Tuesday, October 23, 2018

PLEASE Re-Read "Play Your Best Pool" for 8 Ball Strategy

One of my clients (friends? students? - heck, I still don't know what to call them!), anyway, one of them reminded me of something very important that I would like to share today.

Basically, I was told they forgot some of the key things that we went over the times we practiced together.  As reminder, I don't talk about English or things like that or even how to hold a cue or bridge - what I do talk about is strategy and the why's of choices.

The reason I feel my clients' admission is important is because I erroneously thought that talking about strategy during the entire 4-5 practice sessions was enough to retain the information.  And I was wrong!  And then I remembered why (read below for the many examples).

I was thinking about writing about this last month, but I hadn't had a chance to yet, and then I noticed that fellow blogger Darius talked about something similar at the end of September.

Basically, he said he likes to reread his favorite books because he then remembers something he had forgotten:
"Once I realized that knowledge disappears quickly from our minds, I’ve been re-reading and studying at least one good book a week. We must arm ourselves against the challenge of life by repeating the things we learn so often that they become a habit."

I can completely relate to this and I wish I would have remembered it for my client, as well. I think if I did, I would have had more sessions with them.

The reason I say this is, the first time I read Phil Capelle's Play Your Best Pool, that was when I realized that there were so many aspects to the game of 8 ball that I knew NOTHING about.  And, I just didn't know that until I read his book. But, I didn't retain everything I read the first time I picked up the book.

Luckily for me, for whatever reason, I decided to reread the 8-ball section of Play Your Best Pool before every single state and National Tournament 8 ball tournament I played in.

And what transpired was every time I read it, I as reminded of things I had forgotten.  Further, my game would improve in between those big tournaments and then things would make more sense when I read his book again.  And then I'd read it again before the next big tournament and again realize I forgot a certain strategy or proper sequence of shots.  My client was right - we do forget things.

I promise you that I read the 8-ball section of Phil Capelle's Play Your Best Pool before every single 8 Ball State and 8-ball Nationals tournament for almost 10 years straight.

So for me to think that my client would pick up strategy in just a few sessions, even though some of the strategy was the same, was completely incorrect thinking on my part.

There's so much to learn about the game, and there's so much to learn about 8 ball, and there's so much strategy that can come up every time you play, that you actually can learn something new all the time, right?  Even before I retired from competing when I would watch 8 ball matches, I would still learn something.

There's so much to the strategy of 8 ball that it is important to go over certain things often and or to be reminded of those things.

The thing is, when I started to play pool the first 15 years of playing, I didn't know any strategy about 8 ball.  I would make my stripes or solids.  Simple as that.  NO, Melinda, not as simple as that!  lol.  Therefore, reading Phil's book one time wouldn't help me.  Heck, reading it 10 times wouldn't help me.  BUT - continually reading it a few times every year would definitely help me.

That's why it's actually key for my clients to keep learning somehow - either lessons with me or other people, watching videos, or simply talking about 8 ball matches with your friends to discuss all the options and the why's.

And of course the final, obvious suggestion is to read at least 1 time by the end of the year the 8 ball section of Phil's Play Your Best Pool, and then several times every year after that.  One thing I can guarantee is your game will not go down - it will go up. So the risk versus the reward is golden for you to read that section over and over every year throughout the year.

Darius added:
"...I forgot almost everything I learned more than a year earlier (of the book I read). And there’s no way you can remember even a quarter of a book you read three years ago."
Of course what I want to do is grab a hold of my clients and have a ton more sessions with them so I can personally help them remember.  But, since that isn't feasible (we all have to work at our day jobs, right?  lol), my advice is to AT LEAST re-read Phil's Capelle's 8 ball section of Play Your Best Pool at least 4 times a year.

I want to reiterate (see what I'm doing here?) that I didn't become an 8 ball champion overnight.  I didn't win my first 8 ball tournament overnight.  I didn't win my first 8 ball tournament after reading his book.  But! I did learn more and more each time I read that section of his book - because I either forgot some things, or because my game got better and things made more sense.  

One final tidbit - I didn't read word for word the entire section 4 times a year the last few years, but I would go over all the pages I starred, or dogeared, or the parts I highlighted - those are the things I would go over before big tournaments.

Give yourself an even better opportunity to do well in your 8 ball tournaments.  Understanding the strategy of 8 ball is a repetitive learning of new things and old.

If you don't even listen to anything I say in my blog, please at least take this advice to heart.  I promise it will help you.  And I don't make promises lightly!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

That is some great advice. Using books as a reference to be returned to over and over, and to be personalized as you have done.