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How many hours do you practice and how?

How many hours do you practice and how?

I'll start. I'm playing three nights in leagues. I come in 1 to 1 & 1/2 hours before practice time and do mother drills on league nights. Then I work on problem shots and form. I always do this alone. Then I play to win and get into the zone if I can.

The other 4 days I practice or play for about 4 to 8 hours unless I'm pursuing my other hobbies or working around the house. I always practice the first hour even when playing on my off days. I don't care if I win during the first hour.

So what or how do you practice and how often?

How many hours do you practice and how?

Replies & Comments

  1. FenwickFenwick on 10/8/2009 9:10:33 AM

    No one practices? No tips on drills or just not a popular subject?

  2. Fenwickbilliardsforum on 10/8/2009 4:12:04 PM

    For me it's brutal. I have Adult ADHD, and so compulsion is one of my worst enemies, and yet at the same time, my best friend. the smallest weird feeling about a drill (me thinking it sucked) will drive me to do it, for literally as long as it takes to fix it. That, however, is self-defeating, because as the practice wears on, stuff tends to go down the tubes anyway.

    Forcing myself to mix things up is critical. Even in working out at a gym, the experts say "don't stick with one routine for a long time" because you'll develop muscle memory (which is, in that area, a bad thing)

    In billiards, muscle memory is generally considered very good, and is linked/confused by most as "consistency".

    The problem with that, is that there is a direct trade-off between muscle memory/consistency, and versatility - which is what is very valuable in league/competitive play.

    I guess balance is the key.

    The one other rule I must vehemently stick to is that you must focus on changing ONE variable at a time when trying out new techniques. If you change 2 variables, you'll never know which one was helpful. One session, one focus.

  3. Fenwickquickshot on 10/8/2009 7:36:26 PM

    I practice a lot at irregular times. I do a lot of shot making in order to keep my stroke in rhythm.When I miss a shot I keep doing it over and over until I make it with ease. The reason for the missing is in most cases (1) dropping my elbow, (2) rushing the shot which in turn effects my stroke.

    I like your one variable concept. It makes sense.

  4. Fenwickbilliardsforum on 10/8/2009 8:01:51 PM

    Hey, can you explain what you mean by "dropping your elbow" ? I assume you mean a movement that causes your cue tip to strike the cue ball slightly high? I always overlook those problems, I'm sure I have a million of them.

    How did you discover that you were doing that? Did someone point that out?

  5. Fenwickquickshot on 10/8/2009 8:47:23 PM

    Some time ago in my blog I wrote a small piece about watching the ferrule. It will tell you what you are doing right or wrong. So, I began to take my own advice and when I began to miss shots I watched where the cue was in relation to the ferrule. I began to notice that when I missed a few shots in a row my tip was pointing upward which means I dropped my shoulder followed by the elbow (not much...could be a smidgen) which caused me to hit the CB in an upward stroke. I am very conscious of it now and that is the first thing I check. To this day whenI'm aiming I will notice exactly where the cue tip is and many times I said to myself back off and reset because I noticed the tip was off somewhere.

    I was thinking of posting the piece in the forum a few times but never got to it.

  6. Fenwickquickshot on 10/8/2009 9:07:22 PM

    The short version. Add this observation to the practice session.

    The ferrule on the end of a pool cue is like a lifeline to the dominant eye that most players use when aiming. The cue slides back and forth on top of or through the bridge formed by the players hand. And it is at that time, if the players watch the ferrule it will tell him/her what they are doing wrong with the stroke. It will indicate if the grip hand is going up, down, left or right, or short on the backstroke. Or short on the follow through where the stroke becomes a poke and the pockets remain empty

  7. FenwickFenwick on 10/8/2009 9:21:41 PM

    Not to step on quickshots reply; look at your cue tip if you drop your elbow and BTW your shoulder will drop also almost on every shot. It you drop the elbow the tip of your cue has to go up. Not the desired result. You should finish with either a level cue or with the tip of your cue on the playing surface even with force follow. There is also a chance for you to jump up if you drop tour elbow. Also not good IMHO. I now lock my left knee to stay down If gave the impression I like drills you're wrong. I hate them with a passion. It's the only way I can improve my game. I tough them out for a hour or so every day I play or practice. I'm playing in two master divisions this year and I'm holding my own. My progress has not gone un noticed. That as they say is another story.

