, once I have an idea of how I could have shot it.

  9. #9
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    Re: Practice thoughts

    <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chris Cass:</font><hr> Also, the 11 common shots that come up consistantly in the game. <hr /></blockquote>Hi Chris,

    And just which 11 common shots are these? I must have been absent the day they passed out this list. Who's got the list now? [img]/ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]

  10. #10
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    Re: Practice thoughts

    i know what's important to me for my practice. I start off with 30 mins of straight stroking and technique drills (fairly boring but i know important with big payoffs)

    Then i move onto cue ball control drills and then onto shotmaking (just shots i need work on)

    then maybe some games and then it's what i call free time. In the free time part i can practice anything and this is when i will practice swerve shots, jump shots, hard kicks etc, mainly for fun and a challenge

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