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  #1  
Old 02-14-2017, 03:57 PM
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Last year around this time, I started letting my older 2 boys play pool. Once they started enjoying it, I wanted to teach them to play 1P, so I started off giving my 9 and 11 year old boys a 15-1 spot with a handspan. The handspan changed to a "fist-bump", and eventually to a "finger/bump" before they no longer were allowed to touch the cue ball. This has evolved to a 14-2 spot, but now they both get the hit, two picks, and penalty-free fouls, including intentional fouls. They seem pretty evenly matched between them, but they don't play each other often. Besides their guaranteed arguing, they just prefer playing dad

Andrew, my oldest, gets hot off the break at times, often getting the corner ball in or near his pocket. He hits it slightly harder than he should if he wasn't picking two, but since he is, it's definitely to his advantage. Getting out of these breaks is hard at times, since he often hangs a ball, which makes it very enjoyable for both of us, but especially him, lol. He really enjoys beating me! His record is two consecutive 2 & outs from the break.

Austin, my second oldest, is barely tall enough to shoot, and I encourage him to use a platform but often he gets tired of pushing it around. He is more patient than his older brother, but maybe not quite as consistent with shooting. His break is more consistent, but usually not devastating, since he breaks like it's a normal game with no picks.

I don't let up on them, not consciously anyway. Even if I hear their conceding words and tones once they think the game is about to be over. I try to discourage any form of poor sportsmanship whatsoever but occasionally I don't say anything at all, instead I just bear down even more just in case they're subconsciously asking for me to give them one more chance. I don't want to give them positive feedback for saying even the slightest losing remark.

It's rare that I can finish up on either of them if we play enough games. It's probably my discipline that is at fault since I sometimes underestimate them. They are learning how to win. I don't want to reduce the spot too early, so even though they keep asking for less of a spot, as a way of getting acknowledged of their improvement, I'm steadily holding the line. I can still win, if I stay careful, so I don't want to reward them for my errors. Besides, they enjoy winning, and I enjoy being allowed to play them hard. I might not always be as careful with them as I would with an opponent that I gamble with, but I never miss balls on purpose.

I usually get 3 to 5 games in with each of them right before their bedtime. I'll try to post updates when I can as a way to look back on their progress.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:08 PM
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Played 3 games with Austin (9yr old) tonight, giving him the hit and a pick 14-2 and free fouls. Finished down a game. He won the first game quickly by shooting a bank despite having a ball very near my pocket. Then I coached him about how to throw a ball than was frozen to another ball but not quite wired. I explained how it was a simple kick that would cause the ball to be thrown into the center of the pocket. I helped him aim the kick. He hit it perfect and the ball went right in. Hopefully he remembers what he learned.



The last game I got out of the break, made a short run and hit a cross corner too thin and lost control of the cue ball too far up table. Austin started singing "If I could turn back time...to a better day..." then hit a stop shot at the headstrong then cut his game ball down the rail...in for the win.

Nice shot. Go brush your teeth!

(Andrew wasn't allow to play tonight for disciplinary reasons. He refused to eat his dinner because he was mad about a petty argument with Austin. Austin wasn't eating his either, so I told then it was 5:45, you both have until 6 to eat or no pool tonight. Austin ate, Andrew didn't. Andrew came down and asked if he could play and I said no, even though I usually let him off the hook, but not for the way he was acting tonight.)

Last edited by youngstownkid; 02-15-2017 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 02-16-2017, 08:41 PM
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I won a race to 3 tonight 3-2 against Andrew, who was just shooting at everything. The last game was an up-table game and he played some safes, but the other games I think he's trying to keep up with me shooting wise. He just doesn't have the speed discipline yet.

Austin smoked me 3-0. He's very patient and usually chooses the right shot. He's more interested in not selling out.

He made this bank the second game. It was the only video I took all night. I had a good feeling he'd put the last nail in the coffin. If I would have recorded for another two seconds I could have caught a delayed "dab" on camera, LOL.



(Not sure why my gif isn't working...)

Last edited by youngstownkid; 02-16-2017 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 02-25-2017, 12:12 AM
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We enjoyed some great weather today, record setting for February I heard. It was still "shorts weather" at 9pm, so instead of playing one pocket Austin and I had a putting contest outside.



(This is where I should mention that I have a 1500+ sqft putting green in the backyard. That's another story, I guess. I'll post a separate entry about it maybe, but I can't help to describe it here some. Also, I made some light up flagsticks, so we can putt at night, too. The flagsticks (not shown in pic below) light casts light in about a 5 foot diameter.)



So we played our usual match play game, it goes like this: We each get two balls. We each hit two balls from the starting location, then play the best ball and finish out from there. We take turns leading, that is, specifying the "teeing" area and the target hole. The putting green has 5 regulation holes, and two much, much smaller ones, I think the smaller ones are 3" diameter. I was up the first match 4-0, and ended up winning 5-2.



As soon as the first match was over, I told Austin that we can play another race to 5, this time I'll just use one ball. We started out on the highest area, on the hole we call "Uptown" which has a landing area that is on the top of a big slope. Austin got the first lead, and chose to putt all the way down and across the green, in the dark except for the light cast from the hole we were putting from, and the light 50 feet away where we were aiming, to a hole we call "Teardrop." He made it on his first ball, so he's one up.



Next hole, it was my lead. I chose a hole called "Youngstown" which was about 40 feet away. You can't miss right on this hole, not even a foot to the right. It's at the top of a slight slope, but to the right the slope is past the limit of the ball being about to stop from rolling down ten to fifteen feet below the hole. I pulled it about 7 feet left. Austin hits another good putt, two actually, he's got about 15" downhill or a 18" uphill putt. He chose the uphill putt and made it. I missed my left to right breaker, so now he's up 2-0.



