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How long to get good?

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  • How long to get good?

    Iím wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation to myself and, if so, how long it took to get back in the swing of things and then, hopefully, improve.

    Iíve recently started playing 3 or 4 times a week, an hour or 2 each session. I used to play in my teens and early 20ís but just knocking balls about with mates, never actually practiced or really knew what we were doing. Managed the occasional, very occasional, 30 break, that sort of level.

    Iím almost 50yrs old now and barely hit a ball for 20yrs but have fallen in love with game again. Itís been less than a month since I bought a nice new cue and started to play. Iím just starting to feel like I did years ago but havenít had a break higher than mid 20ís yet. How have others in similar situations got on? Iíd love to be able to make 50 breaks one day.

  • #2
    I know the feeling well, get some coaching and plenty of practise, learn position play, should improve after a while.

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    • #3
      I would add to the previous comment.. try and get to play people who are better than you are.

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      • #4
        I never got good, pockets are too small and the table is too big. Stupid game.

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        • #5
          and no one better than me wants to play with me sniff sniff
          Up the TSF!

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          • #6
            Originally Posted by The Artful Dodger View Post
            I would add to the previous comment.. try and get to play people who are better than you are.
            Indeed, as it is with me atm i play people who i know are better then me but i don't care that i lose - at this point - i learn from them and feel it makes my own game a bit better.
            It makes me go home with a better feeling then winning to someone who drinks too much beers while playing and doesn't take the game seriously enough.

            When i would improve to general club level the winning frames would become more important.
            The coaching part is important, i only had one session yet but he first let me play my usual thing and analysed it, took pictures and video and then after an hour confronted me with everything i did wrong, stance, the shot preparation, chalking, feathering, pause, delivering the cue straight with follow through etc.

            At the end of the session i potted 2 blues from their spot over the full length of the table - which i now again fail to do so need more practise and sessions.

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            • #7
              Hi Art, don't want to depress you but I think there's some people who will never be any good. You need to start off with a little bit of god given apptitude for the game. Playing regularly will obviously help you improve a bit, but its a fact that for some folk they could play every day and never hit a 50 break.
              Having said that, however, I think you need to look at things pragmatically. Set yourself some goals and see if you can achieve them. 50 break is a good target for an amateur. The thing about goals is that they need to be achievable or you become despondent. No point in trying for 50 if you can't get 24!
              From the sound of it you're of a similar standard to me. I'd like to make a 50 but at my age I doubt whether I ever will. I've taken some lessons and the coach told me that I have enough "skill" to make a 40 and maybe once a year a 50. However I would need to practice several times a week which I don't do.
              My goal is to make 20's and maybe a 30 everytime I play. If I can do that then I'm happy.
              I don't think you can put a time on how long it takes to improve. Everyone is different. For me I got an instant improvement after 2 lessons. The coach sorted out my cueing and I was potting well. I think it took another 3 months of practice before my cue ball control improved to the stage where I was comfortable potting 3 reds and blacks in a nice controlled way as opposed to having the white travelling all over the place.
              Hope this helps. Enjoy the game.

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              • #8
                Thanks for the comments guys. Yeah, one of the Green Baize staff is offering coaching and I have his number. Iíll be calling him soon..

                Iíve found the YouTube Channels very useful but Iím at the point where Iím driving myself crazy trying to self diagnose everything Iím doing wrong. A coach taking pics and telling me what he sees is definitely what I need.

                And itís only been 3 weeks since I bought my cue and decided to try and take the game seriously. Iím loving it but feel that Iím getting ahead of myself, expecting to be better than I am.

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                • #9
                  I had, what I hope, is a bit of leap forward yesterday. A pretend 49 break. That was doing a line up practice. Just around the black spot, replacing 3 reds as I potted them. The best Iíve done by a long way. 6 reds and blacks then missed the 7th black.

                  Of course when I started again, I missed the first black but itís definitely progress and felt great.

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                  • #10
                    probably the best thing you ever do is get a coach and iron out all imperfections in your game. The big breaks will happen with consistency in potting and positional play

                    Originally Posted by Art Vandalaay View Post
                    Thanks for the comments guys. Yeah, one of the Green Baize staff is offering coaching and I have his number. I’ll be calling him soon..

                    I’ve found the YouTube Channels very useful but I’m at the point where I’m driving myself crazy trying to self diagnose everything I’m doing wrong. A coach taking pics and telling me what he sees is definitely what I need.

                    And it’s only been 3 weeks since I bought my cue and decided to try and take the game seriously. I’m loving it but feel that I’m getting ahead of myself, expecting to be better than I am.

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                    • #11
                      One suggestion KEEP A DIARY that way you can keep check on all aspects of your playing both negative and positive, ok! you lost a match but did you play a good frame that you were proud of ? is your long potting getting better ? are you playing good position ? your state of mind when playing a match or practicing (pressure at home and other problems can without doubt effect your performance) do not always look for the bad things salvage some of the good ( Wow that blue of its spot was a real Ronnie shot) without a diary or some record you end up without a structure for your progress. ANY OTHER PLAYERS KEEP A DIARY !!!!!!!!

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                      • #12
                        Iím not keeping a diary but definitely making mental notes about my progress. Iím booking some coaching next month. Iím at the point where I can pot 4 or long blues off the spot then miss 3 by such a large margin, it doesnít seem possible. I am constantly self diagnosing, so a coach will hopefully make a difference.

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                        • #13
                          Originally Posted by Art Vandalaay View Post
                          Iím not keeping a diary but definitely making mental notes about my progress. Iím booking some coaching next month. Iím at the point where I can pot 4 or long blues off the spot then miss 3 by such a large margin, it doesnít seem possible. I am constantly self diagnosing, so a coach will hopefully make a difference.
                          Thats good if you can remember and try to improve on your best. Not sure what a good target would be but I'll bet a pro would want 10/10 or 9/10 at worst.
                          The ex-prob at my club told me his record is 32 consecutive blues. Wow.
                          Its a few years since I've practiced long blues but I think my best ever was 6/10. My mates and I somtimes try and pot the blue and follow the white in. Really tests your straight cueing!
                          Would be really good if a coach could tell you what went wrong with the ones you missed. Probably bit of body movement.
                          Good luck.

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                          • #14
                            39 break yesterday. Still not proper match play though. Had the reds scattered while practicing alone. Blue off itís spot then 4 blacks. Missed the 5th black after leaving myself too high.

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