  8. Fenwickbilliardsforum on 10/9/2009 5:16:07 AM

    Thanks! So then is the solution to start and end with a low shoulder (no drop, but just always low) or to start "normal" (whatever that is) and focus on keeping a consistent shoulder level through the stroke?

    I found this video on my other site, billiard television. It's the simplest explanation of the "pendulum stroke" drill - which seems to be the prominent method that everyone mentions for making sure your stroke is fluid. The guy says that one should envision stroking "through" the ball, and try to to "stop at" the ball.

  9. Fenwickquickshot on 10/9/2009 7:02:22 AM

    You notice that the tip is almost kissing the felt at the end of the stroke. That is good follow through and that is the diference between a good and bad stroke.

  10. Fenwickbilliardsforum on 10/9/2009 7:18:17 AM

    Another thing that stood out to me was how his back hand is gripping the pool cue (well actually, where it is gripping the pool cue).

    I see people with their hand square at the back of the cue, but this guy's hand is up much further.

  11. FenwickFenwick on 10/9/2009 8:06:23 AM

    I believe that's Roger Long in the video. The important thing to note is his elbow is at 90 degrees. Where you grip the cue depends on your bridge length or the pivot point.

    After a recent lesson and realizing the contact time on the cue ball is only 1/1,000 of a second you do not need to follow through more then 4 to guessing 6 or 7 inches. Mine is a mere 4 1/2 inches. I did not get the impression Roger was saying stop at the ball after completing the shot but I could be wrong?

    "I see people with their hand square at the back of the cue, but this guy's hand is up much further."

    Depends on their wing span and bridge length I believe. As long as it's 90 degrees at the elbow and you don't drop it it's fine IMHO. I grip 4 inches forward of the bottom of my wrap and my bridge length is 12 inches now.

  12. FenwickMitch Alsup on 10/9/2009 12:43:27 PM

    I was thinking about this just last night (while practicing).

    There are plateaus on the way forward. A time when you "have" the needed data, but just cannot execute to the plan. Hitting balls helps you cross the plateau, and when you are completely comfortable its time to add one more set of things to your game: something like::

    There comes a time after a person has learned the basic fundamentals that simply hitting balls and developing the muscles is the right thing to do (that is no drills in particular). (APA 3-ish)

    Then a little later, there comes a time to learn the tricks and traps of english, where deliberate drills and practicing of those is critical. (APA 4-ish) After this, its back to simply hitting balls.

    Then a little later, there comes a time to learn position play and how to move the CB around after making contact with the OB. Then its back to simply hitting balls with all the skills you learned. (APA 5-ish)

    Now, it becomes time to start a regimen of drills that

    1. counteract bad stroke tendencies
    2. develop sensitivity and touch
    3. begin the safety parts of the game
    4. eliminate misses in your game.
    5. eliminate bad position from your shots
    6. eliminate good position to your opponent

    At this point, you should be making just over 1 mistake per rack. From here on in, its not about making more shots, its about driving the error rate down; first to 1/2 mistake per rack (APA 6-ish), the 1/3 mistake per rack, then 1/4 mistake per rack (APA 7-ish).

  13. Fenwick1step4ward on 7/25/2019 12:25:40 AM

    As I practice, I practice what I preached. I used to shoot the shelf but I get tired. I am currently, 85% of the time until I feel happy.

    I try to try to avoid scratching in the opposing pockets. I also do photographs of the rail at about 2 inches, and distance from different angles. I realized that I'm having trouble with rails. So I'm still working on them. I also practice long-cut cut shots from different angles to the corners. If I lose a shot I will reset it and shoot the same shot until I figure out what's missing out on my shot. I often find the faults that occur in the stroke, and do things which leads to its improvement. It also turns out that I get up, I will not put on the shot, and hit instead of following the knock. Sometimes I just throw half of the balls onto the pool table, and then put the cue ball on the table and I am practicing the photo and position.

    I want to play a competitive game. But I do not know enough people who want to invest the time to get themselves there. I play two or three times a week with 8 points and play with him. (I'm fourth) and I occasionally beat him on the basis of what he taught me.

    Shelves, drills, photos. If you want to improve, the process is endless.

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How many hours do you practice and how?

  • Title: How many hours do you practice and how?
  • Author: (Ken Steinlee)
  • Published: 10/3/2009 5:40:32 PM