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Old 02-23-2012, 08:56 PM   #1
Xnr3p
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Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

I picked up pool about 3 weeks ago; last week I got myself a decent entry level cue to beat on. My question is what is the best format for me to practice while I’m trying to transition from the beginner stage to the amateur stage?

Currently on wed. there’s a free pool night at a local bar where some old seasoned players go, they are pretty strong players, usually 1 or 2 guys stay on the table all night and I will end up playing like 5-7 games in a few hours I have after I get off work.

The pool halls in my area are pretty terrible the one close to me closes at 12 because it’s also a bowling alley and the only serious one in the area is 20 minutes away while closing at 4am weekdays and 24 hours on Saturday.

My problem is mostly If I want to be around other players I either have to go to the bar which I don’t usually take my cue with me, If I start going out to the bigger pool hall I pretty much am only going to be able to play by myself, which I don’t know any strong drills or ways to really work on my game by myself.
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:41 PM   #2
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

I suggest and finding a pool room that has the atmosphere of a pool hall and they will likely have pool leagues running throughout the week.

Amateur pool leagues are great for learning because it contains a wide variety of different skilled players. Ask the better players if they want to shoot some games and a few tips. You'll be surprised how helpful the better players are in leagues, especially if its a team league.

In team leagues the best player or captain on your team is going to want the best out of you in order to win(team effort), so that player will teach you.

Go find a league and see if anyone is looking for a new player(you), who wants to learn the game. If you find the right people, you can end up learning a heck of a lot without losing or spending money(except league fees and dues)

Hope this helps, good shooting and good luck on your pool endeavors.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:12 PM   #3
fallaway
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

http://www.amazon.com/99-Critical-Sh...0132299&sr=8-1

You need to find a place to play obviously, but this book teaches you a lot of shots that could take years to learn on your own.
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:07 PM   #4
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

If you find an APA league almost all teams are looking for new players with a low ranking.
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:09 PM   #5
GarthAlgar
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

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If you find an APA league almost all teams are looking for new players with a low ranking.
I honed a lot of my game from playing in the CPA (APA affiliate). I can honestly say that any of the leagues affiliated with the American Poolplayers Association(CanadianPA & JapanesePA), is the best league to join if you are a beginner who wants to learn the game.

My father was a CPA league operator and in the years he had it, I had seen many players new to the game improve beyond their own expectations.

And for two weeks in August, thousands of players and hundreds of teams, join the APA as they host hosts their National Team Championships at the Riviera in Vegas. Ive been to it once, and it was the greatest pool tournament experience I have ever had when it comes to cue-sports.
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:22 PM   #6
Wamy Einehouse
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

Find good players, and play with them all day every day until you can beat them all for money. Repeat.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:01 PM   #7
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

Play Your Best Pool; Play Your Best 8 Ball; Play Your Best 9 Ball. All written by Phil Cappelle. These books have a practice drill section.
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:30 AM   #8
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

read 5 books from different authors and watch 5 instructional videos from different people. This will give you a good perspective on pool.

Definitely watch veps, which is Dr. Dave's instructional video, all or most of them are on youtube. I also suggest grady matthews video on kicking the ball, amazing. Banking with the beard vol 1 and 2 are very enlightening. Many other good videos exist, many bad ones as well. Watch the bad ones once and never again. Watch the good ones 5 or 10 times, true integration of the concepts will not happen in your first or second viewing. Read the books at least twice. Fundamentals are so important in pool, so you should not gloss over the basic things in books and videos. Master the basics and you are ahead of the curve.

Next all you have to do is practice all the time. In two years you will be tough to beat. You must put in the time though, that much I know.

You can only get smarter by playing a smarter opponent, like wamy said.
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:45 AM   #9
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

To get good at pool, you need good cue ball control, in other words it's an easy game if you can leave the white ball exactly where you need it to make the next shot.

This is what the game of 9-Ball is all about, running the balls in order from 1 to 9.

So, for practice, I like to play against myself in games of 9-Ball, always trying to win each game from the break running all the balls in a row until I sink the 9. When I miss, I just keep playing pretending I was my own opponent.

If you have trouble making certain shots, just set those up and sink them over and over until you can make them consistently. I play using mostly top and bottom spin and an open bridge, very very rarely hitting the cue ball with side english to get left/right action. Other than reading one or two books to get fundamentals, pool is all about practice and experience. If you enjoy the game, learning will be fun! Good luck.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:47 PM   #10
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fallaway View Post
http://www.amazon.com/99-Critical-Sh...0132299&sr=8-1

You need to find a place to play obviously, but this book teaches you a lot of shots that could take years to learn on your own.
I was just informed that Ray Martin will be releasing a 2-dvd set in September.

