Sunday, May 21, 2017

Out of The Box Tips

Sometimes it's cool to do out of the ordinary practice to help your game.
Most people think of the obvious:  hit balls, gamble, play in tournaments, etc.
What about some out-of-the-box things?
  • Work on your stroke by trying to get your cue tip consistently into a coke bottle.  This can be done at home without a pool table.
  • Try hitting balls for an hour or two with a mud ball.  If you can control a mudball cueball, imagine how much better you will be with a regular cueball!
  • Use dumbbells regularly to build your arm muscles.  This helps your stroke be more solid.
  • Practice "Carom Nine" (see rules at bottom of this page).  Helps you learn carom shots in a fun yet frustrating way, lol.  (basically, the object ball must make first contact with the cue ball to count as a legal shot, the goal being to carom the object ball into a pocket or into another ball.)
  • Don't shy away from the "non perfect" tables.  Also, it's okay to practice on slow tables and fast tables every once in a way - after all, the conditions are different at different tournaments.
  • While this isn't out of the box, this is a good time to remind people to work on your break.  Practice it.  Get it down pat.  It's the opening shot - it's an important part of the game a lot of us don't give enough attention to.
  • Speaking of breaks, practice your break using different racks - magic rack, accu-rack, and also regular wooden/plastic racks from the pool room.  Especially pick a certain one when your next upcoming big tournament uses a special rack.
  • Play snooker on a 10 foot table.  Talk about a test!  And then when you get back on an 8 foot table, you'll see just how small that platform is and you'll be at smiling the whole time.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Getting Lessons Isn't Bad

For some reason, a lot of us pool players get kinda "ashamed" or "embarrassed" or "shy" to get lessons. 


In every sport, players improve all the time.

But for some reason, we as pool players have this mentality if we get lessons it means we aren't good, like we need lessons.  Or we are concerned our friends will judge us.  Well, why don't we look at it as:  I want to improve! 

It's not a bad thing to want to improve.  Is it?


Tiger Woods had a coach.  Tiger Woods.  And he was top golfer for years.

Kids who are coming up in the pool world have coaches.  Do we judge them?  Not at all - if anything it makes sense in our minds - like a high school sport class or something.

A coworker told me once in my 30s, "why don't you practice more or get lessons?"  Her kids in middle school and high school were constantly getting lessons throughout the year in many sports, and so she was confused about my sport (pool).

Even football and baseball have training.

Yet, when for some reason when we get lessons we don't share it with the world.  Why is that? 

A friend of mine who gets pool lessons pointed out that she doesn't mind telling people.  It reminded her of her job, where she has to get re-certified every year.  Getting lessons is along the same lines, if you think about it. 

And why wouldn't we want to improve our game?  Hitting balls is one thing, but I've known players to hit balls every night of their life and never get better.  Gambling can be considered "on-the-job-training" --->  if you are learning from it.

Taking lessons or seeking lessons is actually a really SMART thing if you want to improve - whether you tell anyone or not.  ALL sports have training camps or top coaches or schools.  Treat yourself and your game and look into lessons if you want to improve.  AND...don't worry about what others think.  (and in my experience, opponents tend to be nervous against players who are getting lessons anyway :).

Thursday, May 18, 2017

If Pool was like Tennis

I was watching an episode of Law and Order the other day and this amateur tennis player said something along these lines:

"I am ranked 81st in the U.S.  If I beat the player ranked 80th, no one notices.  If I was to defeat the 5th ranked player, everyone notices.  I might be on a magazine cover or get sponsor inquiries. "
What she said really hit me - dang, what if pool was like that?

Can you imagine?

Right now, if I am ranked 80th and I beat the 5th ranked person, people in the pool community might talk about it.  I might have friends in the pool room say something.  I might get a lot of kudos on Facebook or something.

But imagine for a minute if pool WAS like tennis?  And I really did knock out the 5th ranked player in a big tournament?

I'd be interviewed by many reporters, magazines, local tv stations, and maybe even be on ESPN's Sports Center.  I am not saying Nike would be beating down my door with a contract, but what I am saying is the difference in our sports is light years.  It's like water and oil, fire and ice... (you get it).

Sure, we can get on magazine covers and be interviewed today - but it's only for pool-related mediums.  Tennis and Nike are all-related-mediums.

Can you imagine how much more practice we would all put in if there was a chance to play in tournaments on live tv, knowing we might be all over the media?  Not just talked about in our local pool rooms, but be on Sports Center or Yahoo news?  And have the potential to have big name sponsors?  Sell my own brand of shoes or a clothing line?

So many of us would be playing so much better!!  lol