Practice - noun: Repeated performance or systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring skill or proficiency.
The article, Billiard Practice and The Art of Improvement was written by Jim Walsh, and is published here with his express consent. The article is © 2008 Jim Walsh. You can contact Jim through his forum user account "quickshot" or by leaving a comment below.
If practice makes perfect, one might ask, why do I not see an improvement in my over-all game? The usual reason is that one is practicing in a negative mode rather than a positive one. In the negative vain, it is a case of doing all the right things wrong, and in doing so, one will develop more bad habits than there are balls on a snooker table.
Bad habits can be broken as long as a player, he/she, recognizes the fact that it is not the arrow but the Indian who has them. Once that is clear in the mind, the learning factor can begin.
There are numerous books out there by players and instructors such as Bob Brynes, Ray Martin, Phil Capelle and Jeannette Lee to name a few. The books are well written and easy to understand. They also have great illustrations. There is also a wealth of information on the internet. One may want to start with billiardsforum.info. It may be the first and last stop for many. And then there is the option of hiring a professional instructor and taking lessons. That may be a little pricey, but in the long run it will pay off. You will raise the bar noticeably in your game.
Practice is a different animal to different people. Everyone has his or her own likes and dislikes. Some like to practice alone, others would rather bang the balls around and not even realize they are not getting any better, and others like to play with their friends and if they beat them they think they are getting better. Its an illusion, but they do not know it because they are doing the right things wrong over and over again.
Below are a few suggestions that can be practiced either alone or with a friend. Although, more than one friend at the table may be a disruption. It is called shot practice where the various shots are set up in advance. There is rail practice, cut practice, long shot, and draw practice.
Rail practice consists of taking twelve balls and placing them at the diamonds on the long side of the table. Put the cue ball in the center between the side pockets. From this point proceed to sink all the balls in different pockets. If a shot is missed replace it and do it over until it goes in the pocket. This is where having a friend around is helpful. He/she can handle the missed balls while the shooter stays focused.
Cut and long ball practice can be done together. Put half dozen balls at random at the three quarters mark at one end of the table. The decision can be made whether to play cut shots or long or a combination of both. If a shot is missed do it over until it is made.
Draw shotthe prettiest shot on the table. Some players can make a draw shot look like poetry in motion. The ability to draw the ball should be in every pool players arsenal. To practice the draw, line up half dozen balls in the center of the table between the side pockets. The purpose here is to send the six balls to the end of the table using nothing but draw to position for the next shot.
Instead of always racking up balls and banging them around the table, take the shot practice and turn it into a competition between friends. Everyone will benefit from the practice, and the game(s) bar will go up all around. It will also make the regular games more interesting. Have fun with this and the illusion of right shots wrong will be turned into right shots rights.
The billiard practice and the art of improvement article was posted on 4/9/2008 11:36:00 PM and updated on 4/9/2008 11:36:00 PM. The billiard practice and the art of improvement article was edited by Jim Walsh.
The information for the billiard practice and the art of improvement article was sourced from Jim Walsh.
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Excellent info Quickshot. When I think of practice I am reminded of the axiom- As long as you do something the same way the outcome will stay the same. A lot of people seem to say that their way is right so why change. If it is right then why aren't you near the top of the list of the pro rankings. Truth be known no matter how good we get there is always room for improvement. Everybody dogs one they shouldn't have every now and then. Old Shooter
My son and I are regular, daily players at home. I am guilty of just banging the balls around when alone. He, on the other hand, sets up shots using those sticky circle protectors for 3 ring binders. That way he can place a missed shot back in the exact location. By using this technique my 16 yr old son has surpassed my abilities and has become a much better player. I am no longer the teacher but rather the student.
It is a great day when a son surpasses his father in skill. You must be very proud! Thanks for commenting, and happy new year!