FYI
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:35 AM   #11
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

No matter how you want to get good at pool you must spend alot of time practicing, play better players than yourself and watch what they do along with shooting drills and watching videos.
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:11 AM   #12
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

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No matter how you want to get good at pool you must spend alot of time practicing, play better players than yourself and watch what they do along with shooting drills and watching videos.
I agree with part of this, but if you have poor fundamentals to begin with practice is not going to do you any good because you will be doing repetition of something bad over and over whether it be popping up, or even a chicken wing elbow etc etc. Watching other players can help a bit, but there are enough different ways of shooting that you should not try to mimick one type but find your own shooting method that works best from the preparation of the stance, to your bridge, and then the follow through. I would suggest if you are a beginner seek out a BCA qualified instructor to work on the fundamentals. Get a good base there and then watch as your game will improve over time quicker then just practicing poor fundys.
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:48 AM   #13
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

I just got a pool table. I'll be looking for practice drills to do to improve also.
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:22 AM   #14
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fallaway View Post
http://www.amazon.com/99-Critical-Sh...0132299&sr=8-1

You need to find a place to play obviously, but this book teaches you a lot of shots that could take years to learn on your own.
that book is great.
when i wanted to learn i talked to a guy who is an encyclopedia of pool and asked him to recommend me some books. he recommended that one and the first two byrne books. learned a ton. good luck mang
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:51 PM   #15
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

I would also take a look at accu-stats, they have tapes of pro pool player matches that would drastically increase your ability.

Secondly check out "TheActionReport" on youtube -- nothing better than watching experts do what they do best.
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:22 PM   #16
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

If you practice in your own and you get bored, you will begin doing more to harm your game than improve it. You know like when you are trying to make 4 rail banks and hitting draw shots a hundred miles an hour. At this time, put the cue down and come back with a more disciplined mindset.

Oh yeah, all the people saying to play someone who can beat you, hit the nail on the head
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:50 AM   #17
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

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Originally Posted by DZC View Post
If you practice in your own and you get bored, you will begin doing more to harm your game than improve it. You know like when you are trying to make 4 rail banks and hitting draw shots a hundred miles an hour. At this time, put the cue down and come back with a more disciplined mindset.

Oh yeah, all the people saying to play someone who can beat you, hit the nail on the head
this. without knowing what you are practicing and being willing to be bored stiff at working on it, you can do a lot of harm to your game by working on the wrong things. a lot of harm can come from this.

also, yes, get your ass kicked regularly to learn from disciplined players. works wonders.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:52 AM   #18
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

+1 to playing people better than you. joining a league is great for this.

doing drills/playing on your own is fine but i tihnk you need to be focused on every shot and thats something that i could never manage anyway, id jsut get bored.
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:31 AM   #19
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

Also coming in here to harp on fundamentals.

Ask around about who would be the best teacher in your area, and get some instruction on fundamentals from them. It's especially important to do it early, before you have bad habits ingrained. Even if you have to pay for it.

Every hour you spend practicing proper fundamentals as a beginner (stroke, stance, ball address, etc.) will probably take 100 hours off of whatever you want to learn as an intermediate player.

Learn proper form early. Really. It will pay off huge.
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:34 AM   #20
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

stroke, stroke, stroke, stroke. it all builds from there. good poast mick.
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:11 PM   #21
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

Can someone recommend me some ebooks/kindle books for beginners? Also would like to know about online videos
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:02 PM   #22
DZC
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggerBoots View Post
Can someone recommend me some ebooks/kindle books for beginners? Also would like to know about online videos
Im not familiar with any ebooks for pool, but I havent looked at any instructional material in a while.

I would go to a place like AZ billiards and join the discussions there. There are many informative articles and posts from the members that you can read for free.
Also, you can ask here

Also, are you trying to learn mechanics or a certain game, like one pocket?

Last edited by DZC; 10-01-2012 at 01:03 PM. Reason: Also, you can ask here :)
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:58 PM   #23
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DZC View Post
Im not familiar with any ebooks for pool, but I havent looked at any instructional material in a while.

I would go to a place like AZ billiards and join the discussions there. There are many informative articles and posts from the members that you can read for free.
Also, you can ask here

Also, are you trying to learn mechanics or a certain game, like one pocket?
well done.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:14 PM   #24
DZC
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

Quote:
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well done.
Thanks!

Ironically, since I made that post I have found myself looking for some beginner books. My wife wants me to teach her so we started yesterday. Unfortunately, I am not such a good teacher and I cant remember basic things to tell her.

I will be fine one we start learning shots, stroke, strategy, but for the life of me I am struggling with teaching the most basic things. Its natural since Ive been playing a while and I am sure I dont do everything correct, so I want her to learn the right way.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:03 PM   #25
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Re: Best ways to practice beginner - amateur.

I remember Byrne's videos and books being excellent for beginners.
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