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Are Billiard Lessons Worth the Money?

Are pool lessons worth the money? If you have been thinking about hiring a billiard instructor or taking some pool lessons, this article is for you. It will help you understand how billiard instructors work, how much pool lessons cost, and whether billiards lessons are worth it or not.

Are Billiard Lessons Worth the Money?

Nothing beats practice, practice, practice to improve your game. But what if those shots you are practicing aren't really being executed in the best possible way? Did you ever wonder if there was a right way and a wrong way to stand? Hold your cue? Form your bridge? Stroke? Books are helpful, but there is only so much you can glean from written descriptions and pictures. If you want to develop a solid foundation and improve your game, the best way is to take pool lessons.

So, are billiard and pool lessons from certified billiard instructors worth the money?

My Experience With Billiard Instructors

I took lessons from a BCA certified instructor in August, 1997. My experience was very positive. The first thing I did was visit the Billiard Congress of America website to view their list of certified instructors. Instructors are listed by state, with phone numbers. I was looking in the Phoenix area and wrote down the names of several people to call.

I was in Phoenix on business with a coworker who also wanted to take pool lessons. We didn't have the luxury of time. If there was no answer when I called an instructor, I went on to the next number on my list. I ended up talking with two or three instructors and chose one based on those conversations. The instructor I chose (Roger Long) was very clear in describing his instruction technique. He gave me a good idea of what the lessons would be like before I even met him. Another deciding factor in choosing Roger over the other instructors I talked with was that Roger has a table at his home and will teach from there if the student wishes (we did). Most instructors instruct at a pool room. They have a regular room, but will also go to a room of your choice. I think the private environment of a home allows everyone - students and instructor - to concentrate more on the lessons. There are certainly fewer distractions than at a public room.

We would have four 2-hour lessons over five nights. The third night was skipped to give us a chance to practice some of what we learned, or to do whatever else we needed to do. There are usually three programs of instruction: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. We had beginner and intermediate, but in a compressed format because we were only in Phoenix for a short time. Both levels are an excellent value. There are prerequisites for advanced instruction, such as having league or tournament experience.

The first thing we did on our first night was to play a game of Eight Ball against each other. Roger watched to evaluate our stroke and to decide which areas of play to concentrate on. (Though all areas of play were covered in the lessons.) The lessons were very structured; different types of shots and table situations were covered in a logical, progressive order. At the end of each lesson we received handouts to reinforce what was covered in the lesson. Roger also told us what we would be doing during the next lesson. On some nights, he offered to let us stay on for awhile after the lesson so that we could practice on his table.

A challenge facing our instructor was the skill and knowledge level of the two students he would be teaching simultaneously. I'm a casual player and still consider myself a beginner. Just four months prior to the lessons I had purchased a table for my home. Along with that, I had also recently read a few instruction books (Byrne, Mizerak), not to mention what I'd learned from reading the billiard forums and the old rec.sport.billiard newsgroup. Compare that level of knowledge to the other student who was a pure beginner. She had played a few times before, but was otherwise ignorant of terminology and the "correct" way of doing things. Roger did an excellent job of balancing his instruction to accommodate both levels of student. Both of us came away from our last lesson very satisfied. My game had noticeably improved (just ask my husband!)

How Much do Billiard Lessons Cost?

My impression is that the instructors set their own fees because there was quite a variance in the ones I spoke to. But even the most expensive was, I thought, reasonable. Their fees may be based on their instructor level; i.e., an Advanced or Master instructor will charge more....even though he or she is teaching you beginning level skills. Location, both geographic (what part of the country) and physical (which pool room), also make a difference. If the instructor teaches at his home, there will be no table fees that a public room would charge. The instructor's fee should be reduced accordingly. Also, different rooms charge different rates. Expect a wide range: anywhere from $20 per lesson (or per hour) to over $100 per lesson (or per hour). Our cost was at the more reasonable end of the scale and the instruction was great. You really can't judge the quality of the instruction by the fee being charged.

Conclusion on Billiard Training

If you have been thinking of taking pool lessons, I say go for it! Make sure you talk with the instructor first before making any commitment. Get a feel for his teaching methodology; he should be able to tell you in advance exactly what you are getting for your money. Use your gut feelings, too. If you are talking to him on the phone and your personalities just don't seem to be clicking or you don't seem to be communicating well with one another, move on. Likewise, don't commit to nor pay for a set number of lessons up front. Most instructors offer pay-as-you-go instruction. At the end of the evening, you pay for that night's time.

Don't wait any longer... You won't regret it.

Are Billiard Lessons Worth the Money?

  • Title: Are Billiard Lessons Worth the Money?
  • Author: (Jana Taylor)
  • Published: 1/7/2017 2:16:36 PM
  • Last Updated: 1/7/2017 2:26:38 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)

Are Billiard Lessons Worth the Money?

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