It's now his lead, and he chose to putt to "Downtown", which resides at the bottom of the slope from where the "Uptown" landing is. This is about a 30 footer, left to right breaking about 8 feet, or 12 feet, or 20 feet, depending on how you want to play it. The entire left area on this putt will feed toward downtown, but it's not bowl shaped or anything, so if you don't get your speed right, you'll have at least a 6 foot comebacker. Austin did just that on his first putt, then I went and pretty much did the same, but left it about 4 feet. On his second ball, Austin made another bomb! He's up 3-0.



It's my lead, I'm down 0-3, and I'm not pulling any punches, so I chose my favorite putt. We went right up the slope to the Uptown girl. (Yes, I'm a Billy Joel fan, I'm at old soul for 38.) I hit my putt a foot short. When putting up to this hole you can't be more than around 2.5' short, or the ball will roll all the way back down the slope. That's what Austin did on his first ball. As soon as he putted it I could tell from the sound that it was going to be short. So could he, and I'm trying to teach him to pay attention to details like that, same goes for pool. Austin rifled his second ball, and from the sound of it this ball was going to go OB. There are big landscaping sandstones surrounding the landing area, separated by only a foot of fringe. We follow a rule that if a ball contacts anything that is not green, it's unplayable. So this rule prevents the kids from bailing out and playing bank shots off the rocks instead of learning the speed and putting correctly. Anyway, Austin's ball did not go OB, because it hit the pin and fell in. He's up 4-0.



We're back to where we started, and Austin chose the same 50 footer, but hit his worst putt of the match with his first ball, leaving it about 10 feet short. I made it, even though it was coming in a little hot. I had to make a 50' foot just to get a point from this 9 year old kid!



Anyway, we jaked on Youngstown, then I missed a 4 or 5 footer on Downtown, so he ended up beating me 5-1. Maybe he should have been the one giving up a ball, eh?



Here's a peek...I took this as Ashton was about to bite it, LOL.




Last edited by youngstownkid; 02-25-2017 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:08 AM
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Austin (my 9yr old) got downgraded to 13-3 tonight (still getting the hit and the pick and free fouls). He beat me the first game, too. The second game I had him in a good trap. He jacked up and shot a baby curve to execute a take out. I've never shown him how, in fact I previously told both of the boys they were not allowed. He was beaming. I just said "Wow. That's not fair."

This week we tried a couple other spots, as well. We played 12-4, where I froze an extra cue ball behind the cue ball we played with, so that I had to bridge over it every shot that there was room to place it. I was never so happy to be frozen to a rail! Then I tried him 12-4 where I had to bank every ball, and it probably took him about half the game to figure out to put the wedge just above my pocket, and to leave me straight in. I think the jack up game was easier than the banks only game. If we do either again idk about 12-4, lol.
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:14 AM
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Tonight I lost 3 straight to Andrew (11yr old son) playing 13-3 and giving the hit and a pick. Lost 3 straight, and he prob out scored me in ball count too. I was too loose and mistake prone, wasn't because he was playing great, but he did make a few decent shots.

Then I played some with Austin (9 yr old son). 13-3, giving him the hit but no pick. He refuses to pick because he's been breaking so good, that he really doesn't need it. He broke the first game, got a decent spread, but the cue ball came a bit high, nearly to the side pocket. He had balls on his long rail at the second and first diamonds, so I tried banking the higher ball into the stack with just enough follow to get below the other ball. Well the ball found a window and went right in my pocket, and I finished with a 13 and out. I wouldn't have even realized it if Austin didn't say anything.

So I racked up the next game and he broke hitting the last ball in the stack almost like a straight pool break only 3 balls really separated from the stack. I started laughing immediately, and he was like "Let's see you run that one out!"

(Ok. He actually slightly miscued, and I said the punchline, not him, but we still had a good laugh about it.)
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Old 04-16-2017, 10:04 AM
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Happy Easter! Hope yours is as cool as ours. 😉

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Old 04-23-2017, 07:40 PM
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My son took this pic today with his drone. Technology is cool!

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Old 05-28-2017, 12:19 AM
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My 9 year old has sort of unofficially joined my Thursday night golf league at Yankee Run. He's not actually on a team, but is considered a social member. Last week he had his lowest round, a 47. He shot another 47 this week, too.

So, we're in the last group, on #2, a very uphill par 3, I hit a 7 iron pretty decent just a tad left of striping the flagstick . My son hits a 3 wood and hits a ball that looks like it could go in. (From where we are on the tee box, you can see the bottom 1/3 of the flagstick.)

I get in the skin game and closest to the pin contests, but my son doesn't. He hits from the junior tees, and I'm not sure he's ready even if they allowed it, which I didn't ask.

We drive up and there are two balls closer than the proximity marker. His is closer than mine. I missed my 12 footer, then he makes his 10 ft birdie putt for his first ever birdie. ⛳️
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Old 09-23-2017, 07:26 PM
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Austin is starting to make more shots now. He's been hard to beat 13-3 lately. Yes, I'm rusty (more like sawdusty), but I've definitely got to give him some credit. The last 5 times we've played he nearly beat me outright twice. Twice he got to 6 balls with two left on the table. (After he gets to three often we continue until all balls are pocketed.). He's making more bank shots, playing "trap position" on easy bank shots, and much improved on cutting it thin. He's becoming more of a threat to make straight backs, long thin hit crosses, and long cuts. He said he's ready for 12-4, but I'm not ready to admit defeat at 13-3 just yet. I might take away his free intentional fouls though, since he's probably better off not using that crutch. I'll let him keep free scratches though since he does scratch a couple times per game it seems. It won't be long before he might be able to beat me outright once in a while.
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