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  • Shooters and others

    After about twenty-five years of fighting this disability, I am quite certain that being a good shooter - a good ball potter - is a natural talent not available to those who don't have it. My own improvement has been negligible, and I don't think old age has much to do with it. I can still see.

    All comments are welcome, and I would especially like to hear from the instructors who post or lurk here. Thanks -
    If it ain't funny, it ain't much.

  • #2
    Even when I was in my 20's playing every day (9 ball and one hole mostly), I was never a great ball potter. I mean, I could run a rack or 2 at 9 ball and sure I have had an 8 and out or few...but to see the way Dennis O, SVB, Alex, Jayson Shaw and others make balls so flawlessly, I have to agree with you ...

    It's been 20+ years for me since I have been able to play consistently so I would love the chance to try it again and see how well I can do, but my guess is, as my eyes aren't getting any better - I will have to rely more on knowledge / moves....

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    • #3
      Originally posted by vapros View Post
      After about twenty-five years of fighting this disability, I am quite certain that being a good shooter - a good ball potter - is a natural talent not available to those who don't have it. My own improvement has been negligible, and I don't think old age has much to do with it. I can still see.

      All comments are welcome, and I would especially like to hear from the instructors who post or lurk here. Thanks -
      I think it is like many other things in sports -- hitting a baseball, putting, shooting 3-pointers -- with good instruction and dedicated, disciplined practice considerable improvement is possible, but it will never get you to the level where we see some 16-year-old kids: My friend Pat, Shannon, Earl, Alex, Billy Thorpe, Hunter White and many, many others ... could shoot your eye out at 100 yards before they were 18.

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      • #4
        If you want to make balls you have to love the game.

        The beard told me you might have to hit a million balls to learn. He had his systems. They can take you closer to where you want to be but not all the way.

        John Brumback told me to practice with a purpose. Set goals and move them harder as you achieve them. Which will certainly improve some of your shots.
        But it won’t get you all the way there.

        Since I retired three years ago I started a journey to see if I could become competitive at this game. I relate my journey to a deck of cards. I got through half the deck rather rapidly. Now I might get a card every two or three months.it can be frustrating.

        I do have to say though you have to play against anyone to continue to improve. You also have to play a lot of pool. Which I do,playing every day.

        Doc says I hit straight backs before most of you have a cup of coffee in the morning and he is correct. I try and make 10 in a row before I quit that shot.

        But most important isn’t the making of the balls, it is learning how to win. I don’t care if it is 9 ball, 8 ball, banks, or one pocket. You have to learn how to win.

        Just my two cents. Me and my dead money will go to derby again this year, where I can go two and out against the best in the world.

        But I ain’t gonna quit anytime soon either.

        B
        Execution of the shot, some days I have it some days I don't...

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        • #5
          those with the best hand and eye co ordination will make the most shots.

          but there are only two way to miss a shot. one is to not aim for the correct spot
          on the object ball. that can easily be corrected but most dont give it the time needed.

          the 2nd way is to not hit where you are aiming if correctly on the cueball and/or having your stroke not hit that spot. easily fixed by getting your stroke straight by practice.

          only then can you play to the best of your natural ability.

          it is easier though to learn to make better games.

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          • #6
            Vapros, we need more info from you to help from a far for there are so many factors involved in pocketing balls. For instance; how are you addressing the shot, do you stay down on the shot, how true is your stroke, how strong is your focus, what's going through your head prior to missing a shot, do you have a problem with anxiety, how many strokes do you take before you fire, are you over thinking the shot, do you consistently stroke the same, have you tried various shot making systems, are you having a hard time knowing where to hit the ball, does playing position create problems, are you confused as to why you missed the shot, and do you consistently miss the same shot the same way, do you always use english on shots, or can you make balls with no english, why do you think you miss the shot?

            All of the above can be improved upon, but first you have to realize that you need improvement in a certain discipline, and many players do not realize this. A good instructor should be able to pick up on any dysfunctional pocketing disciplines, and thus raise your game up substantially. But you will have to work on it, and may need to take refresher instructions to stay on track. Whitey

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            • #7
              In my opinion, the two main reasons balls are missed are not striking the intended target on the CB and coming out of the shot (prairie dogging).

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              • #8
                Originally posted by vapros View Post
                After about twenty-five years of fighting this disability, I am quite certain that being a good shooter - a good ball potter - is a natural talent not available to those who don't have it. My own improvement has been negligible, and I don't think old age has much to do with it. I can still see.

                All comments are welcome, and I would especially like to hear from the instructors who post or lurk here. Thanks -
                I know that this will sound arrogant, I don't intend it to and I apologize if it comes off that way but I agree that there is some level of natural talent that establishes one's potential. Of course that potential must be realized through training, practice, and learning from others but I feel that the limit is set by an inherent talent.
                An example that comes to mind is Luther Lassiter and billiard shots, particularly billiard shots where the second object ball is one or more diamonds from the pocket and the cue ball curvature off the first object ball is significant. From what I have read he was known for making these shots quite predictably and I believe it after watching an old film clip of him making one.
                Another example is Efren Reyes. His nickname "Magician" explains it all. He routinely made shots that most of us would never consider even remotely predictable.
                From what I have read Jimmy Reid was that way with combination shots and I have watched Keith McCready make combinations that others would not risk attempting.
                How about great one handed shooters? I watch and I wonder how some of those shots are even possible yet they do it again and again.
                With all that said I will add that I have been surprised at how significant muscle memory is and how much one can improve over a long period of time but again I feel that our individual limits are set by inherent talent.

