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Billiard Fundamentals and Natural Skill

Billiard Fundamentals and Natural Skill

So, I play oodles of golf, shooting in the low 80's (I KNOW IT'S A BILLIARD FORUM) now. Which is not bad for a 1 1/2 year player. When I started I was completely self taught, aside from watching it on TV. My brother had been playing before me and took some lessons. I had some of it "right" and some of it "wrong." Anyways he basically showed me some fundamental basics, and I tweaked it til it worked comfortably for me. Now it's on and only getting better as I follow more ideas and adjust them to my preference.

So is this the same with pool? My cousin is my "pool partner," if I'm playing he's playing. Now he just got back from Oregon where he was learning from his father who is an outstanding player and very strict in his ways and teachings. OK, so we played today and I handed him his ass in a rusty lunchbox.

Usually we are close to even or he wins. He was trying new things obviously and that effected him. But now he is out of it, just way off. His father told him to change his stance, his stroke, and follow through, and stay down on the table after the shot, his grip, basically his whole game. I myself have lectured him on these things. His weight is on his back foot, he comes up immediately after shooting (as do i occasionally) and other little perks. But he is a great player, winning most of his tournaments and matches, consistent, and confident. I understand many great players have coaches and routines.

I have my superiors on the league that give me advice, but if they tell me to slow it down or hit softer, I'll go up and hit it harder. I just think there is a natural feel or comfort zone every player finds within themselves and that should be the path that is followed. Frankly I get a little annoyed with advice in both golf and pool...I'll find it when I find it, my way, without over looking and disrespecting the set in stone fundamentals that must be maintained. Unfortunately my cousin is in belief he will not get better with his style and must get down to the basics of pool.

Finally I convinced him, just shoot the way you feel is right, and sure enough he started whooping my ass but kept a few of those tips from his dad going I noticed. So he did what I did with golf. Take their advice, embrace it, but make it your own or it will not work. Just as no golf swing is the same, no stroke is the same. To any of you who are still awake or made it this far...What do you think?

Take the lessons and work on it exclusively, drive yourself nuts trying to change your entire game to be like someone else's because it's "right?" Or play your own style even if it is "wrong?" I mean is there anything that says you have to play like this or like that otherwise you will be stuck at the same level for the rest of your life? What do you do? Anyone ever take lessons and what did it do for you? Sorry this all runs together so much but I'm just kinda going off. I'm in a sorta strange mid-life crisis with golf and pool I think. Thanks all.

Billiard Fundamentals and Natural Skill

Replies & Comments

  1. Justanotherevolutionaryquickshot on 11/15/2008 5:41:25 PM

    There is a truism that says for every step you change you will take two steps backwards. That applies to golf and also to pool. I took lessons 5 years ago (because they were free from my friend an assist pro) and my handicap went down from a 36 to a 26. But, it took me 2 years to get there. I then had 2 major operations in 3 months, and it took me almost 2 years to get back to square one. I began to play a little golf again and was back to a 36, where I still am and I do not care. My friend had a good approach to teaching. Instead of trying to change everything a person was comfortable with, he worked within the framework the person had. Unless it was a young person just starting out.

    I agree with you about every player finding their own comfort zone in golf and pool or any other sport that is a one person endeavor. i.e. like the shot put, track, tennis etc cetra. I also believe that if a person wants to improve he/she will look very keenly at the finer nuances of the sport and pick them apart and practice them until they all blend together. And that can take months or even years. The end result will depend on the effort that is expended. There are no magic bullets.

    As we get older we become more set in our ways and do not really want to hear constructive advice because we know that it will throw everything we have done for years out of synch. We know there is no magic bullet, but deep down we wish there was a magic fairy that could wave a magic wand and we would not have to work so hard to make changes that we know in our heart of hearts probably wouldn't make a difference anyway.

    What I say to you is: keep playing at your pace (both golf and pool), keep hammering each other and enjoy the friendship, and most of all have fun. Couple of beers wouldn't hurt either.

  2. JustanotherevolutionaryMitch Alsup on 11/22/2008 10:34:01 AM

    I played golf for 10 years and never quite got the hang of it--rarely breaking 90. Then I started hitting 200 golf balls every day--for more than a whole year. Then all of a sudden, and for no obvious reason, my golf game got to the point where I would reach to the 5th hole under par.

    Pool is the same way. If you want to be good at pool, pot 100,000 balls. If you want to be really good, pot 1,000,000 balls. Practice more than you play. The difference between practice and play, is when you miss in practice, you set up the shot again and then force yourself to shoot it 10-100 times in a row without missing before continuing. Any shot you have trouble with--set that shot up and shoot it and shoot it ans shoot it over and over until you can make it in your sleep. Same with banks, kicks, caroms, combinations, masse, jumps--parctice them until you no longer miss.

    Then go back out and play some of the guys you were loosing to.

  3. Justanotherevolutionaryquickshot on 11/22/2008 10:00:50 PM

    Amen to this. It's a long haul to the Grail.

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Billiard Fundamentals and Natural Skill