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                • #9
                  once the cue tip strikes the cue ball it doesnt matter anymore whether you jump wiggle or cry, the shot is over as far as the balls are concerned.

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                  • #10
                    I think talent increases your desire which increases the time spent, which makes you a better player.

                    There are lots of players that love the game that will never be real good players. They may enjoy playing more than the good players that may even have a love/hate relationship with the game.

                    I can’t/won’t play unless there is some competition involved (Tournament or gambling), but that is just me.
                    JOHN HENDERSON
                    Al Romero Cue
                    Magic Chalk

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                    • #11
                      I say be ever thankful for One Pocket. It is the only game on a pool table we can continue to play as we get older and blinder and so on. Yeah, we can get spots in 9 ball and 8 ball just like in one pocket, but one pocket affords you the opportunity to use other skills than just shooting balls into the little hole.

                      I ain't gonna become a much better shooter at age 70 and beyond. But, I find the source of making better shots is focus. Focus and being able to remove any other thoughts/concerns from my mind allows me to pocket the ball.

                      My success at doing this is directly correlated to the potential danger I perceive in the shot. If I can deal with this before I get down, I got a good chance, if not I gotta look for other options (when I am making good decisions).
                      The early bird may get the worm...but the second mouse gets the cheese...Shutin@urholeisOVERATED.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by vapros View Post
                        After about twenty-five years of fighting this disability, I am quite certain that being a good shooter - a good ball potter - is a natural talent not available to those who don't have it. My own improvement has been negligible, and I don't think old age has much to do with it. I can still see.

                        All comments are welcome, and I would especially like to hear from the instructors who post or lurk here. Thanks -
                        you have to keep tweaking your stroke / aim / grip until you find something that works for you. i have found that i MUST keep my cue movement in my peripheral vision as i concentrate mainly on the object ball. when i stop doing this, i start missing. i believe that most great pool players do this subconsciously. also, noticing the entire table as i shoot helps. it makes my stroke more like throwing a baseball, which is the best analogy i can find. in fact, john schmidt himself has also made the baseball comparison when asked about an "aiming system". a good baseball pitcher has to keep runners in his peripheral vision as he pitches so it can be done ....when you start missing you second guess your aim which is a mistake. i have a mantra: trust your aim and feel the game. when i'm in-stroke playing straight pool, i don't even think about missing, -except on tough shots- i'm more concerned with position. this too is one of the keys. ALWAYS PLAY YOUR POSITION even on the last ball.

                        try looking at the cueball when you shoot and then look-up at the object ball as you stroke through but concentrate on the cue-ball hit but KEEP THE OBJECT BALL IN YOUR peripheral view as you draw you cue. this will tell you that your aim is on and the hit on the cueball is your problem. practice this with long, straight-in shots and see how it goes. then move the object ball to the left and right. THEN, shoot by concentrating on the object ball keeping your cue in your peripheral vision.

                        a very very good practice routine recommended by Jimmy Rempe himself is to scatter all 15 balls on the table evenly keeping them away from the rails then take cueball in-hand and and shoot them in without touching a rail or another ball. THIS WORKS! it sounds easy but it's not. Rempe recommends doing this for two weeks saying: "don't play no other pool" . lol..
                        Last edited by sausage; 12-10-2017, 07:00 PM.

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                        • #13
                          natural talent

                          for those of you who keep saying that you have to have natural talent to be a top player, i say BULL. and so too does Dick Lane. i was talking to him in DallAss in the land of the 90's and he told me that he was NOT a natural at the game and no better than his buds so he started practicing. John McChesney told me that Dick practiced 8 hours a day, like a job.

                          having said this, you need a little bit of natural ability and affinity for the game but we all have that.

                          as a side-note; i was practicing shooting left-handed today and realized that this is the way a beginner feels when first playing pool. wow.... this is a very difficult game indeed....

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                          • #14
                            and one more thing that will help you become a better shooter... stop your stroke at fully cocked for a second while you bear down on the object ball. this helps you go straight through the cueball. but remember to keep the movement of the end of your cue in your vision too. THIS WORKS! i just went over to the table and set up a slew of difficult shots and they were going in like OJ to a topless bar.
                            Last edited by sausage; 12-10-2017, 07:02 PM.

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                            • #15
                              If you don't believe natural ability plays heavy into being a good pool player, and even a championship caliber player in some instances, then how is it that in the known history of modern pool we have so many players who played like burning hell before they were 20 years old or shortly thereafter... They picked up a cue and literally within a few years were great players... Shannon Daulton/Cole Dickson/Ritchie Florence/Jimmie Rempe/Mike Sigel/Earl Strickland/Denny Searcy/Jimmy Reid/Jimmy Marino/ are just a few, there are probably at least 50 more...

                              How about Harold Worst, who just took up the game one day and was instantly judged as a world class player by some of the greatest players of his time...

                              I'm in the camp with the people who believe that practice definitely will help improve anyone's ability, but only to the extent of their natural ability. Practice will refine ones skills and passion will be the fuel..

                              Sounds like Col. Bille has the passion... Go for it Bille, I'm rootin for ya...

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